This holiday season find the perfect gift for the creators, photographers, and tech lovers on your shopping list with some of my favourite gear of the year.
A few of the top gift ideas include photo and video accessories, excellent phones, a customizable Xbox controller, and more.
Note that prices are in Canadian dollars.
Zhiyun Fiveray F100 | $279
Lighting is key for the best photos and video, and every creator needs a few tricks up their sleeve, like the new Zhiyun Fiveray F100 lighting stick.
This customizable and versatile tool creates the perfect lighting for any situation with adjustable hue, saturation, and intensity for eye-popping colour. Thanks to the frosting on the case, light is diffused, and can be warm or cool; bright or dim.
The slim profile makes it easy to mount or carry, useful for on-the-go lighting, and it works for up to 40 minutes at the brightest setting, with 21,195 lumens at an impressive 100W max power. Creators will be blown away by what they can capture with this incredibly creative tool. On December 7 and 8, there’s also a buy-one-get-one-free special.
Bugatti 15″ Synthetic Leather Backpack | $99
This backpack is the perfect, stylish alternative to all the boring designs out there, and it’s big enough to store all the essentials when your loved one is travelling. The large backpack has space for a 15.6″ laptop, and lots more, and it’s made from faux leather.
The Bugatti 15″ Backpack has padded and adjustable shoulder straps, four front pockets, a back pocket, two side pockets, a padded back, and it fits over your suitcase handle to make it easy when you’re at the airport. It’s perfect for travellers who need space for all their work materials, accessories, while still leaving space for a few extras like extra clothes, headphones, a camera, or snacks.
Available in Cognac, it’s also a striking colour, and overall design, that’s perfect for anyone on your list who needs a new bag this holiday season.
OWC Atlas Memory Cards | $37 to $875
Memory cards for photo and video come in a range of speeds and sizes, and OWC unveiled new options this year with sizes from 64 GB, up to 1 TB, and they’re fast and priced well for all types of creators.
While the OWC Atlas Pro cards are ideal for photographers and capturing 4K video at an affordable price, OWC Atlas Ultra offers faster speeds and tougher designs. And for professionals with the latest cameras, CFexpress Type B memory cards are extremely fast, durable, and made for 8K video.
These memory cards are excellent for helping creators capture their best work, without worrying about storage space.
Hollyland Lark C1 | $249
Next to picture quality and lighting, audio is one of the three pillars of great video, and the Lark Hollyland C1 is an excellent solution that captures clear, high-quality sound up to 650 feet away for mobile devices.
The wireless system offers up to 8 hours of operation, and up to 32 hours of use when recharging from the case. And they’re incredibly easy to use: just plug the receiver into your phone, and attach the lavalier microphones to your subjects.
Offering 48 kHz and 16 bits high-quality audio, the microphones also provide noise cancellation, and there’s an app to control and monitor recording.
The Lark Hollyland C1 is available for iOs and Android. In my tests the microphones and the app are compatible with most phones, including the new Pixel 7 phones, OnePlus, Samsung, and the iPhone 11, but check the Hollyland website for phone compatibility.
Anker 325 Power Bank | $69
Travellers often need options for recharging devices, and when you need a lot of power, the Anker 325 Power Bank is a great idea with a 20,000 mAh capacity that can provide up to 5 charges for the average phone.
Featuring optimized charging for phones, and trickle-charging for low-power accessories like smart watches, the power bank has two USB ports to charge two devices at once, and two USB-C ports for recharging the bank.
Compared to a lot of other power banks, the Anker 325 charges devices very efficiently, and it’s small and light enough to pack away easily in a camera bag, purse, or any small bag. It’s a great gift for anyone who needs power to go.
Belkin USB-C 11-in-1 Multiport Dock | $129
On-the-go or at the desk, the Belkin USB-C 11-in-1 Multiport Dock makes it easy to connect your laptop to everything, including your monitor, external drives, ethernet, and peripherals.
The slim dock can be positioned underneath the laptop as a small riser, and it’s compatible with a range of laptops, including Windows and Apple. And most importantly, it offers a lot of ports, including audio in/out, VGA, SD and MicroSD card readers, ethernet, USB and USB-C, DisplayPort and HDMI.
For laptops that don’t offer many ports, it’s a big upgrade, and it offers 100W charging pass-through to keep your devices connected and powered.
And perhaps best of all: the dock connects with a single USB-C cable, without the need for an external power source.
