Photography is a worthwhile hobby and a lucrative career for many people. You may have dipped your toes using your smartphone or a hand-me-down camera. But eventually, you’ll want to upgrade to better equipment and accessories.
However, it’s essential to note that cameras and their additions come with a price, and they’re not going to be cheap. It’s why most budding photographers make great efforts to save money to buy the best equipment available. Despite that, there are some things on which you don’t have to squander all your cash on. If you’re at a loss at which photography equipment or accessories you need to spend more or less on, check out the guide below:
Let’s start with the things you can save on.
Have you ever tried wiping your camera’s lens with your bare finger or an old rag only to make the smudge worse? It’s a situation no photographer wants since the grime will manifest in their photos. Even the tiniest speck from the lens will show, so you must always keep it clean.
Fortunately, professional cleaning tools are often quite affordable. You can easily find them in most physical and online photography stores. They’re essential for a camera bag, the camera itself, and its other accessories. Your equipment can collect dirt after multiple uses, especially if you do outdoor photography. Therefore, you must always stock up on cleaning tools, and you don’t even have to get the most expensive ones.
Your camera cleaning kit should include the following:
- Optical wipes or tissues
- Microfiber cloth
- Blower brush and bellows
- Lens cleaning solution
You may buy these items individually or find a kit for sale which includes all the necessary items. Regardless of the low price, don’t forget to always check customer reviews before buying them.
This might sound surprising, but starting with cheaper lenses is fine. You’ll capture much better photos with a higher-quality lens, of course. But a low-cost lens will work if you prefer artistic shots while practicing framing and lighting.
Additionally, professional photographers naturally use differently-sized lenses to add variety to their shots. Though buying several camera lenses at once isn’t wise, especially if each one is pricey. Thus, you’re better off starting with cheaper ones but this doesn’t mean you have to settle for bad-quality lenses. You can find secondhand camera lenses that have been well-maintained by their previous owners and sold for a reasonable price.
There’s nothing wrong with using cheaper lenses for now. In fact, you’ll find that some older lenses can work well with digital cameras and produce fascinating shots. Then, once you get used to handling your camera, you can upgrade to a more expensive lens with the modern features you want.
Not all photographers need a tripod. But you’ll have to get one if you want to specialize in scenic shots or use your camera as a webcam or vlogging device. It’ll stabilize your camera as you take photos without the blur and noise that often come with movement. It’s also essential to keep your camera stable for low-light photography.
As a beginner, you may opt to use a more affordable tripod. You might think cheap tripods are flimsy and lack features. However, you can find ones with adjustable mounts, flexible legs, and decent payloads despite being lightweight, and they won’t blow a hole in your wallet. If you plan to buy a cheaper tripod, ensure it can stand and lock your camera in place, so you get your money’s worth.
Now, below are the things you can splurge on.
One of the things many digital photographers fear is taking lots of beautiful photos only to find out later that none were saved. If they did have a memory card inserted in their camera, the worst that could happen is getting a corrupted card. This usually occurs when the card is a cheap one. Although high-quality memory cards cost more, they’re an excellent investment for all photographers and much better than inexpensive ones that don’t last long.
Using memory cards from known, trusted brands is vital when doing digital photography to ensure you get a top-tier storage device. Consider getting large-capacity cards that can store high amounts of data, whether photos or videos. Photographers often use 32GB to 64GB cards. Meanwhile, 128GB to 256GB is more appropriate for videos. The speed of higher-quality cards also means more time taking a lot of photos and faster downloads.
A bag might not sound like something you should splurge on, but it’s responsible for protecting your camera and other accessories. Hence, getting a durable camera bag with many roomy compartments is wise.
Camera bags come in various sizes, some small, like sling bags, and others large—like backpacks. No matter your preference, you should get one made of sturdy and thick material to ensure the contents won’t suffer from sudden bumps or drops.
Even if you’re still a novice photographer, don’t put your camera equipment in a regular backpack. You’ll risk damaging the parts and accessories inside, which could mean spending more money on repairs or replacements.
While saving on regular lenses is okay, you’d do better by splurging on wide-angle lenses. They’re ideal for natural or urban landscape shots, and some photographers may advise you to invest in a high-quality one.
It’s pretty intimidating to spend thousands of dollars for a simple 10mm lens, but you’ll see the difference once you start taking photos with it. When looking at the picture you’ve taken, you may notice that it feels like you’re standing right in that scene. Your photography portfolio composed of scenic shots will also benefit from a superior wide-angle lens.
When you’re starting to dabble in photography, you may be tempted to buy all the expensive tools to make your shots look better. This isn’t the wisest move since you can do well with some items being on the cheaper side of the spectrum. So, before shopping for camera accessories, review this guide to save cash on certain parts and splurge on ones that deserve it.