While a camera and few lenses are the basics of any photographer’s camera kit, there are a few extra accessories that are crucial for all photographers to have on hand.
Even though there is a large selection of accessories on the market, they are not all equally essential. We did a little research and considered the opinions of different photographers to determine which camera accessories are the most crucial to take great photos in the easiest, most convenient and affordable way possible.
Here are the essential camera accessories we think every photographer needs. Plus, we included a couple of the better and more cost-effective options available for each.
1. Camera Backpack
You obviously do not want to carry your camera, lenses, and accessories by hand everywhere you go. Get yourself a handy camera bag that will make carrying your equipment easier.
While there are many options for camera bags on the market, it’s more convenient, secure, and comfortable to invest in a camera backpack instead of a shoulder or cross-body camera bag. A good camera backpack will be made with a solid construction, easily accessible pockets, and enough smaller pockets to stash your extra memory cards and batteries.
The Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II is a complete multifunctional bag that fits most DSLR cameras, along with a laptop and tablet. With this bag, editing on-the-go is possible, and processing the client’s photos at their location becomes a breeze. The bag provides additional pockets for storing essential camera accessories and lenses, ensuring you have everything you need with you at all times.
If you are looking for something more affordable, the Endurax Camera Backpack provides ample storage space while also being waterproof. This backpack features hardshell protection that not only helps to keep your camera and other equipment safe against water but also provides shock-resistance for rugged use and carrying.
2. Camera Strap
Many people find the default strap that comes with most cameras to be uncomfortable and not overly functional. Upgrading to a new camera strap is definitely a step up and can really improve your comfort during long photo shoots.
There are lots of options on the market when it comes to getting a new camera strap, so there’s no need to overpay for this accessory. If you are on a tight budget, consider the TARION Camera Strap. It is available in either the classic or vintage look and provides a comfortable fit that can be adjusted.
While the price tag of the BLACKRAPID Curve Breathe camera strap is higher, the strap is made from top-quality material and comes with a soft pouch. This is one of the most essential camera accessories, as a cross-body camera strap system helps to relieve the tension that comes from carrying your camera around your neck. There is also an extra lining on the shoulder pad for added comfort.
3. Lens Cleaning Kit
Keeping your gear clean does not only help to ensure there are no blurry spots on your photos, but it also gives your camera and lens a longer lifespan. With a good cleaning kit, you can keep your camera, lenses, and additional accessories clean and free of dust, and help to avoid unnecessary damages.
There are plenty of cleaning kits on the market – but you want one that gives you a variety of swabs and brushes, as well as possibly some cleaning fluids, to make sure you have everything that is needed to clean your equipment and accessories properly.
The Movo Deluxe Essentials DSLR Cleaning Kit is definitely a lifesaver. This highly affordable kit comes complete with microfiber cloths, cleaning swabs, sensor cleaning fluid, a lens pen, a rocket air blower, and a carrying case that makes it easy to keep everything together.
The AmazonBasics Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras is inexpensive and includes a variety of cleaning items that come in handy when you need to clean your camera, lenses, and additional accessories. It comes with a pen that has a retractable brush and a cleaning pad on one end. It also includes a lens brush, air blower, and lens-cleaning paper to help keep marks off your camera and lenses.
4. SD Cards and Carrying Case
Most consumer-level cameras these days use SD cards for memory storage, and many photographers choose to have separate SD cards that they use for different projects. This greatly simplifies things and even allows you to provide your client with a copy of all their photos in digital format, apart from printing.
This is where an SD card holder becomes a necessity. A card holder helps you store all of your SD cards in a safe place so you can avoid ending up with lost cards and, of course, photographs. Plus, it gives you the ability to keep your projects more organized. The great thing about SD card holders is that they are usually cheap.
SanDisk has been a trusted brand of memory cards and other digital storage for many years. This particular variety of SD card is available in sizes from 16GB to 256GB, so you’ll never run out of space. This SD card also comes with a high writing speed of 70mb/s to speed up saving those quick burst shots.
The Honsky Aluminum UHS-I Memory Card Carrying Case is an inexpensive carrying case that comes with a number of slots that you can use to store all of your memory cards. It fits all your SD, MicroSD, SDHC, SDXC, and TF cards. The product is also available in a variety of colors, including black, blue, and more.
When it comes to improving the stabilization of your shots, a tripod is your best friend. If you find yourself traveling a lot, then you should definitely consider getting your hands on a portable tripod. This is one of the most essential camera accessories for any photographer.
The ZOMEi Ultra Travel Tripod is one of the top options if you want something small and compact. The tripod folds up small, but also provides an adjustable height system with twist locks for better control over your shots. The product is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Kodak, Sony, Samsung, Fuji, and other cameras.
The JOBY GorillaPod is a bendable grippy travel tripod that comes in handy on uneven surfaces. Its legs are strong, able to hold camera kits up to 3kg. This tripod can stand on three legs or be wrapped around a tree branch or fence post to ensure that your camera is secure. There are more options available for heavier camera kits as well.
6. Remote Shutter Release
Next on our list of essential camera accessories is something that a lot of photographers overlook: a remote shutter release. This is a relatively simple tool that connects to your camera and allows you to trigger the shutter of your device from a remote location. There’s quite a large variety of these products on the market, and the functionality that these buttons can provide is exceptionally useful in a number of cases.
You do need to consider whether you want to opt for a wired or wireless remote shutter release here. Consider the compatibility of your camera first. Not all cameras offer Bluetooth connectivity, for example. Thus, opting for a Bluetooth remote is likely to leave you with an incompatible product.
If your camera does have Bluetooth connectivity, then consider the CamKix Camera Shutter Remote Control. This device easily connects to your camera and allows you to work hands-free. In addition to being compatible with a variety of cameras that have Bluetooth connectivity, this particular remote is also great for Android and iOS mobile devices.
For those who have a camera that does not come with Bluetooth or another type of wireless connectivity option, the use of a wired product is an ideal solution.
The Pixel TW-283 Wireless Timer Remote Control is primarily made for the Olympus camera range, but the company does offer an interchangeable shutter connecting cable to provide compatibility for other camera brands.
Acquiring Essential Camera Accessories
While there are lots of different accessories available, photographers really only need a very limited selection of these products to take great shots and make their lives a little easier.
We shared our picks of essential camera accessories that photographers can’t live without in this post, but the choices may vary depending on your style and personal preferences.