Holiday Tech Guide: 13 Must-Have Gifts for the Ultimate "Tech Geek"

Published on in Miscellaneous

Everyone knows "it's the most wonderful time of the year" for many reasons. One in particular is looking forward to getting AND giving some of the coolest technology gifts. Whether you're after the latest cameras, camera accessories, or even robots and more, we have compiled a list of gift ideas that are sure to speak to all of our inner "geeks."

Gifts $200 and below 

Blackmagic Design Micro Converters ($85)

Convert from SDI to HDMI so you can output video from professional SDI video equipment to consumer HDMI televisions, projectors and more! The multi rate 3G-SDI automatically switches between all SD and HD formats up to 1080p60. You also get 3G-SDI loop through, support for Level A and Level B equipment, and power over USB!

Take the HDMI output from laptop computers or consumer cameras and convert it to SDI for use with broadcast switchers, routers, monitors and more! The multi rate 3G-SDI automatically switches between all SD and HD formats up to 1080p60. You get 2 SDI outputs, support for Level A and Level B equipment, and power over USB!

Wacom Bamboo Notepad ($130) 

For the avid sketch artist or notetaker, consider the Wacom Bamboo Notepad, which allows you to sketch drawings or take notes on regular paper and send them straight to your smartphone or tablet. There's even an option to search for sketched words via your mobile device.

Anki Cozmo ($180) 

Powered by artificial intelligence, the Anki Cozmo has the ability to recognize its owner, share feelings and is always ready to play games. If you're interested in robotics, you can utilize the developer platform and add your own features to the Cozmo as well!

Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Monitor 4K and DeckLink Mini Recorder 4K ($195 each)

DeckLink Mini Monitor 4K is a low profile PCIe playback card, featuring 6G-SDI and the latest HDMI 2.0a connections so you can monitor all formats up to 2160p30 from your computer! The SDI and HDMI outputs let you connect to any television or monitor and automatically detect and switch between all video formats. You even get high dynamic range playback and metadata over HDMI, along with support for Rec. 2020 color space. You can even develop your own custom playback solutions using the Blackmagic Desktop Video SDK for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux! Includes two PCIe shields for both full height and low profile slots.

DeckLink Mini Recorder 4K is a low profile PCIe capture card, featuring 6G-SDI and the latest HDMI 2.0a connections so you can record all formats up to 2160p30 on your computer! The SDI and HDMI inputs automatically detect and switch between all video formats. You even get high dynamic range recording and metadata over HDMI, along with support for Rec. 2020 color space. The DeckLink Mini Recorder 4K is perfect for integrating into mobile live capture environments, broadcast trucks and more! You can even develop your own custom capture solutions using the Blackmagic Desktop Video SDK for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux! Includes two PCIe shields for both full height and low profile slots.

Hawkin X5HC Drone with Camera ($75.56) 

The future of drones is here! The Syma X5HC is a fantastic quadcopter with a HD camera on its underside and a neat little trick up its rotor blades. It hovers at the height you set it too automatically! Gone are the days where you have to keep the elevation lever steady to maintain altitude. Simply fly this neat little drone up to the height you want it and then release the stick to keep it there. This frees you to focus on pointing the camera where you want it to record the best videos and pictures to the SD card on board. And of course, its equipped with all the latest in RC drone tech including 2.4G, state of the art gyrostabilisation, a speed toggle switch and even the ability to perform flips in the air.

Key Features: 

  • 4-channel camera drone with hover function
  • 6-axis gyro stabilisation
  • Operates on 2.4G frequency
  • Headless flight mode
  • High/low speed switch
  • Can perform mid-air flips
  • HD camera records stills and video to SD
  • Includes SD card reader
  • 130 minute charge time for 5-7 minutes of flight
  • Control distance up to 50 metres
  • Includes 3.7v 500mAh Li-poly battery
  • Requires 4 x AA batteries 33cm

Gifts from $201 - $500

Sony ICD-SX2000 Hi-Res Recorder ($299.99) 

Ideal for recording music, business uses and field recording, the ICD-SX2000 offers high quality sound recording and playback at an affordable price.  With smartphone app control, Bluetooth connectivity, an adjustable microphone for optimization and a compact size, users can seamlessly record, download and enjoy high-resolution audio content.

The ICD-SX2000 enables seamless smartphone control with the REC Remote app which allows users to start and stop recordings, adjust levels and settings, and even add track marks, all using a smartphone – even at a distance from the recorder. 

The hi-res recorder offers a 3-way microphone for crisp and reliable zoom, wide stereo and XY.  It also features linear PCM recording for capturing sound at up to 96KHz/24-bit and playback at up to 192kHz/24-bit.  In addition, there is a built-in Latium Battery and 16GB of memory, with a micro SD card slot for additional storage.  It also includes an embedded tripod hole for advanced configurations and USB Direct for easy transfer and storage of recordings.

Core SWX – Hypercore Slim HC8 ($289) 

The HC8 is the latest addition to the Hypercore SLIM series and the first line of slim battery packs capable of handling high-draw loads. They are capable of powering RED®, ARRI ALEXA Mini® and similar digital cameras, handling draws of up to 148Wh (10A) without deterioration in service life or operability. An LED backlit runtime LCD on the front of the HC8 battery pack lets users know how much battery time is left when in use and will also show remaining charge time while connected to a charger, allowing users the opportunity to plan out their shoots down to the minute. The battery’s cells are incased in an over-molded, rubberized housing, providing additional protection against accidental impacts that may occur when operating alongside UAVs. This 85Wh battery pack is safe and legal for air travel. The HC8 is available in V-mount, 3-Stud mount and V-mount RED to communicate exact remaining battery capacity to the RED camera’s LCD/VF.

