We sure do love our photography gadgets, so I thought it would be fun to see what things our dPS writers like to have in their bags. Things that are super handy to have – above and beyond the obvious camera and a lens.
This is what they a few of them had to say (in alphabetical order by last name, just so there are no favorites):
- Memory Card Carrying Case – Black / Wallet / Holder / Organizer / Bag – Storage for SD SDHC CF xD Camera Memory Cards With (5) Clear SD Jewel Cases & Everything But Stromboli Lanyard
- Opteka RC-3 Wireless Remote Control for Sony Alpha line) – A little $7 remote that works for the Sony Alpha line. Great alternative to the expensive Sony option, and it hasn’t let me down yet. Great for long exposures whether it’s 30 seconds or 30 minutes.
- Mindshift Filter Hive – An extremely well-made filter pouch from the makers of the Rotation 180 backpack. Fits all of my filters with room to spare and can easily be hung over my tripod while out shooting, for quick and easy access.
- Coast HP14 High Performance Focusing 629 Lumen LED Flashlight – The best flashlight you’ll find for light painting. Puts out a clean, daylight balanced, light source at 339 lumens and runs on AA batteries. Push/pull focus mode let’s you easily focus the beam, or scatter it, and has two brightness modes (full power and low at 56 lumens).
- Professor Kobre’s Lightscoop Standard Version Bounce Flash Device – Universal Model – When I first started and only had a Rebel XS and a kit lens, the Lightscoop was amazing for taking photos inside our house. It was a big improvement over the camera’s flash, and the $30 price tag felt do-able even when we were broke newlyweds.
- Holga Lens for Nikon – Red – The only gadget thing I can think of is the plastic hoya lens I bought which I have some fun with from time to time.
- I also have some apps on my phone I use a lot for photography, Star Walk 2, Sunrise Sunset, Phases of the Moon, and TPE.
- Neewer 43-inch / 110cm 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector with Bag – Translucent, Silver, Gold, White and Black – a reflector is just incredibly useful.
- Leatherman 831426 Wingman Multi-Tool – a multi tool has proven itself invaluable over the years for all sorts of tasks.
- Extreme Pegs Stainless Steel Clothespins – 20 pack – Lifetime Guarantee – proper pegs: they’re not only great for pinning clothes but also hanging backgrounds, reflectors etc.
- Canon Remote Switch RS60 E3
- – look for a review of this on dPS soon (see right)!
- Manfrotto 5001B 74-Inch Nano Stand – Black – I use these mainly for off-camera flash support and I really like their portability and lightweight.
- X-Rite MSCCPP ColorChecker Passport – Color Checker Passport – I use it mainly for portrait photography, it’s a great help to correct skin tones.
- Gary Fong Collapsible Speed Mount Light Sphere (White) – I use it for on camera flash diffusion and avoid harsh shadows.
- Alpine Innovations Spudz Classic Microfiber Cloth, Screen Cleaner and Lens Cleaner – Somebody else mentioned micro-fiber clothes, but I like the clip-on ones because you can attach them to your camera strap so you never have to hunt through your bag to find it.
- B+W 77mm ND 3.0-1,000X with Single Coating (110) – 10 stop ND filter: Whenver there is water in the scene, it is a safe bet I have this filter on my camera to smooth it out. Even when there is not water, it creates movement in the skies.
- Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control – Well, I’m not really into gear or gadgets. The only gadget I have is a remote shutter release, or “The Clicky Thingy” as we refer to it in the studio. Mainly used to avoid camera shake on long exposures, and occasionally to amuse/relax portrait subjects by telling them I am so confident in them as a portrait subject that I don’t even need to look as I click over my shoulder, with my back to them and the camera.
- Other than that, I’d say any small flash light for light painting and my mobile phone camera with different apps. The latter being the most useful of the three, I use it on almost every shoot.
Darlene Hildebrandt (that’s me)
- Promaster 77mm Variable Neutral Density Filter – I don’t use a lot of gadgets or filters but I always have this one in my bag. I use it to shoot waterfalls, or to get a larger aperture in bright sunlight.
- Promaster Go! Universal Digital Battery Charger – this thing is a life saver! It is a battery charger on steroids because it has an internal battery itself. Plug it in and charge it up, and you can then charge about 4-5 batteries on the road, while driving, or away from electricity. Great for travellers or back country hikers.