Google Pixel 7 Pro | $879
My favourite phone of the year is the Google Pixel 7 Pro, the most versatile, powerful, and easy-to-use phone of the year, at an affordable price, and with a lot of features for all kinds of users.
The Pixel 7 Pro offers a bright, clear 6.7″ QHD+ display, it’s beautifully designed with clean, rounded edges and a recycled aluminum frame, and with excellent cameras. It’s also powerful, thanks to the Google Tensor G2 processor, and it has useful features like real-time translation.
Google’s impressive camera system is my favourite feature though, and the photos are incredible whether you’re an amateur creator or an expert. The Pixel 7 Pro captures crystal clear shots up close or far away thanks to three lenses, including a 5x optical zoom lens, and the results are bright and clear. Clever features also take photos and videos to another level, like Magic Eraser that can remove unwanted objects in photos, or Cinematic Blur beautifully blurs out the background in video.
Google Pixel Watch | From $449
For the professionals on the go, who want to stay connected without checking their phone all the time, the Google Pixel Watch is packed with features that make everything easier.
The Pixel Watch is available in two models, with one that pairs seamlessly with the Pixel 7 Pro using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, or it’s available as a 4G LTE model that allows you to make calls and receive messages without your phone nearby.
The premium recycled stainless steel finish makes it a solid watch, it’s water resistant up to 50 meters, the design is sleek, modern, and comfortable, and you can buy a variety of other watch bands to go with it.
Apps like Google Maps, Google Wallet, Gmail, Calendar, YouTube Music, and Google Assistant all work from the Pixel Watch so it’s easy to get things done without picking up a phone. Pixel Watch also includes a six month trial of Fitbit Premium, to help inspire and track fitness goals.
OnePlus 10T 5G | From $849
One of my other favourite phones of the year is the OnePlus 10T 5G, a powerful phone that is the fastest charging phone on the market in Canada and the U.S.
Available with at up to 16 GB of RAM with 256 GB of storage space, the remarkable phone can charge from 0% to 100% in less than 20 minutes, and it also takes excellent photos and videos, while offering next-level gaming performance.
No other phone I tested this year can compete with the battery life and charging time, and I love the cameras that deliver crisp, bright, and beautiful images, including at night. The OnePlus 10T also has an adaptive frame rate, HDR10+, 10-bit colour, GPA Frame Stabilizer, and the 16GB of RAM means you can have a lot of apps running at once and jump right back in where you left off.
OnePlus Buds Pro | $199
The OnePlus Buds Pro are my go-to earbuds, thanks to the sound quality, resilience, perfect fit, Smart Adaptive Noise Cancellation, and the number of hours I can get out of them time and again.
Charging the Buds Pro for 10 minutes delivers up to 10 hours of listening time thanks to the charging case and OnePlus’ innovative Warp Charge. The earbuds are also IP55 sweat and water resistant, feature robust 11mm drivers, and last up to 38 hours when recharging the earbuds in the case. And even when I’ve used them with other Android phones, they noise cancellation works perfectly.
They’re an excellent option for any Android user, they’re cheaper than most of the competitors, and they’re gorgeous in Raditant Silver.
Xbox Elite Series 2 controller | From $149
New this fall from the Xbox Design Lab, give your favourite gamer on your shopping list the Elite Series 2 controller, and customize it the way they’ll love it.
Choose from billions of colours and variations to perfectly customize the Elite Series 2 controller, from the body, back case, D-pad, and all the bumpers, triggers, thumbsticks, and buttons.
There are even options to choose the style of D-pad, add laser engraving with their Gamertag or name, and add in Elite components like paddles and a carrying case.
It’s an epic gift for the person in your life who loves to game. Order early, so the customized controller arrives in time for the holidays.
1 TB OWC Envoy Pro Elektron | From $175
Creators need backups, and on the go the 1 TB OWC Envoy Pro Elektron is a solid option that can take a beating. It’s crushproof, dustproof, and waterproof IP67 rated with a 3 year warranty, and it’s fast with write speeds of 1011MB/s.
And did I mention how tiny it is? The pocket-sized USB-C external hard drive fits in the palm of your hand, and it’s compatible for Macs and PCs using Thunderbolt. It even works with iPad Pro and Chromebooks. The Envoy Pro Elektron also stays cool, it has an LED to monitor the status, and the USB cable comes with a type-A adapter so it can plug into both old and new computers.
For gamers the drive is also a great option. Just connect it to the console and you can take games or game video on the go. The hard drive is also available in smaller models, and up to 2 TB.
Visit The GATE’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guides for more giveaways & holiday features.
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