Computer Gifts For The Digital Photographer

PC Peripherals and Accessories Useful to a Digital Photographer

Digital photography has exploded in the past few years. With the ability to edit and touch up photos at home on your PC, more and more people are taking and printing pictures from home. If you happen to be looking for a gift for someone who likes working with digital photos on their computer, here are some suggested PC related gifts that might be useful to them.

High Color Computer Monitor

Dell UltraSharp U2415
Dell UltraSharp U2415. ©Dell

Digital photography involves editing some pretty large image files. A small laptop screen or desktop monitor can really prevent a photographer from properly editing their pictures. In addition to having high resolution, you also want to have some very high color accuracy. There are a number of monitors available in sizes from 22 up to 30-inches that offer excellent options for the digital photographer to edit their images either on a primary or secondary screen. Prices range from around $300 to over $1000.

Display Color Calibration Unit

Datacolor Spyder 5 Color Calibrator
Spyder 5 Color Calibrator. ©Datacolor

Anyone serious about photography knows that accurate color is one of the key aspects of getting a good photo. If the display that one is using isn't showing the proper color tones, an edited photo can result in a completely inaccurate print or display of the image taken. For this reason, serious photographers use color calibration devices to adjust their monitor to be properly balanced in color and brightness. Datacolor's Spyder line of color calibrations have been around for years and their Spyder5 Pro is designed specifically with digital photography in mind. It provides a more sensitive calibration device and improved software to have multiple profiles depending upon your ambient light. Priced around $190.

External Hard Drive For Backups

Seagate Desktop Backup Plus
Seagate Desktop Backup Plus. ©Seagate

With the ever increasing megapixel count for digital camera sensors, the size of images keeps getting bigger. Add to this the ease that digital photography allows one to take multiple pictures and most avid digital photographers will be using up a lot of their hard drive space. An external hard drive is a great addition for anyone who uses a digital camera for two reasons. First, it can increase your overall storage space. Second, it can be used to back up your primary computer. Seagate's Desktop Backup Plus offers a very spacious five terabyte storage capacity with some fast speeds thanks to the USB 3.0 interface. Priced around $150.

High Capacity Flash Cards

SanDisk Extreme UHS 3
SanDisk Extreme UHS 3. ©SanDisk

As camera sensors keep getting larger and larger and more serious photographers start shooting in RAW formats, the size of the images keeps getting bigger. This can be a huge problem with the number of images that can fit on the standard memory cards used to store them. Extra cards are great to have on hand when you fill up a card. The SD card format is the most common in today's cameras and offers some great capacities. SanDisk is a major developer of flash memory cards and their Extreme series offers some great performance. This UHS Class 3 card offers some incredible performance to handle fast burst shots or even high definition video recording. The 64GB capacity is a nice balance of price at around $40.

Flash Card Reader

Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual Reader
Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual Reader. ©Lexar Media

The most popular flash media formats for digital cameras are SD and Compact Flash. While most cameras do have USB ports on them for transferring files to a PC, a card reader can be very useful when a camera has run out of batteries, multiple cards need to be downloaded or you just don't have a USB cable handy. Lexar is one of the major players in the flash memory business and they have a spectacular card read with their Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB reader. It is a very compact reader that can be used with any computer with a USB slot and card read both of the popular card formats. The latest version features USB 3.0 for the best possible speeds but is still compatible with older USB 2.0 ports. It is one of the fastest card readers on the market and can easily boost downloading speeds with high performance flash cards. Prices start around $35.

Photo Printer and Scanner

Epson Expression XP-960 Photo Ink-jet Printer and Scanner
Expression XP-960. ©Epson

While getting digital photographs printed is as easy as going to the local drugstore, many of the prints generated by these kiosks and counters leave much to be desired in terms of their quality. A quality photo printer can allow the digital photographer to print their own photos in the comfort of their own home or studio and be able to control what the end result is for the pictures. An all-in-one printer can also be extremely useful for the photographer that happens to have lots of older film prints that they may want to touch up or digitize. The Epson Express XP-960 is a very compact all-in-one inkjet unit that provides some fast and very high quality output. It is capable of being used with Windows or Mac computers and also features wireless connectivity with iOS devices. Priced around $200.

Photo Editing Software

Photoshop Elements 14 Photo Editing Software
Photoshop Elements 14. ©Adobe

While digital cameras come with a variety of digital editing software, many of the features in these programs are lacking. A dedicated photo editing software package can be extremely useful for the digital photographer. Adobe is a name that is synonymous with graphics editing and their Photoshop program has been the pinnacle of editing for years. The full blown software package has way more than the digital photographer really needs and also has an extremely expensive price tag. The Photoshop Elements program brings a much more affordable but full featured editing package to digital photographers. Priced around $100.