For anyone who uses their iPhone as a camera first and a phone second, photography and videography gifts are a great option. Many of the options are also applicable to those who use a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
Here are some gift ideas for all budgets, from stocking stuffers to main presents.
Manfrotto Pixi with iPhone mount
Small size and portability are essential for an iPhone. Since the whole point of an iPhone is that it’s the camera you always have with you, a tripod that’s small and light enough to carry around in your pocket is ideal. It’s not only suitable for use on any flat surface, but it also makes shooting handheld video more stable and comfortable, though we recommend using two hands rather than one.
Manfrotto Travel Befree with video head
If you want a full-size tripod instead, the Manfrotto Travel Befree is a great choice, combining portability with stability and versatility of use. There are several models to choose from, but if you’re going to use it for video, make sure you get one with the video head, which is required for smooth panning and tilting movements.
The aluminum model is less expensive, but the carbon fiber model is much lighter. If you need an iPhone holder, you can buy one separately – but you might as well pay a little more and get the Pixi, which comes with one for only about $13 more than the holder on its own.
Zhiyun Smooth X
When it first came out, this was incredible value at nearly twice the price, and it’s now a steal! Since it’s a 2-axis gimbal rather than a 3-axis gimbal, there’s no vertical stabilization. With a built-in selfie stick, pocketable size, and unbeatable price, this is a winner if you’re looking for a gift at this price point and the recipient doesn’t already have a compact gimbal.
Neewer is a brand that sells reasonably priced, high-quality gear. It comes with a variety of sliders, but the 19.7-inch carbon fiber manual model the best choice. It has a good length and is light enough to carry both outside and in the studio. It’s only $10 more expensive than the shorter aluminum version, which is the same weight.
Although a large hard drive is a simple solution, it is not upgradeable and only accessible locally. A NAS (Network Attached Storage) system is a more flexible storage option. The content can then be accessed via the Internet, and the drives can be upgraded over time. The Synology DS220j is a popular (and recommended) entry-level dual-bay option.
This comes without drives, so you can install your own internal 3.5-inch SATA drives. For around $100 more, you can upgrade to the DS420j, which gives you four bays, and after that, the sky’s the limit. Keep in mind that the drives themselves will require power. Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB drives, which cost around $140 each, are a good place to start.