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Do you want to understand your camera and take great photos today?

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Why Are These Essential Camera Accessories?

I have personal experience with every item on this camera accessories list and would recommend them all. I’ve spent a fair bit of money in the past on equipment I didn’t need, so learn from my mistakes and bookmark this list now!

PLEASE READ FIRST: I’ve linked all items on Amazon US, and all are Canon products. That’s not to say that Canon are better than anyone else, I’ve just done it this way because Canon held 44.5% of the DSLR market in 2010, whereas Nikon and Sony have 29.8% and 11.9% respectively.

porttrait of a photographer with a leather camera bag, best camera accessories

[ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here. —Ed.]

20. Nifty 50

There’s one of these in almost every camera bag these days – they’re that popular! The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens has over 2,000 stunning reviews on Amazon, netting a 4.8/5 star rating.

The ‘nifty fifty‘ is a great lens that allows you to capture noticeably better images compared to those obtained using the poor quality kit lens that probably came with your camera.

It also helps you to get to grips with aperture, as it goes all the way to f1.8. This makes it one of the must-have DSLR accessories, as it works wonders in low light.

Cheap and effective, it comes highly recommended. Be careful though – once you see the difference in quality, it will be the beginning of your lens buying habit, expanding your camera gear.A canon 'nifty fifty' 50mm lens - essential camera accessories

19. Powerbank

Whether you shoot with your mobile or use it occasionally, you will really benefit from having some external power.

This will boost anything that requires a USB connection, meaning Go Pros, tablets, and even some point-and-shoot cameras.

It has a high-speed charging rate, its super durable and weighs less than 200g. One of the essential camera accessories for peace of mind.

An Anker powerbank on white background - best camera gear

18. Flash

I always thought I hated photos with flash. But that was before I invested in an external flash and realised there’s so much you can do with it.

External flashes are extremely useful as they can make a photo look professional. If you do it properly, it will look as though the flash wasn’t even fired, giving you a really natural look.

The Canon Speedlite 430EX iI is the way forward. Use this in conjunction with the flash transmitter for the best possible combinations, and one of the must-have DSLR accessories.

It sits on your digital cameras’ hot shoe, and stays put. Ready for when you need it.

A Canon Speedlite 430EX iI external flash - essential photography gear

17. Memory Card Holder

A memory card holder has one purpose; keeping your memory cards safe. They can hold anything you throw at it, such as CF cards, SD cards and micro SD cards.

Some even protect the cards from shock and water, making this one of the must-have camera accessories.

For all those cards bouncing around in your pocket, treat them. After all, they look after you. The VKO Memory Card Case is the best you are going to find for all three card sizes. 

A VKO Memory Card Case on white background - camera accessories

16. Flash Transmitter / Sync Lead

If you can afford one, this is a great way of experimenting with flashlight to give your photos a professional look. We are talking about the Yongnuo flash trigger.

You can create some really cool effects with it, as well as using it for fill flash. It works really well with a Canon camera as anything you change in the camera will then change in the transmitter.

Anything that changes in the transmitter changes the external flash. If you can’t afford one, try a simple sync cord instead. The Pixel E-TTL Off-Camera Flash Cord

A Yongnuo flash trigger on white background - great camera gear

15. New Strap

I can’t believe how long I struggled with my old strap before I bought one of these.

As soon as I set my eyes on the Peak Design Leash Camera Strap, I was in love. My legs turned to jelly, my mind, weak. I knew I had to have this in my life.

Two years on, I never looked back. We have been through everything together. Seriously though, this camera strap is amazing as it’s comfortable, and changes length with one hand in seconds.

If you don’t own a neck strap, this is the first and most important from all of the must-have DSLR accessories.

 the Peak Design Leash Camera Strap - best camera strap

14. Tripod Legs

A lovely set of legs is an essential part of everyone’s camera gear setup. By this, I mean, of course, the tripod.

When you start buying more, you’ll only want the best DSLR accessories. When it comes to a tripod, you’ll want to make sure it can hold the weight. These legs do the job just fine.

It’s heavy, sturdy and does the job great. The only disadvantage is that, being heavy and sturdy, it’s not the easiest thing to carry.

It does have 2 leg warmers though so you won’t freeze your fingers off in cold weather conditions.

Come on down, Manfrotto 3-Section Aluminum Tripod Legs, and collect your prize for best tripod legs ever!

Manfrotto 3-Section Aluminum Tripod Leg - perfect camera gear

13. Tripod Head

The beauty of the joystick head is that it’s so easy to use. It does and goes exactly where you want it to. The ball head is very flui, and doesn’t limit your movement

This handy accessory can be configured to suit your needs and it means you don’t have to control three different levers/handles just to get the right angle.

If you’re someone who uses a tripod a lot, the Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head is a life saver.

the Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head

12. Remote

The main reason I use a remote is not that I want selfies,  but because I don’t want camera shake. For ensuring the best images, this is one of the best DSLR accessories.

I love doing night photography, which entails spending a lot of time with my camera on a tripod. When you’re taking a long exposure, even the slightest movement will make your image less sharp.

Be careful which one you buy though as there are different remotes for different cameras – wireless and wired. Remote shutter releases are a godsend, especially in adverse weather.

We use the Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller.

the Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller.awesome camera accessories

11. Camera Clip

When you don’t want your camera slung around your neck, and your not comfortable just holding it in your hand, the camera clip is perfect.

By using a special connector that fits into the tripod plate screw at the bottom of your camera, you can keep your camera safe.

This connector slides into a holder, gripping hold of your belt, strap or camera bag. It allows you safety for your camera while giving you quick access to it whenever you need.

I would be lost without it. Make your photography easier and more enjoyable by using this – one of the must have camera accessories.

