photo by rdonar via iStock
Let’s face it…
There are more photography gadgets available today to make photography an easier task than at any point in history.
Our cameras do more, our lenses are more capable, heck, even today’s tripods have innovative features that make them more functional than we could have imagined just a decade ago.
It’s like we’re living in the golden age of photography!
Granted, some of the “innovative” products out there aren’t all that great, and are more smoke and mirrors than an actual, functional product.
But the items listed below are certainly game-changing products that can help you take your photography to the next level.
Let’s take a look at a few innovative camera accessories that are worth picking up today.
Table of Contents
- Foolography UNLEASHED
- Wiral LITE Cable Cam System
- Peak Design Travel Tripod
- Marumi Magnetic Filter System
- Litra Torch LitraPro
- Camera Canopy
- Synology Diskstation DS 1019+
One of the best photography gadgets currently on the market is the Foolography UNLEASHED remote.
I know what you’re thinking...how can a remote be an innovative camera accessory?!
Trust me, this one is!
Aside from the fact that this thing is tiny (the remote for my Nikon Z7 is about the size of my thumbnail), it has a suite of functionalities that enable much greater creativity with your camera.
For instance, the remote has a companion app that allows you to control it via your smartphone. That means no more sitting there with your camera, constantly adjusting its settings.
Instead, you can kick back, relax in a comfy chair, and change things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO using the remote feature. You can even adjust white balance and exposure compensation too.
Want to shoot a timelapse? No problem! The Foolography UNLEASHED enables you to easily make timelapse videos, even with day to night transitions.
Additionally, you can shoot long exposures, start and stop video recording, and geotag your photos in-camera. You can do all that for up to six cameras at once.
That makes Foolography UNLEASHED a next-level remote. This sucker is about way more than simply allowing you to trigger the shutter. Instead, this little Bluetooth wonder and all its incredible features will help you kick your photography game into high gear!
Wiral LITE Cable Cam System
Another one of my favorite innovative camera accessories is the Wiral LITE Cable Cam system.
Cable cam systems aren’t anything new, but what makes this one so innovative is how small, lightweight, and easy to set up it is.
In fact, it takes about three minutes to get this bad boy ready to roll. And don’t think that because it’s easy to set up that it isn’t just as capable as cable cam systems that take ten times as long to get going.
What makes the Wiral LITE so simple to set up is that there are just three components - the main unit, the remote control, and the quick reel rope system.
The main unit (shown above) is just 1.3 pounds and 10.8 x 3 x 1.7” in size, so it’s super portable. I can slide it into my camera bag and head out the door, no problem!
With a payload of up to 3.3 pounds, you can use all sorts of cameras with it, from an action camera like a GoPro to a DSLR with a standard lens on it. You can even mount your phone to it!
The truly innovative part is the rope.
You get 164 feet (or you can opt for a 328-foot length) so you can span just about anything you want to shoot.
The thinness of the rope is absolutely incredible - it’s just 0.1 inches thick. It can be that thin because Wiral uses UHMWPE ultra static rope that’s incredibly lightweight without sacrificing payload capacity or safety.
It really is quite a marvel, which you can see in my video above. I think we got some pretty darn good footage myself!
Peak Design Travel Tripod
In the introduction of this article, I mentioned that today’s tripods have more features and functionalities than we could have imagined just a decade ago.
I say that with one tripod in mind - the Peak Design Travel Tripod.
When Peak Design launched this tripod on Kickstarter, their goal of $500,000 was surpassed in just 50 minutes, and with good reason - this is one of the most innovative camera accessories ever made.
On the one hand, this tripod folds down to about the size of a water bottle, making it about half the size of most traditional tripods in their folded down state. That makes this the most travel-friendly full-sized tripod on the planet.
This is possible because the engineers at Peak Design figured out a way to eliminate wasted space.
If you notice in the photos of the tripod, there is no space between the ball head and the tripod. There’s no knobs that stick out, either.
