8 great budget gifts for photographers

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 10 December 2015

With travel comes great photo moments and it’s likely those close to you like to capture their holiday moments. Here’s our pick of great budget gifts for photographers this festive season.

Also read: great summer photo gear
Find more: 10 great gifts from Cape Union Mart


1. PrintWild photographic prints

From R60, printwild.co.za

PrintWild Face Blocks

These days photographs tend to live online and PrintWild is a great way to give precious holiday memories the glory they deserve. There is a huge variety of printing options from affordable Faceblocks (R60), which are square Instagram-like prints set onto wood delivered ready to hang with an industrial Velcro mounting system to the usual canvas stretch mounts (from R383), contemporary white-framed images (from R707) and matte photo prints (from R94) which can be framed at home. There’s also the option to splash out with more ‘fine art’ Acrylic photo aluminium backing prints (from R856), which are mounts often used in galleries around the world. I got this one as a gift for myself – the ellie image is from the wildest elephant assignment featured in our October 2015 issue.

Elephants in the Caprivi - Melanie van Zyl

The whole ordering process is a breeze and the PrintWild team keep you updated on the whole process – reviewing your images, getting them printed, mounted and when you can expect delivery. There’s something for every budget and believe me there’s nothing like unwrapping your own pictures when they’ve been delivered a few days later. Photographers everywhere will beam.

Christmas orders end on 13th December, otherwise buy a voucher for the snapper to use anytime in 2016 to print summer holiday memories.


2. instaLens

From R299 a lens or R1499 for the complete kit of five, superbalist.co.za and instalens.co

Photo Gadgets - instaLens - Getaway Magazine - Melanie van Zyl

The instaLens then attaches to the ring like a magnet to a fridge and it’s shooting time (each instaLens comes with three adhesive (and removable) metal rings, which need to be placed around the phone camera). My favourite instaLens is the macro/wide angle lens because you’re paying R299 for two lens options and it’s great value. Every other lens only offers one effect, but all are awesome and great quality. They’re not made for rough adventure, but the high quality lenses have no vignetting and are very easy to use.

Also read: smartphone gadgets tested


3. Polaroid Waterproof Camera

R750, homemark.co.za

Polaroid Waterproof Camera
The Polaroid PDC776 is 14-megapixel Digital Waterproof Camera with Dual Screen. It’s shockproof, waterproof to three meters so perfect for summer pool snaps and shallow snorkelling. It’s got a macro mode and can shoot video too. Available in grey, blue and pink.


4. Gira Gear Et Cetera Gear Pouches

From R275, outdoorphoto.co.za

Gira Gear Et Cetera Gear Pouch

Finding order in chaos is something we value as travellers. The Gura Gear Et Cetera pouches are available in various sizes and designed to organise cables, adaptors, power blocks, chargers, batteries, and, well, just about anything. It has quality zippers, velocity nylon exteriors and micro mesh windows for viewing contents. The pouches are lightly padded and have removable dividers.


5. Artisan camera straps

From R350, jdvivresa.co.za

Artisan Camera Straps

Joie d’ Vivre slings have a unisex character and four buckles are included with your purchase to fasten it to a camera (or binoculars). The straps fit a wide variety of cameras ranging from DSLRs and vintage film cameras to large Polaroid cameras. Numbers are limited to only a few slings per fabric design so a unique gift is guaranteed.


6. Nifty250 Prints

From R155, nifty250.co.za

Nifty250 Prints
Instagram has become a great go-to platform for travellers sharing their journeys and, like most things in the digital age, they remain somewhere out there floating on the line. If you want an effortless, affordable, thoughtful gift this is it.

Nifty250 is a clever printing company based in Cape Town that links up to your Instagram profile so you can choose your favourite snaps and order them to print. Three days later the quality prints and memorable moments land at your door.

Read about the whole Nifty 250 ordering experience here.


7. Sea to Summit Waterproof Case

From R229, duesouth.co.za

Sea to Summit TPU Guide Waterproof Case for Smartphones

I had my doubts, but after calling mom from the car wash in our waterproof test, I’m sold on the abilities of this waterproof case. The universal case is touchscreen compatible and audible through the plastic. There’s a large rear window to take photographs and the high-frequency welding means tough, waterproof seams. You can swipe, take pictures and make crisp, audible calls as though there wasn’t a cover on. I’d like my smartphone to live in one permanently. Prices vary depending on size – if you struggle to find the right sized model, contact distributors Adventure Inc.


8. SD Memory Card Storage Case

R229, cameraland.co.za

SD Memory Card Holder

There’s nothing more precious than photographs snapped on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so it’s best to keep them safe. This compact, well-made memory card storage case is designed to store eight SD cards and features a rubber seal waterproof design. A simple and thoughtful gift for the photographer who has it all.