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Best Christmas gifts for photographers: from tripods to SSDs

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Christmas gift guides

We're bringing you a tech-focused Christmas gift guide every day up to the big day itself, to help fuel your present buying inspiration.

Day 1: Apple fans | 2: Photographers | 3: Nintendo fans | 4: Xbox fans | 5: PlayStation fans | 6: Retro gamers |7: PC gamers

Looking for the best Christmas gifts for photographers? Given the cost and complexity involved, snapping up presents for the lens-lover in your life ain't easy. That's why TechRadar is here to help see you through to a photo finish this festive season.

Photography can be a bit of a minefield, honestly: there are accessories, lenses, and lighting systems in all shapes, sizes, and prices, so we're on hand to help you capture the right thing for your resident photo lover.

With this in mind, we've done the hard work for you, cherry-picking a selection of the best photographic products and accessories around, with a range of options to suit just about anyone.

So, whether you're after a few extra photo-themed stocking fillers or a slightly pricier sleigh-stuffer for your loved one (or just a little treat for yourself) you should find plenty of inspiration here.

Manfrotto Pixi Evo

A great take-anywhere tripod

Reasons to buy
+Good payload support+Handy ball head
Reasons to avoid
-Does flex-Quite large

Mini tripods are great take-anywhere options, and perfect for those times when you don’t think you’ll need a tripod, but want to bring one just in case. Some can be pretty flimsy though, but the Pixi Evo offers a decent payload support and good flexibility. It comes with a handy ball head and extending legs – not really to extend the height, but to use on uneven surfaces. The limited working height does mean you'll have to position it on a wall or table, but take advantage of the low angle to get some interesting viewpoints.

Samsung T5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung T5

Still a fantastic external SSD for snappers

Reasons to buy
+Very small and compact+Super fast
Reasons to avoid
-A little pricey-May find you need more than one

The Samsung T5 is still regarded as the gold standard for external SSDs among photographers, and it's now even more affordable than ever.

Its tiny form factor makes it particularly suited to life on the road, so you can back up photos while out on a shoot. And it's super-fast too, using a USB Type C connection to get every bit of performance from the solid-state drive inside.

It's available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB flavors, with the middle two now ideally price for Christmas stocking duty.

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3

Bring your smartphone images to life

Reasons to buy
+Lots of fun+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Film can be expensive-A bit bulky

The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 lets you bring your smartphone images to life.  This great little printer lets you transfer images wirelessly from your phone to the Instax Share SP-3, which will produce square format instant prints (the image is printed 62 x 62mm, with a total size of 86 x 72mm) for you. There’s a handy reprint button, allowing you to share the same print with friends multiple times, while your pics on Facebook and Instagram can also be transferred to the SP-3. 

Lee Filters DSLR starter kit

Master those long exposures

Reasons to buy
+Excellent quality+ND and ND grad filters included
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Needs an adapter

If you know someone who's getting a new DSLR for Christmas, then this is a great addition to their kit. Featuring a Neutral Density and Graduated Neutral Density filters, it helps balance exposures in extreme light as well as allowing you to extend exposures as well, great for blurring water, clouds and people. You'll need an adapter ring to match the lens you're going to use it on, but this kit is a must for the budding landscape photographer.

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon Pixma Pro-100

Our number one photo printer is hugely versatile

Reasons to buy
+Stunning print quality+Covers most paper stocks
Reasons to avoid
-Ink can be pricey-Not cheap

The Canon Pixma Pro-100 is an excellent printer for the enthusiast or professional photographer, which is why it's our number photo printer.

Thanks to its 8-ink dye system, the Pro-100 offers superb color accuracy along with a print resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi, the same as its pricier Pixma Pro-1 cousin. It also produces outstanding black-and-white prints and has a decent printing speed, all of which make this a fine all-rounder for the snapper in your life.

(Image credit: Wacom)

Wacom Intuos Pro Small

Give their image editing a very precise hand

Reasons to buy
+Stylus is highly sensitive+Compact and portable
Reasons to avoid
-Small compared to rivals-Lacks free software

If you’re going to be using Photoshop regularly, making tricky selections and modifying parts of your images – dodging and burning for instance, or some precise retouching – then a graphics tablet can transform the way you work. While using a mouse or a trackpad does the job, a graphics tablet like this one from Wacom delivers much more precision and control.

As well as being able to use the supplied pen to make control the cursor, the tablet also supports multi-touch gestures. This allows you to use the Wacom like a smartphone or tablet, with pinch-and-zoom control and gestures supported.