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Which photo accessories to Choose For your DSLR?



Young female photographer with DSLR camera

After having been interested in cameras and lenses, let’s finish off with photo accessories (more or less) , whether you are beginners, passionate photographers or professionals. Here we will talk about memory cards, tripods, lighting, photo bags, etc. Ready?


Memory cards

◆ Use : this is what will record your photos, so it is important to choose your memory cards. There are three types: the compact flash (team only pro cameras), the SD card that we all know and the Micro SD card found in smartphones, action cameras and drones. In addition, in the SD and Micro SD family, there are 2 types of cards: UHS-I and UHS-II .

◆ Budget : from 35 €.

◆ Adri’s advice : The most important thing is to watch the speed of writing, that is to say the capacity that your memory card will have to quickly record the information transmitted to it or not. This is all the more important that if you start to take an interest in photography, you will / should take your photos in RAW format (a raw format including all the information taken by the sensor and allowing maximum flexibility for editing) .

The RAW format is very heavy, it is necessary that your memory card is able to follow your camera … Otherwise, and it has happened to us all, it is: black screen, device that skates and impossible to make other photos during a certain amount of time. I recommend a writing speed from 90MB / s to be quiet. Similarly, new cameras and smartphones allow us to shoot in 4K with ever higher speeds. It’s great but it generates extremely heavy files. So, above all,do not neglect the choice of your memory card .

Unfortunately, and manufacturers are clever, it is not always easy to find this writing speed on the SD card. In general, we only find the speed of playback (except at Sony). The speed of reading is what makes it possible to display the photos on the screen or to transfer the data of the card. It is always higher than that of writing but no less essential to photograph properly speaking.

Remember to search the product sheet or even directly on the manufacturer’s website to check the writing speed. Similarly, stay in known and reliable brands such as SanDisk, Lexar or Sony. It would be a shame to lose your data just because you wanted to save a few euros on the purchase of a memory card. Moreover, if your budget allows you, “Do not put all your eggs in one basket”. preferbuy several cards of small capacities rather than one big one (2 x 32GB rather than 1 x 64GB for example).


Model UHS-I SD cards:

➔ SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB / s, 32GB (theoretical write speed 90MB / s) : With this model, you’ll be able to take RAW photos with any camera. We have two and the 6D does not flinch even in gust. These cards could be limited with pro cameras that have high resolutions and that out of 50 MB RAW, but these same devices are almost all equipped to receive a compact flash.

Model UHS-II SD cards: These cards are much faster but require compatibility of the device to take advantage of this speed (this only applies to recent cases, to check the characteristics of the case). SD UHS-II cards are necessary, even essential, in video because the new formats available (at a GH5 for example) produce very heavy files. They are much faster than the UHS-I but also significantly more expensive. ➔ Lexar Professional 2000x, in 32GB (theoretical writing speed 260MB / s) ➔ SanDisk Extreme Pro 300MB / s, in 64GB (theoretical writing speed 260MB / s) ➔ Sony SF-G Series, in 64GB (speed of theoretical writing 299MB / s)

Micro SD cards:
For smartphones, action cameras, drones …
➔ Sony SR-UZA Series, in 32GB (theoretical writing speed 90MB / s)
➔ SanDisk A1 Extreme Plus, in 64GB (writing speed) theoretical 90MB / s)


Tips Choose Tripod

The tripods
◆ Use : essential for long poses (night shots, lightpainting, thunderstorm photos, milky way, etc.), timelapse, self-portraits, HDR (high-dynamic scenes), macro and studio photography ( flatlay, products, etc.), but also to self-film, stabilize a video plan or relieve the weight of the big objectives (sport and animal photos).

A tripod is defined by the following criteria:

➔ The maximum acceptable load : to determine this, you need to know the weight of your heaviest case / lens combination.

➔ The patella : this is the element that allows the camera to move on the tripod. It can be detachable or inseparable from the tripod and there are several types. The 3D ball joint , which allows precise adjustment in 3 dimensions and independently. On the other hand, it is heavier, bulky and its settings are done less quickly. The ball joint , a single screw unblocks the 3 dimensions. Lightweight, space-saving, with faster but less accurate adjustment. The video head , allows fluid movements in 2 dimensions and independently. More voluminous than the other 2 but not necessarily heavier, it is ideal for making horizontal and vertical panoramic shots.

➔ The maximum and minimum height of the unfolded tripod : the higher the maximum unfolded height, the more flexibility you will have. The unfolded minimum height will be decisive for the macro and will help creativity (to make plans at ground level).

➔ The height of the folded tripod : decisive for transport (travel, hiking, etc.). This is conditioned by the number of leg sections of the tripod. The more sections, the more compact it will be when folded. Be careful, in tale-part, the more sections and the less the tripod will be stable.