Cineo Lighting - Matchbox™ ($495)

The Matchbox provides Cineo’s famous Remote Phosphor Technology™ (RPT™) in a small form factor that still has an output of up to 1000 lumens. Measuring in at 3.25 inches x 5.25 inches x 1.5 inches (82.6 mm x 133.4 mm x 38 mm), a wide range of input power lets you run the Matchbox on any input voltage from 6-26 VDC, as well as AC with the included adapter. It has a color temperature range of 2700K-5600K. The Matchbox includes an on-board 0-100 percent flicker-free dimmer that works in conjunction with upstream DMX or remote dimmers. The bottom of the 15 ounce (435 g) fixture includes a standard ¼-inch-20 tap, allowing for limitless mounting options. With its anodized aluminum, these small sources can easily withstand the most demanding applications in both the field and the studio.

Sony MP-CL1A HD Pico Projector ($399.99) 

The MP-CL1A is a portable, handheld projector that uses Laser Beam Scanning (LBS) to provide HD resolution (1920 x 720p) and focus free projection at a light weight of 7.4 oz.  The compact short-throw projector delivers high quality imagery, high contrast (80,000:1) enabling rich, accurate colors and a 16:9 aspect ratio for an improved HD viewing experience.  The MP-CL1A projector can display a screen size of up to 120 inches at a distance of approximately 12 feet and a 40 inch screen from nearly 4 feet away, ideal for a range of setups and scenarios.  The projector, which is best suited to dark environments, can be used indoors and outdoors for entertainment applications including camping, movie nights and gaming, in-home viewing and dorm use and business presentations, among others.

Key Features:

  • Compact and super slim (7.4 oz., 5.9 x 3 x 0.5 inches)
  • 1920 x720 HD resolution (Aspect ratio of 16:9)
  • Up to 120 inch screen size from approximately 12 feet
  • High contrast ratio of 80,000:1
  • Automatic focus projection from Sony’s Laser Beam Scanning (LBS)
  • Wi-Fi (with phone or tablet) or HDMI/MHL connectivity (for phone, tablet, laptop and gaming devices)
  • Bluetooth connection with wireless speakers or wireless headphones
  • Built-in 3400mAh Li-ion battery for 2 hours of play
  • Gold or gray color options

Gifts over $500

theC47 DP Kit ($599.90) 

theC47 DP Kit is a portable light modification system that is the essential travel kit for DPs and filmmakers. Not only can you bounce and diiffuse light by building a standrad 4’ X 4’ frame with 22” Scrim Jim Cine tubes, it’s the only protable floppy cutter on the market!

theC47 Book Light Kit ($999.90) 

theC47 Book Light Kit provides superior light modification for interviews and narratives. By placing any light source near the opening of the Book Light, filmmakers and cinematographers can simultaneously bounce and diffuse their light.

Miller Camera Support Equipment – arrowX 3 Fluid Head (systems start at $5,700) 

The arrowX 3 Fluid Head features the new CB PLUS, a unique sequential counterbalance design. CB PLUS features eight large counterbalance steps, allowing the user to get to their needed position quickly and efficiently. The CB PLUS switch adds a half step enabling counterbalance fine-tuning. This new feature makes the arrowX Series perfect for ENG, EFP, studio, field OB, or any other use where frequent and fast re-rigging is required. In addition to CB PLUS, the arrowX Series delivers several additional features such as the ability to remove the clamp stud to easily mount the head on flat base surfaces and where extra rigidity is required, a Mitchel Base adaptor can be fitted. All arrowX models come with 120mm sliding plate travel to support quick re-balance and changing camera payloads. Precision ball bearing supported pan-tilt movements help deliver silky smooth starts and soft stop fluid actions. Precise floating pan-tilt caliper locks ensure bounce free on-off locking. The arrowX 3 boasts a payload range of 1 - 19kg (2.2 - 41.8lbs), 16 positions of counterbalance and 5+0 pan and tilt drag positions.

Canon COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF ($5,225.00) 

The COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF-mount lens combines the benefits of compact size and light weight (only 2.7 lbs.) for outstanding mobility. Designed to shoot video, this lens can be ideal for the cinematographer moving up from our EF lenses, combining the functionality of our EF lenses with the video shooting features of our Cinema lenses. 

Acknowledging the need to control zoom, focus and iris/aperture, Canon has developed this zoom lens with full external servo control for drama, documentary and other video productions. The servo drive unit is compatible with industry-standard lens controllers including Canon's standard broadcast lens controllers (ZSD-300D/FPD-400D). The optional ZSG-C10 grip designed exclusively for this lens adds additional flexibility for the ENG style "run-and-gun" video shooter. 

Key Features: 

  • Broad Focal Length Coverage
  • Covering the commonly used focal length, 18mm to 80mm
  • Maintains focus throughout the zoom range
  • Performance that is stable across the entire zoom range
  • Brightness across the entire zoom range constant at T4.4 (equal to F4.0)
  • High Level 4K Optical Performance
  • Optical performance that is commensurate with 4K cameras with S35 format sensors
  • Same Color Characteristics as the existing Cinema Lens lines
  • Iris Mechanism for Motion Picture
  • Seamless Control Capability with iris ring
  • 9-Blade Iris
  • Iris Closing
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