Did You Know?
The 2.74 megapixel Nikon D1, released in 1999, was the first digital SLR to displace Kodak's dominance in this market. This camera had basic picture and white balance adjustment features.
DSLRs are fairly popular today, and don't be surprised if you receive one this holiday season. Though these cameras are well-equipped with all the essential features, there are some accessories that can help you improve your photography skills. Even if you are an amateur and believe in point and shoot, you still would benefit with these add-ons that will help you click the perfect shot. From lens cleaning kits to protection lenses, this PhotograFeed article gives you different options to choose from. Apart from essential hardware, you should also have the latest editing software installed on your PC or laptop, which will further improve your photos. So, without further delay, here are the accessories that every photography enthusiast should possess.
* The accessories are mentioned in no particular order. Each one of these is equally important.
While traveling, you will definitely carry a battery charger along with you, but in situations where there is no provision of a charging point, you will need extra batteries. There are many cheap batteries available online; however, be careful while buying such batteries as they can damage your camera. It is advisable to purchase recommended spare batteries from the manufacturer or an authorized outlet.
This one's a no-brainer! When you buy a camera, you definitely buy a camera bag. This accessory is a must because the camera along with the lenses need protection from dust, dirt, and the weather. These are available in different styles like shoulder bag and backpack. If you haven't got one yet, then this should be the first accessory that you should buy.
Lens Cleaning Kit
Your hi-tech advanced DSLR camera will be of no use, if you have a dirty lens or sensor. It is recommended that you always carry a basic cleaning kit that comprises a soft brush, a clean cloth and an air blower. There are special cleaning kits available for the sensor, but most manufacturers do not recommend cleaning it on your own.
The best way to get sharp and clear images, is to use a tripod. Generally, DSLR cameras, today, are on the heavier side, and this can lead to an unsteady hand, thus, hampering your photos. To add stability to your shots, this accessory is a must. Go for a tripod that can withstand 1.5 times the weight of your camera and the heaviest lens. I recommend you to buy a tripod that is suitable for your height and if it comes with an attached head, the tip of the head should align with your jaw. Since you will be carrying the tripod while you travel, opt for a telescopic or collapsible tripod, and check its size once you fold it.
Protection from atmospheric dust and dirt is a must while dealing with high-end cameras. Get yourself a UV or protection filter that not only protects your lens, but also reduces the bluish haze that is cast on your photos. A Haze-2A or UV17 UV filter cuts out most of the violet light in the image, and also reduces haze.
While taking photographs of water bodies or glass surfaces, reflections are bound to be generated, thus, degrading the quality of the images. To avoid this, you can keep a polarizing filter as a backup. This filter not only reduces the reflections, but it also increases color saturation of the photos. A DSLR that has Autofocus will need a circular polarizing filter. Consider the diameter of your camera lens while buying a protective filter. There are a few other camera lens filters that prove to be useful for specific type of photography.
Remote Shutter Release
Remote triggering of the camera shutters prove helpful while shooting long-exposure shots, self-portraits or group shots (with yourself in frame). The product in the image given above is that of a cable remote shutter release. This accessory is helpful when the slightest of camera shakes can spoil the entire photo. Some remote releases work on infrared (IR) frequency, while others work on radio frequencies (RF). IR releases are line of sight, which work well only up to a certain distance, while the RF releases work through obstructions (walls, floors, etc.).
External Hard Drive
You have clicked the photos, and now want to store them. Get yourself a dedicated external hard drive, where you can safely dump all your precious photos, instead of storing it on your computer's hard drive. Having a backup of your images means, you can retrieve images in case the original drive fails. Plus, you can carry your work everywhere you go, by taking this hard drive along, instead of carrying the entire laptop.
Memory Card Reader
Your DSLR will mostly come with a memory card where all your pictures are stored. To download these on your computer, you can follow the time-consuming process of connecting your camera to the computer via a USB cable, or you can get yourself a card reader. This will speed up the downloading process.
In case a light reflector is too huge to carry, you can opt for a speedlight flash. These compact accessories can help by creating just the right amount of light needed to click a shot. In case of in-built flash, there are limitations to the amount of light generated. With these flashguns, the shortcomings of an in-built flash can be overcome. Lookout for the GN rating of the flashgun, this gives the maximum range of the device at any given aperture. A flashgun with GN 40 can shoot photos up to 10 meters at an aperture of f/4, and 5 meters with f/8. When buying a speedlight flash, make sure to buy one whose coverage matches or exceeds that of the lenses that you will use with it.
Most neck straps that come along with the camera, don't feel comfortable when you use them. Get yourself a neoprene and non-slip strap that feels comfortable on your neck, and is easy to take off whenever needed. This makes your heavy DSLR, feel lighter when hanging around your neck.
It is advisable to add an additional zoom lens to your kit, so as to get a better range than normal. Consider the type of shots you intend to click, and then calculate the maximum zoom that you would use. Buy a lens accordingly, instead of rushing for a lens with high optical zoom whose range you will never use to the fullest! Generally, you would have got a 18-55 mm lens with your DSLR, you can go in for a 55-200 mm lens that can capture fast-moving objects. However, if you don't intend to use your camera for such purposes, you can opt for 40-150 mm lens which gives you enough zoom for capturing long shots like clicking a baseball match while siting in the stands.
White Balance Lens Cap
White balance feature is available on all cameras today. However, in most situations, the automatic balance is not good enough, and you may need to rework all the images. Save yourself this pain, by clicking pictures with a white balance lens cap on. This will create a perfect shot with proper lighting that will need no rework.
You can buy these accessories from online stores or visit company outlets. What are you guys waiting for? Go and grab these products to make your photography experience more fun and enriching.