If you’ve ever been to a camera store you’ll know there are tons of gadgets and gizmos for photographers. It can be difficult to know what’s worth getting!
Here’s a list of the best photography accessories we’ve found most useful over the years.
1. Lens Pen
A Lens Pen is the best accessory for photographers, hands down.
You can use this to clean smudges and dust of the front element of your lens. One side has a felt tip with a dry carbon cleaning compound, and the other side has a retractable soft brush.
Add a few of these to your camera orders, and make sure to keep at least one handy in your camera bag.
Here’s a video showing exactly how to use a lens pen to clean your lens:
2. Rocket Blower
We consider it an essential photography gear. It’s compact and not that hi-tech, but you don’t want to be caught without it.
Don’t use compressed air to clean your camera (especially the sensor). Using a squeeze rocket blower like this is the way to go!
3. Wireless Shutter Release
For many, an external shutter release is a must have DSLR accessory.
The Vello Wireless Shutterboss II is the best wireless shutter release we’ve ever used. Super durable and dependable.
We mainly use our wireless shutter release for family self portraits, but they’re also useful for night photography, landscape photography – or really any time you have the camera mounted on a tripod.
Make sure to get the kit that connects to your camera’s remote port.
Basically the remote and receiver are the same no matter what kit you get, but the cord that connects from the receiver to your camera will be different depending on what camera model you have.
Shutter releases have evolved (like so many other things) to be app-based these days, so if your camera supports it, here’s how it looks like:
A tripod is considered by many as a must have photography accessory. Especially when slow shutter speeds or powerful telephoto or macro lenses are involved.
I like this MeFOTO tripod kit because of how small it can fold up (the legs fold over the head). The kit also includes the tripod head which is nice.
Finally you can unscrew one of the legs and the centre column in order to create a monopod.
Overall this tripod offers pretty good value. It’s not the best tripod out there – you can spend thousands on a fancy tripod! But for beginners it’s an excellent choice!
We also have a more detailed article about the best affordable tripods under $100 right here if you want more options.
5. Memory Card Reader
A super fast, reliable memory card reader is an essential photography accessory indeed.
Don’t connect your camera to your computer using the cable that it came with. Remove the memory card from your camera and use a memory card reader like this to transfer the photos much faster. And it’s much more convenient that directly connecting your camera.
6. Memory Card Wallet
A memory card wallet can keep your memory cards safe! You definitely don’t want to be just keeping them loose in your pocket. Nope.
Tip: If a memory card is full flip if over (label down). If a memory card is empty and ready to go have it label side up. This system helps keep things organized, and makes it easier to grab an empty card when you need it!
7. UV Filters
UV filters are clear filters that protect the front element of your lenses. You can get them in different sizes (for different lenses) and they screw onto the front of the lens. Our favourite UV filters are these ones from Zeiss.
I did a video on filters if you want to learn more about them:
There’s a kind of heated debate going on whether these are actually necessary or not, but we believe they are the lens’ best friends. There, we said it.
8. Camera Straps
If you’re shooting with a DSLR professionally, then these neckstraps from Peak Design feel great, look great, and are super easy to adjust the length of. (You can read our review of the Slide neck strap here.)
We also love these custom leather wrist and neck straps from Gordy’s Camera Straps.
They’re a super minimalist design, and they wear beautifully. If you’re shooting with a smaller mirrorless camera setup then you should definitely check out these camera straps (we have two neck straps and one wrist strap).
What’s also neat is that you can specify the exact length you want, and colors of the leather and cord. That’s the hardest part – deciding what style you want!!
9. Screen Protectors
Next contender as far as accessories for photography go, is a screen to protect your camera’s display.
If you’re not using a screen protector your camera screen will get scratched up.
We’ve been using these Vello screen protectors and we love them. They’re made of a thin layer of glass. They’re pretty easy to apply (no bubbles under the glass ever!).
They also work with touch screens, so no worries there.
Make sure to get the size that fits your camera!
10. Wacom Tablet
Take more control over your photo editing! You have much more precise movement holding a stylus compared to using a mouse.
A Wacom tablet is extremely useful when doing retouching work, but it’s also really helpful when doing dodging and burning. Check out these two videos we did on Wacom tablets:
Here’s a video we shot on how to use a Wacom:
11. Photographer’s Gloves
A pair of photographer gloves can definitely keep you shooting longer in colder conditions. You won’t regret having warm hands!
We have two pairs of LowePro gloves, which we see as one of the top accessories, however they don’t make them any more unfortunately. But other types of gloves would work too.
12. Camera Bag
A bag makes it easy to get your gear from point A to point B. Camera gear is heavy, and so using a backpack will definitely help keep the weight distributed and easier to manage.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is our backpack of choice. It’s super functional as a photography backpack, it looks incredible, and it’s also super versatile (easy to carry stuff other than camera gear). You can read our review of the backpack here.
Photography accessories can help you get the shot, and enjoy the process of photography more! Do you have any must-have accessories that you never leave home without? Share with us in the comments below!