photo by anyaberkut via iStock
When you're on a budget, you're probably wondering where your next credit card payment is going to come from instead of wondering which new camera accessory you can add to your equipment.
But, most companies (maybe not Canon, as we demonstrated in our latest article) are catching on to this trend and creating cheap camera equipment just for you.
Here are our top five inexpensive, must-have camera accessories (all under $100).
Must-Have Camera Accessories Under $100: Camera Canopy
We've talked about Camera Canopy a few times on our blog before, but it's because we truly can't believe how well something this cheap works.
For $88, the Camera Canopy protects your precious equipment from the elements. If you've ever worked with traditional rain protection, then you know how badly the ole' plastic bag trick works. Your lens always ends up with water on it right when you're about to get the shot you've waited hours for and, if the weather is really bad, your camera could endure serious damage.
The Camera Canopy has two layers of protection, unlike a plastic bag, it mounts to your camera, and it works with lenses up to 500mm in length.
We can honestly say the camera canopy is the best deal on our cheap equipment gear list if you're regularly shooting outdoors.
Plus, Camera Canopy is a small business that operates out of New York, so you're supporting American goods with your purchase. You also have a month to play around with your new tool because they have a 30-day money back guarantee.
Editor's Tip: I've had a Camera Canopy for several months now, and though I initially picked it up simply to test it out, it's proven its worth over and over again. Not only is it well built and durable, but it's also easy to use. I'm also not the most patient person in the world, so being able to actually see my camera and manipulate the controls without having to reach inside a frustrating rain cover is a Godsend. To see what I mean, you can purchase your own Camera Canopy here.
Must-Have Camera Accessories Under $100: 5-in-1 Reflector Kit
This 5-in-1 reflector kit rings in at $35 on Adorama and provides different moods for your photography.
The white reflector works to produce catch lights in portraits, the golden reflector creates romantic mood lighting, and the silver reflector enhances skin tones. Each reflector saves you money in the end by preventing you from purchasing more and more lights for your shoots.
I also happen to be one of those photographers who misplace all of my equipment, so the carrying case is a handy add-on.
Must-Have Camera Accessories Under $100: LED Shooting Tent
If you've never had the pleasure of shooting with a shooting tent before you have not lived. The first time I used one, I was charged with taking photographs of cookies at an internship in college.
I brought the tent home with me one night and figured out it worked to take phenomenal pictures of crap around my house that I then began to sell on Ebay. Long story short, I will forever thank the LED shooting tent for saving me from ever needing to take a badly-paying internship again.
These tents work for any small products, since the tent is 17 inches, and quickly pays for itself with a price tag under $50.
Must-Have Camera Accessories Under $100: Manfrotto Mini Tripod
This mini-tripod is known for its stability, as is the whole Manfrotto lineup.
It works with entry-level DSLRs, the iPhone and compact cameras. Plus, it's only $17 and can stand up to 5.3 inches.
Since it’s so lightweight and portable, this little guy is perfect for travel photography. It has rubber feet to keep it from moving around on slippery surfaces, and since its little legs fold in to create a handy grip, it’s a good choice for stabilizing your camera when shooting handheld video.
Must-Have Camera Accessories Under $100: Flashpoint LED On-Camera Light
"It's rare but occasionally you find a gadget that is worth its weight in gold," reads one review on Adorama of this LED light.
Another reviewer touts that this light works just as good as the leading brand's version, which sells for over 4 times more.
At $33, this bi-color LED on-camera light may not be worth its weight in gold, but it sure can illuminate a space. The light is surprisingly bright and reaches over 16 feet.
I've had issues with cheap on-camera LED lights flickering before, but all of Flashpoint's inexpensive photography gear come with a 1-year warranty, so even if you encounter this problem, it won't be a problem for long!