If it hasn’t already begun, the holiday shopping season is surely in full swing now that Black Friday is over and Cyber Monday is here.
With less than a month before Christmas, here’s the first of Techgoondu’s Holiday 2023 Gift Guides for the best gadgets and services for anyone from a techgoondu to a member of the technorati.
Today, we’re talking about the roving content creator in your life. You know, the person who’s always on the move, recording the best moments during a birthday party or while on holiday.
Whether they are a budding photographer or an accomplished videographer with a famous YouTube channel, there’s a great gadget to improve their craft and their content. Here are some considerations:
The learner camera: Sony ZV-E10 (S$1,009)
The jump in quality from a smartphone to a compact camera may be great but so can the price. One great option for the budding photographer is the Sony ZE-E10 camera, which costs less than a top-end smartphone and comes with a interchangeable 16-50mm kit lens.
The small camera may have fewer features compared to newer models from the Japanese company, but it still has enough functions for folks looking to learn the ropes in photography and videography.
The Sony E-mount system is also well supported by third-party lenses from Japan’s Sigma and Tamron, as well as China’s TTArtisan and Laowa optics, should you want to upgrade or widen your lens collection.
The Sony ZV-E10’s small size makes it easy to bring around for your next holiday as well.
Most versatile small camera: Insta360 X3 (from S$602.99)
If you are thinking of shooting 360-degree photos and videos along with more regular videos, the Insta360 X3 is the gadget to get.
With two “semi-lenses” with 180-degree views, the camera effortlessly combines the two halves and creates 360-degree videos and photos of the places you visit.
Creating a video log with it means you need not frame your shot meticulously – you can customise your framing during post-editing. This helps if you post videos to both TikTok and YouTube in vertical and horizontal frames.
Besides the camera, Insta360’s editing app can create exciting-looking clips by fully utilising 360-degree footage such as Split Jump.
With this, multiple shots in different locations are combined into a single video clip. Or you can clone yourself into different parts of the room for a funny one.
The flying camera: DJI Mini 4 Pro (from S$1,079)
DJI has just introduced its sub 250g drone, the Mini 4 Pro. Thanks to its weight, you need not register the drone, and it is small enough to bring for your next trip abroad.
The Mini 4 Pro’s versatile camera gimbal can shoot both horizontally and vertically, making it very easy to share photos and videos with the best resolution without cropping.
It has a night video mode that can capture better video quality in low-light situations, making it handy in different locations for your dramatic drone shots.
Best gear for smartphone and compact camera: Ulanzi MT-44 (US$24.95 or S$34)
Many fancy gadgets make light work of imaging, but a simple tripod for smartphones, small cameras and lighting equipment helps a photographer in many ways.
The Ulanzi MT-44 has a tripod head that can hold a smartphone using a grip to screw the camera tight. Expand the center column and the tripod becomes a 1.5m stand, which is the perfect angle to shoot a vlog or selfie.
Its height is also helpful for attaching an LED light panel to illuminate a subject for photo and video shooting. Held in your hands, the tripod becomes a selfie stick. A versatile and handy gift.
Tripod for your travels: Leofoto LS-225CEX (from S$310 without tripod head)
A tripod that is small and light enough for travel and yet can hold a mirrorless camera, such as the Sony Alpha 7 IV with a kit lens, is an essential kit for a lot of serious photographers.
The Leofoto LS-225CEX is a carbon fibre tripod that can be expanded to 1.4m high. When packed, it measures 45cm so it is small enough to slip into a big backpack. At 880g without the tripod head, it is also light enough to pack for trekking.
The tripod has a levelling platform that helps photographers to align the horizon faster, which is great for shooting landscapes and panoramas. One of the serious content creator in your life.