Purchasing a new camera is an exciting time and one of my favorites! For me, it is like adding a new member of the family, just like a new baby. Once you bring the new baby home, there may be a feeling that there is more you might need to get to make your camera work well.
Accessories provide endless options that can be even more expensive than your camera. Imagine saving for months for your dream camera only to discover that the lens cost more than the body. A good rule of thumb is no matter the price is for your camera, budget for an equal amount in accessories.
Here are 5 accessories you want to spend good money on.
- Memory Card – Buy two of the highest quality and largest memory cards you can afford. If you can only choose quality or size, then choose quality every time. The memory card makes a tremendous difference in your camera’s performance. Don’t be like our family who ran out of memory space years ago during a Disneyland vacation and had to make the awful choice of paying top dollar or deleting precious pictures. Deleting pictures is definitely not an option for me.
- Bag – While avid photographers cannot imagine life without a camera, finding a place to store and carry it is essential. Many times there are sales that include a camera bag with purchase and some retailers will allow you to bring in your camera to try out a bag or two. Just like trying to find the perfect outfit, a camera bag is such a personal decision depending upon your style and activity level. My camera bag is the most expensive bag/purse ever purchased.
- Rechargeable Batteries – Investing in good quality rechargeable batteries may be a little pricey at the beginning, but it will save you money in the long run. Invest in a second set of batteries, just in case. The last thing you want to do is try to grab that memorable shot only to realize the battery is dead and you missed the moment waiting for it to recharge.
- Warranty – One of the last thoughts in some people’s mind is a warranty but this is one of the first questions I ask and is a leading factor in where I purchase my equipment. All it takes is one quick bump to have your baby fall to the floor, along with your heart and wallet. One repair can easily add up to hundreds of dollars, if repairs are even possible. On one camera, the eyepiece fell off and could not be repaired since the model was discontinued. The company refunded the purchase price, which was well worth the price of the protection plan.
- Camera Strap – Every camera comes with a camera strap, but not all have solid construction and are comfortable. Buy a sturdy camera strap that will not only offer protection but gives you an opportunity to show off your style, unless you really like to announce the brand and style of camera you carry. For security reasons, I don’t like to announce I carry a Canon 50D so I changed my strap out for a Disney inspired one that showcases Mickey Mouse. If nothing else, a personalized strap is certainly a great conversation starter and easy to spot.
The warranty is available for a short period of time and may only be available when the camera is purchased, but the rest of these accessories can be purchased as your budget allows. Good, quality equipment is essential to every photographer, no matter the level of expertise.
Now it is your turn. What are your must have accessories?