What's the best digital camera? It's that shiny new toy you just brought home, of course. Now, you just need a few extras to up your photography game. Your DSLR will do more, last longer, and take better photos with a few accessories. These are the best DSLR accessories this year, and all are gear I trust and use regularly.
Blast away dust
When you're working with an interchangeable lens camera, dust can be an issue. It clings to camera sensors and lenses, leading to pictures filled with spots. Blast away dust and other small particles with a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. Aim the Rocket Air Blaster's nozzle toward your lens, camera, or the camera sensor and squeeze the bulb. The rush of air frees stubborn dust and debris in areas you cannot or should not reach.
Carry your gear on your back
The Endurax camera bag is a lightweight backpack designed specifically for cameras, lenses, chargers, tripods, and drones. Moveable, padded dividers keep your camera and lenses protected from the elements and also from banging into one another. The backpack straps are cushioned and comfortable and take the weight of your equipment off your neck and spread it evenly across your shoulders and back.
A solid tripod
A good tripod is stable in any weather, light enough to carry, and easily adjusted in the field—the 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey ticks all three boxes. Yes, there are cheaper tripods out there, but this is a solid offering that will last for years. The Punks Corey folds down small, holds up to 22 pounds, has an AirHed Neo ballhead, is compatible with Arca Swiss Quick Release Plates, and comes with a multitool for making adjustments, plus a sturdy drawstring bag.
Lighting is everything
Light is what makes a photograph stand out. You can add fill light to portraits, evening shots, and indoor compositions with Neewer's TT560. This manual flash fits on the hot shoe of all major camera brands and can also be used off-camera on the included stand. The inexpensive Neewer rotates 90 degrees vertically and 270 degrees horizontally so you can aim light exactly where it's needed.
Add a memory card
Increase your digital storage space with a fast SanDisk Ultra microSD, one of the best SD cards for digital cameras. Transfer speeds are quick; the card is water-resistant and safe to use in any temperature. In other words, it's perfect for photographers who shoot in all kinds of weather. This card comes with an SD adapter and gives you a whopping 128GBs of space.
Add high quality sound to video
It's an inexpensive add-on that adds top-notch sound to videos. The Movo VXR10 is universally compatible with all DSLRs, smartphones, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, laptops, and more. This kit includes all the essentials: the microphone, a furry windscreen, a soft case, and output cables. If you shoot video, don't pass up this deal.
Safely clean your lenses
Lenses are a magnet for dust, dirt, fingerprints, and lint. MagicFiber makes these soft microfiber cloths absorb and remove oils, smudges, and fingerprints without scratching delicate lenses or leaving streaks behind. This six-pack of towels works on camera lenses and can also clean your touchscreen LCD, glasses, and even your computer. Handy to have, cheap to buy.
Keep your memory cards protected
It's a good idea to carry several memory cards on every shoot because memory card failure is a thing. Keep your cards sheltered from the elements, dirt, and debris with this hard storage case from Kiorafoto. There's enough room for 12 SD cards and 12 microSD cards, and you can clip the case to a backpack or tuck it inside your camera bag.
A day bag
For day trips or quick outings, a camera bag is all you need. There's room inside this large over-the-shoulder bag from AmazonBasics for all your essentials. The padded interior gives you space for your DSLR, a few lenses, your phone, and a tablet. Use the external zippered pockets to store extra memory cards or cables. The AmazonBasics camera bag is lightweight enough to tote around all day and won't dent your budget.
My top three picks
The tools you use in conjunction with your DSLR can help to improve the quality of your images and keep your gear out of harm's way. My most used DSLR accessory is the Giottos Large Rocket Air Blaster. A quick squeeze of the bulb blasts air to your camera sensor or over the exterior of your lens to free stuck-on dust and debris.
I've carried the Endurax backpack from coast to coast for the last year, and I love it. There's enough space for lenses, your camera, memory cards, battery chargers, cables, extras lights, and even a bottle of water. Bonus: it's also one of the best drone accessories. Rearrange the dividers, and this backpack can hold a Mavic Air 2 or similarly sized aircraft.
If you want crisp photos, you need a tripod. I invested in the 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey ages ago, and it's never let me down. It supports 22 pounds, comes with a ballhead and level, and it's steady as can be, even in high winds.
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Jodi Owan works behind a keyboard and a camera. She's a freelance writer for iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central.