10. Polarizing Filter

Polarizing filters are great; an essential for most photographers.

To see exactly what they do, have a look at this article here. Remember to make sure you’re getting the right size for your lens and that you’re buying a circular (as opposed to linear) filter for a digital camera.

Linear polarising filters confuse the autofocus on modern cameras.

We recommend the Hoya 72mm DMC PRO1 Digital Circular Polarizer Glass Filter.

the Hoya 72mm DMC PRO1 Digital Circular Polarizer Glass Filter. Essential camera gear

9. Grey Card

You should know all about how to get the right white balance by now. Using a grey card is the best way to get the most accurate results.

Carry the Opteka Pocket-Sized Grey Card around in your camera bag for whenever you feel the camera is getting it wrong.

They’re easy to use and have a great effect on your photos.

8. Lens Cleaner

I’ve tried all sorts of cleaners over the last few years and have found the MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths to be the most versatile and useful.

They’re cheap, disposable and you can use them on your filters as well. These are the most important when it comes to the must-have DSLR accessories.

This is something you can’t do with a curved cleaning pen. Their anti-static nature is great at keeping dust away too. Use these for the best lens cleaning in the dirtiest conditions.

MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths 

7. Sensor Cleaner

When it comes to sensor cleaning, I leave it to a professional. That is unless I can tell that the problem is only dust-related.

To remove the dust, I use a Rocket Air Blaster to blow away any pesky particles inside my camera. It’s incredibly effective and, once again, cheap.

Have this and the lens clothes for the essential lens cleaning kit.

 a Rocket Air Blaster

6. Extra Batteries

Canon LP-E6 LP E6N Battery

When you buy your camera, it comes with one battery. These suckers are not cheap if you need to buy extra pieces for travelling and long-hours spent away from any electrical output.

Three batteries put you at ease a lot more than just one.

Shooting for long periods of time, in continuous bursts really drains your batteries. And you really don’t want to be caught out halfway through a wedding.

Batteries are an absolute must if you are considering to use a battery grip. Extra batteries are the must have camera accessories, especially for those who capture landscape photography.

And why are you thinking of getting a battery grip? Well because it offers your camera many more frames-per-second with than without.

Canon LP-E6 LP E6N Batteries on white background - photography equipment

5. Extra Memory Cards

Photographing events can eat into your memory like a heavy night on the tiles. The bigger camera sensors get, the bigger the files that come out of them are.

Bigger files need more and more space. I go for the Transcend 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card.

Space isn’t the only thing that the memory cards need to possess. As cameras pump out bigger and bigger files, your memory card needs to keep up.

Some cameras take 14fps, and your card shouldn’t hold you back. Make sure you get the right card for your camera; usually SD or CF.

Transcend 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card.

4. Memory Card Reader

I didn’t realise just how slow transferring photos through your camera can be. This all changed when I needed to buy a memory card reader.

Wow, it gave me a HUGE speed boost and, as I take more and more photos, it saves me more and more time. A card reader is not only a must-have, but also one of the best camera accessories.

You will need one, and you can even use this alongside your camera if you need to add many images to your computer ASAP.

The Transcend USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader is the only thing you will need as it gives you access to SD, Micro Sd and CF cards. 

Transcend USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader

3. External Hard Drive

Whenever I transfer important photos onto my computer, I make sure that I import them into an external hard drive at the same time. This means that I have access to separate back-ups.

When I’m done with them on my mac, I relocate the photo masters into two separate hard drives so that I can still see them in my photo library. All this without taking up room on my laptop.

As I travel and prefer to work on my laptop on location, or travelling back home, I have a portable external hard drive. This is one that doesn’t need an external power source.

The WD 4TB My Passport is the perfect accessory. It is password encrypted too, for cases of sensitive data or images. 

A WD 4TB My Passport external harddrive, the perfect photography accessory

2. Photo Software

I photograph a lot of different subjects and fields, so Lightroom works great for me and what I do with photos. It’s a great library, keeping my images all located in the same place.

The use of keywords is unparalleled, allowing me to find images super fast. Post-processing software is essential in camera accessories.

Even though I’m not a heavy-handed editor, I still like to change the exposure, presence and the odd lens distortion problem. Lightroom lets me do all of that, in a manner that is very user-friendly.

It is an industry standard for photographic post-processing.  It’s pretty important to have proper photo software because using the free stuff that comes with your computer can actually damage your photos.

Something I noticed with iPhoto was that if you wanted to straighten a photo, it would end up a hell of a lot less sharp for example.

A screenshot advertising Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6

1. Bag

One of the most important, if not the most important camera accessories is the bag you carry your equipment around in. A Lowepro SlingShot 100 All-Weather Digital Camera Backpack is your best bet. 

If you walk around a lot with your camera and want easy access, I recommend a sling bag. They let the bag slide around to your side so that you can access your camera without taking the bag off your back.

Great usability and storage.

This particular bag has space for a DSLR with lens attatched, space for two other medium sized lenses in the camer area.

I also fit my telephoto lens in the exta big pocket, keep my extra batteries i nthe front pocket, and spare cards on the inside small pouch.

 A Lowepro SlingShot 100 All-Weather Digital Camera Backpack on white background - essential camera accessories

If you’d like to learn how to take better care of your camera (and how to take advantage of some of the gear we mention here), have a look at our recent article Camera Care Made Easy

A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:

Thank you for reading...

CLICK HERE if you want to capture breathtaking images, without the frustration of a complicated camera.

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Thanks again for reading our articles!

Craig Hull

Craig is a photographer currently based in Budapest. His favourite photographic areas are street and documentary photography. Show him a darkroom and he'll be happy there for days. As long as there are music and snacks. Find him at craighullphotography.co.uk and Instagram/craighullphoto

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