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If you’re shopping for the best digital camera accessories, you’re either looking to get the most use out of your digital camera or want to protect your investment. Quite a few factors can determine which accessories are best for you. But first, you’ll need to consider whether you want to purchase accessories from your camera manufacturer or if you’re looking for an aftermarket brand that offers either universal or brand-specific solutions. Similarly, think about your comfort level with using your digital camera.
Are you thinking of expanding your photography knowledge and need additional lenses or accessories to take better pictures? Or, are you simply looking for a stylish carrying case or camera bag? Camera accessories can range from tripods to lighting and, of course, lenses and microphones. Keep reading our best digital camera accessories buying guide to learn more. And if you’ve just started your search for the best digital cameras, check out our comprehensive guide before you go shopping.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This spacious storage option can fit an entire full-size camera. It is made with premium construction, using materials like rugged metal and soft rubber. This ensures a comfortable fit that’s safe for your camera.
This easy-to-carry storage option features plenty of room to hold your gear. It measures 13.5 x 10.5 x 6.5 inches, so it’s fine for almost anybody to use. There is room for a full-size DSLR camera as well as all the lenses and accessories you need to go with it for a day of photography. Unfortunately, this option is a little on the bulky side. Because of this, if you’re looking for a sleek backpack, this pick isn’t for you.
It is also entirely customizable. The interior can be modified using padded dividers that are included. The dimensions of these dividers are 11.5 x 10 x 4.5 inches, so they can comfortably fit supplies while keeping everything safely snug. The fortified straps are built using premium construction methods. They’re comfortable to wear and carry. This extremely compact backpack can fit under airline seats for an easier time traveling with your gear.
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Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This complete collection of tools will get you started on the right foot. It has everything you need, such as a UV filter, CPL filter, and FLD filter included. There are also multiple lenses for you to choose from.
This complete collection features everything you need to begin photography. You’ll enjoy accessories such as a Canon 18-55mm II lens, two SanDisk 32GB SDHC memory cards, a deluxe padded camera case, a flashlight, and so much more. Unfortunately, this accessory bundle will be limited to those shooting with a compatible camera. It’s originally made for the Canon EOS line, specifically the Rebel T7, so they won’t work with other brands.
There is also a 0.43x auxiliary wide-angle lens included. This allows you to get a wider field of view while shooting that goes up to 2.5x your current field of view. You’ll also receive a 3-piece filter set. This includes a UV filter for protection against ultraviolet light while shooting and protecting the lens from dust. It also includes a CPL filter for special effects, as well as an FLD filter for balancing light in extreme outdoor situations.
Award: BEST FOR SIMPLE OPERATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is a totally unique collection that includes multiple necessities. You’ll have everything you need to begin taking photos immediately. The model itself is super easy to use. All you have to do is aim it and then take the pic.
You’ll receive several accessories as well as a camera in this unique bundle. There is even a black point-and-shoot case with a loop system for clipping it to your backpack, purse, or even belt loop. There is also a lens pen cleaner that allows you to keep dust and dirt off of the lens without scratching it. However, the camera this set comes with isn’t exactly advanced. It’s a point-and-shoot model meant for beginners and casual photo takers rather than true photographers. With that said, pair it with the finest photo box and display all your lovely photos.
Beyond a case for the camera, you also get a hard case for your SD card. This will keep your memories safe and is a great accessory to have. A SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC 80MB/S Class 10 flash memory card is also present so you have something to put in that case. There is also a Kodak USB cable for charging while on the go, making it an excellent choice for travel.
Award: BEST FOR DSLR OPTIONS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This great, little package features a 3-piece filter kit so you can ensure every photo looks exactly like you want it to. You’ll receive a card reader so you can get your photos off the device quickly.
This bundle of accessories includes the must-have EF-S 18-55MM F/3.5-5.6 III lens. This is a fantastic option for those starting out in their photography career. You’ll also enjoy the 65GB memory card included so you have storage for the photos that you take, and a way to transfer them to your computer. Unfortunately, this is a smaller bundle of accessories than others that are available. It might not have every single tool you need to start doing photography.