- Pacsafe Carrysafe 200, Black, One Size – Another travel must have item, especially if you visit third world countries where your camera is equal to a year’s salary for some people. This strap is slash proof, and locks so they can’t just slide it off without your knowledge. Keeps your camera safe – I have a purse made by the same guys too!
- A headlamp! I always have one in my bag for night shooting so I can use it to see, or do light painting.
- Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip – Great for quick access to the camera on the go. I can attach it to the strap of my shoulder bag, a belt, or to the straps of a backpack. It can be easily attached to almost anything and your camera is always handy.
- MagGrip – One the most clever ways to attach diffusers to any flash without being cumbersome, and they are always ready. I particular use the grids, the color gels and… MagBounce
- NEEWER® 160 LED CN-160 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel LED Light – This is a little but powerful LED light. I use it mainly as fill for portraits when shooting outdoors, I like the fact that is easy to see the effect right on your subject.
- Dum Dum Pops 85.5 oz, 500-Count – Never did I think I would be known as The Lollipop Lady more than a photographer, but the promise of one of these gets me a lot of street creed in the 3-8 year old group.
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera (White)I still have a love affair with Polaroids, so I bring this for me when I see something and want it NOW, plus kids LOVE this if I can’t win them over with lollipops.
- Kleenex® 3-Ply Pocket Packs Facial Tissues (8 packs of 10 tissues) – I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable when the goal is for them to be comfortable, and offering someone a Kleenex seems a lot nicer than saying, “Hey, you totally have something in your nose!”
Extension tubes – Non-mechanical Extension Tubes: They can be a bit finicky since you’re stuck with your lens’ widest aperture and only manual focus but they’re really cheap and so much fun to use.
- Huion® L4S Tracing Light Box USB Powered with Adjustable Light Intensity – Light Box: Good as a light source that you can put your subject directly onto. Also, unlike my ipad, I’m willing to put food and liquid on it.
- Index Cards: Always in my camera bag. Taped or rubber banded to a flashgun that’s pointed straight up, they can diffuse the light just as well as any of the much more expensive plastic diffusers on the market.
- A flash diffuser for macro shooting, made from a plastic milk jug (a possible future dPS DIY article)
- Think Tank Photo Credential Holder V2.0 Short
- Xlear Spry Power Peppermint Mints, 240-Count
- Anker 2nd Generation Astro mini 3350mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, Samsung, GoPro and More (Black)
- AmazonBasics Wireless Remote Control for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras – I’m normally not a big fan of off-brand stuff, but Amazon Basics is almost always really good quality. So far this remote is no exception.
- BlackRapid RS2SW-1AS Women’s Camera Strap (Black) – This camera strap is a life saver. It keeps your camera secure to your hip, easy to bring up to your face without getting tangled, and you can drop it and it slides right down by your side. It keeps the camera out of your way when not using it, plus your neck will be happy that it’s not sore from shooting and traveling all day long
- Zeiss lens wipes – They are so necessary when shooting all around the world. You never know what could get on those lenses when traveling. These wipes are great for all parts of the camera too.
- Camera backpacks – This is ideal when you never know where you are going to be and when! Camera is always safe and secure. Plus it’s out of the way and always with you.
- Hood Loupe – It can be hard to see the LED screen to check your focus, but with the HoodLoupe it is easy to see
- Extra Large Microfiber Cleaning Cloths – 5 Pack – 8 x 8 inch (Black, Grey, Green, Blue, Yellow)
- X-Rite MSCCPP ColorChecker Passport – Being a colorblind photographer I find this tool, and its Lightroom software counterpart, essential to my everyday photography workflow. It helps me achieve the most accurate color.
- Trigger Trap – I always carry my TriggerTrap with me because it enables me to do much more than what is possible with a standard cable release. I can trigger by motion, sound and much more.
- AquaTech Tripod Leg Pad – Set of 2, Soft Feel, High Abrasion Resistance – I didn’t want a permanent leg wrap for my tripod, and when I found these I was pleasantly surprised by their comfort and easy of adjustment.
What are your go-to photography gadgets, or non-photography related ones? Please share in the comments below – we all might need a shopping list when we’re done!