Interested in photography? The smartphone era has certainly made it easier than ever to take beautiful, well-composed photos almost anywhere, but if you really want to take your pics to the next level, don’t settle for simply using your phone.
Serious players have a whole world of filters, lenses and high-quality cameras to explore. To make getting started a little easier, we’ve rounded up a list of must-have accessories and equipment you’ll need to kickstart your new photography hobby or career.
All-in-One Compact DSLRSony Alpha a6000 Digital Camera with Accessories
If you’re not quite ready to jump into the world of bulky DSLR cameras, the Sony Alpha a6000 digital camera is a compact, easy-to-use model that is perfect for novices and pros alike. It’s designed to capture crystal-clear images in most types of light and comes with everything you need to start taking photos right out of the box.
Travel LightAmazonBasics DSLR Holster Carrying Case
If you’re heading out on a hike or a picnic and don’t feel like hauling around your full camera setup, this AmazonBasics DSLR holster case offers a lightweight, convenient alternative. It delivers quick access to your camera and accessories when inspiration strikes, while keeping everything safe and secure.
The Benchmark for DSLR CamerasNikon D850 FX-Format DSLR Body
Nikon has long been the preferred brand of professional photographers and knowledgeable hobbyists, and the D850 FX DSLR model combines high resolution with incredible speed to deliver rich, sharp photos. Although it weighs just a few pounds, the D850 is a high-performance camera that can do just about anything.
All-Purpose LensNikon AF-S FX-Format DSLR 50MM Lens
Compatible with all Nikon FX DSLR cameras, this AF-S 50 mm lens delivers rich, consistent color and beautifully blended, shallow depth of field in just about any light setting. It’s ideally suited for indoor and outdoor shots, portraits, casual settings and so much more.
The MultitaskerPeak Design 3-in-1 Slide Camera Strap
When you’re out taking photos, the last thing you want to worry about is your camera strap. The Peak Design slide strap can be worn three different ways — across the body, around the neck and over the shoulder — to keep your camera securely within reach for the next great photo.
Steady NowVictiv 72” Aluminum Camera Tripod
Even if you’re not into studio or portrait photography, every photographer should have a tripod. The Victiv aluminum tripod is both easy to travel with and a cinch to set up. Its lightweight, aluminum alloy structure is designed to handle long exposures and quick camera setups in even the toughest conditions.
Get the Balance RightLightdow 12”x12” White Balance Reflector
Ask any photographer about the most stressful part of taking a photo, and the response usually includes "Getting the lighting right." There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing exposure issues ruined your perfectly composed photograph, which is why the Lightdow white balance reflector should be a key part of any photographer’s supply kit.
Professional Retouching at Your FingertipsVEIKK A30 Graphic Drawing Tablet
Once you’ve taken a photo, the next step is to edit it, and this small but powerful graphic drawing tablet from VEIKK has everything you need to digitally retouch with ease. It’s compatible with both Mac computers and PCs and features both a customizable touchpad and a pressure-sensitive pen, so you can find the perfect workflow.
Always Be PreparedNikon EN-El3e Rechargeable Battery
Just like a phone junkie wouldn’t leave the house without an extra phone battery, no photographer should go anywhere without a backup battery, such as the rechargeable Nikon EN-EI3e. Spending all day using high-performance settings can quickly drain your camera, so it’s essential to have a replacement to ensure you never miss a moment.
A Studio EssentialEmart 8.5’x10’ Photo Backdrop Stand
If you’re into portrait or studio photography, a photo backdrop stand is essential. The Emart stand comes with everything you need to start taking professional-quality studio shots. The portable system can be used both indoors and outdoors and comes with its own case for easy travel and storage.
Get Up Close and Personal11. Nikon AF-S FX 28-300MM Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens
This high-performance Nikon zoom lens is compatible with all FX-format DSLRs and offers an all-in-one solution to capturing sharp, detail-rich photos at any distance. The 10.7X zoom range means you won’t have to keep changing lenses for every distance, and the in-camera stabilization helps your pictures look crystal clear.
For the All-Day Photo ShootVivitar Photo Camera Backpack Case
If you’ve got a full day of hiking planned, you need something to carry all your camera equipment, but you probably don’t want to lug around a bulky camera bag. This slim, stylish Vivitar camera backpack is ideal for photographers on the go, thanks to a thoughtfully designed interior that holds everything you need and more.
The Storage SolutionWD 1TB My Book External Hard Drive
You’ve got hundreds — maybe even thousands — of photos taking up space on your computer, slowing everything down. It’s time to invest in an external hard drive, such as the My Book 1TB drive from Western Digital. The massive storage capacity is enough to handle even the heaviest workloads, and it comes packed with features that make it an ideal addition to your AV setup.
Never Lose a PhotoSanDisk Extreme 64GB Memory Card
Even though it’s the smallest accessory in your photography kit, a memory card is definitely the most essential. This high-performance memory card from SanDisk holds up to 64GB of photos and videos and is capable of handling superfast shutter speeds and sharp 4K video with ease.