As the image above shows, the ball head nests directly into the architecture of the legs. This space-saving design allows the tripod to be so small when it’s packed down.
But if you think that this small tripod has a small load capacity, you’re wrong…
Not only does the Travel Tripod have a 20-pound weight capacity, but it can extend to 58.5-inches tall with the center column deployed.
Its 5-section legs are weather-resistant and impact-resistant, and give you the ability to drop the camera to as low as 4.5-inches off the ground.
I could go on and on here, but why not just check out my video review above to see this thing in action. It’s truly an innovative camera accessory and one of the best photography gadgets of 2019!
Marumi Magnetic Filter System
Filters are a must for any photographer that spends any amount of time photographing landscapes.
A polarizer brings skies to life with more contrast and saturation while a graduated ND helps even out the exposure for a shot that has manageable dynamic range. A solid ND is also a must if you want to capture ethereal scenes with beautifully blurred motion.
And the best filter system for doing all that while you're traveling? The Marumi magnetic system!
The Marumi M100 filter holder and its companion magnetic filters strong and durable, which is just what you want for your travels.
The M100 filter holder, for example, is made of aircraft aluminum, which helps it stand up to the bumps and bruises of travel without adding extra weight.
The gaskets on the front of the holder form a seal around the back of the filter, preventing light leaks from occurring.
The magnetic filters (like the solid ND shown above) are made of high-grade Schott 5270 glass, which offers high-definition results.
Each filter also has anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and water and oil-repellent properties to stave off damage, unwanted aberrations, and dirt and grime.
It truly is the ideal travel companion for photographers - a lightweight, easy-to-use, and durable filter system that allows you to improve the quality of your photos whether you're photographing mountains, plains, water, forests, or something in between!
Litra Torch LitraPro
Again, it might surprise you to see a light on a list of cool photography accessories, but, again, once you get to know the LitraPro, you realize just how incredible this innovative photography gadget really is.
Weighing in at just 6 ounces and measuring 2.75 x 2 x 1.2 inches, you might not expect much from this light.
But since Litra works so hard to give us the most innovative camera accessories, this little guy puts out A LOT of light…
In fact, Litra has crammed 60 LEDs into this thing, which put out 1200 lumens of light.
It’s good light, too - super clean, very crisp, and flicker-free. That’s just what you want in a light for photography!
On top of that, the LitraPro is bi-color and adjustable from 3000K to 6000K so you can customize the color of light to your specific needs. Not bad, right?!
You get excellent coverage thanks to its 70-degree beam angle, and since it’s built to MIL-SPEC 810 specs, you know that it will give you rugged durability for years to come.
It’s even waterproof up to 90 feet!
Add to that 10 hours of battery life (on low output), an OLED display, fully dimmable output, and Bluetooth control, and you have the makings of one of the best photography gadgets you can get your hands on!
If you shoot landscapes like I do (or any subject outdoors, for that matter), you know the stress of worrying about the weather.
Will it rain? If it does, do I have time to get my gear out of the elements? If I keep shooting, how hard will it be to reach the buttons and dials to change settings?
These are important questions to ask, and fortunately, with Camera Canopy, those questions are easily answered.
As you can see above, the Camera Canopy simply attaches to your camera’s hot-shoe mount, so it’s incredibly easy to deploy if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
The canopy easily extends or retracts, so you can customize how much protection you need based on the lens you’re using.
What’s more, unlike those awful camera rain bags that restrict your ability to change camera settings or even see the LCD, camera canopy leaves all that real estate open (yet still protected). That means you can quickly and easily change camera settings, access the camera’s menu system, and review images on the LCD.
Best of all, there are versions for DSLRs and for mirrorless cameras too. I picked one up for my Nikon D850 and then another for my Z7, and in inclement weather, there’s no better companion to have for my camera!
Synology DiskStation DS1019+
Okay, so technically this isn't something you'd carry around in your camera bag, but a good backup device is an absolute must-have for photographers, and the DS1019+ is one of the best money can buy.
