Nov 13 2012 - 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.
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. The 24-inch widescreen LCD monitor is now one of the most cost efficient displays. They provide a very large graphical work space, high resolutions and have some amazing color and speed. And if the digital photographer already has one and uses a desktop, they can always use a second monitor if they have the space for even more workflow potential. Prices start around $170.
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. Western Digital has made some great drives and their My Passport external drives provide a large amount of space with fast USB 3.0 interface for fast transfers to newer PCs while still being compatible with older USB 2.0 systems. Prices start around $180.
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 latest Spyder4 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 $170.
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.
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. Canon is one of the big names in photography and they also happen to make some excellent inkjet printers designed specifically for photography. The PIXMA IP3600 is a nice mid-priced model that offers a five color cartridge system for excellent color reproduction at very high print resolutions. Priced from $90.
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 $90.