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Here are the photo accessories you’ll need for your new camera
So, you got a new camera and lens, and are ready to get shooting? While you can get started with much of what comes in the box, odds are you’ll need a few more pieces of gear to really make your shooting experience a pleasant one over the course of your photographic endeavors.
To help get you started on that journey, we’ve rounded up a list of photo accessories you’ll probably find handy to ensure you get the shots you want, when you want, with as little friction as possible. From memory cards to photo filters, we’ve covered them all. Click through the slideshow for a detailed breakdown of what accessories you should get for your new camera kit.
Memory Cards (and readers)
Unless your camera came as a kit with an included memory card, you’re going to need one in order to store your photos and videos.
The type of memory card you’ll need depends on what camera you’re holding, but the most common form factors for cameras made in or after 2020 are SD or one of the two CFexpress formats (Type A in the case of Sony, Type B in the case of Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Fujifilm…).
DPReview’s beginner’s guide to memory cardsEven within the individual memory card formats, you have a lot of choice as to the read and write speeds of the memory card. This will determine both how quickly your camera offloads the images to the card and how fast those images transfer to your computer when you import them using a dedicated memory card reader. Generally, we’d recommend ignoring the ‘peak’ write rates printed on the cards and focus instead on which speed standards (U1, U3, V30, V60, V90) they’re guaranteed to deliver.
Speaking of card readers, just like memory cards they can vary in their transfer speeds. Typically, this is limited by the USB standard they use to connect to the device you’re offloading to, but even with the same USB standard, some readers will transfer data faster than others depending on the hardware inside the reader itself. For example, UHS-I SD card readers top out with read speeds of 104MB/s, while UHS-II SD card readers max out at 624MB/s.
Here are some of the memory card and card reader brands we trust in our gear:
- Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A, CFexpress Type B and SD cards
- Sony Tough CFexpress Type A and SD cards
- SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Type B and SD cards
Extra Batteries (better charger)
If there is one thing you can never truly have too many of, it’s batteries. While cameras are becoming more efficient with each generation and some even have built-in charging over USB-C, you’ll eventually hit a point where you need to swap out batteries.
While there are third-party battery manufacturers, the safest bet is to go with batteries and chargers made by your camera’s manufacturer. They tend to have more safety measures in place compared to third-party products and the cameras are usually optimized to get the most out of OEM battery packs.
Now that you have a fancy new camera, you’re going to want a way to protect your new piece of technology. Enter camera bags.
Camera bags come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They’re also typically made with one or two specific use cases in mind. For example, ONA is known for its street-style messenger bags while fstop is better known for its adventure-friendly bags designed to take on the elements in extreme conditions.
Finding the right bag can be a process, as you might discover that you want a different design or feature set after spending some time in the field with one. Your best bet is to look through various reviews in written and video form to get an idea how the camera bag you want performs in a real-world environment.
DPReview TV shares the best camera backpacksIf you don’t need a dedicated camera bag, you can also buy inserts, which are smaller protective cases that can be purchased in nearly any size to fit in your current purse, diaper bag, messenger bag, sling or backpack.
Below are a few of our favorite camera bags in various shapes and sizes:
- ThinkTank Retrospective 7 V2.0 messenger bag ($180)
- Peak Design 30L Everyday Backpack ($299)
- Shimoda Explore V2 40 ($325)
Shoulder strap/wrist strap
It’s possible the camera strap that came with the camera is all you’ll need. But odds are it’s not convenient to attach and remove, and it’s likely far less comfortable than other options on the market.
Shoulder straps and wrist straps come in all shapes and sizes, with various means of connection and varying levels of padding. The brand and style that works for you might not work for a friend, but there’s no shortage to choose from, whether you’re looking for a handmade leather strap or a dual-wielding shoulder harness for carrying more than one camera at a time.
Before looking though, we’d suggest figuring out what you want to prioritize in a shoulder strap or wrist strap and narrow down your search from there. Below are a few of our recommendations:
Keep in mind there are also plenty of custom, hand-made options on boutique online selling platforms such as Etsy.
If you plan on shooting any kind of landscape, night sky or timelapse, you’ll typically need a tripod to keep the camera off the ground and steady as you take photographs.
Tripods come in all sizes, but typically have one thing in common (as their name clearly suggests): they will have three legs, that slide inside one another to contract and expand as needed to adapt to the height and terrain at your shooting location. They’ll also typically have center columns that are vertically adjustable to adjust the height more precisely once you get the legs in place.
Many tripods come with included heads for mounting your camera to, but based on your shooting needs you may find you prefer a particular style of tripod head. Thankfully for you, Chris and Jordan of DPReview TV have done a deep dive on the different kind of tripod heads and why choosing the right one matters.
In a previous article, we shared our four favorite travel tripods for every budget level to help get you pointed in the right direction:
Photo filters (the physical kind, not the kind you apply in Lightroom), can offer both protection and creative effects to keep your gear safe and take your photography to the next level.
They include everything from your basic protective filter, which is effectively just a clear piece of glass, to variable ND (Neutral Density) filters that block out varying amounts of light based on how much you need to slow down your shutter speed for a particular type of shot. Some filters screw into the front of the lens, some drop into dedicated slots at the rear of lenses and some snap in front of the image sensor inside your camera.
Adorama has a detailed guide breaking down all the various types of photo filters so you can better get the one you need for your genre and style of shooting.
Below are just a few companies that make photo filters:
- Tiffen Photo Filters (starting at $6)
- Hoya Photo Filters (starting at $12)
- K&F Photo Filters (starting at $24)
- KolariVision Filers (starting at $29)
While filters can do a great job keeping the front element of your lens protected, there will inevitably be times when you need to clean something off, be it from the filter itself, the electronic viewfinder or even the cameras sensor. For times like these, you’re going to want dedicated cleaning cloths and tools to keep your gear free from dirt and water.
For lenses and displays, your best bet is to carry around a blower bulb and a microfiber cloth (or cleaning pen). First, you’ll want to blow off any debris on the surface of the lens or camera, then wipe away any water spots or dust particles that remain. Blowing or brushing away the debris before using the cleaning cloth ensures you won’t scratch the surface of the lens or display with little bits of dirt that might get trapped in the cloth.
For cleaning your sensor, the first thing you’ll want to do is use your camera’s built-in sensor cleaning function if it offers that. If your camera doesn’t have this feature, or it isn’t sufficient, you’ll want to deploy more comprehensive cleaning methods.
The first method is to use a cleaning solution and sensor cleaning swabs. These usually come in kits with included instructions that show you how to get bits of dust and dirt off the protective glass filter that sits in front of the image sensor.
The second method is to use a little cleaning stick with a sticky cube on the end. Whereas the prior setup requires you to put liquid on your sensor, these little sticky cleaners only require you to gently ‘dab’ the cube on the glass filter in front of the sensor to pick up dust and dirt. One of our go-to sensor gel sticks is the Eyelead Camera Sensor Cleaning Kit, although there are other manufacturers making similar products.
Finally, be sure to check out DPReview TV’s showcase of some of the best and worst ways to clean your camera’s sensor.