➔ The material (carbon fiber, aluminum or plastic): aluminum offers the best value for money in terms of strength and stability. Carbon fiber at equal weight will be much more stable, absorb vibration better and have a longer life. By cons, for the same model, it is 2 to 3 times more expensive. Note that there are plastic tripods but they are not recommended, unstable and fragile.

➔ The blocking system (with valves or screws): the one with valves will be faster and lighter than that with screw but the latter is more durable in time and more stable.

➔ The quick release plate : this is the fastening system on the ball joint. This plate is fixed beforehand on the case and then to the patella. This one may be present or not, the mini-tripods are notably deprived of it.

➔ Options: the bubble level on the feet or kneecap provides a level skyline. The ballast hook to weigh down the tripod and make it more stable. The spikes to the feet to anchor better in difficult areas. To be able to detach one of the feet and to use it like a monopod (advantage for the sport and animal photos).

◆ Budget : from 49 €.

◆ Adri’s advice : buy a tripod! It will offer you so many new possibilities that you will not be able to do without it. So, the challenge of choosing a tripod is to find the right compromise between stability, weight, size and budget. I advise you not to try to save money on this accessory because a tripod adapted to your needs and good quality will certainly have a longer life than your case. Then do not hesitate to take a tripod that will accept a weight greater than the maximum weight of your combination box / lens (1 to 2 kg more), especially if you start with a light and compact equipment.

The tripod will be more stable and you will not have to buy a tripod if your equipment evolves. Privilege the tripods in kit where the ball joint is dissociable because you will then have the possibility to change ball joint, all will be flexible. In addition, with the exception of mini-tripods and monopods, I do not recommend tripods without the quick-release system that is very practical. Finally,

➔ Manfrotto PIXI EVO (260g, 2.5kg load, minimum height 10.5cm / max 20cm, ball joint non dissociable) : a mini tripod, ideal for vlogs that arises almost anywhere. His ball head is not dissociable.

➔ Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom (386g, load 3 to 4kg) or special smartphone : the tripod of the vlogger par excellence. It is ultra adaptable and can hang almost anywhere. There are models that can support up to 5kg (pro + lens case).

➔ Manfrotto Off Road (aluminum, 650g, 2.5kg load, minimum height 55cm / maximum 122cm, non-dissociable ball joint) : the ideal companion for traveling photographers with light equipment.

➔ Manfrotto BeFree aluminum or carbon version (1.4kg for VS aluminum 1,1kg carbon, 4kg load, minimum height 34cm / max 144cm, closed 40cm, ball joint dissociable) : We have BeFree aluminum for 2 years now. This tripod has its limits in terms of stability (wind, people walking next door, etc.) and especially the possibility of adjustments in height but it does the job and accompanies us everywhere thanks to its good compactness and reasonable weight (although I would not be reluctant to the carbon version). Manfrotto has just launched the Befree Advanced which is equipped with a new ball joint more complete, a choice in the locking system (valves or screws) and which accepts a load of 8kg.

➔ Manfrotto Element Traveler (1.6kg aluminum, 8kg load, minimum height 41cm / max 164cm, closed 42cm, ball joint dissociable) : another tripod ideal for travel. The differences with the BeFree are the amplitude of the heights and the weight. His little plus, his detachable leg that turns into a monopod.

➔ Manfrotto 190GO! in 3D kit or bullet ball , or bare carbon version (2.1kg, load 6kg, height 9cm / maximum max 156cm, closed 55cm) : a system allows to tilt the central column horizontally for shooting in all positions .

➔ Manfrotto 055 alu 3 sections or carbon 4 sections (2.5kg, load 9kg, height min 9cm / max 170cm, closed 61cm): same as the 190G0! but more pro with a much higher max load and a higher possible working height. To this add the price of a good kneecap which starts to make a nice budget …

Continuous lighting
◆ Use : the so-called continuous lighting, can illuminate indoor scenes, it is also very useful for shooting video interview type camera or vlog on Youtube. We focus on this type of lighting because it is a vast subject and we have no experience with flash lighting also called strobism.

◆ Budget : from 15 €.

◆ Adri’s advice : I still have a lot to learn about lighting, so I’m going to be very simple and share my way of doing things. It does not take much to light a scene indoors. However, if we illuminate the subject frontally, it will create shadows very unsightly, especially if the light is hard. For example, you can make the light reflect on a surface (wall, ceiling, etc.) or place filters in front of the light source. But the simplest remains the use of umbrella or softbox lighting kits .

Softboxes are a little more expensive than umbrellas but allow to have a more controlled light. The bulbs that are used daily have a too hot (yellow) hue and are usually not powerful enough. It will be advisable then to choose well its bulbs. These must have a temperature between 5400 ° K and 5600 ° K , corresponding to the light of day to have a natural rendering.

