Ultimate wish list of gear for every beginner photographer is the post with all the equipment you need. It is based on the presumption that you already bought your first DSLR camera. You made great shots, but now you need to do better. There is equipment that can help on your way to become a pro. Equipment list is based on my personal needs and preferences. Examples may be mostly for Nikon because I own Nikon camera. I will give you links for affordable equipment that I ordered or plan to order. When I get items from that list I will make a review for every one of them.
The tripod is the first thing you will need as a necessary part of your equipment. By using your camera often, you will see that some of your images are crooked or shaky. Taking pictures by holding the camera in your arms all the time could be hard and unpractical. The tripod is necessary when you want images with slower shutter speed.
For example, when you want to take pictures of waterfalls, like I did on Plitvice. Waterfalls are great for smooth water and when you use tripod, everything else remains sharp. If you don’t have it, by moving your camera with your hands, you can get blurry image. Also, in situations where there is not much light, you can adjust slower shutter speed and the image will turn out to be super sharp for still objects, as the camera doesn’t move. The tripod that I ordered is AmazonBasics 60 ‘‘ and I you can read my review here.
2. Camera bag
The camera bag is understood as necessary equipment. You will realize that you can’t hold the camera constantly in your hands. Even worse is when it is in your backpack or bag without protection. That’s why you need a true professional bag that has camera and lens protection. Bags come in a variety of shapes, ranging from backpacks to small bags or inserts that protect the camera. The advantage of inserts is that you can put them in any bag that you like and they will protect your gear. You can find affordable bag here.
3. Prime lens
If you only bought a DSLR camera or a kit lens in the package, then you need at least one prime lens. Standard, compared to the “zoom” lenses are great for beginners because it’s best to learn. They help you determine how much you need to be close to or away from the object of shooting. Since you can’t zoom in, you must approach it or move away with your feet. Also, they are very good for portraits because they have a blurred background (bokeh) effect due to the large aperture of the lens. A large aperture also helps when you have no bright lighting. The best and most affordable lens is 50mm f/1.8G. You can buy it here.
When you try to shoot at low light with a DSLR camera and the built-in flash pops out, you will realize that this is not exactly an option that helps. The built-in flash is usually very bad and gives the shadow of the camera itself. That’s why you need an external flash that is mounted on the camera. You can control it manually and out of the camera or as a respond (slave) mode to the built-in flash. That’s why it can be on the side, not necessarily on the camera.
Find the good and inexpensive flash firstly to see how to use it at all. When you learn to use it, then you need to see how much you really need it. Only then invest in high-quality and expensive flash, though there are very good flashes that are affordable. The flash I use is the AmazonBasics Flash for DSLR that you can find and order here. It is great manual flash for beginners and very affordable. I will shortly review it, so follow my new posts.
Reflectors are used to refuse the light to make the light that falls on the picture object, most often the person you are painting, equalized when painting. That they are the big round items that are commonly seen by professionals. They come in a few colors: gray, white, black and gold, and they are best white and gray. Black is pretty dark, and the gold gives a very yellow effect that does not look natural.
The diffuser is similar to the reflector just placed between the painting object and the light source and is transparent. It is used to reduce light when it hits directly in our picture object. The reflector and diffuser is usually best to buy in a 5 in 1 package that is sold. I have ordered my package on ebay, and you can buy it here. I will write his opinions and experiences later on.
6. Remote controller for the camera
The remote controller is a great device that is not appreciated enough. Everyone doesn’t need it, but in some situations it could help you. You can use it when you want to shoot without timer and don’t want to move the camera. When you activate the camera to shoot with a remote, you do not have to touch it. This way you can avoid shaking and blurry images. Also, it is great for shooting family portraits when you want to be a part of the picture or when you take picture of yourself. In any case, the remote is small and cheap, so why you wouldn’t buy it. There are original remote controllers by camera manufacturers and cheap substitutes that work same as the original. The remote I use is for Nikon and you can get it here.
7. Memory card
It’s pretty logical to store your pictures somewhere, so you will need a good and fast memory card. In case you haven’t already bought it and you use an old memory card. You need a memory card that has a high read speed that every manufacturer stands out, but it’s also important to check its write speed. The write speed will not always be prominent, so beware of it. It is needed to store and browse photos faster. The bigger it is, the camera’s work will be faster. Memory card capacity depends on your needs, of course it is better to take as much as possible, but it is also more expensive option. The memory card I use is the Samsung Pro 32GB and you can buy it here.
8. Cleaning Kit
Because of the sensitivity of the lenses, it will often get dirty, especially when it is bad weather and when you shoot in nature. That’s why you need cleaning kit, so that dirt on the lens is not visible in the pictures. You don’t want to damage your expensive equipment with an undue cleanser. It is best to get cleaning wipes for lenses or glasses, air pump, cleaning sprays and brushes. You can find interesting cleaning kit here.
9. Filters and Lens hoods
A lot of people don’t use filters and not everyone agrees that they are useful. Reason for that is because you can sort everything in post processing software. Thus, for example, UV Filters do not serve anything on the DSLR camera, as the lenses already have UV protection built-in. They are mostly used on film cameras. They can only protect the lenses, but if the glass of the filter brakes, the lens will probably also break. But not everyone agrees with it, so some regularly use them.
Filters that can help you are polarizing, neutral density and graduated filters. Polarizing filters reduce the reflection of the objects and make the colors more beautiful. ND (neutral density) filters reduce the intensity of the light so that when there is strong sunlight, you can open the blend higher (smaller aperture number) or extend the exposure time (smaller shutter speed). The graduated filters start with bright part and end with dark one and are good when shooting the landscape. They allow us to equalize the strong light of the sky and the dark shadows on the land.
Filters exist in different sizes, depending on the lens you own, because they are attached to the lens, so it is necessary to check it. Lens hoods or shades are used to protect your lens and block the sun or other light source. They come in different shape and size depending on your lens type.
10. Photo editing software
If you haven’t already, be sure to check and use editing software. As I have already explained in my post, it’s best to shoot in RAW format to take the most out of the picture. After taking pictures in RAW, this image needs to be processed. The best and most popular programs are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. But they are also the most expensive, so you can get some alternatives of these programs. I’ll write a post about alternatives in the future when I try them out.