photo by Everste via iStock
There are lots of big, flashy things you can buy for photography like a sweet new camera or a nice, big lens.
But there are also many small camera accessories - things that could even fit in your pocket - that can have a significant impact on the quality of the images you take and the workflow required to get those images.
Just like paying attention to the small details is important when framing up a shot, it’s also important to consider the small camera accessories you need in your bag. Here’s a few of my favorites…
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Haida NanoPro Circular Polarizing Filter
Photo by Dimitris66 via iStock
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - a polarizing filter is one of the best camera accessories money can buy.
That’s because polarizers impact your photos in so many positive ways…
For starters, they minimize glare off non-metallic surfaces like water, wet rocks and plants, and glass.
For landscape photographers, this means being able to see the surface of the water (and perhaps even underneath it) without the sun’s glare getting in the way. If you compare the two images above, you can see how profound this effect can be.
Secondly, polarizing filters minimize atmospheric haze. Not only does this make distant landforms clearer, but it also enhances the colors in the scene so they’re more vibrant.
Speaking of colors, polarizing filters also boost the color of the sky. The enhanced contrast of the deep blue atmosphere and the bright white clouds makes for a beautiful backdrop for any landscape photo.
And perhaps best of all, using a polarizer is easy - just screw it onto the end of your lens, position your camera at a 90-degree angle to the sun (or as close to that as possible), and fire away!
That’s a simplistic version of how to use a polarizer, but it’s truly not much more difficult than that!
To get the best results, you need to invest in a high-quality polarizer, not buy some $15 knock-off. Cheap polarizers can cause vignetting, color shifts, and more, so buying a good filter is a must.
I like Haida polarizing filters because they perform well, aren’t too expensive, and have been well-thought-out and designed to maximize their effect.
For example, Haida uses a NanoPro Coating on its polarizers that helps shed moisture and make it easier to clean dust, dirt, and smudges off the filter glass. In fact, there are 10 layers of anti-reflection coatings!
The optical glass in the filter maximizes clarity while 5mm lightweight aluminum mount allows you to stack filters if need be.
The filter housing also has side knurling that offers a textured grip for making adjustments super easy.
This polarizer has been in my camera bag for a good, long while now, and it’s never let me down. It’s a small camera accessory I highly recommend for your camera bag!
Over the course of the last few months I’ve gotten more and more involved in video production. And one of the first things I picked up for that was a small, yet powerful light.
Making a great video isn’t just about the footage. Instead, it’s about the story you tell, the quality of the sound, and the quality of the lighting, too.
When you’re out shooting video, the last thing you want is to have to lug around big, heavy lighting equipment. Sure, you can rely on natural light, but sometimes shooting at dusk or at night is necessary. That’s where the LitraTorch 2.0 comes in.
This little guy is about 1.5 inches square and weighs just over three ounces, so it’s incredibly portable.
But don’t think that because it's so small that it doesn’t pack a big punch!
Litra crammed 16 LEDs into this thing, and it can put out up to 800 lumens of light. That’s pretty incredible for a light this size.
What’s more, the light is adjustable, so you can set it at 450 lumens or 100 lumens - whatever you need.
But it isn’t just the portability of this light or the customization options for its output that are worth mentioning.
The quality of light is also excellent. It’s flicker-free, has a color temperature of 5700K, and has a CRI of 90+ and TLCI of 92. Not bad!
The light is surprisingly clean and crisp, too, especially from a light that’s barely even noticeable in the image above!
All of this comes in a rock-solid package that’s been MIL-SPEC 810 tested and is waterproof to 60 feet.
In other words, this is a go-anywhere, do-anything light that can have a significant impact on the quality of your videos and photos. Having one in your bag will enable you to get better shots in challenging lighting conditions. What’s not to like about that?!
Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo
Okay, so this camera accessory can’t exactly fit in your pocket, but it’s still a slim and trim piece of kit you need to have if you’re a single-camera shooter.
I use the Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo when I want to run and gun with a small camera, like my Sony a6400 or my Nikon Z7.
What’s so great about this camera strap is that even though it’s small, it doesn’t lack in features.
It’s supremely comfortable thanks to the huge, padded shoulder strap that distributes the weight of your gear over a larger area. That makes for long days of shooting to be vastly more comfortable!
Secondly, this thing is impeccably constructed.
Made of a single piece of full-grain leather, this strap will long outlast your camera, lenses, and other accessories. That makes it an investment for the long-term that will keep on giving you functionality and performance for years to come.
This strap is also supremely functional - just what you want in a camera strap!
Not only does it keep your camera right there at your fingertips, but with a Belt Anchor attached to your belt, your camera is locked in place.
So, even if you’re running from one shot to the next, your camera is secure at your side - no flopping around or bouncing around.
And to release the camera to take a shot requires a single one-handed motion. When you’re done shooting, the camera can be easily anchored once again with one hand.
It’s comfortable, durable, functional, and easy on the eyes, too.
That’s not a bad combination of features for a killer camera strap!
photo by xijian via iStock
There are tons of other cool camera accessories out there that you can add to your camera bag to improve your workflow and get better results.
But for my money, the items on this camera accessories list are the best of the bunch. I’ve used all three extensively and can speak to their value in making better photos and videos!