Hands on Canon 5D Mark II

8 Products You Should Have in Your Camera Bag

It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use. – Sam Abell

If you are serious about photography and you bought your first DSLR, now it’s time to invest a bit more money if you want to take better pictures. Did you buy your camera with a lens as part of a kit? Perfectly fine. But that is not enough if you want to take your photography to the next level.

In my opinion, here are a few products that belong in your camera bag and they are worth the investment. First, I would like to remind you of how important the quality of the lens is. A lot more important than the camera brand or number of megapixels.

1. Wide angle lens (kit lens is fine)

The lens that came with the camera tends to be decent and can be used as an everyday walk around lens. It typically covers a good range, from wide angle to about 55-80mm. If your budget permits, I strongly suggest that you replace your kit lens with a better one, like an L series lens for example if you shoot with Canon. A lot more expensive but definitely worth every penny. The larger the maximum aperture, the better (f/2.8 would be great).

2. Telephoto lens

Do you really need a telephoto lens? If you like shooting wildlife, sports or even if you want to create a different perspective with your shots, I think you do. I would look for something up to 250-300mm. I love my Canon 70-200mm lens. Even though I would have liked to be able to zoom to 300mm, the quality of the glass is so good and I can crop the shot in post processing and still end up with a crisp photo.

3. Prime lens

They are usually very light, don’t take much space in your bag and they are not expensive. They also tend to have a large aperture, which allows you to shoot in low light conditions and also create a beautiful bokeh. If you read one of my older posts, you know how much I love the Canon EF 50mm lens.

4. Flash

If your camera has a built in flash, don’t use it. Okay, you can use it outdoors as fill-in light, but do not use it indoors. If you missed my article about flash, you can read it here. I also recommend Rogue FlashBenders as light modifiers.

5. Polarizing filter

They can be a little tricky to use but they do help when you photograph sky or water. They eliminate the unwanted reflections and help saturate the colors. Read more about polarizing filters here.

6. Macro adaptor

Macro lenses can be expensive. I am not sure if you absolutely need one. There are less expensive alternatives to macro lenses available and they produce great results, even though they are not true macro. You can find an article about macro alternatives here.

7. Dust removal tool

One of the down sides of DSLRs is that dust can get inside your camera, especially if you are not careful when changing lenses. Dust on the sensor is so annoying. Most cameras today come with a dust removing function. Although pretty effective, this doesn’t take care of all the dust particles. There are many dust removal products and methods out there, but the simplest and the safest are the Air Pumps.

8. Extra memory card

Memory cards are so inexpensive today. There is no excuse not to have at least one extra memory card in your bag so that you do not run out of memory.

One more thing. Make sure you use the hood with your lens. If it didn’t come with the lens, please buy it. It reduces unwanted reflections and also protects the lens from scratches.

Now that you have all you need in your arsenal, go shooting and don’t forget to share your best shots with the Balcony.

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