Cheerfully Cheap: 10 Great Filmmaker's Gifts Under $50 - and a Shot at an Expensive One for Free

After we’ve ogled the Leica SL, the Sony a7s II, or the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS and wiped off the drool,  there’s still time to buy lovely but more practical gifts this holiday season.


11. Bonus: 3-Axis Gimbal Giveaway

You probably already know this, but if you want a shot at something that normally costs over $1,000 but have zero budget for it, I’m giving away the CAME-TV 7800 3-axis gimbal we tested back in January. If you've only subscribed to the blog, you can increase your chance of winning by subscribing to my YouTube channel as well. Good luck!

10.  Apple’s iPhone: The Next Video Revolution – an eBook

I wrote this book as a result of writing hundreds of blog posts on the industry during the prior 12 months. You'll be shocked -- or have your suspicions confirmed -- when you read the details of how the iPhone has become a legitimate filmmaking tool.

9. MUJI Blank Mini Notebook Japanese Paperback-size Unruled (<$7)

This is my go-to notebook for client meetings. Cheap, nice writing surface – all the goodness of a Moleskin writing experience at a fraction of the price.

8. Casablanca ($4)

For ultimate inspiration, re-watch your favorite films — or watch a new one. I think CASABLANCA is the greatest movie ever made. I watch it at least once a year and learn something new each time. You may prefer something else, so check out your favorite movie on your favorite streaming device.

7. Mefoto MPH100K Smart Phone Holder with Camera Support ($30)

Think of this as a superlight ballhead for any smartphone smaller than the iPhone 6s Plus, and you’ll be spot-on. Great on top of a monopod!

6. Zoolander 27 x 40 Movie Poster ($17)

Put up posters of  favorite movies as reminders of why we do what we do: make films. I’ve got Zoolander, The Philadelphia Story, Pi, Back to the Future, and True Lies on my walls. Of course, you may have a different idea of what constitutes great, so see if your favorite is available.

5. Google Cardboard Headset ($16) 

If you haven’t seen a virtual reality video on YouTube 360 or somewhere else, buy this headset literally made out of cardboard per Google spec, and find out for yourself. Or, you can always go over to BestBuy and try on a Samsung Gear VR headset for free. This is not your father’s VR.

4. AA Rechargeable Batteries (8-Pack) (<$20) [B&H|Amazon]

You can never have enough AA batteries, but at least these are rechargeable – do the environment a favor and stop using disposables.

3. SanDisk Extreme PRO 64G UHS-I U3 SDXC ($43) [B&H|Amazon]

You can never have enough memory cards, and the newest Sony cameras – like the RX 100 Mk IV  [B&H|Amazon] – won’t shoot 4K video with anything less than 64G. I found out the hard way.

2. Aputure A-Lav ($32)

Aputure has delivered the most thoughtfully designed wired lavalier mic on the market at the price – and it sounds pretty good, too.

1. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Table Top Tripod($24) [B&H|Amazon

Apple’s not the only company with beautifully designed products. The PIXI Mini is perfect for landscapes and cityscapes when slow shutter speeds are required – or selfies and group shots when you want to be more than arm’s length away from the camera.


You can read the this post on planet5D, where it was originally published.