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iPhone & iPad Gifts for Photographers and Filmmakers


As they get more powerful and more packed with features, the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad aren't just for entertainment or learning. More and more, they're being used by professionals in many fields, including photography and filmmaking. Whether the people on your gift list who love those pursuits are professionals or enthusiasts, they'll appreciate gifts from this list.

1. AirPrint-Compatible Printers

HP Photosmart Plus e-AiO
image copyright Hewlett-Packard
In our wireless world, photographers and filmmakers are increasingly using wireless devices like the iPhone and iPad in their work. But in many cases one of their key tools--the printer--hasn't entered our wireless age. That's no longer true thank to AirPrint. This Apple technology allows iOS devices to print to compatible printers on the same Wi-Fi network. While not all printers support AirPrint (click the link above for a list), some of the high-quality photo printers may be on your photographer's wishlist.

2. Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit
image copyright Apple Inc.

While the screens of modern digital cameras are getting bigger all the time, none of them can hold a candle to the size and attractiveness of the iPad's screen. That's why lots of photographers use it to view their pictures. In order to do that, though, they need a way to move the SD card from the camera to the iPad. Enter Apple's Camera Connection Kit. These adapters plug into the dock connector and let photographers insert SD cards or connect cameras via USB. Expect to spend around US$30.

NOTE: The Camera Connection Kit uses the old 30-pin Dock Connector. If the photographer or filmmaker in your life has the iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch, or 4th generation iPad, they'll also need an adapter to the new 9-pin Lightning connector. Expect to spend another $30 on that.

3. Cam Caddie Scorpion + iPro Lens Kit

Cam Caddie Scorpion + iPro Lens Kit
image copyright Cam Caddie
This $225 kit provides everything the serious iPhone filmmaker needs to take great shots. First, the kit offers two lenses--wide angle and fisheye--to help the filmmaker to get just the right images for their needs. Beyond that, the Scorpion is a heavy-duty filming mount that the iPhone connects to that allows for stable shots, keeping hands and fingers out of the frame, and resting the iPhone on a flat surface. The kit works with the iPhone 4 and 4S.
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4. Filmmaking Apps

Movie Slate app
Movie Slate copyright PureBlend Software

Making films with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad isn't just about the cool hardware accessories you can get. There are a ton of powerful and helpful apps, too. From apps to plan out shots, use as a movie slate, or even edit video, there are dozens of great choices, starting at just a few dollars. A search at the App Store will turn up a lot more, but a few good candidates include:

Learn how to give apps as gifts here.

5. ioShutterSLR Controller

ioShutterSLR Controller for Canon Cameras
enlighten photo ltd.
The ioShutterSLR is an accessory designed for use with your Canon DSLR camera. It connects to both the camera and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and can be used on conjunction with the free ioShutter app (Download at iTunes). The app allows photographers to control the shutter, prevent shaking the camera, creating timelapse photos, and time long-exposure photos. One neat feature that some may enjoy is ClapToSnap, which allows photographers to take photos simply by clapping their hands near their iOS device. Expect to spend around $70.

6. Joby GorillaMobile and GripTight GorillaPod

Joby GorillaMobile
image copyright Joby Inc.

To take a great photo, you either need a steady hand or you need a sturdy tripod. But what about the hard-to-fit, hard-to-reach, or otherwise difficult locations? It depends on the circumstance, of course, but Joby's GorillaMobile or GripTight GorillaPod may be able to help your iPhone-toting photographer. That's because these tripods are built out of strong, but bendable, legs that allow them to strike all kinds of complicated poses. They run $20-$40.

Compare prices:
GorillaMobile | GripTight GorillaPod

7. Kogeto Dot

Kogeto Dot
image copyright Kogeto
Panoramic photos came to the iPhone (and other iOS devices) with the iPhone 5. Those panoramic photos are great, but they can be tricky to capture and they're not 360 degrees. If your photographer is interested in making better panoramic photos, the Kogeto Dot (around $50) may be what they need. The Dot takes quick, fully 360 degree panoramic photos that can be rotated to view and shared with friends.
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8. Makayama Movie Mount for iPad

Makayama Movie Mount for iPad
image copyright Makayama Media B.V.
This accessory--which attaches to a tripod (not included)--greatly enhances the usefulness of the iPad as a filmmaking tool. Shoot video via a number of lenses, mount shotgun mics and lights, present the screen for easy editing, and more. This $70 item can help turn an iPad and a tripod into a powerful mobile filmmaking unit.

9. olloclip Lenses

olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens
image copyright olloclip

The cameras built into the iPhone and other iOS devices are great (and getting better all the time), but they don't offer advanced lens effects like telephoto, polarization to reduce glare, fish eye, and macro. If the photographer on your list wants to add some of these lens to their iPhone photography kit, olloclip offers a number of options including the $100 Telephoto + Circular Polarizing lens and the $70 Quick-Connect Lens.

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10. Photography Apps

Instagram app icon
image copyright Burbn Inc.

The iPhone is a tremendous device for professional and novice photographers alike. Start with the iPhone 5S's 8 megapixel camera and add in any of the many useful and fun photography apps and you've got a recipe for great photos. Expect apps to cost anywhere from $1-$10. As with the filmmaking apps above, an App Store search will provide the widest range of options, but here are a few great photo apps:

11. StudioNeat Glif

Glif for iPhone
image copyright Studio Neat
Forget needing to buy a whole new tripod for your iPhone photography needs. This tiny, handy $20 attachment makes any standard tripod compatible with the iPhone. Just screw the Glif onto your existing tripod and you've got a place to secure your iPhone for taking photos (and the new Serif and Ligature accessories keep your phone even more secure for $10 more). When it's not attached to a tripod, the Glif makes a handy stand for propping up the iPhone to see the screen easily when watching video or using FaceTime. The iPhone 4/4S version is out now, with a version for the iPhone 5 expected before Christmas.
  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. iPhone / iPod
  4. iPhone & iPod touch
  5. Buying or Upgrading iPhone
  6. Past iOS Holiday Buying Guides
  7. Holiday Buying Guide 2011
  8. iPhone & iPad Gifts for Photographers and Filmmakers - Holiday Buying Guide 2013

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