Do you have any questions about your next camera accessory purchase? It’s challenging to determine what you need or where to start with the wide variety of equipment available. This article will show you 9 essential camera accessories that will help you take better photos, safeguard your gear, and keep you shooting in case of emergency.
1. Quick Prime Lens
If you purchased your camera with the default kit lens, it’s very likely that you’ll want to buy additional lenses to expand your pool of creative photography opportunities.
The selection of your first additional camera lens can be complicated by the dizzying variety of lenses that are available. However, many seasoned photographers will advise you that a fast prime lens should be your first lens purchase.
A prime lens is one without a zoom feature and one with a fixed focal length. This may appear to be a serious restriction at first, but a prime lens produces images that are better than those made by a zoom lens. A prime lens has fewer glass elements than other lenses, which results in sharper images, less weight, less complexity, and fewer potential problems.
We define “fast” as having a large maximum aperture size for the lens. As a result, you can use faster shutter speeds, even in low light, and still get sharp, well-exposed results. This enables the capture of more light in less time.
Look for an f-number on the lens barrel to determine the lens’s maximum aperture. A “f/” or “1:” prefix is used to indicate the maximum aperture, for example, “f/2.8” or “1:2.8.” The lens is faster the lower the f-number. “Fast” lenses have an f-number of F2.8 or less.
A further benefit of using large aperture sizes is that you can achieve a very desirable and eye-catching shallow depth of field, especially when using DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. This produces a gorgeous background blur that is excellent for highlighting your subject against a distracting background or foreground.
The focal lengths of prime lenses range widely; examples include 24mm, 50mm, and 80mm.
Since a 24mm prime lens has a relatively wide angle, it is ideal for landscape photography and other scenarios where you want to capture more of the scene. It is true that wide-angle lenses cause lens distortion, making straight lines appear slightly curved and producing unflattering portraits with distorted facial features.
A 50mm prime lens is excellent for general photography because it captures the scene without any lens distortion and as our eyes see it.
For portrait photography, an 80mm prime lens is frequently used because it is thought to flatter facial features more. Additionally, it allows you to approach your portrait subject from a little bit of a distance, which is less threatening than having the camera pointed directly at them.
Any type of photography where you need to guarantee that the camera remains completely still while the picture is being taken requires a tripod. Low-light, long-exposure, landscape, self-portrait, and macro photography are all examples of this. A good illustration of a common tripod is the SLIK Sprint Pro II GM Tripod below.
Your camera must use a slower shutter speed in low light conditions in order to capture enough light for a proper exposure. Results will be blurry if the camera moves while taking the shot. This issue is resolved by a tripod because it keeps the camera completely still.
It’s common practice in product, landscape, and portrait photography to take numerous pictures of the same subject. In these circumstances, a tripod can serve as a “third hand,” freeing up your two hands to adjust your product or subject for a close-up shot.
When your subject is moving through the scene and you want to capture them multiple times to show the movement, a tripod is incredibly helpful. In order to take the photo below, I used a tripod to hold the camera steady while I used burst mode to take a number of shots.
3. Remote Shutter Release
How can you take a group photo without using the built-in timer on your camera? How can you take close-up photos of the birds on the bird feeder without frightening them off with your proximity? Is it possible to take a long exposure without adding shake to the camera? All of these scenarios call for the use of a remote shutter release.
Some cameras allow the shutter to be triggered by official or third-party remote buttons via Bluetooth or Infra-Red.
Others need a physical cable-release system that is either attached to the flash hot-shoe or a special socket on the camera.
4. Polarizing Filter
The use of filters while taking the picture can be advantageous in certain photographic situations. An excellent example is a polarizing filter.
A polarizing filter can enhance color saturation, lessen or even eliminate harsh reflection glare, and darken blue skies. Although some of these advantages can be duplicated in post-production, it’s preferable to have the camera record them at the time the photo is being taken. This is particularly true for the removal of reflective glare, which can occasionally not be done in post-production.
Below is a comparison of two images taken of a shiny large-leafed plant: one without a polarizing filter (left) and one with one (right). All the detail that was lost in the first photo’s shiny areas is preserved in the second image.
5. Extra Battery Packs
It’s uncommon for people to think to purchase a spare battery when purchasing a camera because they typically spend their entire budget on the body and lenses. However, since having to abruptly stop taking pictures is so annoying, it’s a really crucial addition to your camera bag. Having extra batteries allows you to continue shooting while also charging the other battery.
