Looking for some advice on the best digital camera accessories for beginners? Today guest poster Clark Griffiths examines this topic.
So you have the camera you have the lens/lenses but for some reason you are still not satisfied with your work. Many beginning photographers have this problem at one point or another. For me this took place very early on.
There are several accessories out there that will greatly improve your photography if used right.
Perhaps the most important accessory for the beginner is the tripod. A tripod will give you extra stability as you seek the perfect shot. By using a tripod, especially when shooting landscapes, night shots, and portraits, you allow yourself to create sharper and far better looking images then if you were not using a tripod. Additionally tripods allow you to place your camera at angles you the photographer would not be able to achieve unless you have training as a contortionist. Finally, by adding a tripod to your photography arsenal you will be able to practice your photography on yourself any time you want, assuming you have a remote.
Tripods come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. My first tripod was a cheaper model I got at my local Best Buy; and needless to say it was out of commission two months after I bought it. Seeking something a little more reliable I turned to Bogen Manfrotto. Bogen Manfrotto is perhaps the best tripod manufacturer out there. They offer a wide range of tripods starting at around $100 U.S. for aluminum models all the way up $700 U.S. for their carbon fiber models. Gitzo is another popular brand with prices similar to those of .
When purchasing your first tripod think of it as a long term investment towards better photographic results.
Read more about Tripods in our Introduction to Tripods series of posts here at DPS.
Remote Shutter Releases
Another important camera accessory every beginner should have is a remote shutter release. Remotes are very handy when shooting night and landscape shots when longer exposures are required as it will reduce camera shake thereby reducing blur. They are also essential for self portraits, and group shots.
There are two types of camera remote controls: cable or wireless systems. Most camera manufacturers make their own so depending on your camera system price and/or type may vary. However most remotes will not put much of a dent in your pocket book. Based on my personal experience I can not recommend the purchase of a remote enough. It is one of those must have accessories.
Read more about using Shutter Release Cables
Lens filters are another camera accessory some beginners may find useful. Lens filters essentially act as sunglasses for your lenses. They offer protection from such things as UV light, dust, water, scratches, finger prints, etc. etc. In addition to protecting your lenses they also help photographers create better images by reducing flare, and reflections. Some even add color and contrast to your photos.
There are many types of lens filters however, I am only going to list those most useful to the beginner. The most useful is the polarizing filter. Polarizing filters help reduce reflections, they minimize blown out areas in your photos and they also add more vivid color and better contrast to your photos. The second type of filter useful to the beginner is a nuetral density or ND filter. ND filters reduce the amount of light entering your camera without effecting the overall color.
Overall lens filters are a good accessory to have if you find yourself shooting a lot of landscape shots or if you just want something to help protect those expensive lenses of yours.
Read our Introduction to Filters for DSLRs
Now what are you going to carry all of these accessories in? Most likely a camera bag, and if you are anything like me choosing the right camera bag is very very big deal. Given the sheer volume of camera bags on the market today, choosing the right one becomes more trial and error. You will most likely go through two or three before you find the one right for you.
Camera bags come in many different forms. The most popular seem to be over the shoulder bags, sling bags, and backpacks. If your gear collection is minimal like mine a shoulder or sling bag will fit your needs well. If you have a large amount of gear a backpack would be better for you.
The most popular brands include LowePro, Crumpler and Tamrac. I currently use a LowePro Slingshot 100 AW camera bag (pictured left) and love it. And if my memory serves me well this was one of the most popular camera bags used by DPS readers.
I hope this post has helped I blog about my own experiences at www.clarkgriffithsphotography.com.