Best photography accessories for Mac iMore 2021

Equipment doesn't make the photographer, but it certainly helps. If you fancy yourself a photographer or videographer, you know that being behind the controls of a Mavic Air 2 will get you better shots than working with a cheap toy drone. Likewise, outfitting yourself with the best photography accessories for Mac will give your workflow and photos the upper hand. If you're looking for cable, external hard drive, or card reader recommendations, you've come to the right place. These are our top picks this year.

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Copy photos to your Mac: Apple USB-C to SD card reader

Staff Pick

If you need a frictionless way to get your photos and videos from your SD card to your Mac, you want the Apple USB-C to SD card reader. Sure, you can connect most cameras to your Mac, but that requires a bulky hub and a few extra steps. Apple's pocketable SD card reader transfers photos and videos at UHS-II speeds while still backward compatible with older cards. This original Apple accessory works with your Mac and your iPad and takes up no room in your bag or a desk drawer.

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A portable backup drive: SanDisk 1TB Extreme SSD

It's been drilled into your head that you should always back up your work, and that includes your photos and videos. The palm-sized SanDisk 1TB Extreme is a silicone-covered SSD drive that reads and writes at up to 1000MB/s. It plugs into your USB-C port, can survive a two-meter drop, has IP55 water and dust resistance, and it has a handy carabiner loop to attach to your gear bag, belt, or backpack. This SSD drive is the perfect way to keep files secure whether you're out on a shoot or editing at home.

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Fix compatability issues: Apple USB-C to USB-A adapter

Modern Macs come sans a USB-A port, and that can be a problem if your camera, drone, card reader, or other hardware hasn't caught up to current standards. The official USB-C to USB adapter from Apple lets you connect everything from iOS devices to flash drives and cameras to your Mac via the USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port. It's a must-have if you have an older camera or accessories that still rely on USB.

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Livestream with this cable: UGREEN mini USB to USB-C cable

Run a cable directly from your digital camera, mirrorless camera, or action camera to your Mac with UGREEN. This three-foot-long cable has mini USB on one end and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 on the other. With it, you can live stream directly from your cam. How easy is that?

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Plug it all in: Twelve South StayGo

StayGo from Twelve South, the makers of the versatile HoverBar Duo and countless other Mac accessories, is a portable hub that gifts you ports galore. This workstation gives you a 4K HDMI port, two USB-A 3.0 ports, one USB port for charging, an ethernet port, an SD card reader, a Micro SD reader, and a USB-C 3.1 port with PD. In other words, the StayGo will help you connect to any tool in your gig bag, and it's small enough to go anywhere.

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XQD/SD card reader: Rocketek XQD/SD memory card reader

If you've upgraded your camera system to Nikon's new mirrorless line, you need an XQD card reader. This dual-port reader from Rocketek is fast, easy to use, and won't put a dent in your wallet. It slides in your USB-C/Thunderbolt port and reads both SD cards and XQD cards. Files transfer at up to 5GB/s with Rocketek. If you need a card reader that supports SD cards and XQD, the Rocketek is a no-brainer.

$20 at Amazon
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A pro editing console: Loupedeck+

If you work with Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Skylum software, or Camera Raw, you'll speed up your workflow with the Loupedeck+. This is an ergonomically friendly console with intuitive buttons, dials, and a slider that gives you on-target control and accuracy during editing work. Loupedeck+ plugs into your Mac's USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port, lets you customize input buttons, and will save you countless hours.

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Photo editing companion: iPad Pro

Specialized tablets used to be the go-to for photographers. They allowed for precise editing with digital pencils, a combo not found in other tech until recently. Today, the iPad Pro bests those tablets. We gave it high marks in our iPad Pro review, giving a thumbs up to its display and versatility. With a new M1 chip, the iPad Pro is more powerful than ever, pairs with a pencil, and is compatible with today's best photo editing software. Best of all, your work syncs automatically with Apple Photos.

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Take power with you: RAVPower portable charger

It's a fact of life: batteries lose power with time. You can guarantee you'll always have juice with this 20,000mAh power bank from RAVPower. This model has built-in USB-C and USB-A ports, fully recharges in three hours, and is powerful enough to power your MacBook, recharge camera batteries, and keep your iPhone, Nintendo Switch, iPad, and Bluetooth headsets in business. Whether you work on the road or need a powerful power source at home, this is one of the best USB-C power banks you can buy today.

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A go-anywhere document scanner: Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi

If you're a professional photographer or videographer, you need a document scanner for release forms and contracts. The Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi is one of the best portable scanners out there. It scans up to 400 pages per battery charge, works over Wi-Fi, and has an SD card port. Bonus: it's small enough to fit in your bag when you're on the road or live on your desk when you're at home.

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The mother of all photo printers: Canon IP8720 wireless printer

One of the best photography accessories for Mac is a high-quality printer. From Canon's popular PIXMA lineup, the IP8720 can work with photo paper up to 13 x 19-inches, so you can print your photos on a big or small canvas. With a simplistic design and six-color print system, this model from Canon works over AirPrint and is iCloud compatible. Colors are bright and accurate and will shine the best light on your work.

Bottom line

Today's best photography accessories for Mac save you time and stretch your skills as an artist. So, we've done the work for you and gathered the best options for your convenience. Apple's USB-C to SD card reader is a must-have if you save your videos and stills to a memory card. It's fast, small enough to tuck in a pocket, and works with UHS-II and UHS-I SD cards.

If you're into live streaming, grab the UGREEN mini USB to USB-C cable. It connects your cam to your Mac and does it in seconds. And if you're ready to print your photos, grab the Canon IP8720 wireless printer. With Apple-like craftsmanship, this PIXMA printer outputs accurate, vibrant colors.

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