Get the Perfect LightNeewer 43” Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflectors
They may look like the latest in cool club decorations, but these collapsible, multi-disc light reflectors are actually an essential part of any photographer’s kit. These Neewer reflector discs can completely change the look and feel of a photo by reflecting light in a variety of warm and cool tones and can be used both in-studio and outdoors.
For Quick and Easy PhotosProgo Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Canon
Ever look at a perfectly composed or incredibly detailed up-close picture and wonder how the photographer did it? The secret is a remote shutter release, such as the Progo wireless remote shutter that works with Canon T, Powershot and Eos models. It’s so easy to use you won’t believe the possibilities.
Snap a Magical Moment40-Piece Unicorn Photo Booth Props
Every family has a "photo guru" — someone with a camera other than their smartphone — who serves as the designated party photographer. Next time you’re called upon to document a birthday party or graduation, pack some fun photo booth props, like this whimsical unicorn photo prop set, to liven things up.
Keep Your Camera SecurePeak Design Capture Camera Clip
If you’re an active or outdoor photographer, you want easy access to your camera without carrying a heavy bag or fumbling with a strap. The Peak Design capture camera clip is designed to attach to any strap and offers quick, easy access when you need it.
The Perfect KeepsakeZoview Self-Stick Photo Album
If you’ve been the family photographer for years, then turn your hard work into a lovely keepsake with the Zoview self-stick photo album that protects your photos from dust, moisture and other damaging elements. The hard paper stock features a clear overlay and a self-adhesive that holds everything in place.
The Pro Photographer TrickOptickle Photography Prism
If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your photos, an Optickle photography prism adds a gorgeous rainbow flare that looks like an IRL Instagram effect. The triangular prism is made of high-quality optical glass that adds a dazzling look to nature photos, portraits and other photos.
Make Every Picture PerfectAltura Photo Universal Flash Diffuser
For a soft, even look to portraits, headshots, food photography and other images, the Altura universal flash diffuser is a must-have addition to any mobile or studio setup. The diffuser eliminates harsh shadows and uneven lighting with its high-quality filter and reflective silver interior lining, giving your photos a professional look every time.
The Quick Fix EssentialMini Gaffer Tape Rolls 4-Pack
You’ve got an important shoot today, and you’re running around setting up the studio when you realize the string lighting hanging on your backdrop keeps falling. Meet your new best friend — mini gaffer tape! Stronger than duct tape and infinitely more useful, this handy home improvement staple should be in every photographer’s bag.
Charge It UpEastshine Universal Battery Charger
Most flashes use AA batteries, so if you’re staring down a special event like a graduation or wedding, chances are your flash won’t make it to the end. It’s always a good idea to keep a few rechargeable batteries with you, and the Eastshine universal battery charger is a great one to have on hand.
Experiment with FiltersHoya Digital Filter Kit II
Adding a filter to your camera lets you experiment with your photos in a whole new way, and this Hoya digital filter kit comes with three easy-to-attach glass filters that decrease light reflection, making your photos brighter, sharper and cleaner than ever before.
Protect Your GearGiottos Rocket Air Blaster
It may not look like much, but the simple Giottos Rocket Air Blaster can make all the difference in your next photo session. It’s designed to remove dust, mites and other debris from your camera equipment and lenses to ensure a clear, undistorted image.
Keep It CleanVSGO Sensor Cleaning Kit
Just as important as keeping your lenses and filters clean is making sure the delicate sensors that power your camera are free of dust and other irritants. The sensor cleaning kit from VSGO is manufactured in a clean room to decrease the risk of contamination and comes with everything you need for a dozen worry-free cleanings.
Perfect for busy photographers or for quick touch-ups between deep cleanings, the LensPen offers a quick, portable way to clean your camera and accessories. Its slim design fits easily into camera bags and backpacks, and a twist cap activator fills the retractable brush with a patented carbon compound.
Be FlexibleFotopro uFO Flexible Camera Stand
With a flexible design that lets you take pictures just about anywhere, the Fotopro uFO camera stand is great for exploring new environments and settings that aren’t suitable for a traditional tripod. Its small size belies its strength — it supports everything from smartphones and point-and-shoots to small-lens DSLRs with ease.
A Convenient Cleaning SolutionZeiss Lens Wipes
Whether you’re cleaning a $2,000 lens or your old point-and-shoot, Zeiss lens wipes offer a convenient way to clean and protect your gear on the go. They’re individually-wrapped for a dust-free clean, and the cleaning solution contains no ammonia or artificial fragrance.
The Universal Card ReaderTranscend Card Reader
This small but mighty card reader from Transcend quickly and efficiently transfers photos and videos from your memory card to your computer or tablet, so you can start enjoying (and editing) your efforts without delay. It supports all major memory cards and features a superfast USB 3.1 connection as well as backwards 2.0 compatibility.