There are only two days to shop before Christmas, but it’s not too late to buy a gift for the photographer in your life. Buying a new camera is probably too involved, especially as a gift for an experienced photographer. Every photographer could use a new accessory, however, and these can be found to fit any budget.
Every photographer can benefit from the stability of a tripod. A full-sized tripod is essential, but there are alternatives that can be useful in certain circumstances. The Gorrillapod is a miniature tripod with flexible legs. It can be used as a standard tabletop tripod, but its special feature is the flexible legs. These not only allow the photographer to easily level the shot on an uneven surface, but also can be wrapped around a fence post or a tree limb for steady photos in places where a standard tripod may not be available or practical.
Gorrillapod tripods come in sizes appropriate to a variety of cameras. Prices range from $20 for units designed for small point-and-shoot cameras, to $50 for a model that will handle most DSLRs equipped with zoom lenses.
Another useful item is a digital card reader. These devices transfer memory from a variety of formats, including the popular CompactFlash and SD memory formats used by many digital cameras, to your PC. A card reader will transfer images faster than a direct connection from your camera, simply pop the memory card out of the camera and into the reader. An added bonus is that a card reader eliminates the need to make sure you have the correct USB cable if you acquire a second-hand camera.
The Delkin eFilm 38 is a high speed USB 2.0 reader that will handle a variety of formats. It is for around $30.
The Gorrillapod and card readers are available locally at Hunt’s in South Portland, as well as local Best Buy stores.
One final accessory that will help make photography more enjoyable during the cold Maine winters is photography gloves. These are specialized glove/mitten hybrids with individual fingers inside a full mitten. The mitten fingertips flip down to enable the photographer to use the buttons on her camera, and flip up to keep her fingers warm between shots. HotHeadz Polarex Glomitts are available at Hunt’s for $25.
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