Gagan GuptaAug 17, 2011 10:21:32 IST
If you thought buying a DSLR was hard enough, you should know that there a whole bunch of accessories for it. Any photographer, amateur or professional, can't be content with just a DSLR. There have to be a number of accessories to go with the camera body that will make the experience (nearly) complete. For an amateur photographer or an enthusiast, there are a few essentials to start off with. Assuming that you have already purchased a camera bag, here are a few things that come under the ‘must-buy’ category. So here are 5 essential accessories that you simply must have for your camera.
While your DSLR may or may not have come bundled with a memory card, they are really cheap these days. You can pick up a decent 16GB SDHC card for as little as Rs. 1,250.
SDHC cards are extremely affordable, so find the largest capacity possible
Memory cards' prices have dropped and considering that DSLRs shoot both RAW, JPEG and even high-definition videos, it’s a good idea to have at least a 16GB memory card in your camera. Most entry-level and mid-range DSLRs today support SDHC and SDXC cards, so there’s no confusion over pricing either.
This is one of the most important accessories if you’re a professional or enthusiast photographer. This is probably, the most essential purchase after the memory card. Many enthusiasts undermine the importance of a tripod, when in all actuality, using a tripod can be the biggest differentiation between a prize-winning shot and a blurry mess.
Tripods offers stability for long exposure shots
No tabletop or any other flat surface will ever replace the kind of maneuverability and flexibility of a tripod. Of course, tripods are a must for low light shots, but you'd be surprised with the kind of improvement you'll get on your image quality, simply by using a tripod for your regular shots too.
Tripods can start as low as Rs. 800 and go on to Rs. 4,000 for decent ones and even higher for professional ones. The best thing to do is to pick one that suits your budget and requirement.
If you’re looking for something that offers the flexibility of a tripod but something that’s more compact and practical to use, look out for something called a monopod. It’s a single foot stand that requires you to hold it steady but it offers much better support than holding the camera with just your hands. The portability means you can take it with you on a picnic or a hike and not worry about it being bulky or difficult to setup.
Most camera manufacturers bundle stock 18-55mm zoom lens along with the camera. While that is good enough for a great wide shot and close range shots, it will limit you quite a bit at times when you require to zoom into objects at a distance. That's where you need to pick up a good telephoto lens.
Lens offerings from third-party manufacturers
You could go for a good old upgrade of 55-200mm lens or even a 70-300mm lens, depending on your requirement. Having a high zoom lens can work out very well especially for vacationers and people into wildlife photography.
Camera manufacturers also have their own line of lenses
The camera manufacturer will usually offer several options for the camera but you can also look at third party manufacturers such as Sigma and Tamron for options.
A 55-200mm lens could cost you anywhere between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 12,000, while a 70-300mm could take off Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 25,000 from your pocket depending on the capability as well as the quality of the lens. Features such as auto focus on the lenses from third-party manufacturers often cost more. Be sure whether the lens you plan on buying has a motor built into it or requires one on the camera body itself.
Color tint filters and the other kind of fancy filters are a thing of the past these days, especially for amateur photographers. Those kinds of effects can be easily achieved in Photoshop. UV filter for amateurs are useful for two simple reasons - it cuts down any form of UV interference with your camera's lens and also protects the lens from dust and scratches. It's a must have for any superzoom and D-SLR camera owner. A UV filter will cost you between Rs. 100 to Rs. 250 depending on the manufacturer and the ring size.
Why do you need to buy a flash when you already get one built into your camera? The simple answer is that throwing light into your subject's face is not always the best way to take pictures. Adding an external flash allows you to maneuver the direction of the flash so instead of merely flashing on to the subject you can have it reflect off different surfaces to create softer and moodier lighting.
A separate flash unit offers better flexibility with the lighting and mood of the scene
Besides, even if you are going to flash directly on to the subject, you will have a hell of a lot more powerful flash at your disposal to light up objects at a distance.
Lens Cleaning Kit
While pro photographers are better off using a pro-lens cleaning kit, amateurs can make do with simple items available in the market. Since getting air cans in the market here is difficult, you can use a regular rubber blower that is easily available at any hardware store. These blowers will cost you around Rs. 15 and are effective enough to remove dust particles from your lens and other areas of your camera's body.
You can also get Chamos leather from any camera store in case you need to wipe the lens clean. That or an anti-static micro-fiber cloth can get the job done for you. Don't ever try to clean the lens with water or any other liquid, unless it is guaranteed to be safe for the camera lens. A false move can scratch your lens badly and render it useless so be careful with what you use on it.
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