➔ Bulb DynaSun 400W ( GOOD SALE -63% ): since in kits, the bulbs provided are not very powerful, we recommend this model for guaranteed natural light at any time, even at night! We have it and do not regret this choice.

➔ Studio kit umbrella 3 lamps including diffuser ( GOOD PLAN SALE -52% ): lighting kit with 3 bulbs of 24W, 2 umbrellas silver reflectors and 1 white diffuser, 1 bag of transport.

➔ Umbrella studio kit 2 reflective bowls lamps ( GOOD DEAL SALE -22%): lighting kit with 2 bulbs of 45W, 2 umbrellas white diffusers, 2 lampshades and 2 bags of transport. The one we use for our indoor photos for a more directional light.

➔ Softbox lighting kit ( GOOD PLAN SALE -33% ): studio lighting kit with 3 lamps, softbox 5500K, tripods and transport bags.


Photo Accessories Tripod Bags

Photo bags
◆ Use : to transport your photo material during your travels and whatever the conditions (hike, ride in town, plane, rain, snow, etc.). There are all literature’s (filling volume), of all kinds (bag, backpack, shoulder bag, rigid suitcase, etc.) with many looks and at all prices.

◆ Budget : from € 30.

Adri’s advice : Personally, I have not yet found THE bag and I juggle the model according to the situations. There is a lot to consider when choosing a camera bag, but the most important thing is that it can protect your equipment ! It must also be of good quality and you must think carefully about the materials chosen according to your needs and activities (impermeability, foam protection for shocks, comfort of portage, etc.). Then, it must be flexible .

You must be able to change the location of your equipment and especially your bag must be able to adapt to the possible evolution of it. Essential to take into account, the literaland the space you need, depending on the number of materials, the size of the computer, the flight in cabin baggage, the compartment for storing business other than photography, etc. Besides a way to carry your material, it is also a way to quickly draw your camera to immortalize a scene. It must be practical on the ground! Last criterion, the style of the bag can tip the scales …

Saddlebags and shoulder bags : for carrying on the shoulder a little material. Access to it is usually super fast. By cons, it is not recommended for the transport of heavy loads and long walks. Indeed, this system of porterage can be tiring for the shoulder.

➔ Lowepro Nova, exists in small , medium , large and very large format ( GOOD PLAN SALE -25% ).
➔ Lowepro ProTactic, available in small size ( SALE -10%) , medium size ( SALE -11%) , large format .
➔ Manfrotto Pro Light Bumblebee, exists in small size and large format .
➔ Manfrotto Reporter Windsor : the most stylish!
➔ Manfrotto Reporter Windsor .
➔ Peak Design Everyday Messenger in 13 ” or 15″ format .

Backpacks : to carry higher loads and longer.

➔ Manfrotto Street : the most stylish!
➔ Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee-210 .
➔ Lowepro Flipside in small ( GOOD SALE -14% ), in medium ( SALE -13% ), in large and very large format .
➔ Lowepro ProTactic in small , medium or large format ( GOOD SALE -21% ).
➔ Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L or 30L .

Hiking bags

➔ Bag for reflex .
Manfrotto Off Road in 20L or 30L format .
➔ Lowepro Flipside Treck in small ( GOOD SALE -15% ), medium (SALE -27%) and large format ( SALE -15% ).
➔ Lowepro Trekker big or very big ( GOOD PLAN SALE -16% ).

Suitcases on wheels : for those who have even more equipment and who travels. This can also be a good way to store at home.
➔ Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader
➔ Lowerpro Pro Runner ( GOOD SALE -16% ).

Other photo accessories

Photo accessories that can make using your device more enjoyable, more convenient or just to customize, decorate.

For cleaning: essential to keep equipment flamboyant!
➔ Cleaning kit pear + pen .

Fastening clips: A system for attaching a device to a bag strap or belt so that it is always within reach.
➔ Peak Design capture pro V2 .

Hand Straps and Straps:
➔ Peak Design Cuff (Hand Strap)
➔ Peak Design Clutch (Hand Strap)

Neck Straps:
➔ Peak Design Leash
➔ Red Peak Design Slide also exists in blue .
➔ Joby UltraFit Sling Strap
➔ CAM IN sky blue denim is also available in electric blue , printed and bi-colored .

Again, if you need additional advice, we are available to comment in this article. We will regularly update these articles based on new products and latest innovations so do not hesitate to go back here as soon as you need to equip yourself in photo.

It’s already the end of our photo series! The blog resumes its normal run very quickly with fashion and travel articles coming soon. We hope you enjoyed this photo!

Nicki Jenns is a healthy eating and world news expert, motivational speaker and author. She is passionate about the impact of health and family issues.

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