If you’re passionate about photography and ready to elevate your hobby to a professional level, it’s important to understand that it’s not all about the camera. A great camera is necessary, but what about the other puzzle pieces?
I’m talking about photography accessories – those little game-changers that can make a big difference in your shots.
Whether on a tight budget or ready to splurge, picking the right accessories is just as important as choosing your camera. But it can feel overwhelming with such a whole world of camera accessories. So, let’s break it down together and focus on what matters. From the essentials to those ‘nice-to-have’ items, this article is your friendly guide through so many choices.
Let’s explore the world of camera gear together. You’ll discover how these essential additions can significantly enhance your photography journey.
What Is a Camera Accessory and Why Is it Important?
A camera accessory is more than just an add-on to your camera; it takes your photography from ordinary to extraordinary.
These accessories range from the functional, like memory cards and tripods, to the creative, like filters and lens hoods. They help you capture images with more precision, creativity, and ease.
But it’s not just about enhancing image quality. Accessories are also about comfort and convenience. A comfortable camera strap can save your neck during a day-long shoot, and a well-organized camera bag means you’re ready for that unexpected, perfect shot.
Regardless if you’re a beginner learning the ropes or have been doing it for a long time, these tools help you translate your vision into stunning photographs.
What Are the Best Camera Accessories?
Determining the best camera accessories boils down to what makes your photography smoother and more effective. It’s about finding those gear that fit so well into your workflow that you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.
Essentials like camera straps and bags are the bread and butter of any photographer’s kit – they’re practical, reliable, and make your life a lot easier.
But photography is as diverse as the photographers themselves, and that’s where optional accessories come into play. You might only need these items sometimes, but when you do, they’re instrumental. It could be a unique lens that gives your portraits extra depth or a special filter that brings out the best in your landscape shots.
We’ve taken a comprehensive look at all these accessories in this list. You’ll find everything from the indispensable tripods, which are key for steady shots, to gimbals for smooth video capture, and various bags and backpacks to suit different shooting scenarios.
Please keep reading to discover them!
Best Photography Accessories for Lighting
Getting the proper lighting is a critical element in photography. It’s not just about making your subject visible; it’s about capturing the moment’s essence in the best possible light. Good lighting can elevate a photo from ordinary to extraordinary, so investing in some quality lighting equipment is wise.
Whether it’s a flash, reflector, or light panel, they help you achieve desired results.
Best Detachable Camera Flashes
The best detachable camera flash is a game-changer for photographers, offering more power, control, and artistic flexibility than built-in camera flashes. It’s an essential tool for those looking to step up their lighting game.
But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one for your camera, especially if you’re using gear from popular manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, or Sony?
1. For Canon: NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite
Canon users should check out the NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite. It’s a versatile option, perfect for various photography styles, from product shoots to portraits. Its range of modes and lighting options helps you be more creative.
This model is compatible with Canon EOS cameras and is an affordable addition to your lighting kit.
2. For Nikon: Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight
Nikon photographers might lean towards the Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight. It’s a well-rounded flash with many features and accessories tailored for professional use. This i-TTL flash provides extensive coverage and flexible adjustments, making it a top choice for Nikon users.
Its ability to act as a remote for controlling additional Nikon flashes adds to its appeal for multi-flash setups, offering speed, customization, and practicality.
3. For Sony: Sony HVL-F32M External Flash
Sony camera enthusiasts should consider the Sony HVL-F32M External Flash. Known for its high output and support for high-speed continuous shooting, it’s suitable for advanced and professional users.
This model offers power and versatility, suitable for various shooting scenarios. Its build quality and the ability to connect with external battery packs make it a reliable choice for studio and fieldwork.
4. Best Overall Third-Party Flash: Godox V850III Flash Camera Flash Speedlight
A standout choice for photographers using various DSLR brands, including Canon, Sony, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, and Fuji, is the Godox V850III Speedlite. This flash is a part of the Godox 2.4G wireless X system.
The V850III boasts an upgraded Li-ion battery, interchangeable with V1 and V850III models from Godox, ensuring convenience during on-location shoots. Its quick 1.5-second recycle time and capacity for 450 full-power flashes make it a reliable choice for extended shooting sessions.
Best Ring Light: NEEWER 18″ Ring Light Kit
Photographers, vloggers, and live streamers have recently favored ring lights to deliver even and consistent lighting. This type of lighting is particularly effective in eliminating harsh shadows, making it a go-to choice for portrait and self-portrait photography.
The NEEWER 18″ Ring Light Kit stands out for its versatility and quality. It offers a range of brightness levels, from 0 to 100%, allowing you to fine-tune the lighting intensity to match your shooting environment. The kit includes two color temperature filters, providing additional flexibility to create the perfect mood for your photos or videos.
But the NEEWER kit isn’t just about the light itself. It comes with a sturdy tripod and two types of mounts – one for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and another for smartphones. This makes it an ideal choice for content creators switching between different cameras. A Bluetooth remote greatly enhances convenience, particularly for solo content creators who manage their shoots independently. A carry case is also essential for safely transporting the ring light and its accessories and is handy for those constantly moving.