I had a scare with a hard drive failure last year, and I didn't have a backup at the time. You can imagine how quickly I began researching backups!
I got the DS1019+ for several reasons.
First, Synology has a rock-solid reputation for developing reliable products that have innovative features. These units are easy to use too!
I'm no network storage genius by any means, yet I was able to quickly set up my DiskStation and back up my files.
It has an operating system that's intuitive and simple to use, and adding disk drives (2.5-inch or 3.5-inch) is a breeze as well. In fact, if you use 3.5-inch drives you don't even need any tools to install them - Synology has incorporated tension brackets to make the installation quick and easy. That's just one innovative feature you'll appreciate about the DS1019+.
Second, this unit is small enough to fit on my desk without being obtrusive.
It's 6.5-inches x 9-inches x 8-inches and even with drives installed, it only weighs about 5.5 pounds. Though I don't take it with me when I travel, I suppose you could do so with relative ease!
It also looks great with a sleek black design that looks modern and is a nice addition to my desktop.
On top of all that, it's quiet - something I really appreciate when I need to crank out a lot of work.
Lastly, I appreciate all the features that Synology has crammed into this device.
It has an Intel Celeron J3455 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 8 GB of RAM, and read/write speeds of up to 225MB per second.
Add in data encryption, built-in audio and video applications, and dual M.2 NVMe SSD slots that don't take up space in the drive bays, and you have the makings of a fully-featured backup system for your photos and videos. It's innovative, feature-rich, and priced right.
Get all the details on this must-have photography accessory by reading my complete Synology DiskStation DS1019+ review.
Photo by Beboy_ltd via iStock
I recently picked up a Nikon Z7 and have had a lot of fun shooting stills and video with it.
I offered up my Nikon Z7 hands-on review a couple of weeks ago, but today I wanted to focus less on the camera and more on some of the top accessories you can get for the Z7.
Specifically, since I'm getting more and more into video, I wanted to give an overview of some of my favorite video accessories.
Let's get to it!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Peak Design SlideLITE Strap
What I like most about the Peak Design SlideLITE is that it was specifically designed for use with mirrorless cameras.
Its slimmed-down 1.25-inch strap is perfect for the small Z7, and with a patent-pending Anchor link connection system, it's super easy to attach and detach from the camera.
There are two aluminum quick-adjust handles to quickly change the length of the strap, and the strap has a smooth side if you want easy movements across your shoulder or a grippy side if you want it to stay in place.
Best of all, this is essentially three straps in one.
You can use it as a sling strap by connecting it to the tripod socket, as a neck strap by connecting it to the strap lugs on the camera, and as a shoulder strap by using the silicone grip to keep it in place.
This thing is simply one of the most versatile straps you'll find for a small camera like the Nikon Z7!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo
Photo by Brandon Burk
Yes, there's a second strap that I have to mention here...
I bounce between the Peak Design SlideLITE and the Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo.
That's because the MoneyMaker Solo offers a much different carrying experience and some versatility that the other strap does not.
The Solo is worn as a sling strap, and with its belt anchor to keep your camera locked in place, it's a perfect solution for protecting the camera while improving your comfort.
Photo by Brandon Burk
I also like the fact that the MoneyMaker Solo is expandable - you can add a Holdfast Lens Pouch or a Cell Phone Pouch to the strap to increase its carrying capacity.
But even with a big lens added to the strap, this thing is ultimately comfortable thanks to its huge, contoured shoulder pad.
This strap is made of a single piece of full-grain leather, so it's not only incredibly durable, but it also looks amazing!
For more details, read my Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo review.
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Foolography UNLEASHED
A while back, I switched from using the Nikon D850 as my primary camera to using the Nikon Z7.
One of the things I enjoyed about my D850 was the abundance of accessories that were available for it, including a handy remote control that was small and inconspicuous.