Beyond this, there is also an SD card reader. This takes out the hassle of trying to figure out how to get your photos uploaded to a computer. There is a brush pen tool so you can clean off the lens without worrying about scratching or damaging it. Enjoy three included lenses that help you get the best shot without worrying about ultraviolet light or extreme outdoor conditions.
Award: BEST FOR TRAVELING
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need protection for your camera, this great collection has you covered with an included case. There is also a flexible tripod in the mix, along with a storage tool for photos that will keep your precious memories safe.
Coming in at only 1.52 pounds, this is a lightweight model with several key accessories for those planning on travel. You’ll receive a handy carrying case that all of the accessories and the camera package into easily. This is small enough to go in luggage or to slide under the seat on an aircraft. Unfortunately, the camera included in this bundle doesn’t have the best focus. If you want something with razor-sharp focus, this won’t be the right choice.
This bundle includes several handy items, such as the brush pen and dust blower. Both help you get the lens clean and clear of debris without risking scratches or damage. There is also a 32GB memory card so you can ensure your pictures are safe and ready to go where you need them for printing. A mini flexible tripod is included in the package to allow for camera stabilization even while you’re on the go.
Award: BEST FOR BEGINNERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This fantastic Sony digital camera features an optical 5x zoom lens. This allows you to get better pictures from further away. Beyond this, you’ll have access to 720p HD video, which might be a good camera for filmmaking on a budget. There is also a built-in image stabilizer.
If you’re just getting into photography, this bundle of accessories is a great option to get started correctly. The entire set is built to be both durable and compact so you can take them while traveling without having to worry about potential damage. There’s even an “Easy Mode” included in the camera settings. However, this is a very small camera. For those looking for something more advanced, this won’t be a great fit.
There is also Smile Shutter technology included in the camera. This means that anytime the camera senses somebody is smiling, it’ll take a photo. The camera itself charges through USB with an included cable for your convenience. There is also a mini flexible tripod included so you can keep images stable even while you’re on the go. A carrying case packs away all of the included items, like the SD card and thumb drive.
Digital camera accessories are part of a fairly broad product category that can include various items, from a camera neck strap to a telescopic lens. It simply means any item that you use in conjunction with a digital camera. This can include protective gear, lenses, remote controls, tripods, and external flash and lighting.
Keep in mind that camera accessory availability and options will vary depending on the type of digital camera you own. While you can still use point-and-shoot or compact cameras with many digital camera accessories (i.e., tripods, external lighting, and microphones), you’ll usually find that this general category tends to be dominated by items dedicated to more powerful DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
Digital camera accessories can be produced by your camera manufacturer or by third-party brands. This may be a major issue depending on the type of camera you own (compact, DSLR, or mirrorless). For example, DSLRs, best medium format cameras, and mirrorless cameras can require you to buy lenses or accessories customized to fit specific brands.
It’s for this reason that people who own DSLRs and mirrorless cameras tend to be very loyal and stick with one camera brand, even when upgrading to a new camera model. It can be hard to accept spending so much money on your previous camera accessories when switching between brands. But, one workaround is to look for a camera that supports a universal fit for lenses and other camera accessories. Keep in mind that you can also get a digital camera that’s refurbished or open box, which also keeps the cost low.
However, some items are viewed as essential camera accessories for anyone — budding photographers, enthusiasts, and professionals alike — regardless of what kind of camera you own. This even includes people who rely on their smartphone cameras which have widely replaced the compact camera category. As a result, you’ll usually find that the following items are referenced as “must-have camera gear” on any photography website:
“Digital camera accessories” is such a large product category, that it’s nearly impossible to cover how each possible accessory works. But in general, the goal for anyone with a camera who buys a digital camera accessory is to incorporate a tool that either makes using their camera easier or enhances functionality to improve image quality.