Best Light Reflector: Etekcity 24″ 5-in-1 Photography Reflector
For photographers looking to manipulate and enhance lighting without the bulk of heavy equipment, the Etekcity 24″ 5-in-1 Photography Reflector is a versatile and portable solution. This collapsible multi-disc reflector is a dynamic tool in any photographer’s kit, offering a range of light effects to elevate your photography.
The reflector features five different color surfaces: gold, silver, white, black, and translucent. Each color serves a unique purpose in controlling light in your photos. One of the key highlights of the Etekcity reflector is its portability. It can be easily collapsed into a compact size, making it ideal for photographers on the go. Whether shooting in a studio or on location, this reflector is convenient to carry and quick to set up.
Additionally, it comes with a durable zippered carrying pouch, ensuring that the reflector stays protected during travel and storage. This increases longevity, making it a reliable tool for various shooting environments.
Best Tripods for Photography
For seasoned photographers, a reliable tripod is an invaluable asset. It’s not just about stability for sharp images; a good tripod expands your shooting capabilities far beyond what’s possible when shooting hand-held.
From smooth panning movements to ultra-long exposures that defy even the most advanced stabilization systems, tripods are indispensable for still photography and videography.
Best for General Photography: Vanguard VEO 3+ 303CBS
The Vanguard VEO 3+ 303CBS is a fantastic choice, especially for those who like landscape, wildlife, or macro photography.
This carbon fiber tripod, notable for its versatility and design, weighs 2.6kg (5 pounds, 11 ounces), making it less suitable for travel. Its standout feature is the ability to handle uneven terrain, thanks to independently adjustable legs and a highly adaptable central column.
The included BH-250S ball head adds to its appeal. It offers satisfying weight, premium feel, and features like friction adjustment control and a dual panning design with a rotating base and an Arca-Swiss-type camera clamp. Once you get the hang of its various dials and knobs, you’ll find its stability to be rock-solid for nearly any photographic setup.
Best Multi-Function Tripod: Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fibre
The Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro is a fantastic option for those looking for a versatile travel tripod. Touted as a 6-in-1 tripod, it surprises with its capability and versatility. It’s lightweight at 1.5kg (3 pounds, 4.9 ounces) and extends to a maximum height of 152.5cm.
Among its multiple functions is the ability to transform into a monopod or a mini tripod, both highly useful for different shooting scenarios. It also includes a smartphone clamp when not using your primary camera.
Benro offers an aluminum version of the MeFoto RoadTrip Pro for those looking to save money. It’s slightly heavier by 270g (9.5 ounces) but is more affordable.
Best Lenses for Photography
Choosing the right lens is crucial for capturing your subject perfectly, especially when starting your photography journey. While lenses vary across SLR, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras, essential lenses should be on every photographer’s radar.
Best General Purpose Zoom Lenses
General-purpose zoom lenses typically range from around 18mm to 70mm. They offer an expansive field of view at the wide end (around 18mm), ideal for environmental shots. On the longer end (up to 70mm), they provide a field of view similar to that of the human eye, perfect for more focused shots.
These lenses are a favorite for many because of their flexibility. For example, you could opt for an affordable 18-55mm kit lens or invest in a higher-end 24-70mm lens.
Ideally, look for a general-purpose zoom lens with a wide maximum aperture (f/2.8 is ideal, but f/4 is also serviceable) for better performance in low light and more control over depth of field. If budget constraints make a wide-aperture zoom unattainable, a standard kit lens is still a solid choice for most photography needs.
Recommended General-Purpose Zoom Lenses
- Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II: This lens is known for its compact size and vibration reduction (VR) feature. It’s an excellent entry-level lens for Nikon shooters, offering a good balance between quality and affordability.
- Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS: Ideal for Sony camera users, this lens stands out for its Optical SteadyShot (OSS) feature, which helps reduce camera shake. Its slightly wider 16mm starting focal length is a bonus for capturing expansive scenes.
Best Macro Lenses
A macro lens is designed to let you get extraordinarily close to your subject, allowing for a magnification ratio of 1:1 or higher. This capability sets macro lenses apart, enabling you to capture life-sized images of your topic. When choosing a macro lens, its magnification power is more crucial than its focal length.
Whether you’re photographing nature’s tiny wonders or designs of products, a macro lens brings out an incredible level of detail that standard lenses can’t achieve.
Top Macro Lens Picks
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro: This lens is a favorite among Canon users for its exceptional image quality and built-in Image Stabilization (IS). It’s perfect for capturing sharp, detailed macro shots, and its 100mm focal length offers a comfortable working distance from the subject.
- Nikon AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G: Ideal for Nikon photographers, this 60mm macro lens combines a versatile focal length with excellent close-up capabilities. Its compact size makes it a convenient choice for those who want to delve into macro photography without carrying a bulky lens.
- Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS: Sony shooters will appreciate this 90mm lens for its outstanding sharpness and Optical SteadyShot (OSS) feature, which helps in reducing camera shake. Its longer focal length is excellent for capturing macro shots with a reasonable working distance, making photographing skittish subjects like insects easier.
