Gift Guide: For the budding video creator
Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’re here to help! We’ll be rolling out gift guides from now through the end of December. You can find our other guides right here.
If you’re interested in cameras and taking pictures, you should definitely check out our 2019 Photography Gift Guide, but if you’re specifically looking to encourage a developing creator who wants to work with video on their preferred platform of choice, be it YouTube, TikTok, Instagram or any other, you’ve come to the right place. From smartphone accessories to get the most out of their built-in cameras, to stuff for people with more expensive dedicated camera setups, we’ve got it all.
Hex Bags camera backpacks – $190-$240
A good camera bag is a necessary accessory for anyone who is shooting with something other than their phone, and the Hex Back Loader DSLR Backpack and Hex Cinema Backpack are great options that are actually less expensive than some of the bigger brand options out there, but with modern styling that means they look less like something designed for function alone, and more like a backpack that would actually draw compliments. The Back Loader is perfect for a mirrorless kit, and should easily slide under the seat in front of you on an airplane, while the Cinema has plenty of room for larger DSLRs and lenses.
Zhiyun Weebil-S gimbal – $350
A good gimbal is a creator’s best friend, since stabilized video footage beats shaky-cam nonsense. The Zhiyun Weebill-S is a new offering from the company that basically provides the perfect blend of size, power, connectivity and control features and more. Its unique design has real advantages in the field vs. other similar gimbals, and it’s not going to break the bank, either.
Mavic Mini – $350
Mavic’s latest drone is all about distilling the consumer drone down to the basics – and it’s great. The $350 Mavic Mini is way, way cheaper than any of their fancier consumer drones, and it offers really excellent 2.7K video that looks cinematic right out of the camera. For anyone publishing on social channels who aren’t concerned about producing 4K content (no one really should be prioritizing that, really), this is the one to get, since it’s small enough it doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA to fly.
Samsung T5 – $100-$400
Samsung’s tiny, portable SSDs have a long history of delivering great reliability and performance in a form factor that’s so portable it’s easily pocketable. The drives come in sizes ranging from 500GB to 2TB, and you should be able to find them on sale in at least one of these configurations going into the holiday season, which means that you can probably find them for even less than that cost range posted above. A good SSD is a must for offloading video captured in camera on SD cards, and some of the newer cameras will let you record directly to these drives via USB-C.
Backup batteries and SD cards – Starting at around $40
These are easy gifts to get video creatives, which never go out of style and which will always be appreciated. You can never have enough spare memory cards, or enough backup batteries. Just make sure you get the right ones for whatever camera system your giftee is using: And for memory, focus on cards like the SanDisk Extreme Pro with 170MB/S transfer speeds to ensure good performance with 4K video capture.
GoPro Hero8 – $400
A GoPro is an extremely versatile piece of kit for a video creator. The ruggedness, portability, built-in stabilization and range of modes mean you can capture some amazing additional footage to compliment stuff you’re recording on your primary camera – or give you everything you need to capture a great travel vlog in the moment. The newest GoPro Hero8 has features including more advanced stabilization, compatibility with additional video accessories, digital lenses and more tat make it the best camera the company has ever made for creators.
Microphones – $25-$200
A good microphone is a necessity for making good videos, and there are a wide range of options available. To give you just a few options at very different price points, look at the Saramonic SR-XM1. It’s a generally not sold for more than $35, and is dead simple with a 3.5mm connector to plug directly into the camera port on a wide range of devices. Saramonic also makes iPhone mics with lightning connectors for similar prices. Then, at $200, the Rode Wireless Go is more expensive – but still a bargain for a totally wireless microphone system that can provide audio directly to your camera. Pair it with an optional lavalier mic and you’re going to get great results.