J MacDonald Photography
I Manipulate Photons


search for me

The Mirrorless Photographer's Gift Guide 2016

2016 is the best year yet for Mirrorless Photographers.

What a year!! 2016 was the year of the mirrorless camera revolution! We saw huge growth in the market as more and more people realized they don't need a big clunky dSLR to get great images. And as these people (maybe YOU are one of them?) have made their move into a smaller, often times more technologically advanced system, the need for new gear has arisen. And this list will help you either find them a great gift for this holiday season, or maybe it will help YOU get yourself something much deserved.  
I am making this list in order of expense. I will start off affordable (I don't have a huge trust fund so affordable to me is in the under $50 category) and work my way up to luxury items that may run over a couple thousand dollars. No matter what, everyone can find something on this list that will make a great gift. 

One thing before we get going.....I am using all Amazon links because I can make a few bucks of the sale of things when you shop from my links. It doesn't cost you a single penny more, but it helps me pay the bills if you can dig it. So big thanks for shopping through Amazon!!

So what do you say? Let's get to shopping!!

Keep It Steady...Affordably.

I love this product and own and use it myself regularly. It is the Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod. 
Now this is NOT a substitute for a regular full sized tripod, but it IS a very capable, ULTRA portable tripod that can easily be taken with you anywhere you go. And the cost? Try $25 on Amazon. 
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2fbDoZ2

I can hold up any mirrorless camera!

I can hold up any mirrorless camera!

Welcome to Filters 101...On the Cheap.

Now this one may be a bit controversial...But hear me out first. 
There is no substitute for using filters on your camera. Especially ND(neutral density) filters. And with that said, there is no substitute for GOOD ND filters. But...What if you are curious as to whether you would use a set of ND filters? Or what if you have never used ND filters, and might only need them for a few shots and won't need them again? Or what if (this is MY case) you just don't have a ton of money to spend on ND filters? Well, what you do is get an affordable set like these from Neewer. I know...NEEWER? Who are they? They are a company that makes a LOT of affordable photo gear that is actually pretty darn good for the money! Whole these may not be made of glass, they are made of acrylic which has a GREATER level of clarity than any glass does...Don't believe me? Google it ;) 
So how mush is the wonder set of ND(standard AND graduated) filters going to cost you?
How about $20? No reason not to order one today now is there?
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2fbywTw

Time To Clean House! Well..Maybe Clean Camera :)

If you play, you are going to have to pay at some point. And if you play outdoors (you better play outdoors!) then your camera will DEFINITELY need to be cleaned...And that is why I am seriously suggesting you invest in some sort of cleaning kit for your gear. This one has EVERYTHING you need to clean your camera inside and out...And all for under $20!! Can't go wrong there now can you? Oh..And I know this is for an APS-C camera, but you can trim the swabs to size ;) That'll save you some money.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2eRZZyr

Put a Lid On It!!....Or Cap It...Or...Well, you get it!

You know what I lose? Lens caps...That's what I lose. I don't how, I don't know where...I just know I lose the darn things! But I have a secret....You can get them DIRT CHEAP on Amazon!!
How cheap is DIRT CHEAP?!? Well...Actually cheaper than a bag of dirt to be honest. 
Less than $10 for a pack of three...Just pick the size you need..Or buy two or three sizes and STILL be under that $25 price point!
Buy them here: http://amzn.to/2eRZmoF

Shine A Little Light...Err.....REFLECT A Little Light!! 

Great..You are a natural light kind of photographer....So what if the light is on the wrong side of your subject? Or..What if that natural light is making a nasty Phantom of the Opera looking shadow on your model? Well what you do is use a reflector to bounce some light onto your model to fill in those shadows!! And you can do it for under $20! You can also use this to diffuse light by removing the reflective cover! That's why they call this a 5 in 1 reflector ;)
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2gqXOT5

Time to step up the Money Game...Gifts in the $50-200 price range.

Mirrorless Cameras are Small...So Why Buy a BIG BAG!?!?

This is MY PERFECT small bag for everyday use. Say hello to the Think TANK Photo Urban Approach 10. I LOVE Think TANK bags. How much do I love them? I have 8 of them so uh..Yeah..It could be called love. :) This bag though has now become my EDC(Every Day carry) bag that houses the Olympus PEN-F and a wide assortment of lenses and spare batteries...Oh..And my iPad. :) How much is this little gem? $135...And worth more than that in my opinion!
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2ffeHhw 

If James Bond Were A Photographer..He'd Be Using This.

Every year new gadgets come out in the world of photography, and often they are just revamped versions of something already out there. But sometimes a company comes at the industry with something completely new,...And that is EXACTLY what the Peak Design Capture Pro is.  This crazy cool clip system is designed to hold your camera on your bag's shoulder strap, or on your belt, or maybe someplace I haven't thought of yet. It's so cool I am sharing not only a photo...But a video of it too. I LOOOOOVE my Capture Clips...Yes...Plural...Love it so much I bought it a buddy. :)  Cost? $60
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2fffPl8

You Need A Cloud..Your OWN Cloud..Like THIS Cloud!

