We are fans of Lowepro Camera Bags, but there are a ton of great camera bags out there that may suit your camera and personal taste better. The type of camera bag you buy depends on your personality. If you are standing out on the cragged cliffs of Oahu’s Southeast shore snapping shots of surfers at dawn patrol or backpacking in Utah’s Zion National Park taking frames of mountain lions and rattlesnakes, then you might want a lightweight beltpack to harbor your gear. Lowepro’s Outpack 200 beltpack is for photographers who carry their gear to the limits and could use the freedom of movement. Most beltpacks also come with attachable shoulder straps so you can switch it up from time-to-time.
Now, if you aren’t so adventurous you may want to invest in a decent sized camera bag—one that could possibly fit the rest of the accessories on this list. Most DSLR bags are pricey, but let’s face it the camera was pretty pricey too. A camera bag is the best way to protect you DSLR from natural elements and daily hazards. There are endless styles to choose from when it comes to DSLR camera bags—slingpacks, backpacks, beltpacks, form-fitting cases—and there are several great brands out there too like Case Logic, Crumpler and Mountainsmith.
Lens Hoods & Filters
A lens hood has two major purposes: To prevent light from hitting the front lens and creating flare, and to protect the lens. Generally, pictures taken with a lens hood have deeper, richer colors and better contrast. The lens hood is a great protector from fingerprint smudges and accidental scratching—typical battle scars from a day’s photo shoot. Lens hoods can be pricey but we think they’re worth the splurge and will eventually save you money in the long run—replacing a damaged lens will be more expensive. Now, some DSLR series ship with a lens hood, such as the Canon L series, but generic lens hoods are available among most photography-specific retailers.
Using different lens filters may be one of the best things you can do for your camera and your photography career/hobby. Although there are hundreds of different filters, the most commonly used filters for digital photography includes polarizing (linear/circular), UV/haze, neutral density, graduated neutral density and warming/cooling or color filters. These filters can alter and enhance images to add a sort of “special effect” to them—depending on the filter of course. It would be wise to purchase a filter from the same manufacturer of your camera and make sure your get the correct filter size for your lens. The price of the filter will depend on the type and brand of filter.
Memory cards are actually more of a necessity than an accessory. Before you even start snapping photos you have to consider how much memory you may need. The amount may vary depending on the location and situation. The camera you buy will usually determine the type of memory card you get as well. In general, the two most compatible types of memory cards for DSLR cameras are Compact Flash cards and SD Memory cards. It’s probably best to have more than one memory card on hand, especially if you are travelling or at a celebratory event—you never know when you may need more room.
Also consider the speed of the memory card—faster speed ratings are especially important for digital photography because it means you’re able to take another shot quicker, particularly for higher megapixel models.