It’s that time again…frantic, mad rush to get gifts for your loved ones. Worry not, we’ve gathered some unique and truly useful imaging-related items that are pretty damn cool. Now, hustle up and get out there before the angry hoards descend on stores.
Epson Printer (with 2 years of ink)
We’ve always been huge fans of the products Epson brings to the market, so when we saw the interesting deal they attached to some of their newer printers, this one was easy. Epson has introduced their new EcoTank line which contain super-sized ink cartridges that essentially push the price of ink down via bulk purchasing economics. Thus, their new printers now include a two-year supply of ink (according to Epson’s calculations). The price of the WorkForce ET-4550 model (pictured here) is $500, and you pay $60 to replace all the ink reservoirs which should last you another two years, Epson tells us.
For that person on your list that simply can’t stop taking selfies, why not give them a unique new point-of-view? From Hexo comes a new drone that syncs with your smartphone’s GPS and can follow you around and capture your every move. Yes, it’s a bit pricey at $1,350, but you could probably shop around for a deal. While this drone does not include a camera, it does contain the housing to fit a GoPro HD. Hexo tells us the drone can stay in the air for about 10 minutes, and then will autonomously land by itself. As a bonus, the drone supports a replaceable battery that takes seconds to snap on and off.
While the camera part of the smartphone equation is constantly improving, lighting remains a tricky aspect to deal with. The Pocket Spotlight from Photojojo is a nifty little solution. This bright, LED light set is a lifesaver in situations where natural light isn’t sufficient. Easy to attach and detach from your smartphone’s headphone jack, the Pocket Spotlight will turn those dark, dimly lit shots into solid, evenly lit photos. It’s a perfect stocking stuffer!
Stylish Pinhole Camera
This next one is for the purist on your list. ZeroImage has introduced a beautiful, handmade wooden pinhole camera with brass controls. Beyond being a very cool camera, this thing looks amazing just sitting on a table. For the uninitiated, pinhole cameras are cameras without a lens and with a single small aperture or pinhole (in layman’s terms, a light-proof box with a small hole on one side). Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. At $120, the ZeroImage Pinhole Camera comes in a range of formats – 35mm, 120mm, etc. – so your traditionalist will have a blast. A personalized engraved name plate only adds to the delight.
Here’s another stocking stuffer and one of our favorite smartphone accessories. The Olloclip 4-in-1 essentially converts your smartphone into an interchangeable lens camera. The lens easily clips on over your phone’s camera lens, and you can add macro, fisheye and wide-angle views that allow you to take your mobile photography to new heights. At $35, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Staying within the smartphone lens world, Lenbaby’s new Creative Mobile Kit includes two handy lenses: the LM-20 and the LM-30, along with a mobile mounting mechanism and kickstand for long exposures. The LM-20 lens provides that Lensbaby ‘center sweet spot of focus’ with the surrounding sharp blur drop-off; the LM-30 surrounds a sharply focused image with reflections. Lensbaby states that their product is officially compatible with Apple’s iPhone 5/5s/5c, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, in addition to Android devices running any operating system past Jelly Bean.
Finally, this last one simply provides the perfect touch of whimsy as we move away from the hardware world. The Compendium of Cameras Wall Print is an 18×24-inch poster covering the history of cameras, focusing on both professional and consumer models. This high-contrast composition captures the development of the camera from the first Kodak in 1888 all the way to today’s digital wonders. At just $29, this is a fun little gift for the photography lover on your list, and one that will constantly remind them from whence we came with regard to their passion for imaging.
Hopefully this list sparks some ideas for your upcoming shopping endeavors. Happy hunting!