Know what sucks? When your hard drive dies and you lose thousands of images. Know what else sucks? When you realize that for the cost of a few months worth of venti lattes you could have prevented that disaster. Know what DOESN'T Suck? This external hard drive that you can access from anywhere you have internet access. You can even access it from your phone or tablet. I was recently in New York and decided to not only download a few images from mine (OF COURSE I own this drive..two actually ;) but to UPLOAD a few images while in the streets of Chinatown just to see how practical it was. How practical was it? Enough that I am telling you that I did it and it worked PERFECTLY! How much is this piece of mind we call a cloud drive? Try $160 for 4TB..That's FOUR TERABYTES! So that is around 400,000 20 megapixel photos!! WHAT!?!? 
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2fbDgbS

Time To Charge Those Batteries..Like a Boss!

Are you still charging your batteries like the Amish? Ok...So maybe you aren't THAT far removed from technology, but if you are still charging batteries one at a time and not sure how full they are then you have some catching up to do! Introducing the Hahnel ProCube charger. This charger will not only charge TWO batteries at once, it will also do it FASTER and...Tell you how full they are!! Never wonder how close to being done they are. Never wonder if a battery needs charging. Never charge the old way again! Cost for this bronze beauty? $75
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2ffgNOC

I Hit The Lottery (or I just know how to manage my money better than you) Gifts! $250-$Lots

Edit on the go with a Microsoft Surface Pro! I am 100% a Mac guy...But I will tell you what. The iPad and iPad Pro are NOT full blown computers, but this Surface Pro IS! It will run all the Adobe Creative Cloud apps...Lightroom? Photoshop? Illustrator? Yup, Yup, Yup! And it also acts like a graphics tablet when you use the awesome Surface Pen...Oh and unlike the new Macbook Pro..This thing still has the SD card slot :)  Price? $1100
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2g5MeZ1

 I Told You I Am A Mac Person...See?

I can't imagine editing at home on anything other than an iMac. I won't drone on and on about how great it is...Just trust me...THIS IS THE COMPUTER YOU WANT!!! Seriously...A 27" 5k display, super stunning form factor...And an operating system that is made to run smooth and efficiently...Wait...I am starting to drone on aren't I?  Cost? $2400
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2fbMkxl

The BEST Camera Out There In My Opinion....PERIOD!

Did you seriously think I wasn't going to suggest the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 MarkII? This camera is so loaded with features I swear I can't even begin to name them all. But I WILL say that one of the newest features, Pro Capture, will absolutely change the way you shoot ANY kind of action photos. Imagine that when you pressed the shutter button the camera not only took that photo, but it also took 14 images PRIOR to that one! So now you have that moment you were trying to capture, and if you just missed it? No worry! you have FOURTEEN other images to select from!! No more missing that perfect moment!! Cost? $2000
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2fbLkJN

You Bought The Best Camera..Now You Need Some Lenses!! Yes..Plural ;)

So what I am going to do here is share a link to ALL the Olympus PRO lenses. There are many of them. ALL are weather sealed, ALL are made for PRO level work, ALL are a PERFECT match for that new OM-D above. There is definitely a lens to fit whatever you shooting needs may be. And if you aren't sure which one you need? EMAIL ME! I will help guide you on your purchase journey! Cost? It varies....Sorry.
Buy them here: 
8mm f/1.8 Fisheye : http://amzn.to/2g8EW8k
7-14mm f/2.8: http://amzn.to/2gr6I2M 
12-40mm f/2.8 : http://amzn.to/2fbT9yV 
25mm f/1.8 : http://amzn.to/2g5OAaf
40-150mm f/2.8 : http://amzn.to/2g5NueW
300mm f/4 : http://amzn.to/2g5TvIo

And Saving The BEST For Last!!!
And This Is Not What You Were Expecting

You can't get this one at Amazon....And The price is all over the map...But I think if you can do this then do it...Spend some money on TRAVEL!!! Seriously! Why buy a gift that might not last more than a few months or a year? Why buy a "thing" when you can buy a LIFE MEMORY? Go somewhere and pay for something you will never forget. It will be the best money you have ever spent.  Or buy a learning experience...OR...Best yet...Buy a spot on a workshop in a place you've never been!! Maybe even look at one of the workshops I do with Mike Boening!!
Check out Mirrorless Adventures Workshops Here: Mirrorless Adventures!

I just want to thank you for checking out this little gift guide, and for sharing it with your photographer friends and family. Take care and happy shooting!!!


Jamie MacDonald1 Comment