Always opt for OE (original equipment) batteries, or those produced by the company that makes your camera. These are assured to perform as promised, to last a longer time, and not to void your manufacturer’s warranty.
If you do decide to buy third-party batteries, stick with the more reputable, well-known brands like Hahnel or Wasabi.
6. Flash Memory
A memory card is typically pre-installed in new cameras, but it frequently has a very small capacity. You will therefore almost certainly require a second memory card.
You should take into account the following things when selecting a memory card:
Which format for cards?
On digital cameras, only a few simple card formats are available. The most typical type is an SD (Secure Digital) card, but CFast and XQD cards are also used occasionally. Compact Flash cards, which are less common and are still found in some older cameras, are slowly being phased out by manufacturers.
To find out what format your camera needs, it’s crucial to consult the user manual.
How fast is your card?
A memory card that can handle more photos and videos at faster speeds is typically needed for cameras with high frame rates, large sensors or pixel counts, or video capture capabilities.
If you use a memory card that is too slow, the camera’s buffer may fill up too quickly. Before the camera can resume taking pictures or recording video, it must stop and wait for the buffer to begin to empty. You must therefore have a memory card that can operate at the speeds that your camera needs.
Once more, the minimal specification is listed in the user manual for your camera.
How Much Card Space?
Larger memory cards are also becoming more necessary as camera sensors and pixel counts increase. It can be tempting to purchase the largest memory card you can manage, but what if the card was lost or damaged before you had finished using the photos on it? Spreading the risk of photo loss across several cards is preferable. Therefore, buy two 32GB cards rather than one 64GB card. You’ll pay more, but the increased peace of mind is priceless.
The charts below provide an estimate of how many photos you can fit on cards of various sizes. Choose either the JPEG or RAW chart depending on your preferred image capture format before using the charts. Find the megapixel number that is closest to your camera’s megapixel count by scrolling down the left-hand column. Last but not least, scan that row to see how many images each capacity (illustrated in the top row) can store.
7. Memory Card Reader
You can remove your photos from your camera in a number of ways. The most typical method involves using a USB cable provided by the camera’s manufacturer to connect your camera to your computer. WiFi-capable cameras enable wireless photo transfer to your computer. You can take the SD card out of your camera and plug it right into your computer if your computer has an SD card reader built in.
Using a memory card reader is the most adaptable strategy because it can be applied to more circumstances. When WiFi isn’t an option, your camera’s battery has died, the computer you want to transfer photos to doesn’t have a built-in card reader, etc., are a few examples.
The widely used Transcend TS-RDF8K card reader, which is shown below, supports a variety of memory card formats and provides quick image transfer over USB3.0.
8. Neck, shoulder, or wrist strap for the camera
Possibly one of the least exciting but most significant items. You’ll eventually drop your camera if it doesn’t have a strap. The risk is simply not worth it.
A basic neck strap, usually branded with the name and logo of the camera manufacturer, is included with the majority of new cameras. These are typically thin and narrow, making them uncomfortable to carry your camera around for extended periods of time. Additionally, they draw attention to the fact that you are carrying pricey camera equipment around, which may not be a good idea.
You can find a camera neck strap that you like because they come in so many different sizes, styles, and colors.
The Mimi Green ‘Shelly’ Designer DSLR Camera Strap, which comes in a variety of colors, is a great example of something a little unique.
9. Camera Bag Using a camera bag to protect your expensive investment is crucial
Don’t wait to buy a bag until your camera has sustained some damage. Purchase one at the very beginning.
You’ll be happy to learn that camera bag designs have advanced significantly from the drab beige canvas bags of the past. There are fashions for every taste and price range. The well-padded compartments for your camera and accessories are what they all share.
The quantity of photographic equipment you own should be taken into account before selecting a camera bag. Give yourself some room in your budget for future purchases, like some of the other things mentioned in this article.
Do you also have to lug around a laptop or iPad? If so, there are numerous larger camera bags that provide padded protection for these, such as the Kattee Professional Canvas SLR DSLR Camera Backpack Laptop Bag Case, which fits a 14-inch laptop and is available in black, blue, or pink.
Camera accoutrements: Summary
This list of some of the camera accessories on the market should help you decide which ones to buy first for your photography needs.
In conclusion, using a tripod, remote shutter release, fast prime lens, and polarizing filter will improve your photography. Your priceless gear will be better protected with a camera bag and strap. You can keep shooting if you have extra batteries and memory cards.
After taking care of these issues, you can focus entirely on the most crucial task at hand: taking excellent pictures.