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photo by erikreis via iStock
It can be really frustrating looking for ways to upgrade your camera if you’re on a budget. Despite the fact that I consider myself one of the lucky ones and was able to maintain most of my clients through the pandemic, I still don’t have a lot of money to spare. However, I was looking to treat myself the other day and had some issues figuring out how I wanted to do so.
So, I went looking for cheap camera accessories that are actually worth their price. I definitely recognize that most budget camera accessories are so bad I wouldn’t use them if I got paid to, so it was actually a far harder task than I had imagined.
However, I think I was successful. If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your camera for 2021, then look no further. All of the four recommendations on this list are inexpensive camera accessories which will make your shooting experience far better in the new year.
Holdfast Camera Leash
One of the best ways to upgrade your camera is to get yourself a nice camera leash and Holdfast’s Leather Camera Leash is one of the best.
Holdfast’s Leather Camera Leash is so nice because you can use it as a traditional camera leash, where you wear it on your wrist to prevent your camera from accidentally getting dropped, but you can also use it alongside your MoneyMaker harness if you’re needing to carry more than one camera at a time.
The Holdfast Leather Camera Leash also lets you secure your keys to a belt-loop, attach a water bottle to your backpack, or keep your gear exactly where you want it as you travel to and from your photoshoot destination.
Plus, if you’re looking for ways to upgrade your camera, the Holdfast Leather Camera Leash is a great option because it comes in so many colors. There’s no way you won’t find one that matches your pre-existing gear.
You can get the Holdfast Leather Camera Leash in tan, burgundy, and even stars and stripes, and you can do so for just $45-$65.
Importantly, every Holdfast leather product comes with a lifetime guarantee. So, it is one of the most inexpensive ways to upgrade your camera, since you’ll never need to replace it again.
While learning how to upgrade your camera on a budget, you should also learn how to steady your camera on a budget. After years of using tripods that are almost always ineffective, I went searching for a good tripod alternative last year and found the Octopad.
The Octopad is one of the more interesting ways to upgrade your camera because it’s likely that none of your friends have one, or have even ever heard of one. The Octopad is an excellent replacement for a mini tripod. It comes with a weighted and non-slip mat at its base which works even better than suction cups or other anti-slip tripod bottoms.
The Octopad is impossible to tip over or collapse, and it never suddenly comes unattached or slips. However, other than its untraditional design, it works exactly like a traditional mini-tripod. You can set it on any surface, even surfaces that are on a steep grade, and get the perfect photo every time.
The Octopad comes with a high-force ball head, a standard ¼-20 bolt, and a cable strap so that you don’t accidentally damage your equipment.
The Octopad is available on Adorama for $27.
Camera Canopy or Camera Canopy Mini
If you are a photographer who likes to travel or if you are a photographer who finds themselves photographing outdoor events a lot, then there are tons of ways to upgrade your camera for shooting in the rain, sleet and snow.
However, one of my favorites is the Camera Canopy. The Camera Canopy is a type of shield designed to mount to the hot shoe of your camera to prevent it from getting wet when it is raining or snowing.
Instead of using plastic bags that rarely work, you can treat yourself with a Camera Canopy. The original Camera Canopy is designed for use with a DSLR and it comes with a rear tripod shield, a two piece main shield, and a carrying bag.
However, if you need protection for a smaller mirrorless camera then you can purchase a Camera Canopy Mini instead, which is designed to protect mirrorless cameras.
The traditional Camera Canopy sells for $88, while the Camera Canopy Mini sells for $60. Both editions come with a 30-day refund if it isn’t quite what you were expecting, though we don’t suspect that will happen.
Plus, if you shoot with super zoom lenses, then Camera Canopy also has an extendable shield for purchase.
While there are tons of ways to upgrade your camera, the Camera Canopy is the best option for photographers who consider themselves outdoor enthusiasts.
50mm f/1.8 Lens
When you’re looking for ways to upgrade your camera, your first thought is likely lenses. And if you don’t have a traditional 50mm f/1.8 lens, which I consider a staple of any photographer’s lens diet, then you need to get one.
I recommend that you buy used lenses on MPB because they hire professional photographers to rate all of their equipment, so if the website lists a lens in “excellent” condition, you can actually expect it to show up at your front door like that.
If you find any other cool ways to upgrade your camera, we would love to hear about it.