- Needed Photography Accessories for Beginners
- Polarizer Filter
- Low Profile Camera Mount
- Portable Video Light
- Light Reflector
- Rain Shield
- Other Photography Accessories for Beginners
- Beginner Photography Books (and Other Helpful Stuff)
- 5 Photographer Tools for Beginners
- Simple Landscape Photography Tips for Beginners
- Filter holder system
- Full-size tripod
- Light stand
- Wireless remote control
- Large-capacity memory cards
- A better strap
- A good camera bag
- There are many other things to consider as you continue to move forward in your photography as well!
- 5 Essential Beginner Photography Tips
- Beginner Photography Gear Guide
- Common Beginner Photography Mistakes
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Now that you’ve gotten familiar with your new entry-level camera and the lens or lenses and other beginner photography gear you purchased, it’s time to examine photography accessories for beginners that can help you capture the photos you want
What is the difference between our photography gear and photography accessories for beginners? For this article, we'll say photography gear is the camera, lens, and flash unit we purchased either as a kit or together. Photography accessories are those other items such as filters, camera mounts, and video lights
Table of Contents:
Needed Photography Accessories for Beginners
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The camera and lens are just part of what allows photographers to capture the images they want to display. Once you get familiar with your beginner photography gear, you start to see areas where you realize something else, some photography accessories, might help you do more with your gear.
Bear in mind there are no photography accessories for beginners that will magically enable you to make excellent images. You still need to learn the whats and whys of the photographic process…
For example, you should learn composition rules, the exposure triangle, what different camera settings do, the differences among focal lengths of lenses, and so on. Browse through our many articles covering those topics above. We have hundreds of beneficial articles. We also have several photography courses and a Photography Master Class.
Photography accessories for beginners (and experienced users alike) can be put into several categories, and these categories can overlap quite a bit. Some of the categories of photography accessories for beginners include optical accessories such as lens filters, camera stabilization gear such as camera mounts, lighting gear, and protective accessories.
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A lens filter is different from apps on a device that are also called filters. Lens filters are in the optical path of the lens and camera sensor, usually fitting on the front of the lens. Some filters are touted as protective, UV filters, for example. Others are used to do something to the light passing through the optical path.
A polarizer filter is one of the most essential photography accessories for all levels of photography and any sensor type, even film. A circular polarizer filter lets you have white clouds pop out from a dark blue sky, see through water and glass by removing reflections and glare, and deepen colors in a scene full of live foliage.
Watch the video above, “Photo101: Polarizing filters, why they're so neat...and how to use them” by YouTuber Christopher Frost, to see some vivid examples of using polarizer filters.
Low Profile Camera Mount
Stability is important for capturing good photographic images. Our cameras and lenses have various ways to compensate for any instabilities, such as camera movement, but it’s better to eliminate camera movement than compensate for it.
A tripod is one tool for this. Another option is a low-profile camera mount like the Octopad. It’s a great alternative, and one of my most recommended photography accessories for beginners. It offers the stability of a tripod but without the size and weight of one.
The Octopad is a small weighted disk with a non-slip pad underneath and a ball head on top for holding the camera. Octopad is sturdy enough to hold a large camera and lens, so it’s more than capable of keeping a smaller camera stable like most entry-level cameras are.
It is small enough to take just about anywhere and is very budget-friendly. It can even hold our camera on an uneven surface or one angled up to 45 degrees.
Portable Video Light
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Your new camera does more than take great pictures. It can also record very high-quality video. Often the video we’re trying to capture is under less-than-ideal lighting conditions.
The built-in flash (or an accessory flash you’ve purchased) won’t help in recording video footage since those are designed for still images. For these reasons, a small continuous light is one of the most essential photography accessories for beginners.
It’s also helpful to know that you can use your LED video light for still photography, too. Combined with the next item in our list of photography accessoires, it can let us use lighting configurations for improving our portraits. Mounting the light on an Octopad is yet another fine option.
Photo by Poike via iStock
Lighting control doesn’t always mean LED lights of a flash unit. Ambient light, such as sunlight, can be controlled by simple photography accessories for beginners, such as a collapsible reflector.
When capturing portraits, we can use a reflector to turn the subject away from looking into the Sun, which causes squinting, and instead use the reflector to direct some light back into their face, which would otherwise now be in shadow.
The folding nature of these portable reflectors makes them super easy to keep on hand, ready for use at a moment’s notice. Combined with a small LED light, a reflector adds the ability to have what is essentially two light sources. You can use that type of setup for still images and for video.
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Rain shields come in two main types - soft bags and hard covers. A rain shield will let you take advantage of the wonderful light quality that often accompanies stormy weather.
A hard cover rain shield acts like an awning or umbrella for your camera, usually attaching either to the flash shoe or the tripod mount. These are great for rain or snow showers but might not completely protect the camera during windy storms.
The bag style of rain shield is more protective for things like blowing rain, sea spray, fog, and similar weather or location issues. However, it may be a little more difficult to access camera controls and viewfinders.
Other Photography Accessories for Beginners
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Actually, it was hard to keep this list at only five items and to make sure they were all well under $100, there are so many things that you could add as essential photography accessories for beginners.
Some other items to consider include: