DSLR Buying Guide – DSLR Accessories

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Accessories… What other accessories compliment DSLRs?


DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - BatteriesEvery digital SLR needs power to keep shooting. Most camera bodies come with a standard lithium ion battery that is rechargeable. Many photographers purchase a second or even third battery in order to ensure there’s always a good supply of power handy. With one battery in the camera, one in the charger, and a fully charged one in your pocket, you should be able to shoot without worry.

Those who travel for their photography can purchase an extra charger so batteries can remain charged throughout the trip.

While carrying extra batteries allows you to constantly have power for your camera, a battery grip is a one-device solution to extending your battery life. And it carries an extra bonus. With time-sensitive event photography and sports photography, , changing a battery may not be an option without losing that fleeting moment or perfect shot. This is why professional photographers turn to a battery grips This device attaches to the bottom of the camera with a portion of it entering the battery chamber, secured by the tripod mount. Typically two lithium ion batteries can be stored in the grip, effectively doubling your battery life.
Battery Grips »

In addition many battery grips allow you to use AA’s as well as lithium. This can be beneficial should your lithium ion batteries die and you need to replace them in an instant. AA batteries can be purchased virtually anywhere. So even if you’ve forgotten your charger or are in a different country, you can always find AA batteries to power your  DSLR.
Alkaline Batteries »

Here’s an extra bonus: Most grip adapters include a vertical shutter release, situated for comfortable vertical shooting.  If you’re shooting on a tripod indoors and have access to a power outlet, the ideal power source is an adapter. Connected right to your camera, a continuous power source eliminates the need to drain your batteries.

Wireless Transmitters

Take advantage of your wireless router by equipping your camera with a wireless transmitter. Freed from the constriction of the length of your USB cord, you can shoot photos and transfer the images instantaneously to your computer. There are no cables to fuss with and no worries about full memory cards.

Shutter Release

Mounted on a tripod, your camera immediately becomes more steady and stable. However, the simple press of the shutter button with your finger can cause the camera to move slightly, resulting in a soft image. Adding a shutter release cable to your camera will allow you to effectively “press” the shutter at the other end of the cable instead of on the actual camera. This will eliminate any camera shake and produce a clearer picture.

With the ever-growing technology in wireless transmission, many DSLRs are equipped with the ability to transmit a signal to a remote controller. Purchased separately, a compatible remote controller could be programmed to release the shutter and control the zoom. It’s ideal in eliminating the possibility of camera shake and perfect for group photos.
Shutter Release »


DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - FlashMost DSLRs come complete with a built-in flash that usually pops up from the top of the camera when needed. This flash is convenient, but there are many advantages to using a separate flash that mounts to your hot shoe..

The more powerful camera flash has a longer range than the built-in version. You can light a much larger area, and because of this longer range, you can also bounce the light off ceilings and walls to give your subject a well-lit exposure without harsh shadows. The position of the flash is also farther away from the lens and therefore from your subjects’ eyes. This helps eliminate the “red eye” common when using built-in flashes.

Fairly inexpensive and easily portable, “on camera” flashes are essential in areas of low light and for filling shadows on sunny days. If the flash is being attached to a camera bracket, a sync cord would have to be attached to the camera from the flash.
Mounted Flashes »

Memory Cards

DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - Memory CardTo extend the number of frames you can shoot, invest in memory cards with large storage capacities. These cards are not only re-usable, but they are usually inexpensive. Although there are different brands and speeds of memory cards, your camera will use a specific type whether it’s a Secure Digital  (SD) or Compact Flash (CF) card. Make sure to purchase multiplies in case you fill one card and need a backup – especially if you’re shooting in RAW format.

Another inexpensive device is a card reader. You can purchase one specifically for your type of memory card or get one that supports many different types. Image transfer is usually faster, easier and doesn’t tie up your camera for downloading – or drain its battery.
Memory Cards »


DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - Tripods

This photo demonstrates how a wise tripod choice will allow you to customize the height and stability of your camera. © Kristin Smith

Like the shutter release cable, tripods help eliminate camera shake to produce sharper photos. Essential for portraiture and close-ups, tripods allow you to narrow your aperture and slow down your shutter speed without resulting in blurry photographs. With either a pan or a ball head, you can position your DSLR to capture the perfect image.

Ensure that you choose an appropriate tripod that holds the weight of your camera and lens, especially if you plan to use a heavy telephoto lens.. Consider the environments where your tripod will be put to use, and choose a rugged tripod for outdoors or a steady, heavier one for indoor photography.
Tripods »

Lens Filters

DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - Lens FiltersFilters are accessories that are added to the front of your lens to protect it and emphasize, eliminate, or change the colour density of the image. Typically made of glass, resin, or polyester, the transparency of the material allows for correction of light or colour balance. The most common DSLR filters are Ultra-Violet (UV), Neutral Density (ND), and Polarizers. These filters can eliminate aberrations that are much more difficult to remove using post-production software programs.
Lens Filters »


DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - SoftwarePost-processing software is essential for professional photographers to achieve superb results and ultimate control with the final printed product. If you’re shooting in RAW format, you’ll need a good RAW conversion program to edit and transform your images into JPEG or TIFF files. Although most DSLR cameras come packaged with basic RAW conversion software, third party software is far superior.

Programs such as Capture One allow for easier and more efficient workflow by allowing batch processing, tethered shooting, advanced colour management, and custom settings.

Advanced editing programs are indispensable for photographers. With tools like Healing Brush that automatically matches surrounding pixels to eliminate blemishes and imperfections, this software also lets creative photographers add effects, simulate lens filters, enhance contrast, and much more.

Thanks to the abundance of touch-up tools built into Photoshop, you can even fix common lens aberrations like colour fringing and barreling. Adding text and layering multiple images are also easily accomplished.
Imaging Software »

Bags and Cases

DSLR Buying Guide Page 5 - Bags and CasesWith the vast selection of bags and cases available for photographic equipment, it’s no wonder that it is a wise investment to protect your gear.  There are many styles but the main function of your bag and case should be easy portability and protection of your equipment. Soft cases are usually in the form of backpacks or messenger bag styles that may have different chambers or foam inserts for accessories and extra lenses. Hard cases are more rugged and durable and offer more weather resistance than soft cases. For heavier equipment, hard cases with wheels are available.

Consider how much equipment you need to store – whether it’s just a DSLR with extra memory cards and batteries or a full line of lenses, flash, filters, adapters, and more. Comfort and easy accessibility will be considerations. How fast will you need to set up? Will you be adding more equipment in the future? Manufacturers have given the consumer the ability to customize their cases and bags to allow for the best storage for their equipment.
Bags and Cases »