Gift Guide 2013: Gifts for the digital photographer

Gift Guide 2013: Gifts for the digital photographer

Summary: It's the time of year when gift guides are all the rage, and since I'm an avid digital photographer it's only reasonable that I pull together a cornucopia of gifts aimed at the 'tog' in your life.

TOPICS: Hardware

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  • 3 Legged Thing Eric tripod

    A tripod made by photographers, for photographers.

    The Evolution X4 Eric is the most stable 26mm system. It features 4 leg sections made from 8 Core Stealth Carbon Fiber giving Eric has amazing rigidity and stability. Designed for multipurpose use, Eric folds down to a petite 500mm but is versatile enough to extend from 135mm to over 2 meters, making Eric one of the tallest and shortest carbon fiber tripods going.

    That's a heck of a huge range, and you really have to see it to believe it. Not only that, but even at over 2 meters, the tripod feels solid, and the camera feels safe.

    With a detachable Monopod, and a double section removable and reversible central column, Eric really is the ideal all-round tripod.

    More info | Price: Starting at $400

    (Image: 3 Legged Thing)

  • Datacolor Spyder4ELITE color calibrator

    A properly color-calibrated screen means that you can be more confident when editing your images, enabling true-to-life reproduction.

    There are plenty of other reasons:

    • Displays render the same image differently: Calibration tunes your display to a reference standard and brings color consistency across desktop, laptop, multiple displays, televisions, projectors, iPad, iPhone and Android devices
    • Displays change over time: Recalibration returns it to reference state for brightness and color
    • Prints often do not match display: Display calibration provides a base for better print matching
    • Wide gamut displays may be oversaturated: Without calibration even wide-gamut displays may be inaccurate
    • Highlight and shadow details may be inaccurate: Control of brightness, white point and tone response with calibration
    • Image colors are not true to life: After calibration, images can be viewed and edited with confidence

    The Spyder4ELITE is a full-spectrum 7-color sensor that can accurately characterize a variety of wide gamut and normal displays.

    More info | Price: $200

    (Image: Datacolor)

  • HDRsoft Photomatix Pro software

    Anyone who has ever tried to photograph a high contrast scene knows that even the best exposure gives you blown out highlights, or flat shadows, or both. Filters can certainly help, but there's only so far they can go sometimes.

    This is where HDR comes in. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and this is a process where you take several photos at different exposures and combine them into a single image.

    Using Photomatix you can produce HDR images that are either natural looking or extreme, depending on choice. While there are a number of HDR tools on the market – even Photoshop has that feature built-in – Photomatix is currently the most sophisticated easiest-to-use solution out there.

    More info | Price: Essentials: $39 | Pro: $99

    (Image: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet)

Topic: Hardware

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  • not recommended

    this is the fallacy of xmas: it is improper to presume to know what a dedicated hobbyist would need for his/her equipment.

    and in the interests of getting special gifts for xmas a lot of money gets wasted on stuff people don't want and can't use

    it doesn't matter if the person is a photographer, fisherman, woodworker, -- whatever. don't try to guess what they want.
    • Cheer up, mate

      Key Lime
  • Gallery

    Who can be bothered to trawl through 26 gallery items. Make a new year's resolution to kill the idea!
    David M. Senior
    • yup

      didn't read past the first page
      • Horrible content

        I did read after the first slide, most of the items after slide 10 are absolutely useless.
    • Gallery format - hate it

  • Thanks Adrian

    Don't love the 1-item per page but I love the items! Thanks for the list.
    I really like the Advanced Stacker for star photos, and the custom filters for landscapes... want want want!
  • Great list!

    I don't get the negativity... Bunch of stuff here I'd love to have.

    Thanks Adrian (-:
  • You might not know what's best!

    As a pro photographer I can tell you that if someone got me off brand batteries I would never put them in my camera! No way would I risk my $2k camera on a cheap version of something that I trust to be there for every time I need it to be. The other stuff is ok I guess but photographers are very picky and it might be better to just hit them a gift card to B&h photo or a local photography store.
  • G-Technology...

    I quibble with picking G-Technology. I have a dead G-Technology drive on my desk. Lasted about 3 months before it died. The drive managed to scramble the catalog contents. Support's response was "that's not a hardware problem, that's a software problem" as though that distinction matters! Underlying G-Technology is Hitachi and not surprising, the only portable drive I own that didn't survive at least a year was, yep, a Hitachi.

    I've had GREAT success with LaCie, however.
    Steven Christenson