Essential Accessories for Your Digital Camera

Every photographer has their own toolbox of camera accessories commonly used in photography. Although some photographers own an array of equipment to suit every scenario and requirement, others just purchase what they believe is important for their photography. The following article I’ll give you a detailed description of the accessories that should be included in every photographer’s kit bag. I refer to it as an “must-have” listing.

1. A Reliable Camera Bag

Once you have purchased an camera, you purchase bags for cameras in order to protect your investment as well as easily transport it from one location to another. However, choosing the best camera bag isn’t always straightforward as it’s so overwhelming to choose from the many bags to choose from, it becomes difficult to make the best choice.

Most of the time individuals purchase bags for their cameras, then replacing it after two or three months with a new one and realize that they require more space to store their cameras and lenses. This is a common occurrence and has happened to me! I bought the first Nikon D80 DSLR, thinking I would not spend one cent more on a camera that was already costly. I picked up a small camera bag that would fit the camera as well as some lenses, and thought I was ready to start.

In the end, I ended up purchasing a new lens as well as additional accessories. My bag was not big enough to hold everything. Therefore, I had to leave to buy a different camera bag that was bigger. Instead of throwing away money this way purchase an excellent camera bag immediately. Personally, I would prefer a backpack, however certain people prefer the convenience of shoulder bags or sling bags. It’s all personal preference and it is recommended to test prior to making a buy…a local camera shop is a good starting point.

I personally love bags made by LowePro along with ThinkTank. LowePro is the maker of the very well-known ProTactic BP 350 AW II. ProTactic BP 350AW II and for travel, with lots of gear, only a handful of bags are as good as that the Think Tank Photography Airport Comuter.

Packed Airport Commuter 500mm unmounted
The inside of the ThinkTank Airport Commuter

2. Extra Battery

A battery backup is a must-have accessory that can come handy, particularly when traveling. If you don’t have an extra battery you should purchase one prior to your next trip. A final note – batteries are not long-lasting when shooting in frigid temperatures Be ready for a shorter battery life if shooting in cold conditions.

If you’re able to recharge your batteries each day while on vacation, the majority of people consider two batteries adequate, however in the event that you’ll be able to go couple of days without power then you’ll require at minimum three.

3. LCD Protector

I strongly recommend that you protect the LCD on the rear with an ordinary screen protector. A camera with scratches on the LCD won’t sell for a decent price which is why this is the first thing to take to protect it from scratches. LCD protectors are great and are available in any size that will suit your LCD. After you have secured it, make sure to place it back into place, if you have one.

4. Padded Neck Strap for Your DSLR or Mirrorless

The neck straps supplied for mirrorless and DSLR cameras not always comfortable. If you wear a large camera and lens combination on your neck, the standard strap for cameras can cause painful scratches on your neck within an hour or so of carrying the camera.

Luckily there are plenty of great neck straps on the market today, like the the Op/Tech Pro Loop Strap which I simply cannot live without. It’s soft and comfortable and holds my massive Nikon D700 plus battery pack that has a big lens like the Nikon 70-200mm VR II without a problem. Another popular Strap for cameras is BlackRapid Curve Breathe Strap made by Black Rapid, therefore, you should take a look.

Op-Tech Pro Loop Strap

5. Lens Cleaning Kit

The accumulation of dirt and dust in between the elements of your lens decreases lens contrast, which results in pictures that appear cloudy. This is why it is essential to maintain the elements that are back and front clear of dust and dirt always. There are many brands available and all of them will be fine, such like this Zeiss one.

6. Giottos Rocket Blower

This Giottos’ Rocket Blower is a marvel in the process of cleaning dust off your camera equipment. It’s only $20 and is an excellent device you’ll carry around inside your bag for camera all the time!

Giottos Rocket Blower

It keeps my lenses clean, and it is very effective in clearing dust off the camera’s sensor when I travel. Try it and you’ll be glad you did.

Sensor Dust

The dust on your sensor can create unattractive spots. A rocket blower is able to eliminate the majority of them

7. Sturdy Tripod

A well-built, sturdy tripod is essential for night, low-light or landscape photographs. Don’t purchase cheap plastic tripods that break easily and break – you don’t wish to place the expensive equipment you purchased for your camera on a cheap tripod. Be sure that the tripod you purchase is capable of supporting at least twice the weight of the cameras and lenses. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories of high-end interchangeable lens camera breaking from poor tripods!

The most reliable tripods are made from Gitzo but they’re costly (starting at around $400). Manfrotto also makes excellent tripods, and you can purchase tripod legs and a head on their own or even a tripod system. The cheapest tripods are made by Sunpak (priced less than 100 dollars) as well as you’ll locate them in places such like Best Buy. I’ve also heard they are the Slik tripods are excellent for quality and value like Slik 700DX Pro. Slik 700DX PRO.

8. Remote Shutter Release

Do not forget to get remote shutter release for the mirrorless camera or DSLR camera, along with an appropriate tripod. Remote shutter release lets the photographer to take a photo with no pressing the shutter button of your camera, which could cause camera shake.

Remote shutters are helpful in macro and landscape photography. Vibrations from your tripod and camera can cause blurred photos. Event photographers and wildlife photographers are less likely to benefit from shutters with remotes.

Icicle with Flash Gels
NIKON D7000 + 105mm f/2.8 @ 105mm, ISO 100, 2 seconds, f/3.2 (c) Spencer Cox

A remote shutter release can be helpful in macro photography to reduce camera shake.

A lot of digital cameras come with infrared remotes which are small, light and compact. And best of all, wireless. They both Nikon and Canon have a great range of remote shutters and I suggest getting one that can support “bulb” mode (more than 30 seconds of exposure) that has an exposure lock. There are a few options:

  1. Canon BR-E1 Wireless Remote
  2. Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote
  3. Vello RS-O3II Wired Remote It is important to choose the correct camera connector before purchasing!
  4. Vello FreeWave Plus II Wireless Remote Shutter Release Make sure that you choose your camera’s compatibility prior to purchasing

I’m using the Vello RS-O3II shutter release wired for the Panasonic G9 and I find it very reliable.

9. Lens UV/Protection Filter

Make a habit of purchasing lenses with protection filters when purchasing lenses. If you don’t have one, make sure you purchase the one you need as quickly as you can. The filters aid in protecting your lens from damage caused by accidents as well, they aid in cleaning lenses, especially if the front part of the lens appears in a round shape.

Make sure you get an excellent-quality filter such as the ones from Hoya or B+W since a low-quality filter will certainly reduce your image quality.

10. Polarizing Filter

If you’re thinking of photographing landscapes or architecture using a polarizing filter, it is yet another “must-have” feature. I’ve written an article on how to utilize an Polarizing filter prior to this one and highly recommend checking it out.

A filter that polarizes can cut down on reflections of objects like glass and water. They can be used to shade the sky, and draw out cloud formations, which makes the appear more vibrant. I would not suggest that you keep it in your lens always, as the polarizing filter slows your camera by reducing its light output passing through it.

Sri Lanka Waterfall
NIKON D750 + 24mm f/1.4 @ 24mm, ISO 50, 5 sec, f/11.0 (c) Nasim Mansurov

A polarizer was helpful in reducing reflections in this photo.

Let me know if you have any concerns in the comment section below.