Filling Your Camera Bag: The Top Gadgets for Beginner Photographers


Some interests become hobbies. From there, pastimes can become lifelong passions. Those who love what they do enjoy the technology and gadgets involved in the craft. A novice photographer finds that an increased interest in the hobby creates greater interest in tripods, lenses and other camera accessories. Here is a number of gadgets that will fuel passion and fill the camera bag of beginner photographers.

Bag Insert

Camera components are small and very fragile. The most protective camera bag may not supply a snug fit that is enough to keep accessories from moving around and getting damaged. A water-resistant insert with padding will increase the organization of the camera bag and better protect components.

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Monkey Kit: Flexible Tablet Positioning System

Monkey Kit

I love my iPad and tablets in general. The ability to watch TV shows or movies on planes or while I’m working out on the treadmill is one of the best tech developments I can think of. Tablets offer maximum flexibility to enjoy content, and now we have a gadget accessory that makes it even easier to use your tablet.

The Monkey Kit available at is a great accessory for anyone who uses their tablet or even their smart phone often, whether at home or in places like the gym. The flexible arm lets you set up your tablet almost anywhere, and it easily attaches to the back of your tablet. You can also just leave the spherical portion of you want to rest your tablet on your desk or table with slight elevation.

Basically, the Monkey Kit holds your tablet so you don’t have to. Holding the tablet is probably the only complaint you’ll ever hear, so this gadget can make things even easier for you. Also, with Father’s Day coming up, it offers a cool and unique gift idea as well.


STREET by 50 headphones

We tested out one of 50 Cent’s new SMS Audio headphones – the STREET by 50 over-ear headphones. As you can see from the photos we posted along with the video below, these headphones look very slick and they’re also durable. 50 Cent demonstrates in the video how you can twist the headphones without worrying about breaking them. We tried the same thing and they held up nicely.

With the new styles the headphone designs are getting bigger and these are no exception. Yet they aren’t too heavy and the extra padding makes them very comfortable. The headphones are equipped to deliver crisp clean sound and enhanced bass and we were very happy with the sound quality. The STREET model comes in black and the bright blue version pictured here. You’ll definitely make a fashion statement with these headphones.

The headphones also come in wireless versions so check those out as well.


Music gadgets for gift ideas

We’ve talked about gadget gifts and stocking stuffers, and here we have two items that are great for the tech-savvy people on your list who like to create music.

GuitarConnect Pro

This cool device from Griffin Technology (pictured above) is designed to work with any instrument that has a ¼ inch jack (including guitars, bass guitars, electric violins, keyboards, etc.), GuitarConnect Pro was created to turn iPad or iPhone into a compact performance or practice rig. A built-in gain control wheel allows the user to adjust the strength of the instrument’s input signal. Users gain a high-quality, all-digital connection from guitars and other instruments directly into GarageBand and other audio apps. It’s a simple yet very powerful device and music lovers will really appreciate it. And, it fits nicely into a holiday stocking!

Korg nanoKEY2

Here we switch to keyboards, which is a very popular way to create music. The nanoKEY2 is built with 25 keys and allows full control of pitch. It’s one of the devices in the NanoSERIES2 which are all compatible with GarageBand. Imagine how much fun music-lovers can have playing around with this device.

Even if someone hasn’t tried to create their own music in the past, devices like these two above offer an easy way to get started. They spur the creative process, and for that reason alone they make great gifts.


Toshiba Canvio 3.0 External Hard Drive

In today’s world, you always have a need for more storage, and as we start to organize photos and videos in digital format, we need ways to back up and protect our data.

Toshiba has introduced a new series of Canvio 3.0 hard drives that meet these needs. They offer blazing-fast transfer speeds and pre-loaded backup software, and they are cloud-backup capable. The units offer a variety of storage capacity and we tested the one terabyte model.

One of the main characteristics of these devices is the ability to sync with the cloud. The Canvio 3.0 is pre-loaded with Windows™-based NTI® BackupNow EZ™ software that provides step-by-step and fully-customizable backup capabilities to the cloud and to the drive. Users create a cloud account with NTI® BackupNow EZ™ where they can backup specific folders, certain file types, and conduct a complete system backup to the Canvio 3.0. The backup software also scans the user’s system and files and recommends which files to backup to cloud-based or on-device storage.

The Canvio family now includes the support of USB 3.0, enabling Canvio users to take advantage of the faster data transfer speed of USB 3.0-enabled devices. We were impressed with the speed when we tested it out.

Some advanced features include complete password protection with up to 256-bit data encryption to prevent unauthorized access to data and an on-screen Drive Space Alert monitor that sends an alert when storage space is running low. The internal Shock Sensor and Ramp Loading Technology protect the drive during daily movement from a pocket, desk, bag, or beyond so you can feel comfortable carrying this around. It’s amazing how small these devices have become and how much you can store in a portable device.

The design of the unit is very slick and sturdy with rounded rectangular form factor and sleek high gloss finish. It’s also easy to grip it on the sides. It’s available in black, white, silver, red, green, and blue3.

This makes a great gift for anyone on your list, both techies who will appreciate the advanced features and others who need a simple way to protect their photos and home videos.

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide for more gift ideas.


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