The Learning Lensman comes to your assistance! Here are a few last-minute suggestions for photography-related things that can be given as gifts (to others or to yourself!) , depending on budget (links provided for more information or pictures).
I’ve gone around and have come up with a list of stuff available from the shops here in Metro Manila. This is a list that’s meant for those who aren’t really familiar with photography, but would like to know what’s there to buy out there. Several items here I’ve used myself, or used a similar one, so they’re what I would actually use or at least consider.
Without further ado, here they are:
P500 and Below:
- Sanyo Eneloop AA Battery: Comes pre-charged and can be used more times than your typical NiMH rechargeable batteries. Very useful for photographers who use an external flash or a camera that uses AA batteries. P100 each from Watson Photo.
- LVSHI UV Filter (52mm or 58mm): Offers the 18-55mm kit lens or 50mm f/1.8 lens some protection against scratches and smudges to the lens’ front element. Good for those who have just bought a DSLR and don’t have a filter yet. P200 from Filters Exchange (either 52mm or 58mm).
- Lenspen LP-1: This is the original Lenspen (not the cheap copycat). Very useful for cleaning DSLRs lenses. P350 from Filters Exchange.
- Petal Lens Hood: Prevents unwanted light from getting into your lens, and protects the exposed glass part against bumps or knocks. Also makes a lens look cooler. For Canon or Nikon, P450 up from Filters Exchange.
- Mini Tripod: Holds up a compact point-and-shoot camera. Some may even hold up a light DSLR and lens combination. Very portable and can be carried anywhere in a pocket. Ideal for photographers want to take long exposures with their compacts, or those who want to be in the pictures they take. P450 from Pixel Pro Megamall.
P501 to P1,000
- Giottos Rocket Air Blower: Bulb-shaped blower to blow away dust from the lens, and can also be used for cleaning loose dust off a DSLR sensor. With fins at the bottom, handy for making it stand upright. Should be in every photographer’s kit. This and the above-mentioned Lenspen make a great cleaning kit. P650 from Filters Exchange.
- JJC HS Series Handstrap: Strap that goes around the right hand, improving one’s grip on a bulky camera. Useful for those who have small hands, or need better grip on a large camera. P580 from Pixel Pro Megamall.
- Transcend 4GB SDHC Memory Card: High-capacity memory card for cameras using SD cards as storage. Everyone can use an extra one. P930 from Pixel Pro Megamall.
- Marumi DHG UV Filter (52mm): A UV filter with special coating on its glass element to help minimize distracting flare and ghosting (evident in cheaper filters without coating). Also provides additional protection to the 18-55mm kit lens’ front element. P1,000 from Filters Exchange.
P1,001 to P2,500
- OP/TECH USA Pro Loop Neckstrap: A durable neckstrap with stretchy neoprene part that makes a DSLR feel lighter around the neck. A nice upgrade from the neckstrap that comes with a DSLR. P1,350 from Pixel Pro Megamall.
- Kata DP-407 Digital Pouch. A tough protective carrying case designed for point-and-shoot compact digital cameras. Ribbed internal structure puts it above the usual pouches. P1400 from Infomaxx Megamall.
- Sanyo Eneloop AA Batteries (4 pcs) + Quick Charger: The goodness of Eneloop batteries plus a handy charger that can charge them fast. P1800 from Filters Exchange.
- Canon Pixma iP2770 Printer: Inkjet printer with 4800 x 1200 dpi print resolution, Chromalife 100+ long-lasting inks and fast printing speed. Ideal for printing photos at home, from 4″x 6″ to A4 size. P2050 from Silicon Valley Megamall.
- Sandisk Extreme 4GB 200x SDHC Memory Card: High-capacity SD card that is very fast in data transfer. Ideal for those who shoot high-definition video with their cameras. P2100 from Pixel Pro Megamall.
P2,500 to P5,000
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 7s: A funky film camera that immediately puts out a credit card-sized full color print. For fun-loving photographers who want instant gratification. P2,950 from Fujifilm Digital Imaging Megamall. Pack of 20 Instax Mini film P765.
- Western Digital Ultraportable 320GB External USB Hard Disk: External storage that attaches to a PC via USB cable. Photographers need all the storage they can get, so this will be very much welcome. P2,995 from SM Appliance Center.
- Benro A-500EX Tripod with Ballhead: Very good value tripod, will hold entry-level DSLRs, lens and flash. P3,900 at Abacus.
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens: A very popular lens because it has a big maximume aperture (lens opening) that allows shooters to shoot in low light and have a really blurred background to make the subject pop out. Very sharp too, and you can use it with autofocus on all Canon EOS bodies. Good for those who like shooting portraits. Best of all is the price. P4,000 from Mayer Photo.
- Sandisk Extreme 16GB (60MB/Sec) Compact Flash Card: For photographers who have DSLRs that use Compact Flash (CF) cards, usually those who have higher-end cameras. This one is ideal for those who have DSLRs that can record videos. P4,800 from Mayer Photo.
- Lowepro Fastpack 250 Backpack: A lightweight backpack that can carry a DSLR with lens, an extra lens, a flash, and a 15.4″ notebook computer. Ideal for a photographer on the go. P4,885 from Pixel Pro Megamall.