However, after switching to the Z7, I quickly realized that not only was the same remote I used for the D850 not available for my new camera, there weren’t all that many options out there at all.
My search for a new remote is over, however, because I stumbled upon what might be the best remote I can get my hands on - the Foolography UNLEASHED.
Let’s be clear that this is no ordinary remote. It has functionalities far beyond simply triggering your camera’s shutter.
For starters, it’s about the size of my thumb nail (the one on the right in the image above is for Nikon, the one on the left is for Canon), so it’s hard to imagine getting more inconspicuous than that! Its tiny Bluetooth module plugs into your camera and blends in seamlessly with its design and build.
Secondly, it has all kinds of built-in functionalities that allow you to get far more creative with your camera.
There’s a built-in app with which you can change aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, as well as exposure compensation and white balance.
Additionally, you can shoot long exposures for star trails and light painting, timelapses (even day to night transitions!), geotag your photos in-camera, and start and stop video recording. You can do so for as many as six cameras at once.
So, yeah, the UNLEASHED is a next-level remote for the Z7 that is certainly worth a long, hard look!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: iKan E-IMAGE Horizon One 3-Axis Gimbal
A gimbal is a must if you want smooth, cinematic-looking video footage.
I've tested a variety of gimbals over the years, and I have to say that the iKan E-IMAGE Horizon One is one of the very best.
This thing feels super solid in the hand and is supremely sturdy. It feels right at home with the Z7 because it's capable of accommodating up to 8 pounds of gear. Spoiler alert...the Z7 doesn't weigh that much!
The brushless motors allow for extremely precise stabilization while the 12-hour runtime means you can shoot, and shoot, and shoot some more.
This unit has five built-in operational modes as well, including a "Dream Follow" mode for 360-degree spin on the roll axis.
This is just a solidly built, feature-rich gimbal that will help you take your video work with the Z7 to the next level!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: 8Sinn Cage
If you're going to use the Z7 for filmmaking, you have to have a cage.
I chose the 8Sinn cage for the Z6 and Z7, and it has proven to be one of the best accessories I've purchased thus far.
This thing is sturdy, yet lightweight (it's made from a single piece of high-grade aluminum) and fits the camera like a glove.
It has multiple 1/4"-20 mounts as well as a built-in cold-shoe, so you have a wide range of possibilities for adding the accessories you need to create awesome videos.
This rig has a comfortable grip and offers easy access to the camera's ports, battery, and memory card as well.
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: RODE VideoMic Pro
The secret to a great video is great audio, and the RODE VideoMic Pro does not disappoint in that department.
This shotgun-style mic has a 1/2-inch condenser capsule, which means you get broadcast-quality audio with a minuscule level of self-noise (just 14db).
The mic's super-cardioid polar pattern means it minimizes ancillary noise, that way the audio you record is the audio you want to record.
Another feature I have to mention about this mic is its Rycote Lyre shock system.
Basically, this system separates the microphone capsule and electronics from the mic mount. This means there's a level of isolation that helps minimize unwanted vibrations in the mic.
Additionally, I appreciate how easy this thing is to use - its controls are within easy reach on the back of the unit.
Most importantly, the sound is fantastic!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Peak Design 10L Sling Bag
Yep, the good folks at Peak Design have another item on my list. This time, it's their 10L Sling bag.
Frankly, this bag is absolutely perfect for this camera.
While it isn't the best for my Nikon D850, my Z7 and three lenses fit just right!
What's more, the design of the bag allows for quick access to my gear, including a side-load main compartment. Better yet, the main compartment has FlexFold dividers, so I can customize the interior space to suit the gear I need to carry.
For what it's worth, this bag looks fantastic too! Combined with impeccable, durable construction, you simply can't miss with this bag.
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Joby GorillaPod 5K
If you want to run-and-gun with your video making, a Joby GorillaPod 5K is a perfect tool to have in your bag.
This thing is unbelievably versatile and can be used as a tripod or wrapped around something for stability. You can even use it as a grip.
