Do you have any questions on which camera accessories to purchase next? It’s difficult to know what you need or where to start with such a diverse choice of equipment. In this article, you’ll learn about nine essential camera accessories that will help you take better images, safeguard your gear, and keep you shooting even when calamity hits.
1. Prime Lens That Is Quick
If you purchased your camera with the normal kit lens, you will almost certainly want to purchase additional lenses to expand your creative photographic options.
A surprising assortment of camera lenses is available, making selecting your first additional camera lens difficult. Many skilled photographers, on the other hand, will advise you to start with a fast prime lens.
A primary lens has a fixed focal length and does not have a zoom feature. This may appear to be a significant constraint at first, however the image quality generated by a prime lens is superior to that of a zoom lens. This is due to the fact that prime lenses have fewer glass elements, resulting in sharper images, less weight, less complexity, and less things to go wrong.
The term “fast” refers to the lens’s big maximum aperture size. This helps you to collect more light in less time, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds in low-light situations while still achieving sharp, well-exposed photos.
Look for an f-number on the lens barrel to determine the maximum aperture. The maximum aperture is indicated by the prefix “f/” or “1:,” for example, “f/2.8” or “1:2.8.” The faster the lens, the lower the f-number. “Fast” refers to a lens with an f-number of F2.8 or less.
Large aperture sizes have the added benefit of allowing you to obtain a very desirable and attractive shallow depth-of-field, which is especially useful with DSLR and mirrorless cameras. This results in a lovely blurred background, which is ideal for highlighting your subject against a distracting background or foreground.
Prime lenses exist in a variety of focal lengths, such as 24mm, 50mm, and 80mm.
A 24mm prime lens has a broad field of view, making it ideal for landscape photography and other situations when you want to capture more of the environment. Lens distortion occurs when wide angle lenses are used, causing straight lines to appear slightly bent, resulting in unfavorable photographs with deformed facial features.
A 50mm prime lens is a fantastic all-around lens that captures the scene just as we see it — with no lens distortion.
For portrait photography, an 80mm prime lens is frequently utilized since it is seen to be more flattering on face characteristics. It also allows you to stand a little further away from your portrait subject, which is less daunting than having the camera near to the subject’s face.
2. The tripod
A tripod is required for any type of photography in which the camera must remain totally stationary while being photographed. Low-light photography, long exposures, landscape photography, self-portraits, and macro photography are all examples of this. A nice example of a tripod is the SLIK Sprint Pro II GM Tripod shown below.
To capture enough light for a satisfactory exposure in low light, your camera will need to use a slower shutter speed. The results will be fuzzy if the camera moves while shooting the shot. By keeping the camera completely motionless, a tripod addresses this difficulty.
Taking many photographs of the same scene is common in product, landscape, and portrait photography. A tripod can operate as a “third hand” in certain scenarios, freeing up your two hands to make modifications to your object or portrait subject.
A tripod comes in handy when taking sequence composite images, such as when your subject is moving across the scene and you want to record them multiple times to show the movement. I used a tripod to maintain the camera in the same position while taking many burst images to create the image below.
Tripods come in a variety of sizes. Small or medium-sized tripods can usually handle a smaller, lighter DSLR with a kit lens. Larger tripods are preferable for supporting larger DLSR cameras and lenses.
Budget tripods are frequently comprised of heavier, less expensive materials, so consider a carbon-fiber tripod if you require a lightweight tripod.
There are various more compact alternatives to a conventional sized tripod if a regular sized tripod is overkill for your type of photography.
Take a look at the Manfrotto Pixi Evo Mini Tripod or one of the larger Joby Gorillapod tripods above (below).
Just make sure the model you purchase is big enough to hold your camera and lens.
3. Shutter Release at a Distance
Without utilizing your camera’s built-in timer, how can you include oneself in a group photo? What’s a good method to picture the birds on the birdfeeder with your camera up close without scaring them away? Is it possible to take a long exposure without causing camera shake?
A remote shutter release can aid in all of these scenarios.
