Once you get a DSLR the next thing to do is get all the essential camera accessories that will make your photographic experiences easier and help you make the best shots. You certainly don’t want to limit the quality of your photographs just because you don’t have the right accessories. Today there is an overwhelming amount of different kinds of camera accessories available in camera shops such as camera straps, vests, bags, batteries, battery chargers, cables, memory cards, lens accessories, tripods, cleaning supplies, and so on. All of them can be really helpful depending on your needs, but you don’t actually have to buy every single one of them. On the other hand, you do need to have a toolbox of camera accessories that are most commonly used for photography.
With that in mind, I have made a list of several accessories that should be at the top of your list when you are browsing the products of different camera shops; hopefully this will help you not to get lost among all those shiny pieces of equipment.
1. Bags and Storage
The firs thing you should get as soon as you buy a camera is a good camera bag which will help you safely and comfortably carry your camera with you, along with all the other camera accessories. Even if you have a small camera with a single lens and it may seem to you that a bag is not essential, you should still get one since it is a good way to protect your investment during transport and from exposure to different weather elements. There are all kinds of camera bags to choose from, like backpacks, shoulder bags, rolling bags and even hard cases. My personal favorite are hiking camera backpacks since these are the most comfortable and they have an extra room for all the accessories that you will buy later on and decide you can’t live without.
2. Extra Battery
Although in recent years camera battery technology has significantly prolonged battery life, an extra battery can come in really handy, especially when traveling. You don’t want your battery to run out just as you are about to take the best shot of your life. That’s why you should always plan ahead and if you don’t already have a spare battery make sure to get one.
3. Lens Accessories
Lens caps and filters are some of the other accessories that come in really handy. A lens cap can protect your lens from accidental damaging and polarized filters are a must-have if you are taking pictures of landscapes or architecture. A polarized filter can reduce reflection from certain objects and it can be used to darken the sky, allowing you to take much more vivid pictures.
4. Extra Memory Cards
Having extra memory space is just as important as having an extra battery. Whether your camera uses CF or SD cards, eventually you will either run out of space, or your card will fail. Nowadays the cost of memory cards has dropped considerably, even among the leading brands, so don’t hesitate to get some back-up.
5. Reliable Tripod
A good and stable tripod is also a must, especially if you are doing landscape photography. There are a lot of cheap plastic tripods on the market but they also come with a poor quality and you don’t want your DSLR standing on top of a tripod that can easily break. It is always best to go for some of the leading tripod manufacturers like Manfrotto or Gitzo.
There are of course a lot more camera accessories that you will learn about as you gain more experience, but hopefully, this article will be a good starting point. Have fun.