- Canon Powershot A490 Compact Digital Camera: 10-megapixel entry-level point-and-shoot camera with 3.3x zoom range, takes excellent pictures for the price. P4,950 SM from Department Store.
- Basic Photography Workshop: Learn the basics of photography from shooting to printing with veteran commercial photographer, photography instructor and Canon Brand Ambassador Jo Avila. An excellent gift for those who are new to DSLR cameras and want to maximize its usage. Users of all DSLR camera brands welcome. P5,000 for weeknight sessions from Jo Avila Photography (other schedules available).
P5,001 to P10,000
- Spider Holster: A different way of carrying a camera without a strap. Screw a plate on the bottom of the camera, wear the belt, clip the plate onto a heavy-duty slot on the belt. Camera hangs securely from the clip, ready to be drawn and shot quickly. P5,300 from Aperture Trading.
- Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Lens: Similar in purpose to the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens mentioned above, but for Nikon. The catch is that it won’t autofocus in Nikon bodies that don’t have a motor to drive the lens’ autofocus. P5,700 from Mayer Photo.
- Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch 4″ x 6″: A USB-connected tablet that allows a user to use a pen to control the mouse pointer with precision. Finger gestures can also be used to control your desktop and applications, providing a similar experience to laptop trackpads that have multi-touch enabled. Very ideal for those who use Adobe Photoshop or a similar application to post-process their pics a lot. P6,390 from Villman Megamall.
- Canon Pixma iP4760 Printer: A premium high-performance desktop inkjet printer with 9600 x 2400 dpi print resolution and 5 ChromaLife100+ inks in individual cartridges. Great for printing high-quality 4R to A4 size prints quickly. P6,995 from Silicon Valley Megamall
- Samsung PL101 Dual Display Compact Digital Camera: 12-megapixel compact digital camera with dual displays, a 2.7″ LCD display at the back, and a 1.5″ LCD display beside the lens, so one can take easily take a self-portrait. The camera’s bottom is also angled in such a way that the lens points upwards towards the face, when set on a table. For those who love self-portraits. P9,990 from SM Appliance Center.
- Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Camera: The maker of the world’s most popular instant camera is back with a 5-megapixel digital camera that has a built-in printer. Aside from the instant 2″ x 3″ color prints using Zero-Ink technology, the PoGo also has an SD card slot to allow saving of pictures taken, unlike instant film cameras. For those who want instant prints, yet want a digital copy to be saved. P9,995 from SM Department Store.
- GE X5 Digital Camera: A very interesting 14-megapixel superzoom digital camera with 15x optical zoom range, full manual controls, image stabilization in a small bridge camera (DSLR-like) form factor at a very reasonable price. Not quite in the same league as the more expensive superzooms from the Japanese manufacturers, but neither is the price. This is a great camera for photographers on a tight budget, a walk-around alternative to a DSLR, or travellers who want something really compact but also want flexibility and control. P9,995 from SM Department Store, with free 4GB SD card, rechargeable AA batteries and charger.
Where To Buy the Stuff Above:
- Abacus Computer: Unit V-350, 3/F V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center Ortigas Avenue San Juan City Tel: 727 3172
- Aperture Trading: 5th Flr., Prosperity Bldg., 395 Banaue St., Quezon City Tel: 732-8991
- Filters Exchange: Mezzanine-B, 632 Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City Tel: 534-9879
- Fujifilm Digital Imaging: Basement Level, SM Megamall Building A, Mandaluyong City
- Infomaxx Megamall: Cyberzone, 4/F SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City
- Jo Avila Photography: Unit 114, Gold Building, 15 Annapolis street, Greenhills, San Juan City Tel: Mobile (917) 530-5133
- Mayer Photo: 111, 113, 115 C. Palanca St., Quiapo, Manila Tel: 733-7598, 733-7722
- Pixel Pro Megamall: Cyberzone, 4/F SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City
- Silicon Valley Megamall: Cyberzone, 4/F SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City
- SM Appliance Center: Anywhere there’s an SM mall.
- SM Department Store: Anywhere there’s an SM mall.
- Villman Computers Megamall: Cyberzone, 4/F SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City
- Watson Photo (Hidalgo): 312 P. Gomez St., Quiapo, Manila Tel: 733-7697
Want to spend more? Check out Part II of this Gift Guide!
A few things to note:
This isn’t about saying that these are the best or only photography stuff out there, but about giving an idea of what’s out there from different shops, given a set price range. Given similar products with with different prices, it’s usually a “you-get-what-you-pay-for” condition when buying photography-related products.
I’m only limiting the list to products from stores that I have personal experience with, and have actually shopped at.
Prices are for cash basis and are subject to change by their respective suppliers. Prices of mall-based stores may be higher by around 10% up, and is typically consistent with prices in their branches in other malls; one is basically paying for the convenience.
Prices here aren’t necessary the lowest, and are listed at MSRP as far as I know. Many items in this list are also under promo and may have further discounts or freebies so don’t be afraid to ask for them. No harm in asking.
Have any other gift suggestions? Put it in the comment box below!