The Holiday Seasons is upon us, and once again readers have asked us for our gifts ideas.
Our selection criteria for all categories is the same every year: the items have to be things we have actually used or they have to be things we would actually want.
We do a lot of photography, but this year we found ourselves taking a lot of those photos with our point-n-shoot and cellphone cameras. This influenced our choices and recommendations for 2015.
Photo Gear recommendations
- iPhone 6 series camera
- olloclip 4-in-1 lenses
- Fujifilm X100S point and shoot camera
- Miggo soft case
- Vanguard BBH300 Ball Head
- Vanguard Carbon Fiber Monopod ABEO CM-284
- Rechargeable Batteries – Eneloop
- Rechargeable Batteries – Amazon Basics
- Anker PowerBank
- Morella drink holder
For EveryDayCarry (EDC)
They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Fortunately the camera on many many smartphones is getting better with each new generation. In fact, we have found the camera on the iPhone 6 series to be so good that we have stopped carrying our EDC camera. For added versatility, we added the olloclip lens attachment to our EDC list.
For More Control
When we want more creative control but don’t want to go full DSLR, we pick up the Fujifilm X100S. In 2015, we picked up the X100S probably 10:1 over the DSLR. This is the camera we would choose if we had to pick just one to own. It is that good.
A tripod is a convenient accessory, but can be cumbersome in many situations. A monopod offers many of the benefits of a tripod without the bulk, especially when mobility is a criteria. We have been using the Vanguard monopod with the X100S and found it a great pairing. On occasions, we have added a ball head into the mix when we needed extra positional flexibility.
The best camera case is protective when the camera is not in use and out of the way when it is. We have found the miggo soft wrap to meet both criteria perfectly. It wraps around the camera protecting it from bumps, knocks, and unexpected sprinkles. The case cleverly morphs into a wrist strap when the camera is in use. We don’t need the miggo wrap all the time, but we always appreciate its well-thought out design when we do.
The best rechargeable used to be eneloop batteries, but we have found that Amazon Basics are excellent as well, both in value and durability. They will hold a charge for months, may be recharged 1000x, and can handle the demands of high-drain devices. It’s a no brainer.
For emergency/backup power, we rely on Anker power packs. They pack a lot of punch for their size, have standard USB sockets, and are very affordable. The Anker Astro E3 unit will power up our iPhone, iPad, and pretty much anything else we need, at least until we can find an outlet.
- Morella drink holder – Need a hand holding that cup of coffee when on a shoot? Designed to work with an umbrella, but attach the Morella to leg of a tripod or any other suitable post and you have a ready place for the coffee cup!
Have fun shopping and Happy Holidays!!!