Our Must-Have Camera Accessories
Making a new camera purchase is a big decision. Choosing the body for your camera has a number of flow-on effects. It will also determine the types of lenses you will need to buy and flash fittings, tripod, and a host of other camera accessories as you get more experienced and develop more interest in photography. Try out some of our faves.
Different photographers have different photographic needs. People who take family “happy snaps” will be interested in different types of camera accessories to people who are professional, semi-professional or highly knowledgeable amateur photographers.
Outlined below are some of the different types of camera accessories you can buy to protect your camera, enhance your photographs and get greater enjoyment from your device. They are grouped according to basic user types such as casual, amateur photographer, experienced hobby photographer, semi-professional to professional photographer.
Camera accessories for the casual photographer
If you own a “tough” compact camera you may not be worried about carrying it in a protective case. If you own a normal compact digital camera, though, buying a protective carry case is a good idea. It can also double as a storage case for an extra camera battery, lens cleaning cloth and even a spare memory card. All of these accessories can be helpful for the casual photographer, especially when taking the camera on short trips or weekends away.
Camera accessories for an experienced amateur or semi-professional photographer
If photography is a hobby or passionate interest, or you are starting to earn an income from photography, you are also probably interested in buying the right camera accessories to help you take better photos. Experienced amateur photographers and more professional photographers can have very particular needs and requirements from their camera accessories.
Just as with lesser photographers, it’s important to have a suitably sturdy protective case for the camera body and lenses, and to make carrying some of the extra gear easier. There may also be more specific requirements in relation to lens and filters, as well as flash guns and light reflectors.
Popular lens ranges for professional photographers include: portrait (50-85mm), macro (40, 60, 80, 105mm), telephoto (55-200mm or 70-300mm), wide angle (10-24mm or 16-35mm), or general purpose zoom lenses (18-200mm or 28-300mm).
If you are using a digital SLR then some of the other accessories to consider purchasing include:
- Tripod for capturing time-release images and achieving level horizons.
- Flash gun, to get better colours in darker situations and create more realistic skin tones, with less shadowing.
- White foam core, to help improve lighting conditions by bouncing light around and helping to remove shadows, or softening harsh light.
- A medium gray card (18%), which is used to create a custom white balance and set exposure in a-typical situations, and can help get a more realistic colour in your images.
- A remote shutter release to reduce camera shake when doing long exposures, or taking portraits when you also want to be in them. See if you can find a wireless one, if possible, for even greater freedom.
- An LED torch, to help when taking photos at night, or mimic the colour of sunlight if you don’t have a proper flash gun with you.
- Lens pen for cleaning lenses and removing dust without need to mess around with papers and fluid. An absolute must.
- Filter wrench to gently unscrew your filters, because, let’s face it, those things do get jammed onto the lens from time to time and forcing them with your fingers can bend the ring.
If you are interested in experimenting with underwater photography you might also want to look into a camera housing that will suit your camera body and lenses. Not all cameras can be fitted with a waterproof housing