Our favorite products for the perfect photo shoot.

In addition to our traditional Gift Guide, we decided to publish a second gift guide that focuses on photography gear. Here are several devices that we find useful when we shoot photos and video. Because I’m a Canon superfan, this list might be a bit biased towards products that are Canon friendly, but many products can be found for other camera brands, too.

This list can also be found here where we are constantly updating it: kit.com/nickcal/photo-video-kit


Canon 5D Mark IV

First on my list is the Canon 5D Mark IV. It’s one of the best cameras I’ve ever used and my current camera of choice for most shoots. Prior to using the 5D Mark IV, I was shooting with the Canon 70D. It’s also a wonderful machine, but the 5D Mark IV is really a step above it with features like:

  • 4K video recording at 30p or 24p
  • Touchscreen LCD monitor
  • 30.4 MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO Range of 100-32000

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Photography Gift Guide


Vello BG C14 Battery Grip

Second on our list is an attachment for the Canon 5D Mark IV — the Vello BG C14 Battery Grip. When I need to shoot photos and video all day this is my go-to device because I can slap two Canon batteries into it and get my work done without the worry of running out of juice.
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iFootage Cobra 2 Strike A150S

Third for our photography friends is the iFootage Cobra 2 Strike A150S with low angle camera pod. This is the fastest Monopod on the market. I’ve used many monopods, but none raise and lower with a simple twist. Don’t get me wrong iFootage makes one that can handle an amazing beat down and it’s the Cobra 2 C180 Carbon Fiber Monopod. Both are wonderful and can be used together to make a super long monopod. Either would make your cameraman or woman giddy with joy this holiday season.
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Gnarbox

Fourth on the list is the one and only photo storage and editing device that works without a computer – the Gnarbox. Some of its features include:

  • Compatibility with Action Cameras, DSLRs, and Drones
  • Editing and sharing 4K videos and RAW photos from mobile phone or tablet
  • Intel Quad-Core CPU and HD graphics GPU
  • 4GB per minute backup via USB3, SD, microSD
  • 256GB internal SanDisk Flash storage or connect your external drive;Frame Rates Supported 24, 25, 30, 48, 60, 80, 90, 120, and 240 fps

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DJI Mavic Pro

Fifth on my list is for photographers and videographers alike because these tools don’t need to always be a handheld device; it can be done from the sky as well. That’s where we come into Drones. There are an insane amount of drones on the market now and each one has something wonderful about it. My current favorite is the DJI Mavic Pro. I like the Mavic because of how small it is while still being super powerful. I can wrap it up in my camera backpack and get the job done without lugging around a massive box that some of the bigger drones use.
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Drobo 5D3

Number six on the list is the Drobo 5D3. Why did I choose the 5D3 over one of the other amazing Drobo devices? I really like the super speed I get from the 5D3 because it uses Thunderbolt 3. I do lots of my editing of photos and video via my 5D3 and once the work is done and zip filed up, I move them over to my Drobo B810N, which I use as a master archive. I would also highly recommend picking one of these up as your main storage device because hooked up to a great network you can access all of your files from away. They give me the ability to have plenty of storage so I can feel secure knowing my work is safe.
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Photography Gift Guide


JOBY GorillaPod

Seventh on the list is the JOBY GorillaPod. I find it to be one of the best little tripods around. It’s the working photographer’s dream device. While out shooting I have found many times that to get the amazing shot I might need my camera needs to be in a certain area that my body just won’t fit or won’t fit comfortably for a long period of time. This is where the JOBY GorillaPod comes into play. It can be bent and twisted in so many ways to hold the camera for the perfect shot.
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Photography Gift Guide


GoPro Hero5

Number Eight is an Action Camera. Now with the new GoPro Hero6 out on the market, you might think it’s what I’m going to suggest. If you thought that, then you are wrong. I personally like the GoPro Hero5. Right now if you can find it the price is going to be lower due to GoPro dropping the new version but without getting into the specs I really think the Hero5 is a wonderful device that all photographers should be packing.
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Photography Gift Guide


Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash

Ninth on the list is a simple flash. Now I happen to like the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash but each job is going to require different gear, nevertheless, the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash is a wonderful light that can handle most jobs.
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Photography Gift Guide


Rogue FlashBender 2

The tenth product is the perfect companion for that new flash you picked up for the picture taker in your life. The Rogue FlashBender 2 is the ultimate friend to a flash. It gives you the ability to bend the light in the direction for the best portrait lighting you can get with a single flash.
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Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW

We are halfway through our list and now onto number 11. Everyone needs a good bag to carry their gear in. My current favorite camera backpack is the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW. Designed to handle two camera bodies or a camera body and a Mavic Pro along with Lenses and other accessories, you can have everything you need including your 15″ MacBook Pro in this backpack. I use this bag for almost every trek I make.
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SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB CompactFlash Memory Card

Twelfth is the SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB CompactFlash Memory Card I always keep a few of these cards on hand when out shooting. It’s been a beast of a memory card for my Canon 5D Mark IV. I also use the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I SD card for my camera. Both are great cards and are wonderful memory cards for DSLR cameras.
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Peak Design SlideLITE Camera Strap

Number Thirteen on our list is Peak Design SlideLITE Camera Strap. Peak Design makes a slew of great products and a few of them made our list. The SlideLITE gives you super easy control along with security for your camera.
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Peak Design Capture Camera Clip

Number fourteen on the list is the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip. This is so perfect for keeping my camera in my backpack for a quick grab and shooting when on the go. My Canon 5D Mark IV stays secure and ready at a moment’s notice.
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SmallHD FOCUS Camera Monitor

Fifteen in our bag of goodies is SmallHD FOCUS Camera monitor. SmallHD has been a leader in easy to use monsters for cameras and the FOCUS Is the one stop shop for super easy to use all in one camera monitors. Some of its features include:

  • SmallHD FOCUS 5″ On-Camera IPS LCD Monitor – Sony L-Style Battery Slot (Battery Not Included) – Tilt Arm – 12″ Micro to Micro HDMI Cable – SmallHD 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Panel Type: 5″ Touchscreen
  • Display Size (Diagonal): 5
  • Resolution: 1280×720
  • Pixel Density (PPI): 294

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Photography Gift Guide


Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap

Number sixteen we are back with a Peak Design product – the Cuff Camera Wrist Strap. It’s just what it sounds like – a wrist strap but what makes this strap special is how easy it is to take on and off the camera using Peak Design’s anchor link system. This is a great product to add just a little more security for your camera while shooting.
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Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R

Number seventeen is my favorite on-camera mic – the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R with Rycote Lyre Shockmount. The reason this has become my favorite is the new option for it to turn on and off when you plug it into your camera. Imagine being able to shoot without having to worry that you remembered to turn on your microphone. Not only does this mic have that miraculous feature, but it also records crystal clear audio.
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Spider Holster Black Widow Backpacker Kit

Number eighteen is the Spider Holster Black Widow Backpacker Kit. This is my top of the list item for my GoPro when working conferences. This device lets me strap the GoPro onto my backpack strap and is the perfect accessory for on-location production adventures.
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Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

Nineteen is the Zhiyun Crane 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer. I have a love-hate relationship with Stabilizers because I feel that they are needed but are a pain to carry around and setup when needing quickly. When used properly and in the right setting, a good stabilizer is a Godsend. This one from Zhiyun is made very well and it works beautifully with my Canon 5D Mark IV.
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Alien Skin Exposure X3

Twenty is the wonderful raw editing software called Alien Skin Exposure X3. It’s the only RAW editor designed for accurate film emulation and creative photo effects. With over 500 presets, you can customize the look of your RAW photos and create beautiful final portraits. For more information, visit alienskin.com/exposure.

Photography Gift Guide