Quick Gift Picks for Less than $500 - 100 - 50 for Video Shooters


Are you creating your holiday gift list or being asked for hints as to your own gift? Here we present a grab bag of cine-style gifts for video shooters. They range from action cameras to light kits, portable camera sliders, stabilizers, matte boxes, and more, divided into three price ranges. Independent video-content creators and your film-school graduate sweetheart, friend, niece, or nephew will wonder how you knew just what they wanted—we won't tell.

Less Than $500

GoPro Action Camera

Often imitated, the California-based GoPro originated action cameras and now offers several models. The latest and greatest GoPro HERO7 Black features HyperSmooth stabilization, 4K60/50 capture, live streaming, selectable HDR, and more. If you're just getting your feet wet in the action-cam world or want to stretch your budget to shoot multicam-style, check out the 4K/30 HERO5 Session, or the original HERO Session, if you only require 1080p60 HD capture.

GoPro HERO7 Black

Follow Focus

Nothing says pro cine like a follow focus unit and the precision focus shifts they are used to create. While professional focus systems can be pricey, there are some economical follow focus units, most of which require the use of separately available rod support systems.

Axler Hammerhead Pro Follow Focus


Be the coolest kid on your video block with the NiSi Rotating Polarizer—this is a round filter housed in a 4 x 5.65" frame so it fits into most matte box trays of the same size, but rotates within the frame. This design saves the time spent mounting a polarizer into a round adapter and eliminates the need for a matte box with a rotating filter stage.

NiSi 4 x 5.65" Rotating Circular Polarizer Filter

Pay homage to countless classic films or to even to Tarantino's more recent revival of optical effects with these 138mm Schneider Split Diopter filters. A split diopter enables you to create deep-focus effects and sleight-of-hand tricks in the field, using a glass filter instead of a post-production effect.

Schneider 138mm Mounted +1/4 Split-Field Lens

Bi-Color LED Kits

Set up three-point lighting for interior scenes, interviews, and more with these 3-light LED kits. Most include light stands and a case, some include batteries or battery plates, barndoors, or gooseneck clamps.

Dracast LED500 S-Series Bi-Color 3-Light Kit with V-Mount Battery Plates and Soft Case.

Portable Camera Slider

Create revealing time lapses, gradually shift your perspective over the course of your shot, or add automatic, arcing, dynamic moves to your unmanned B-roll camera with a motorized camera slider like the Rhino Camera Gear ROV Pro Traveler 16". The ROV Pro is a lightweight slider featuring an integrated ball head, a smartphone control app, and aluminum build. Dedicated shutter-release cables are available separately for capturing time-lapse video with your mirrorless or DSLR camera.

Rhino Camera Gear RŌV PRO Everyday 16" Motorized Slider

Mechanical Camera Stabilizer

Eliminate the worry of powering an electronic gimbal by using a handheld, mechanical stabilizer for smooth action shots. The made-in-the USA Glidecam HD-PRO supports up to 10-lb cameras and features fine-tune control knobs, a quick-release dovetail plate, and 16 counterweights for custom-balancing your camera.

Glidecam XR-PRO Handheld Camera Stabilizer

Less Than $100

Matte Box

Shade your lens from flare, protect it from dust and debris, and add filters using a matte box. Available in myriad configurations and priced accordingly, it is possible to get an entry-level matte box at a reasonable cost. Wooden Camera's lightweight, rubber Zip matte boxes clamp onto your lens, hold a single filter, and come in 4 x 4" and 4 x 5.65" sizes. CAME-TV's L-M3 DSLR matte box mounts on 15mm LWS rods and includes top and side flags.

CAME-TV L-M3 DSLR Matte Box with Top and Side Flags for LWS 15mm Rods French Flag

Similar to a matte box top flag but more universal in design, a flexible French Flag shades your lens without requiring the use of a matte box, saving weight and space on your camera rig. The Dinkum Systems CINE Shade includes a spring clamp for attaching the flag to your rig; flag arms are also available that screw into a 3/8"-16 or 1/4"-20 accessory thread.

Dinkum Systems CINE Lens Shade/French Flag with Clamp

Sandbag Set

Not at all glamorous but an essential item for securing tripods, light stands, C-stands, pop-up shelters, and more, a set of sandbags makes an enduring, useful gift. This B&H kit of Six Impact Saddle Bags features a hard-to-miss orange color to prevent people from tripping over them, large handles, and zippers for easy filling. With shipping costs based on weight, sand is understandably not included with the sandbags.

Impact Filled Saddle Sandbag

Accessory Bags

Protect your valuable video gear with a video equipment bag—most feature a wide top opening for quick, easy access to your stuff, dual handgrips, and a shoulder strap. Portabrace is known for its durable, reliable soft cases for cameras and audio equipment. The company also offers a line of general-use tote bags for schlepping your accessories to and from set.

Arco DSLR & Video Dr. Bag 10

Less Than $50.00

Production Slate

Impress your colleagues and, more importantly, give your assistant editors a break by slating your takes. A slate, otherwise known as just "sticks" or a clapper, besides enabling you to sync your audio and video, provides an invaluable way to quickly identify multiple scenes and takes when scrubbing through your footage. The Birns & Sawyer Acrylic Production Slate sports black and white clapper stripes and comes with a soft storage pouch. The ikan Insert Slate is a smaller slate, suited for tabletop and other close-up, non-sync sound shots.

Elvid 9-Section Acrylic Production Slate with Color Clapper Sticks

Lens Wraps

Not just for still photo gear, protective lens wraps are useful when you're hand-carrying a smaller, pared-down selection of lenses and other video gear in a backpack or tote bag for run-and-gun shots or when you've splintered off from your main crew for some quick second-unit work.

Domke 19x19" Color Coded Protective Wrap

Cable Wraps

Falling into the "you can never have too many" category, hook-and-loop cable wraps are inexpensive options for keeping your various cables neat and tidy or for fastening cables to your camera rig.

Rip-Tie 3.5" Mini Cable Wraps

Lens Cloths

Keep your lenses and filters sparkly clean with a cleaning cloth or kit. Certainly one of the more affordable Zeiss products, the Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit combines a cloth, a brush, an air bulb, spray cleaner, and pre-moistened wipes.

Sensei Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth

Explore more video-style gifts on the B&H Photo website, and let us know below what was the most favorite or most useful video gift you've ever received.