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Must-Have Digital SLR (DSLR) Accessories for Taking Better Pictures

Updated on December 24, 2010

Awesome Digital SLR Camera Accessories To Improve your Photos

With affordable digital cameras having become so ubiquitous in the market, everyone now has the ability to take great photos. However, most amateurs still only get the occasional "lucky shot" in comparison with professional photographers that are bringing skill to the picture-taking table. In order to boost the quality of your own images, you'll want to make sure that you get a good digital camera and then that you add the accessories which can make your photos really pop.

Here are some of the must-try accessories that someone with a digital SLR camera may want to check out:

  • Variety of Lenses. One of the easiest ways to start immediately taking better photos with your camera is to start implementing the use of different lenses for different situations. For example, you will want to get a good high-quality close-up (macro) lens which will allow you to take very detailed pictures of small things (flowers, for example) or portions of things (such as tree bark or skin pores). There are lots of different lenses out there but here are a few basics:

o Macro lens. This is the one you want to do those close-up in-detail photos.

o Zoom lens. The opposite of the macro, this lets you zoom in on things that are far away. This is great for people taking photographs of animals in nature as well as for people photographing people that they don't want to see them!

o Prime lenses. These are like your standard lens but they're faster and have better quality to them.

o "Fun" lenses. There are tons of camera lenses out there that can be bought to do specific special effects like adding a color hue to the photos, creating a soft blur on the images or otherwise altering the photo. They're not a necessity but they're great for people who want to take artsy photos.

  • Variety of Filters. In addition to lenses, you can use filters to enhance your photography and keep your camera protected from the elements. Here are a few that are common:

o Warming Filter. This is a favorite filter for people who just want to give a little boost to their photos. It will naturally warm skin tones and colors in your photographs to give them a more polished and professional appearance.

o Natural Density Filter. The purpose of this filter is to reduce the amount of light that's entering the camera. If you're going to be regularly photographing in high light areas then you might consider this filter to be a good thing.

o UV Haze Filter. This is an attachment that can go on your lens to protect it when you are taking pictures in places where there may be natural damage done to the camera. For example, if you were taking photos of sand dunes, you would add the lens to the camera to make sure that the sand didn't get into the equipment. It's also good for taking pictures of events that are happening in light rain.

o Effects Filters. There are a diverse range of "fun" filters that can create different effects for your photos (such as kaleidoscope filters). They're hardly a necessity but they can be a lot of fun to play with.

  • Tripod. Every good photographer knows that pictures are a lot better when there isn't a shaky hand holding the camera. The tripod really is a must-have accessory for almost anyone that wants to be a great photographer.
  • External Flash. The purpose of an extra flash is typically to reduce red-eye in photographs so it's a good accessory for people who are primarily taking photographs of other people. Additionally, they're going to offer you more control over lighting so if you're someone who wants to play with light in your pictures then there's a good chance that this is a good thing to buy.
  • Memory Card and Back-Up Memory Card. Hopefully you already bought a memory card to supplement the small amount of memory that your camera probably came with. If you're serious about taking pictures, you might even want to get a back-up memory card so that you won't be without a great shot for even a moment if something goes wrong with your memory card or the card fills up faster than you expected.
  • Camera Bag. It doesn't make sense to spend a whole lot of money on a camera and then ruin it by failing to properly take care of it. You should have a good camera bag that is easy to take with you, can hold all of your other camera accessories and which will keep the camera safe and secure. There are some neat ones out there including bags that have plastic inserts where you can display your photos and solar-powered bags that will help you charge your equipment when you're on the go.

In addition to the basic accessories that you'll want to invest in, you want to make sure that you also buy a few extras that will help you boost your photo-taking skills. You'll want to get some great books that provide tips on how to take better digital photos. And you'll want to get software for altering your photos as well as for photo storage. With these things in mind, you're ready to start taking pictures like the pros!


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  • profile image

    caveman 5 years ago

    thanks for the list, I agree with all. Extra battery and extra memory cards are always on the top of the list for me.Here is another list that I have found which lists the essential accessories that are priced under $15:

  • bestdigitalslr profile image

    bestdigitalslr 6 years ago

    Great hub - the right lenses make all the difference. Excellent list of must-haves with your SLR, thanks.

  • MikeNV profile image

    MikeNV 7 years ago from Henderson, NV

    Spend the money on an extra battery and the fastest memory card that meets your needs.

    You don't need many lenses if you plan. Your money is best spent on fewer lenses, but higher quality pro glass.

  • Andy Xie profile image

    Andy Xie 9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    I agree that a good tripod and a good variety of lenses are a must. And while books can help you with taking better pictures, I believe that it takes a lot of experience and practice!

    Excellent hub, great tips.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    Thanks for the info on digital SLR. I have often wanted to upgrade my old Nikons, Canons & Pentaxes. someone told me once that I could get a plate to put in where the film used to go, but I had little luck finding that. I'll keep looking! In the meantime I now know that there are some killer digital SLRs out there!

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    Perfect! A nice concise hub that will help me decide how to spend my money. I have a polarizing (uv haze) filter, but that's it (besides a zoom lens). I really need a tripod and another lens I think!

  • Gregorythompson profile image

    Gregorythompson 9 years ago from Illinois

    I have to tripods: a regular sized one and a table-top one, which has become invaluable for me.