Best Camera Straps for Photography
You might wonder why you’d need a different camera strap when your camera already comes with one. While the kit strap does the job, it often falls short in comfort and style, especially during long shooting sessions.
A good strap makes carrying your camera easier and can save you from neck or hand pain.
Best All Round Camera Strap: Peak Design Slide
Peak Design’s Slide strap is acclaimed for its versatility and comfort, making it a favorite among amateur and professional photographers. It’s adjustable and can be worn as a sling, shoulder, or neck strap, catering to different needs and preferences.
The Slide is available in aesthetically pleasing designs and is perfect for DSLR users. For those with mirrorless cameras or lightweight DSLRs, the Slide Lite is an ideal alternative, offering the same quality in a more compact form.
Best Wrist Strap: OP/TECH USA SLR Wrist Strap
The OP/TECH USA SLR Wrist Strap, ideal for photographers who prefer minimalism, features a neoprene pad and nylon webbing. It efficiently supports DSLRs with lenses weighing up to 4.5kg, offering comfort and practicality.
Its uni-loop system ensures quick and easy attachment, and the security slide feature keeps the camera securely fastened to your wrist, making it perfect for those who need to be ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.
Best Shoulder Sling Strap: BlackRapid Curve Breathe Sling
For photographers who prefer to keep their camera at waist level, the BlackRapid Curve Breathe Sling is an excellent choice. Its robust nylon construction with padded shoulder pads and breathable netting makes it comfortable for extended use.
The swivel-locking carabiner ensures secure mounting, and the under-arm strap aids in finding the perfect fit, making it an ideal choice for those who use slings over long periods.
Best Camera Bags for Photography
Every photographer understands the significance of a good camera bag. Not only does it need to protect your precious gear, but it also has to be comfortable and convenient for on-the-go shooting. Whether you prefer a backpack, messenger, or sling bag, the right camera bag is a crucial part of your photography kit.
Best Everyday Bag: Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2
The Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 is a top contender for those who prefer a messenger bag style. It’s designed to be both smart and casual, available in Black and Ash Grey. The bag is built from weatherproof nylon, ensuring your gear stays dry in adverse conditions.
Its 13 L capacity is deceptively spacious, aided by FlexFold dividers for organization and protection. The comfortable, adjustable strap with a padded shoulder section makes it an ideal choice for everyday use.
Best Travel-Friendly Camera Bag: Nomatic McKinnon Camera Pack 35L
Regarding travel, the Nomatic McKinnon Camera Pack 35L stands out for its organizational prowess. It’s designed to hold everything from camera bodies and lenses to SD cards and a laptop, with additional space for personal items. The bag expands to 42 liters, offering ample room for extended trips.
The water-resistant construction with waterproof zippers keeps your equipment safe in moderate rain, and the various pockets and compartments make accessing your gear a breeze. Comfortable straps enhance its usability, making it an excellent choice for photographers on the move.
Best Everyday Sling: Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW
The Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW is an exceptional sling bag choice for photographers prioritizing mobility. It boasts a functional design with multiple access points, enabling quick and easy gear retrieval.
The dual-section layout provides separate storage for personal items and padded space for camera equipment. Although it may not be a fashion statement, its practical design and ease of access make it an ideal choice for photographers who need to move quickly and efficiently.
Best Photography Accessories for Memories
Memory is as crucial as the camera itself. While new cameras often come with a memory card, these are typically of limited capacity. Investing in quality memory solutions is essential to ensure you never miss a shot due to running out of space.
Best SD Card: SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card
For digital cameras, memory cards are essential. And you know what they say: a digital camera is only as good as its memory card. That’s why the SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card comes highly recommended. Renowned for its reliability and speed, it’s perfect for photography and videography.
While we’ve highlighted the 64 GB version, it’s available in various sizes, from 32 GB to a massive 1 TB, catering to varying storage needs.
Best SD Card Reader: ProGrade Digital CFexpress Card Readers
Speed and compatibility are key when transferring your images from the memory card to your computer. The ProGrade Digital CFexpress Card Reader tops our list in this category. It supports many memory card types, making it a versatile choice for photographers who use different camera models.
Its fast reading and transfer speeds streamline your workflow, saving you valuable time. Its compatibility with Windows and Apple computers makes it a universal solution for all photographers.
Maximize Your Photography Potential — Trust Looxcie!
Investing in a high-quality camera is the first step in your photography journey. Remember, cutting corners on essential accessories can limit your potential. Even the small things can make a huge difference, adding convenience and creative flair to your work.
That’s why we’ve highlighted everything from comfy camera straps to reliable memory solutions so you can start your hobby or career on the proper path.
At Looxcie, we aim to help people like you make smart choices that improve your photography experience and business potential. We offer more than just technical specifications; we provide insights into the practicality and relevance of photography equipment for all skill levels.
So, let’s step up your photography game together. The right accessories are key to enhancing every step of your journey. With the right gear and advice, there’s no limit to what you can achieve!