If you have just started digital photography with a digital SLR camera, you may be wondering what accessories you need besides the camera and lens. Digital photography can be a very expensive hobby, especially if you want to buy everything you want. So I am going to focus on what a typical DSLR shooter needs. Here is a list of some must-have accessories.

  • Tripod. It is a pain to carry a tripod and it is not welcome in many places. However it is essential that you invest in a good tripod if you are interested in night photography, high dynamic range (HDR) photography, shots with timer shutter release (self portrait or group photos that includes yourself), or anything that requires holding the camera steady for extended period of time. Cost: $$ to $$$.
  • Remote shutter release. Very useful for macro and landscape photography to reduce any vibrations that can lead to blurry photos. It provides conveniences for other photography as well. Cost $$.
  • Camera bag(s). It is really not extravagant to protect your thousand-dollar investment with a good hundred-dollar camera bag.  Cost $$ to $$$.
  • Blower, brush, and cleaning tissue/cloth. The camera can get very dirty from the environment. Dust particles can get in crevices in the camera and even inside on to the sensor. Typical camera cleaning involves cleaning the body, cleaning the lens front element, and blow away dust particles from inside the lens mount and the sensor. Cost: $ to $$.
  • Memory card organizer/case. Unless you have only one memory card that stays in the camera all the time, you will need to think about how to organize them and protect them from damage and lost. Most memory cards come in small plastic carriers. They are difficult to handle and can be easily lost. They do not offer sufficient impact protection either. See also: Safe Guard Your Photos and Get Organized with Digital Media Storage Cases. Cost $ to $$.
  • External flash. Most DSLR cameras come with a built-in flash, why do I need an external flash? There are a few reasons: 1) external flash is more powerful to reach subject much further away from the camera, 2) external flash can bounce lights from various angles to produce a more naturally illuminated photos, 3) external flash has flash head away from lens that reduces red-eye, 4) external flash can be taken off camera for creative lighting purposes, 5) some external flash support high speed sync. See also: Understanding the flash sync speed. Cost $$$.
  • Filters. You can always mount a UV filter on the lens as a protection against accidental scratch of the lens front element. A circular polarizer filter can reduce undesired reflections and make the sky more blue. A graduated neutral density filter can help with the common over-exposed sky problems in high contrast shooting situations. Other type of filters are mostly useful for creative purposes. Cost $$ to $$$.

There are many types of photography and photographers. The shooting needs will certainly vary greatly. If you have your own must-have list, please share with us in the comment section below.

Posted in: Accessories, Digital SLR Cameras on September 19th, 2008. Trackback URI
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