Some cameras use Infrared or Bluetooth to trigger the shutter using official or third-party remote buttons.
Others require a physical cable-release device, which can be attached to the camera’s specialized socket or the flash hot-shoe.
Remote shutter releases range in complexity and price from the most basic, which simply allow you to take a photo by pressing a button, to the most advanced and expensive models, which include advanced timing (intervalometer) features that allow you to delay the shutter release or take a series of photos at specific intervals.
You can even use an app on your smartphone to trigger the shutter on some cameras. Check the user guide for your camera to see if this is an option.
Ensure that the remote shutter release you purchase is compatible with your camera.
4. Polarizing Filter
The use of filters while taking a photograph is beneficial in some instances. A polarizing filter is one of the most useful.
A polarizing filter can deepen blue skies, improve color saturation, and lessen or even eliminate harsh glare from reflections. While some of these advantages can be duplicated in post-production, it’s ideal to have the camera capture them as they happen. This is especially true when it comes to reducing reflected glare, which can be difficult to handle in post-production.
A gleaming large-leafed plant was photographed without a polarizing filter on the left and then with one on the right (right). The second shot has retained all of the detail that was lost in the original photo’s glossy parts.
Linear and circular polarizing filters are the two types of polarizing filters. The circular polarizing filters have a nearly comparable impact on your photographs, but they are designed to make it easier for your camera’s metering system to acquire a decent exposure.
Keep in mind that the size you choose should correspond to the diameter of your lens. The diameter in millimeters can be found next to the universal “diameter” symbol given below.
You’ll either need various filters if you have multiple lenses with varying diameters, or you may just acquire filters for the lenses you’re most likely to use for landscapes or other outside photographs.
5. Back-up Batteries
When purchasing a camera, most individuals spend their whole budget on the body and lenses, so it’s uncommon for them to consider purchasing an extra battery at the onset. It is, nevertheless, an extremely useful addition to your camera bag because it is really inconvenient to have to stop snapping images unexpectedly. Having spare batteries allows you to continue shooting while simultaneously charging the other.
It’s always recommended to use OE (original equipment) batteries, which are batteries made by the camera’s manufacturer. These will perform as intended, have a longer lifespan, and will not void your manufacturer’s warranty.
If you do opt to buy third-party batteries, go with well-known, well-respected brands like Hahnel or Wasabi.
6. Memory Cards
A memory card is generally included with new cameras, however it is often of limited capacity. As a result, you’ll almost certainly require an additional memory card.
When selecting a memory card, keep the following aspects in mind:
Which Card Format Should I Use?
On digital cameras, there are only a few basic card formats to choose from. SD (Secure Digital) cards are the most prevalent, however CFast and XQD cards are also available. The less prevalent CF or Compact Flash card is found in some older cameras, and manufacturers are beginning to abandon this format.
The most important thing is to consult the user handbook for your camera to see what format it requires.
Which Card Speed Should I Use?
High-frame-rate cameras, huge sensors or pixel counts, and video capture cameras all necessitate a memory card that can handle enormous amounts of photo/video data at high speeds.
When you use a memory card that is too sluggish, the camera’s buffer can fill up too soon. Before the camera can continue shooting photographs or video, it must first pause and wait for the buffer to empty. As a result, you’ll need a memory card that can handle the speeds your camera requires.
The minimal need will be specified in your camera’s user handbook.
What is the maximum card capacity?
As camera sensors become larger and pixel counts increase, so does the demand for larger memory cards. It’s tempting to get the largest memory card you can afford, but what if the card is lost or destroyed before you’ve finished downloading all of your photos? Spreading the risk of losing photographs across numerous cards is preferable. Rather than purchasing a single 64GB card, purchase two 32GB cards. It will cost you more, but the added peace of mind is well worth it.
Below are charts illustrating the approximate number of photographs you can store on various size cards. To use the charts, select either the JPEG or RAW chart based on your preferred image capture format. Then, in the left-hand column, find the megapixel count that is closest to your camera’s megapixel count. Finally, scroll down that row to discover how many photographs each capacity (given in the top row) can carry.
