Camera Accessories

Depending on the type of camera you have, the number of accessories you can use may be limited, but there are certain "essential" accessories that all digital photographers should have:

  • Extra battery and battery changer.  These should be kept in your camera bag at all times.

  • memory card reader.  This will free you from having to keep the USB cord with you and will allow you to transfer images without running down your battery.  Finally it can come in handy when you have multipule cards to read from.

  • Tripod.  This is not just for the serious photographer, it can come in hand even for a point and shoot camera when there isn't enough lighting and you've finally realized what a dissapointment your on-camera flash usually creates.  Keep in your car for those special occcasions.

  • Microfiber lens cloth.  These are the same cloths you get at the optometrist and because they are sythetic, they won't require cleaning fluid.

Accessories for the SLR users:

  • Flash attachment.  The flash built into your camera will create photos that will look just like you had a point and shoot camera.  This means that your subjects will probably have rerd eye and look like deer in headlights.  It is a world of difference to attach a separate flash and even bounce it off the wall or ceiling.  With this in mind, make sure you get a flash that can rotate 180 degrees.
  • Alternate Lenses. I recommend you get another lens for you camera, even if you haven't needed one yet, it will open your eyes to so much more possibilities.  I always carry the standard zoom as well as a 50mm prime lens.  Prime lenses are unsurpassed in their ability to work in low light and can also give you great depth of field possibilities when used at the widest aperture.
  • Lens hood.  This is very important.  You cannot always anticipate where your subject will be in relation to the light source, and having a lens hood can make a huge difference whenn pointing near the light source.
  • Filters.  Having a polarizing filter can be a handy way to make a blue sky really stand out.  Also, simple UV filters are a great way to protect your lens.  There are arguments on both sides of the fence about it, however, and here they are:
    1. Why would I spend $400 on a lens, and then go and put a $10 piece of glass in front of it?
    2. I have experienced when a student once dropped her camera: it landed on the lens and shattered the UV filter.  I helped her remove the pieces of glass and she was pleased to see that the lens was still in perfect shape underneath.