Typically, digital camera accessories can be divided into a few main categories — hands-free, enhanced photography, and improved storage. Hands-free solutions like tripods, remote shutters, and even camera straps can make using your camera easier in specific situations. For example, for people who engage in photo walks (hangouts where the goal is to spend hours taking pictures), a camera strap can easily carry your camera between shots.
Similarly, a sturdy tripod can allow you to be hands-free while also stabilizing your camera for exposure photography. In this respect, a tripod can cover both hands-free and enhanced photography solutions. Some people might want the best camera stand for a digital camera as well. Along the same lines, lenses and remote shutter controls can also improve your photography or allow you to expand your image repertoire to include group shots, selfies, and more.
Related: Discover the best Canon digital cameras for sale today.
Storage solutions can range from the leading digital camera bags to extra batteries or memory cards. With camera bags, maybe you prefer a smaller hard-sided item that can protect your compact camera from shock if you drop it. But someone with a DSLR or mirrorless camera and accessories may choose a bigger bag with additional compartments to store those accessories. And extra batteries or larger memory cards mean you can spend more time out in the field taking shots.
Assuming you have a camera, everyone can benefit from digital camera accessories. Even the most basic option, such as a camera skin or bag, can help protect your investment. But there are some instances where increasing your accessory collection can also make sense.
Accessory longevity is going to depend on a variety of factors. Typically, frequency of use, user behavior, and if there are moving parts are all key determinants for how often you’ll need to replace an accessory. However, most camera accessories are designed to be incredibly durable and last for years.
For example, DSLR and mirrorless camera lenses can last for a very long time as long as you treat them right. While the expectation is a least five years of routine use, some people have reported getting more than 20 years out of a lens. Along the same lines, camera straps, bags, and tripods can also last for years if you treat your equipment with care.
In contrast, more tech-focused gear like batteries and memory cards do have definitive lifespans. So, what sort of batteries work for digital cameras? Batteries are usually lithium-ion based, meaning that the longevity is dependent upon how many charge cycles the battery can support. While charge cycles can vary, most batteries can last between three to five years before they need to be replaced.
Similarly, memory cards (SD cards) usually have a lifespan of 10 or more years. But, if you’re a frequent photographer, expect a significantly shorter lifespan and plan to replace your cards every few years.
Everyone comes to the digital camera accessory purchasing experience with different needs. But at a minimum, you’re looking for a solution that either protects your investment, allows you to be hands-free, improves your picture quality, expands your photography repertoire, or improves storage and battery life.
While many digital camera accessories are designed to work with any type of camera, some accessories, in particular, aren’t going to be as easy to find if you have a compact camera. In particular, camera lenses are usually a subcategory almost exclusively dedicated to DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The caveat to this is if you are using a smartphone camera. These are essentially compact cameras, and it is possible to find detachable lenses designed for smartphones.
“Digital camera accessories” is a massive general category and covers everything from supportive gear like tripods and reflectors to specialized lenses that are brand-specific in terms of compatibility. Knowing what you’re trying to buy will help narrow your search — especially if you own a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Are you planning on shooting images around your home or in a studio? Or, will you be on the go, either in an urban or remote setting? When you’re shooting in a studio or your home, you might not care that a piece of gear is a bit heavy. Alternatively, if you’re trying to walk around town or in nature while capturing images, that added weight can be a problem after a few hours.
While most digital camera accessories are designed to be durable and stand up to a bit of wear and tear, that doesn’t mean that you want to invest your money into an item that will fall apart in a year or less. Remember, though, that longevity depends on the frequency of use and how you treat your gear.
This is a question that’s especially important for people that own DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Once upon a time, you could only buy accessories from your camera manufacturer. Thankfully, third-party brands also make accessories now. But you still need to confirm that any aftermarket item — especially lenses, grips, and adapters — is explicitly able to support your camera make and model.