Photography equipment can be notoriously expensive, putting many would-be photographers off getting serious about taking pictures for good. However, there’s no shortage of cheap photo accessories that can yield impressive results, making it easier to take pictures and giving your photography a boost. In their latest guest post our friends at Photoventure take a look a 15 cheap photo accessories that no self-respecting photographer should be without.
1. Camera Bag
A camera bag is undoubtedly the one photo accessory you can’t be without. The price for a bag can vary widely depending on size and whether you have a lot of kit you need to store in it. If you’re in the market for a relatively small camera bag to store your DSLR and perhaps a lens or two, you’re looking at a cost of between around £26 to £55.
2. Camera Strap
Another vital photo accessory is the camera strap, which at an average cost of around £25 or less, is a no-brainer. You might think that not much goes into a camera strap and that any old strap will do, but choosing the right camera strap is important for a whole host of reasons ranging from comfort to quick access to your camera. Digital Camera World has a great guide on how to choose the best camera strap for you.
A tripod is an essential piece of kit for keeping your camera steady and your images blur-free no matter what you’re shooting. High-end tripods can fetch more than £250, but you can easily get hold of a tripod for a lot less. Even if you can't afford the best, having some form of support is a must and a budget tripod will give you a clear advantage.
4. Tripod Heads and Mounts
Tripod heads are just as important as the tripod itself, holding your camera securely in place at any orientation you need. There are a number of models available for under £100.
For keeping your camera steady while following moving subjects, a monopod is indispensable and will cost you on average only around £30.
6. Spirit level
Spirit levels are one of the least expensive photo accessories you can buy. For a meager cost of around £10, this little piece of kit will pay you back many times over by ensuring your horizons are always straight and saving you hours leveling up your shot in Photoshop.
Anyone serious about their photography will want to have a good artillery of filters in their tool belt. UV filters, ND filters, and polarizing filters are among the most popular and, and even the cheaper models on the market can be vital tools for any budding landscape photographer looking to give their images an edge.
8. Remote Release
A remote release can be useful for any number of situations: capturing yourself in the picture, photographing wildlife, or for keeping your camera completely still when it’s mounted on a tripod (the act of pressing the shutter release on the camera can often be the cause of camera-shake, resulting in blurred images). With prices around £20, wireless or wired, you have no reason to not own a remote release.
Although most modern DSLRs have small flashes built-in, many photographers opt for a separate flashgun unit, which provides much more power to light a scene. Although they’re not as cheap as some of the photo accessories listed here, you can still pick one up for just under £100.
10. Flash Diffusers
Flash diffusers are a must for anyone who uses flash in their photography. This handy and inexpensive photo accessory eliminates the harsh shadows and burnt out highlights that can be common problems when using flash, and help give a more natural look to images.
Reflectors are incredibly useful for lighting a scene or a subject so you’ll never have to rely on natural lighting (unless, of course, you’re shooting landscapes).
Reflectors can vary in size, and they are priced accordingly. A reflector will set you back around £25 on average. If you’re looking to push the boat out a little, Lastolite provides a large reflector designed for full length portraits or large product shots at £85.
12. Extension Tubes
If you’re serious about your macro photography, you might want to consider investing in extension tubes. You can find tubes to fit just about all camera models, and these retail for just under £90 – a far cheaper option than getting a macro lens, which can set you back anything from £200 to £800.
13. Battery Pack
Again, battery packs fall toward the pricier end of our cheap photo accessory scale, but they’re a great investment and we’ll bet our money on the fact that you won’t regret purchasing one, especially if you spend a long time out in the field or in a studio shooting. The worst photograph is the one not taken, and how foolish will you feel the next time you see Elvis and the Sasquatch holding hands at the top of Ben Nevis and your battery has flatlined.
14. Sensor Cleaning Kit
DSLRs should be cleaned regularly, and as you won’t have to spend much more than £30 for a sensor cleaning kit that includes all the equipment you need in order to dust-bust your camera, you have no excuse to not own a sensor cleaning kit.
15. Cloud Access for Photo Management
Many photographers are now choosing the convenient option of storing their images in the cloud rather than forking out money on expensive external hard drives, centralizing all of their shots in one safe location and freeing up space on their computer. One inexpensive option is Project1709 from Canon, which offers a convenient means of managing your photo library.