'Tis the season to be gifting! Today, Picturelife launched Picturelife Gifts, an easy way to make the holidays awesome for that photography lover in the family. To celebrate the launch, the team compiled their favorite photo related gifts and gadgets. Enjoy!
Sharing pictures digitally is great, but getting a photo printed is something special. Paper prints, mattes, and frames all seem so yesterday, so why not print your photos on wood blocks and coat them with beautiful glossy resin?! That’s what our friends at GlossyGram can do for you. As the name suggests, you can send anything from your Instagram account straight to them to be printed - it couldn’t be easier. I recently did this with 24 of my favorite travel photos, and I was blown away with the quality.
There are many iPhone lens products on the market but most are either model specific or require sticking an adhesive magnetic ring to your phone. Easy-Macro Cell Phone Lens Band for iPhone & Android solves this by using a space age material called “rubber” to create a “band” to secure the lens, thus eliminating the need for adhesives and making it compatible with all iPhones and Android models. Get it from our friends at Photojojo!
The best gifts are hand crafted with love. This is a great way to create a beautiful piece of wall art from a treasured picture.
The Bigshot DIY camera kit will provide endless fun and curiousity about photography. Put together your own camera from easy to use parts, then modify and enhance your new camera with fun features like 3D lenses and an LED flash! Buy it from our friends over at GrandSt!
Most people who buy cameras buy zoom lenses or use the ones that came with their camera. There’s a reason for this: zoom lenses are versatile and it’s easy to always get your subject in frame. The problem is they let you be lazy. Using a fixed length lens (‘prime lens’) forces you to think about how your subject is placed within your photo and makes you move your body to the zooming. It’s more challenging but makes for better shots. An added benefit is that fixed length lenses usually let in a lot more light and give you great background blur because they have wider apertures. For most people, the general purpose fixed length lens is the 50mm on full frame cameras and 35mm and smaller cameras. For portraits you want 85mm on a full frame camera and 50mm on a typical DSLR. Since most people primarily take pictures of other people, a portrait lens is a great choice and can be bought pretty cheaply ($200-$400 for something basic). A new lens like this is a much more effective way to improve your pictures than spending that amount on a better camera.
I shot with an early version Canon Rebel for years - I pushed that camera to its limits, and it has a lot of limitations, the biggest being horrible low light capability. The sensor on my Rebel finally died (I was not sad - it meant I could finally justify upgrading) and, (nearly) buying into the hype, I went straight to the Canon 6D - entry level full frame sensor, high ISO, great low light, video. My father, the wisest man on the planet (and a sensor designer), convinced me to check out Canon’s newest DSLR, the 70D EOS. I was glad he did. The 6D is great, but it has a number of limitations that the sensor doesn’t make up for (11 AF points, slow autofocus, pretty pricey). So, my dream gift this Christmas is the Canon 70D EOS lens kit - 18 AF points, up to 12800 ISO (expandable to H:25600), a 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, and a solid (and quiet) 18-135mm f/3.5 kit lens. I tested the video autofocus- it moves so smoothly from one subject to the next using “dual pixel AF” - makes video better for amateurs and pros alike. Live live mode, and a swivel screen to make shooting video even easier (shoot from the hip!). The low light capability is such a vast improvement on my Rebel that it really isn’t even worth mentioning. With a price point around $1,2000 for the lens kit, it’s a solid investment and a great gift for a photographer of any level.
Every time I’m trying to switch lenses and it’s like wtf do I do with this lens cap and I get all frazzled and my subject is growing weary and it’d be nice to just let that shizz dangle. This IS dangle.