For anyone who has just bought their first DSLR, the next big question is on what accessories they should be buying. Answer to this question depends a lot on what kind of photography a person wants to get into and till what level. Some photographers carry a large array of accessories for all kinds of situations and needs but then they are well established professional photographers. In my opinion, anyone who is just starting into the photography world should only buy accessories depending on their photography needs. In this article, I will provide some information about what accessories should be in every photographer’s bag, be it a professional or amateur.
1. A Good Camera Bag: There is absolutely no second opinion around this. The first thing you need to buy along with your DSLR is a solid camera bag because you want to protect your investment and easily transport it between locations. There are plenty of options available when it comes to choosing the right camera bag and you can easily find one fitting in your budget. Do not however go for a bag just because it is cheap; rather try to find one that will suit you in terms of space and comfort. Some people prefer a backpack while some would rather use a sling-bag or a shoulder bag. While buying a camera bag, look for one that can last long and can hold all your existing accessories while still leaving plenty of space for any new accessories that you may plan to buy so that you do not end up changing your camera bag every time you buy something new.
2. Sturdy Tripod: Another must have accessory. Every photographer must carry a sturdy Tripod for low-light, night and landscape photography. Like camera bags, there are plenty of options available but do not buy cheap plastic tripods that can easily break as this will put your expensive camera at risk. While buying a Tripod, ensure that it can handle weight twice as much your current DSLR and lens.
3. Additional Lenses: This may be a topic that requires an article of its own but I still thought of mentioning it here. Depending on the kind of photography you intend to get into, you may want to buy additional lenses apart from the one that came with your DSLR. To begin with, buy a lens that offers a better zoom range than your existing lens, a good option would be a 70-300 MM lens. Later as you get hang of photography, you can look into what kind of lenses you need.
4. UV Filter: This is more like a lens protection filter. You screw it in in front of your lens and what it does is to block the harmful Ultraviolet rays from entering the lens but it is just not that. It also acts as a protection layer in front of the lens and keeps the glass from getting damaged in case you bumped your camera into something. It also helps keeping the dust away and keeps the lens clean. Do not believe if someone tells you that it degrades the image quality because it doesn’t.
5. Polarizer: A must have for anyone who is thinking in terms of landscape or architecture photography. A polarizing filter is another piece of glass that you screw in in front of your lens and it helps reducing reflections from objects from water and glass and can be used to darken the sky and bring out clouds, making the scene look more vivid. It also adds amazing contrast to your landscape pictures. Do not keep it on your lens all the time though as a polarizing filter reduces the amount of light passing through and can slow down the camera.
6. Remote: Not costly at all and really handy when you are taking shots at slow shutter speed. As you have probably guessed already, you use a remote to click the picture without touching the camera. Apart from coming in handy on a long lens setup, these are also useful taking your own pictures if you are out there alone.
7. LCD Cover / Protector: This helps keeping the LCD screen of your DSLR safe from getting damaged or scratched. Most DSLR already come with a LCD cover but if for some reason yours did not, then you must buy one.
8. Extra Battery: Another useful accessory while travelling, specially to remote places where recharging your camera battery can be a challenge or if you are planning to shoot for long hours in cold temperatures where batteries will burn faster than they usually do.
9. Padded Neck Strap: The neck straps that come with DSLR are very uncomfortable with almost no padding at all. Keeping a heavy DSLR with a huge lens hanging around your neck for long hours can really be a hassle. A soft padded neck strap really helps keeping the stress off your neck.
10. Lens Cleaning Kit: Dust and dirt in front of your lens can really degrade your image quality in terms of contrast, making the images look dull and cloudy. There are plenty of lens cleaning kits available in the market so finding one that suits your budget shouldn’t be much of a trouble.
These in my opinion are some must have DSLR accessories.