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The best camera accessories: Maximize your photography

From straps to smartphone camera bolt-ons, we've got you covered.

There has never been such a range of options for those interested in photography: we now have powerful cameras with multiple lenses embedded in our smartphones; mirrorless cameras; an extensive market of entry to premium DSLRs; action cameras; compact cameras, and we've even seen the reemergence of Polaroids with modern designs. 

Also: Best cameras 

This massive market has also prompted another: camera accessories. Professionals often invest in bags, secure straps, lens modifiers, and tripods for their work, but hobbyists, too, can take advantage of them to improve their photography. 

Below, we've compiled our top picks for camera accessories in 2021. 

The Green Pod camera platform

Creates the perfect angle

The Green Pod camera platform

The Green Pod camera platform is an adjustable, small bean bag made up of nylon that is malleable enough to allow users to adjust it before placing their camera down to take a shot -- keeping their valuable kit away from dirt and creating the perfect angle. The stuffing can also be changed out for materials other than plastic pellets. 

Pros:

  • Could be useful for long exposures
  • Wide range of camera compatibility

Cons:

  • You may need to add a counterbalance -- or even use two bags -- when larger lenses are in play

HoldFast Gear Money Maker two-camera harness

A crucial accessory

HoldFast Gear Money Maker two-camera harness

Professional photographers can count a stable, secure harness as a crucial accessory. One worth considering is the HoldFast Gear Money Maker harness, made of bridle leather and four ring attachments in a cross pattern. This harness is able to handle two cameras or lenses. 

Pros:

  • Secure and strong enough for DSLRs
  • Attractive design

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some users may find it heavy to wear

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD card reader

Multi-purpose

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD card reader

With the variety of memory cards for both smartphones and cameras today, it's useful to have one compact reader able to tackle different types. The Anker 2-in-1 SD card reader, available on Amazon, is a USB 3.0 dongle able to read MicroSD, SD, SDXC, UHS-I cards, and more. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • High versatility

Cons:

  • Some users report technical issues over time

Ruggard Outrigger 65 DSLR backpack

Protect your gear

Ruggard Outrigger 65 DSLR backpack

A backpack or case able to protect cameras and lenses is a must for both professional and hobbyist photographers alike. One to consider, available at B&H, is the Ruggard Outrigger 65 DSLR backpack, a model containing a number of padded compartments and dividers for a DSLR, battery grip, and up to four lenses -- as well as a tablet.

Pros:

  • Protection for a camera and lenses

Cons:

  • Could be considered bulky
  • Overkill for smaller setups

Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 printer

Bring your photos to life

Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 printer

Once you've taken a photo or two you would then like to print, you're going to need a decent printer able to do your images justice. The Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 is a wireless inkjet printer that can print from a PC, tablet, or smartphone at a rate of 15.8 ISO ppm (black) and up to 11 ISO ppm (color) at a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Space-saving

Cons:

  • Users report Epson's software can be buggy or difficult to install

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 wireless color wide-format printer

For larger prints

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 wireless color wide-format printer

If you would prefer a premium printer able to manage larger print sizes, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 is worthy of consideration. Canon's wide-format inkjet printer can produce A3+ borderless prints and has been optimized for professional quality at a resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 dpi.

Pros:

  • High-quality prints
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Expensive for an inkjet
  • Ink can be difficult to obtain

Photojojo smartphone lens series for Android, iPhone

Start small

Photojojo smartphone lens series for Android, iPhone

If you're interested in exploring what mobile photography can offer you but do not want to break the bank, Photojojo has magnetic lenses suitable for iPhone and Android cameras at an affordable price. Starting at $20, you can select from fisheye, telephoto, macro, and wide-angle lenses that snap on to transform your smartphone camera's capabilities. 

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Aluminum casing

Cons:

  • Purchasing a full kit adds up

JOBY GorillaPod 1K tripod

Portable, versatile

JOBY GorillaPod 1K tripod

If you're looking for a versatile, portable tripod, the JOBY GorillaPod 1K plus could be the product for you. This tripod has grip, wrap, and traditional stand modes and is suitable for a variety of smartphones, cameras, and camcorders. There is also a built-in spirit level. 

Pros:

  • Flexible 
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • The style won't appeal to everyone 

LensPen lens cleaner

Avoid dirty, scratched lenses

LensPen lens cleaner

A dirty lens can severely impact the quality of your images and using a standard cloth or towel may leave scratches in the fragile glass. Instead, a lens pen is a cheap and effective way to maintain lenses, as well as binoculars or scopes. LensPen's model contains a non-liquid carbon cleaning compound and a retractable, soft brush. 

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • The cleaner will not dry out

Cons:

  • Plastic, cheap feel

Neewer 50-In-1 action camera accessory kit

For GoPro enthusiasts

Neewer 50-In-1 action camera accessory kit

This is a budget-friendly kit for action camera users, such as a GoPro, available over at Amazon. This 50-piece kit contains a variety of handy accessories including head and wrist straps, a selfie stick, a handlebar grip, helmet mount, and adhesive pads. 

Pros:

  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Some users report quality issues with the mounts

5-in-1 reflector kit

Getting the lighting right

5-in-1 reflector kit

This is a useful and affordable reflector kit for improving the lighting of images. This kit contains translucent, silver, gold, white, and black 43-inch discs that are lightweight and can be packed away in an included bag after use. 

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Build quality could be improved

EZ Dupe media mirror plus duplicator

Back up everything

EZ Dupe media mirror plus duplicator

An accessory for professional photographers and videographers who cannot risk the loss of their data, the EZ Dupe media mirror plus duplicator is a gadget for making multiple copies of information contained in USB flash storage, DVD media, and memory cards. The duplicator is able to make up to two copies at a time and write them to DVD or CDs. 

Pros:

  • A useful addition for professionals
  • Versatile duplication options

Cons:

  • Expensive

Other camera accessories to consider

Description:

What are the must-have accessories for new photographers?

Once you become hooked on photography, there will always be an accessory, lens, or camera body on your wishlist. If you're just starting out, however, you do not immediately need everything. To begin with, I would recommend a suitable carry case or backpack, a lens cleaner, a strap, and in the case of DSLRs, a replacement battery. Spare memory cards can be extremely useful, too. 

Oh, and don't forget insurance if you've purchased a high-end camera. Speaking from experience, it can be worth every penny if your camera needs repair due to accidents or is stolen. 

What accessories should you not leave home without?

If you're taking your camera out for a job or just for fun, I would recommend that you pack it away safely in a suitable bag and consider taking, at the least, a wrist strap or harness. Polarizing filters can be useful to mitigate problems with reflections when you take photos during strong daylight, and a remote shutter can be useful in settings ranging from wildlife photography to events. 

What's the best camera on the market today?

To decide on your next camera, you can check out our top picks for DSLRs, compact models, mirrorless designs and more here: Best camera: Professional shoots to street photography, compared

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