So you’ve dropped a couple hundred dollars on a brand new DSLR camera. Maybe you’ve gotten yourself a nice Nikon D3500 or a Canon EOS 90D, along with some extra lenses. That’s a pretty decent set up you’ve got, but it could be better.
There are some accessories that are absolutely essential to getting the most out of your camera. They’ll help improve your photo taking, or help to ensure that your camera stays in good knick.
Lens cleaning kit
This is the first thing you should buy after you pick up a camera. If I see you breathing on your camera lens and then wiping it with your shirt, I will take your DSLR and hurl it into the ocean. This is not a joke.
Buy a lens cleaning kit that includes an air blower, cleaning pen and a microfibre cleaning cloth, and take actual care of your camera properly.
Spare memory cards and extra batteries
If you didn’t already get one when you bought your camera, a memory card is the second thing you should buy after a cleaning kit.
I wouldn’t even call these an accessory – they’re an essential component, because its not like your camera has a built-in memory to store all of your happy snaps.
It’s also handy to have a few extra memory cards, so you can easily swap out a full one for an empty. It’ll save you having to do an on-the-spot purge of older photos.
It can’t hurt to have an extra camera battery either. If your camera runs out of juice, you can easily chuck a fresh one in and keep shooting. It’s better to have some extras and not need them. Just make sure you’ve buy a camera battery that’s compatible with your DSLR.
If you’re going to be using your camera for filming, or plan on taking a lot of long exposure photos, a tripod is absolutely essential.
If you don’t think you need a tripod, you should still pick one up. It’s a handy tool and you never know when you’ll need to lock your camera down to shoot.
You can buy a decent tripod for fairly cheap these days – the centre pillar of this Neewer aluminum tripod can be removed to transform it into a monopod, giving you an extra shooting option.
There are some more heavy duty tripods out there, but those usually come with a higher price tag. Regardless, just make sure the tripod is lightweight. If you have to lug one around all day you’ll definitely start to feel its presence after.
Camera bag or backpack
Cameras are delicate machines. A nice camera bag should have enough space to store your DSLR, along with a couple of lenses and whatever other essential accessories you need, like a flash or spare batteries.
If you’re a real outdoorsy type who regularly braves the elements, having a weatherproof bag is a must too.
If you don’t need to lug around multiple lens and extra gear, a holster bag should be more than enough to keep your camera protected when you’re out and about.
When shooting in a low light space, an external flash will give you lighting that your camera’s built-in flash just can’t deliver. The difference in quality between the two types of flashes is night and day.
A hot-shoe flash will slide comfortably onto the top of your camera, while a wireless flash can be triggered remotely (there’s a good chance you can grab a flash that has both).
Grabbing multiple wireless flashes isn’t a bad idea either, as it’ll give you more versatility when setting up your lighting. You can keep one on your camera, while you can attached the other to a softbox.
Lens hoods and filters
Plagued by lots of glare while shooting during the daytime? Just whack on a hood and your lens will get some much needed shade, which will help to cut down on any lens flaring and stray light. Just make sure the hood is the right fit, first.
Lens filters offer similar exposure assistance when it comes to controlling light levels. A UV filter will help reduce the amount of UV rays, while a Neutral Density filter will help you better reduce the amount of light entering your camera.
Filters can also offer an extra layer of protection, as it’ll stop your lens getting dirty or scratched.