Gift giving for content creators is about finding the things they need to make life easier, and it’s sure to make them feel extra-cheery this holiday season. If you’re looking for just the right gift idea, here are 11 of my favourite tried and tested products that they’re sure to love.
Featured gift ideas include products from Sennheiser, Lume Cube, Samsung, Zhiyun, Nikon, AKG, Synology, Hex, Hollyland, and HP.
Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C | $79.95 or $129.95 as a kit
Clear audio is one of the biggest problems for anyone creating videos, and the easiest fix is a lavalier microphone. Sennheiser’s excellent XS Lav mic plugs right into any phone with a USB-C port, and captures natural audio without a lot of fancy equipment.
With a two-meter cable, creators can clip the mic to their shirt or jacket, and walk and talk to capture quality video and audio from their phone. Best of all, the microphone is so small, viewers likely won’t even notice it in videos.
The excellent kit also includes a versatile Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod that’s perfect for stabilizing video while creators are filming, and it works vertically or horizontally thanks to a clever clamp that secures the phone. Sennheiser is one of my favourite audio brands, from microphones to earbuds and headphones, and this is a great kit.
Aside from sound quality, light is another key element for videographers, and Lume Cube’s perfect Mobile Creator Lighting Kit is a quick, easy solution.
The kit includes a mobile creator stand for mounting the phone, and a Lume Cube adjustable Panel Mini LED light with a diffuser. For selfie videos, interviews, and for filming subjects or objects indoors especially, this is a fantastic kit, and the LED can last up to 14 hours on the lowest brightness setting.
The Panel Mini LED is also the perfect size to throw into a camera bag pocket and will work well with a camera, phone, or laptop. The simple design also makes it easy to use, and I love the mobile creator stand, especially because it adjusts in so many ways, for any style of shooting with a phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 | 1,259 to $1399
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is such a fun device for content creators, and it stands out from all the other phones out there today. From the slick folding design, to the customizable colour options, and the features, it’s an easy phone to love.
When it’s folded, the Z Flip 3 can still take pictures and videos, it’s easy to check notifications from the cover display, and it fits in just about any pocket. Unfolded, the bright, beautiful 6.7″ display is perfect for work and play, with quick, snappy performance.
I loved the selfie camera for video calls and selfies too, and the rear cameras are excellent for capturing moments, whether it’s for social media or just for fun. The phone also has great accessories, like eye-catching cases, and there are striking colour options with the Bespoke Edition.
Zhiyun Smooth-Q3 | $99
On the go, stable video can be tough to capture, and that’s where the Zhiyun Smooth-Q3 phone stabilizer makes a huge difference. The smart stabilizer offers five modes for different shooting styles, it’s light and compact, and top features include gesture control, a fill light, and 7 hours of battery life.
The 3-axis stabilizer shoots video vertically or horizontally, works with your phone’s camera app or the ZY Cami App, and has a smart follow feature to keep all the action front and centre.
For any style of video, a stabilizer makes a huge difference in the look and feel of a video, and smooth video just looks so much better. I also loved how simple the Smooth-Q3 was to use, and the fact that the battery life lasted me all day when I was travelling or working. It’s an excellent device for everything from vlogging and short videos, to panoramas, or live streaming.
Nikon Z fc | $1,399.00
Nikon’s Z fc mirrorless camera looks and feels like an old school SLR, but it’s packed with modern features. From the 20.9 MP sensor, to capturing 4K video, burst shooting, an adjustable touchscreen, and a good range of lenses and colours, it’s a fantastic camera.
As a light option that you can take almost anywhere, the Nikon Z fc is well priced, it handles well, and content creators can easily capture high quality video to edit and export to their favourite social media platforms.
With the microphone jack, videographers can also plug in their own microphone to get the best audio quality, and it’s worth noting that the camera charges via USB, to make things easy. For a real personal statement, the camera is available in black, amber brown, white, natural grey, sand beige, coral pink, and mint green.
AKG Lyra USB mic | $199
For podcasters, musicians, and live streamers out there, the AKG Lyra USB mic offers high resolution audio that creators can use with their phone, tablet, or computer. It’s a plug-and-play option for ultra-HD audio that also just looks great thanks to the classic design.
Podcasters can also choose what kind of audio they need right from the front of the microphone, picking between front and rear audio, or narrow stereo versus wide stereo sound. There’s also a mute button, and it has a headphone jack to monitor audio levels directly from the mic.
Pros can also choose to mount the microphone to a boom mic stand for easier use in studio spaces. Overall, it’s a great microphone that delivers crisp and clear sound, and the audio quality will inspire creators working on their next project.
A great shotgun microphone is essential for videographers capturing events, interviews, and subjects, without needing to carry around a lot of extra audio equipment. The Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun mic attaches to any camera with a microphone jack, and it includes smart features that take a lot of the work out of capturing great audio.
The built-in windscreen and mount reduce noise while shooting, and it’s small and compact enough to stow away easily when travelling. The included furry windshield also helps keep audio clear in windy conditions, and the mic captures voices very well.
On top of everything else, the mic detects when the camera is turned on, so it powers on and off automatically, saving battery when it’s not in use.
Synology DS420+ NAS with Seagate drives | Starting at $545
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of Network Attached Storage devices, and none of them impressed me as much as the Synology DS420+ NAS. For creators managing a lot of large files, it’s an exceptional device that offers an easy-to-use system and peace of mind.
Most importantly, the Synology DS420+ has a backup solution for files, that includes security and a recovery option. Beyond that though, the NAS also provides a virtual environment for secure remote file access, streaming audio and video, backing up files directly from your phone, and even allowing access for multiple users.
The Synology Photos app also gives users a stunning way to browse and search images on the NAS, with tools to search by subjects, places, and people. It’s an incredible system for anyone who needs to safely backup their memories and files.
Great gear also requires something else that’s just as important to content creators, and that’s a great bag to carry everything in. For an affordable and lightweight option, I love the Hex Ranger Clamshell Black DSLR Backpack.
The design is excellent, it offers a large storage area for cameras, lenses, and other gear with dividers that can be adjusted to fit everything safely. There’s also a 15″ laptop sleeve, adjustable straps, a useful front pocket with an organizer, and space for a water bottle.
A waterproof rain cover is also included and slips over the whole backpack to keep the backpack dry on rainy days, and most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear, even when wearing it for hours.
Wireless audio can help make a professional production, and the Hollyland Lark 150 system is an excellent, easy-to-use system for a wide range of uses.
Featuring two transmitters and one receiver, the kit charges in its own case, and then pairs automatically for quick and easy setup. The receiver connects to a camera, or audio recorder, and the kit includes two lavalier microphones with furry windshields for outdoor use.
Battery life for the whole kit is up to 18 hours, and the mics work up to 100m line of sight from the receiver. And maybe best of all, the transmitters only weigh 20.5 grams, so they’re easy to wear on a belt or clipped to a shirt, without getting in the way.
HP Envy Laptop | Starting at $1049
Serious creators need serious tools, and the HP Envy is one of the best laptops for editing videos and photos, publishing, and more.
HP offers 13″, 15″, and 17″ options for the Envy laptops, with Intel Core processors and optionally NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards to deliver the best results for creators. While many laptops only have integrated graphics cards, that are not as robust for video editing especially, the HP Envy supports a 4K touchscreen, up to a Core i9 processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card.
For creators who need to take their editing suite with them, the HP Envy is a great system with a range of options, and it’s versatile, powerful, with a lot of features that make work easier, including an excellent built-in camera, speakers, and microphone for video conferencing.
Visit The GATE’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guides for more giveaways & holiday features.
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