I have the 5K kit, which includes Joby's BallHead 5K, which offers 360-degree panning and 90-degree tilt so you can position it just right for the footage you need.
It's easy to use, too, thanks to the Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release plate, and since it can hold 11 pounds of gear, I can load it up with my Z7 and a bunch of accessories without worry!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord
It's helpful to have a remote shutter release for all kinds of photography and videography.
I chose the Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Shutter Release Cord for two reasons...
First, it's over three feet long, so there's plenty of length no matter what sort of photos or videos I'm taking.
Second, it's only $14.00!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: NiSi V6 100mm Filter Kit
As I noted in my list of the top lens filters of 2018, the NiSi V5 filter kit is absolutely outstanding.
But I recently picked up the NiSi V6 filter kit, and it's even better!
Primarily, the V6 kit is smaller, so it fits my Z7 like a glove.
As you'd expect from NiSi, the filter holder is strong and durable due to its aviation-grade aluminum construction.
The holder supports three 100mm filters with a circular polarizer as well, all of which can be arranged in any combination.
In other words, this thing is beautifully made, fits perfectly, and gives me the flexibility I need to perfect my shots.
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Litra Torch LitraPro
I did a full Litra Torch LitraPro review, so you can check that out for extensive details.
For my purposes here, though, I just want to highlight a couple of primary feature of this excellent light.
First, this little guy puts out 1200 lumens, so it's bright as can be.
Second, it's the first full-spectrum bi-color compact light in the world. That means you get beautiful light with an adjustable color temperature from 3000-6000k in a small package that allows you to run and gun. Not bad, right?
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Ikan Delta DH5e-V2 Field Monitor
Clearly, a field monitor is a must if you're doing video work. But any old field monitor simply won't do.
Having a high-grade monitor like the Ikan Delta enables me to get the exposure just right (and the focus right, too).
This monitor is both small and lightweight, so it's easy to throw in my bag. It also has superb image quality with a bright, crisp display that's easy to see even in intense daylight.
Add in a histogram and audio meters, guides, false color, peaking, and zooming capabilities, as well as HDMI input and output (with 4K UHD support), a USB for loading 3D LUTs, and many other goodies, and you have the makings of the ideal field monitor for video work!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Delkin Devices 240GB Premium XQD Memory Card
A big, fast memory card is certainly a must for video work, and the Delkin Devices 240GB Premium XQD Memory Card fits the bill for sure.
Aside from unmatched performance, this memory card was designed and built to be strong, reliable, and durable over the long term.
It's version 2.0 compliant and was designed specifically for use with high-end cameras.
As such, it boasts recording speeds over 400MB/s, including DCI 4K and full HD at 180 fps. If you're shooting stills, it can handle up burst shooting of up to 200 RAW images without delay. Talk about performance!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Fusion Photo Gear FPG-1001 Quick Release Plate
Having a quick-release plate is invaluable, and the Fusion Photo Gear FPG-1001 is one that I wholeheartedly recommend.
This rig has a deployable attachment loop, which allows you to quickly connect a shoulder strap to the plate, like the Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo.
This is a feature that's on Fusion Photo Gear's L-brackets as well, which are among the best L-brackets on the market.
There's a connection point for a hand strap as well as a 1/4"-20 accessory hole too.
It's a supremely secure plate given that it has an anti-twist pad that locks it into place. There's also a captive screw for securing the plate to the camera.
In other words, it's just a beefy, reliable, and convenient plate that's a must-have if you shoot with a Nikon Z7!
Top Accessories for Nikon Z7: Stabil LNZ L-Plate
I love finding affordable, yet functional photography gear, and the Stabil LNZ L-Plate certainly fits the bill on both fronts.
With a dedicated design for the Nikon Z7 (and Z6, too), this thing fits the Z7 like a glove.
As you can see in the photos above and below, the L-Plate offers access to all the camera's connections without needing to move the vertical arm out of the way.