Images in JPEG format
7. Memory Card Reader
You may get your images off your camera in a variety of methods. The most frequent method is to use a USB cable provided by the camera manufacturer to connect your camera to your computer. WiFi-enabled cameras allow you to transfer photographs to your computer wirelessly. Some laptops come equipped with an SD card reader, allowing you to simply take the SD card from your camera and insert it into your computer.
A memory card reader is the most versatile approach because it may be used in a variety of settings. When your camera’s battery has died, the computer to which you wish to download images doesn’t have a built-in card reader, or when WiFi isn’t an option.
The Transcend TS-RDF8K card reader is popular since it takes a variety of memory card formats and transfers images quickly through USB3.0.
If you don’t obtain a card reader that works with your card technology, you can find that transfer speeds are far slower than you’d want.
8. Camera Strap (Neck, Shoulder, or Wrist)
It’s not the most exciting item, but it’s one of the most crucial. You’ll drop your camera if you don’t have a strap. It’s simply not worth the risk.
A basic neck strap is included with most new cameras, and it is usually labeled with the camera manufacturer’s name and emblem. These are typically thin and narrow, making them uncomfortable to handle for lengthy periods of time. They also call attention to the fact that you’re carrying about expensive photography gear, which isn’t always a good idea.
Camera neck straps are available in a wide range of sizes, patterns, and colors, so you’re likely to find one you like.
The Mimi Green ‘Shelly’ Designer DSLR Camera Strap, which comes in a variety of colors, is a nice example of something a little unusual.
If you’re going to be carrying your camera for extended periods of time, get one with a wider contact area over the shoulder – and some padding.
The majority of simple straps leave your camera dangling in front of you. This can be inconvenient because you’ll frequently bang it against things, especially if you’re using a longer lens. Suspending hefty cameras and lenses around your neck can also be very uncomfortable. A shoulder-harness strap with a connecting strap that crosses under the arm is a common alternative to the neck strap. This allows you to keep the camera on your waist or hip, which you may prefer. Importantly, your shoulder, not your neck, bears the weight of the camera. The illustration of the Movo Shoulder Strap below demonstrates how the strap is worn.
The wrist strap is another nice option if you don’t enjoy having your camera equipment dangling around your neck. A nice example is the Altura Photo Camera Hand Strap shown below.
9. Camera Bag
It’s critical to protect your pricey investment with a camera bag. Don’t put off getting a camera bag until your camera has taken a few knocks. Purchase one from the beginning.
You’ll be relieved to learn that camera bag fashions have progressed significantly from the drab beige canvas bags of the past. Every taste and budget can be met with a variety of styles. They all have well-padded compartments for your camera and accessories in common.
It’s crucial to examine how much photographic equipment you have before purchasing a camera bag. Allow some room in your budget for future purchases, such as the other products discussed in this article.
Do you also need to bring a laptop or iPad with you? If that’s the case, there are lots of larger camera bags that provide padded protection for these, such as the Kattee Professional Canvas SLR DSLR Camera Backpack Laptop Bag Case featured below, which can fit a 14-inch laptop and is available in black, blue, or pink.
Consider whether you want to draw attention to the fact that you’re transporting expensive photographic gear. Perhaps you’d want to use a less apparent bag or conceal your camera bag within another, less visible bag. The Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag, aimed at female photographers, doesn’t appear like a camera bag at all, but it contains the same padded sections as more traditional camera bags.
Summary of Camera Accessories
This summary of some of the various camera accessories may perhaps assist you in prioritizing your photography accessory purchases.
To summarize, a fast prime lens, tripod, remote shutter release, and polarizing filter will aid in the creation of better photographs. A camera case and strap will keep your expensive gear safe. You’ll need extra batteries and memory cards to keep shooting.
After you’ve taken care of these details, you can focus on the most crucial aspect of your photography: taking excellent pictures!
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