Essential Digital Camera Accessories Everyone Should Have

Some camera accessories are nice to have while others are must-haves. Below are five accessories that every photographer should carry with them regardless of level of expertise. 1) Lens Cleaning Kit/Blower Invariably, you will get dust and fingerprints on either the front element of your lens or the filter you are using. If you don’t clean it, dust will show up as black spots on your images while fingerprint smudges show as diminished image sharpness - the latter being something you can’t correct in post-processing. Therefore, each time before using your camera, use a blower brush to get rid of the dust on your lens and a lens cleaning cloth to take off fingerprint smudges. 2) Camera Carrying Case As you know, there is a very large array of camera bags to choose from. If you have a point and shoot or bridge camera, then pick out a traditional camera bag that fits your camera. However, if you have a DSLR with a variety of lenses, you have more options besides the traditional bag, such as: • backpack • sling • rolling camera case The goal is to get a carrying device big enough to hold your current gear, plus having some room for expansion, but yet not so big that it wears you out carrying it. For a single camera, external flash and a couple of lenses, the sling works very well. If you have multiple DSLRs and travel a lot, you may want to get a rolling case so everything will be in one place and it is easy to wheel around airports and carry in your car. 3) Tripod Full-size, table-top, mini or otherwise, that is the question. Besides the extended leg height, two other things to look for are how the legs lock and the style head that will hold your camera. Clips that lock the legs in place are a good overall choice are make it easy to make small leg height adjustments, however over time, they tend to break off. Legs that screw to lock are more durable, but harder to use when making small adjustments. Heads normally come in ball-and-socket or quick release. While the ball and socket is more compact, either works well. The main thing is to get a head that will support the weight of your camera when attached to your largest lens. 4) Filters The post-processing changes you can make today with most image-editing programs have obsoleted the need for many filters, however, there are still three you should carry: • circular polarizer - to darken a blue sky and remove reflections. • neutral density - to gain slower shutter speeds. • graduated neutral density - to bring down the dynamic range (the number of stops between the lightest and darkest areas) of a scene. Note: In a pinch, a polarizer can act as a one or two-stop neutral density filter. 5) Storage Media Cards You don’t want to run out of space while out shooting so make sure you have enough cards and capacity to hold the number of images you anticipate shooting without having to download them. Just be careful that you get cards that can be used with your camera. It may sound good to get a 16 GB card, but if your camera is only capable of using an 8 GB one, it isn’t going to work. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct capacity card. By having these five accessories with you at all times, you will always have what you need for any situation you may encounter.


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