I'll be the first to say that today's cameras have a ton of bells and whistles that make them more powerful, more convenient, and easier to learn to use than ever before.
But despite all that, cameras still aren't stand-alone devices. There are plenty of things that they can't do on their own, which is why you need to think about the essential accessories you need for your new camera.
Some of these accessories help you take better photos. Other simply make it easier to carry your gear.
But the common thread between them is that they are essential to your growth as a photographer.
Vanguard Adapter 41 Camera Backpack
For starters, you'll need something to carry your camera, lenses, and other gear in a way that protects your gear and allows you to carry it comfortably as well.
The Vanguard Adapter 41 Camera Backpack certainly fits the bill...
The great thing about this bag is that it's incredibly versatile to meet changing needs.
For example, it has quick-access zippered gear openings on both sides of the bag so you can reach your gear easily.
It also has a customizable interior space so you can adjust it to carry different sizes of cameras, lenses, and so forth.
The Adapter 41 can be converted to a sling bag as well - just reposition one of its shoulder straps and stow the other one in the handy back sleeve.
It's also airline carry-on compatible, so if you've got a photography adventure in the works, this bag can get your gear there safe and sound.
This bag will accommodate one DSLR body, one lens, small camera accessories like batteries, memory cards, and shutter remotes, and also has a tripod holder.
In other words, you can carry all your essential camera gear in this one bag and do it knowing that all the thick padding inside is protecting your new gear.
- Get the Specs and Pricing on the Vanguard Adapter 41 Camera Backpack
- The Best Small Camera Bags for 2017
Formatt-Hitech Circular Polarizing Filter
There are actually several filters you could pick up that would help you take better photos and expand your range into things like long exposure photography and getting improved pictures at sunrise and sunset.
But if you're into photographing landscapes, the first filter you need to buy is a polarizer.
That's because it's an incredibly versatile accessory that will help improve your photos in several ways.
First, a circular polarizer, like the Firecrest Circular Polarizer by Formatt-Hitech shown at the start of this section, helps cut down atmospheric haze. That means that the photos you take of landscapes will look cleaner and crisper with more defined features, as seen above.
Second, polarizing filters help increase the contrast between the sky and the clouds, making the atmosphere a deeper blue and the clouds a brighter white. That gives your landscape photos much more visual appeal with tons of pop in the sky.
Third, polarizers eliminate glare off of non-metallic surfaces like water and foliage. So instead of getting a so-so shot of a mountain and a glare-filled lake, you just get landscape photography goodness of a beautiful mountain reflected in the waters of an alpine lake.
Not all polarizing filters are made alike, though.
You want to get something that has an anti-reflective coating so the images you take have the best contrast and color fidelity possible.
You also want a filter that has a precision-milled housing that allows you to rotate the polarizer quickly and easily to maximize its effect.
The Firecrest Circular Polarizer ticks both of those boxes!
- Get the Specs and Pricing on the Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Circular Polarizer
- When to Use (and Not to Use) a Polarizer
Vanguard ESPOD CX 234AP Tripod
I remember long ago when I got my first camera. I also remember thinking that I didn't need a tripod. I viewed it as an extra expense for something that was unnecessary.
Boy, I was wrong!
A tripod isn't just something you have in case you want to take a self-portrait.
Instead, a sturdy tripod helps you take better photos because it gives your camera a stable base. And the more stable your camera, the sharper your photos will be. That's a good thing.
Beyond that, a solid tripod like the Vanguard ESPOD CX 234AP gives you the flexibility to tackle different types of photography.
You can use it to frame up portraits of your family or get tack-sharp images of a landscape. You can use it for long exposure photography, time-lapse videos, and even real-time videos, too.
And the best part? This tripod is lightweight, built like a tank, and easy to use.
The aluminum chassis is strong, giving you the ability to mount up to 7.7 pounds of gear on it.
It extends to a height of 61-inches but folds down to just 20.6-inches for easy carrying.
It's got four leg sections for customizing its height, each of which is secured with easy-to-use flip locks as seen above.
The rubber feet on ESPOD CX 234AP keep it steady on slippery surfaces, and an asymmetrical locking knob keeps the center column right where you want it.
If you want a tripod that will help improve your photos but won't break the bank, this is it!
- Get the Specs and Pricing on the Vanguard ESPOD CX 234AP Tripod
- How to Stabilize Your Camera for Sharper Images
Alpine Labs Pulse Camera Remote
Some photographers might not think a camera remote is necessary for a beginner, but I beg to differ.
Yes, your camera has a built-in timer that's handy for getting self-portraits and for avoiding camera shake.
However, your camera's built-in timer can't do the things that the Alpine Labs Pulse can do.
For starters, this little gadget allows you to control your camera via a smartphone app. That means that no matter what you're photographing, you don't actually have to stand behind your camera to take the photo.
In fact, you can get photo thumbnails and histograms right on your phone so you can examine the images you take. And if things need to be tweaked, no problem. You can adjust everything from aperture to shutter speed to ISO, set a timer delay, and even bracket exposures.
Sure, those are more advanced photography techniques that you may not yet be familiar with, but having a camera accessory that can handle those tasks will sure help you learn faster!
Pulse isn't just for taking still photos, either.
You can use it to create long exposure images, time-lapse videos, and real-time videos as well.
And since Pulse connects to your phone via Bluetooth, you can be up to 100 feet away and still control all the action.
In fact, once you send your commands to Pulse, it doesn't need to be connected to your phone any longer so you can wander around and let Pulse do its thing!
- Get the Specs and Pricing on Alpine Labs Pulse
- 4 Situations in Which You Needed a Camera Remote (But Didn't Realize It)