Aerial Photographer's Holiday Gift Guide

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The Annual Camera, Drone, Technology Gift Guide.

It's that time of year again, The Holiday Season! It's the time to show your love to that special someone. Does your special someone love Drones, Photography, Technology, Cameras, Camera accessories or are they just a little NERDY?  Then you're in the right place, and they'll thank you for getting a gift from this guide. This guide provides the "Right" accessories for the newest cameras and drones and is stuff I use specifically for my drone videography business. 

Before you go any further, if you know a drone pilot who needs extremely specific gear to his drone business, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the Ultimate Drone Pilot Field Kit. This page has mobile office gear (like a cell phone signal booster) amongst a plethora of other items and accessories. 

It's 2017, almost 2018, and the right accessories are crucial for photographers. If you buy the wrong SD card, you're just giving that loved one more work to return the card and get a proper sd card. This accessory list is made by a photographer/drone pilot and for other photographers. Let me know if you have any suggestions. 

Technology Gifts for Anyone: 

1. Cable Organizer. Need to organize those charging cables? Have cords running all over your purse, backpack or murse? Then you need this Cord Organizer that will make your life a lot easier. 

2. Battery. Notice your iPhone battery needs a constant charger? Maybe you need a longer battery for a Go Pro, or you simply need to charge miscellaneous items on-the-go. This is the best battery I've found and even gave them to my groomsmen. They're cheap and can charge your iPhone almost 20 times before dying. 

3. External Hard Drives help store extra data for your media needs, but what if you had a hard drive that could actually speed up video editing? Look no further, Samsung recently dropped the price on their SSD external hard drives

4. Touch sensitive Gloves help keep those bear claws warm while still being able to use your touchscreen electronics. A must for anyone. 

5. GPS Tracker. Ever tend to lose those most precious technology gifts? Then give your friends something they'll love in the most dire times... A way to find their technology gear when they lose it. That's Tile, its small and is a great tool for finding lost keys, cameras or other sacred items. 

 

Technology Gifts for Photographers and Videographers.

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1. Motorized Camera Slider. Every photographer or videographer could up their game if they had a smooth and quiet Motorized Camera Slider. It's taken me almost a year to try out different camera sliders that are smooth, work for video or photos can handle big cameras and yet are flexible enough to travel with. This camera slider is the best you can buy for the money, and I highly recommend it. 

2. Tripod Head. With any good slider, you need a good tripod head to adjust the camera direction and tilt. 

3. Strong Tripod. With any good Motorized Camera Slider and Tripod Head, you'll need a good TRIPOD to actually hold up the slider. You need a very sturdy tripod, where the head can actually be taken off and directly mount the slider so the slider doesn't shift in position. 

4. Flex Tripod. Videographers are always trying to put cameras in wierd places, help them achieve a new perspective with this flexible small tripod by Joby, called the Gorilla Pod. In addition, for the selfie lovers out there, you'll love the Benro Mini-Tripod because it comes with a cellphone adapter! Leave the tripod, with a timed shot, and get epic couples selfies! 

5. Inverter. Help them charge their batteries on-the-go without ruining their vehicles. Inverters that are not pure sign wave will eventually kill your car battery and alternator. So make sure to get the right inverter

Ultimate Drone Pilot Gift Guide

 Mavic Pro Filters

Mavic Pro Filters

1. Filters. Drone Pilots always use filters to achieve the best footage. I would recommend Polar Pro's Cinema Series Nd Filters. A cheap and extremely useful gift for a drone pilot. Make sure to get them the right filters that are made specific to their drones.  Mavic Pro Filters or. Phantom 4 Pro Filters  

 DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obisidian   

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obisidian

 

2. New Drone. If you're an incredible person and want to give your special someone a new drone. WE all love you. So here's the best drone money can buy right now. The Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian. Seriously its the best for aerial photography, photogrammetry, and aerial videography.

3. Batteries and Props. IF you can't afford buying someone a new drone (I don't blame you) Then you can at least pick up a spare battery for their phantom drone, or some spare propellers. Pilots are supposed to replace their props every 10 hours according to Drone U.  

  Crystal Sky Monito r (2 Sizes) 

Crystal Sky Monitor (2 Sizes) 

4. Display Monitor.  Pilots always need a good way to see telemetry (flight data) and the image they are shooting. The best monitor on the market (aside from an iphone 7/8/6s) is the Crystal Sky Monitor.  NOT SO FAST! If you buy the monitor...The pilot will also need the mount! 

5. Micro SD CardsNormally, once per holiday season someone will give me an SD card that is literally too slow to actually record footage. Buy them a San Disk Extreme U3 Micro Sd Card. Don't get suckered into best buy or walmart, where cards can literally costs twice as much for the same card. I wrote an article about that. 

6. Hand Warmers. Any pilot who flies in the cold weather understands how impotant it is to keep the bear claws warm. Help them out!

7. Portable Drone Battery Charger. Every drone pilot can find themselves in a situation where they forgot to charge a battery, don't have an inverter or are too far away from their vehicles or an outlet to charge a battery. Give them the gift of Energen A40 Battery Charger to charge in the field. If you go to the myenergen.com website and buy the charger, use discount code droneua40 to save $50 off! 

8. Turn their Passion Into Profit. Every pilot has something to learn, whether its super smooth motion on the sticks, how to map buildings or learn the workflow for editing HDR photos... there is always something. Give them the gift of an annual membership. Drone U offers 26 classes for one low price. You can literally give the gift of knowledge, which they can use to make money and send you gifts! 

9. Aviation Lights.  Drone Pilots love Lume Cube lights, they can strobe with them, or then can light up a building and create amazing photos. Drone U even has a light painting class where students learn to fly lights over a subject to create depth in their images.

10. Landing Pad. Drone Pilots always want to keep their drone cameras free from dust. When they're taking off and landing, a lot of dirt can be kicked up and ruin their drone. Give them a landing pad to protect their drone! 

11. Cell Signal Booster. Help your pilot or photographer stay in touch with a We-Boost Cell Phone signal booster. This has been one of the best purchases i've ever made. I installed it on my 2015 Ford Expedition and it literally gives me cell service where i normally don't have it. It actually works and provides up to a 20x strength signal. 

12. Slow Mo Camera. There is slow motion from a phone (120fps) and then there is slow motion from a Sony RX100m5 which shoots at 960fps. Tell your drone pilot he need to augment his videos with awesome ground video, shot in super slow motion. This is currently my favorite camera. Its great for the whole family and fits in your pocket. It shoots 20mp Photos, 4k video and 120/480/960 fps slow motion. 

13. GPC Cases. Every pilot wants to protect their investment with a case. GPC Cases makes the best drone and camera cases on the market. This Phantom Case is the most popular case they sell, and it also has wheels, making travel easier. The cases are extremely durable and well thought out. They custom cut the foam to fit your drone and all the accessories. I have over 12 GPC cases. Some cases are for carrying batteries on airplanes while traveling (you can't check batteries) and other cases are for my Osmo camera's and bigger drones.  

14. Organization. All videographers need to organize their footage, and there is no better way than using a Slate to mark your footage and record it in the shot. 

15. On Set Storage. I mentioned external hard drives above, but this "Seagate Fly Drive" hard drive actually has a slot to input micro sd cards. That way you can directly transfer files from the SD card to the hard drive. 

16. Livin' the Drone Life Book. Honesty moment, I wrote this book on my experience becoming a drone pilot. This book explains what you need to know to fly well, start a business and navigate the regulatory environment for becoming a drone pilot. I highly recommend it, but don't listen to me.. Listen to the 100+ 5 star reviews. Get it here!