There's also a 1/4" 20 and a 3/8" 16 mount for adding gear to the plate if need be.
Even though this is a budget-friendly L-Plate, it is beautifully designed and well-made. The aviation aluminum alloy construction is both strong and lightweight, and the two colors - black and anodized green - look great as well!
It’s incredible how far camera remotes have come. Back in the olden days (aka back in the 90s) all camera remotes were capable of doing was triggering the shutter.
And while the original camera remotes were designed to perform this simple task, the top camera remotes for 2019 do so much more.
Sure, the top camera remotes lessen the vibrations on a camera to improve sharpness, but they also feature things like automated time-lapse shooting and remote control over camera settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Having a capable camera remote is a Godsend when you’re in the field, whether you need to be in on a family portrait or whether you want to set up a day-to-night timelapse and adjust the camera settings remotely from the comfort of your camp chair.
So, without further ado, here are PhotographyTalk’s top camera remotes for 2019.
One of the most important qualities I look for when I’m shopping for wireless camera remotes is whether or not they are accompanied by an app for my phone.
I’ve used a DSLR camera remote before that wasn’t app compatible, and I’ll never do it again.
The Foolography UNLEASHED camera remote has one of the most streamlined apps I’ve ever used.
You can change the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO from the companion app.
You can make timelapse videos (with day-to-night transitions!), from the app too.
You can also shoot long exposures and start and stop video recording from this app.
You can even geotag your photos in-camera.
And the kicker? It works for up to 6 cameras at a time.
Aside from the many ways this camera remote allows you to actually be remote, it also is tiny, which I appreciate given my propensity to bring way too much of my gear with me to each shoot.
Check it out on the UNLEASHED website.
While I just spent a minute bragging about how all of my top camera remotes have easy to use smartphone apps, the liveview screen on the Hahnel Inspire makes up for its lack of one.
This DSLR camera remote comes with a 3.5 inch color LCD display that allows you to view your photographs in real time up to 196 feet away.
Plus, it saves the past 99 images for you to quickly scroll through.
The Inspire can’t handle quite as many cameras as the UNLEASHED, but it still works with up to 4 cameras at a time.
For shooting in highly trafficked areas (think tourist destinations or sports games) you can’t go wrong with the Nikon WR-1.
While other top camera remotes only have one or two channels, this Nikon WR-1 has 15 so you know you’ll be able to get a clear signal even when other photographers are hogging the space.
It also works up to a whopping 394 feet away, which is helpful for wildlife photographers that need to put some distance between themselves and their subjects.
Plus, this mirrorless camera remote can control 4 cameras at a time and can sync those cameras in order to snap the same moment from different angles (again, a nice quality for wildlife photographers).
You can also power the Nikon WR-1 directly with the camera, or with 2 AA batteries, so it will be really difficult to run this one out of power!
While the other top camera remotes on this list are incredibly high-tech and powerful, for those of you who like to keep things simple and old school, the Sony RM-VPR1 is for you.
It does exactly what it’s supposed to do and not much else, which is to say it allows you to control the shutter release, optical zoom, digital zoom, and bulb modes on your DSLR.
It’s cheap and effective, but don’t expect to be hundreds of feet away from your camera while using it because the cord is 31.5 inches long.
Nevertheless, this remote makes our list of the best camera remotes because it offers excellent functionality and the price is hard to beat!
GoPro Smart Remote
I couldn’t write a list of the top camera remotes for 2019 and not give a nod to GoPro, who has been surprisingly killing it with their smart remotes.
Obviously, you can only use this smart remote with the GoPro line, but they’ve made it incredibly easy to do so. This camera remote controls all GoPro functions.
You can wear this smart remote as a watch, which works well with their branding and for you. You can also control an incredible 50 cameras at one time, each of which can be placed up to 600 feet from you.
It’s also waterproof up to 33 feet.
For the price, I think it’s foolish to own a GoPro without it!