So, you have a camera you want to use to learn photography. What’s important is to practice and to try things out every time. Having a good camera is great, but what’s even more important is how you approach the creative process towards capturing that stunning photo of yours. Just keep that in mind. Here are some of the essential camera gear for beginners that you should have that will make your life easier, and potentially make your photos look better.
This is the most popular camera gear that all photographers have – the tripod. Having a tripod is a must have for all photographers, whether you are just starting out, or have years of experience in photography.
Having a tripod helps keep your camera stable to avoid any camera shakes and potentially get a nice still angle for
Tripods come in different types and sizes. The most popular ones are usually made of the following materials:
- Plastic (not so lightweight, somewhat durable, very affordable)
- Aluminum (lightweight, durable, affordable)
- Carbon Fiber (very lightweight, very durable, most expensive)
They vary by price, weight, size, and durability.
The most popular brand that dominates the tripod market is Manfrotto, although they are quite expensive, so I don’t expect you to own one right away. Instead, a good alternative that is travel friendly, and can open up to a standard size is the Slik Sprint Pro II Tripod without breaking the bank. You couldn’t go wrong by going with the Slik Sprint Pro II as it should last you for quite a while before you think about upgrading.
Spare Memory Card
When you shoot with a mirrorless or DSLR camera, the pictures are usually high quality, and take up a lot of space on your memory card fast. Not only that, if you do video, having a second memory card is a must. I own a 32 GB memory card and it fills up fast!
I recommend you get a extra Class 10 memory card for your camera gear as they have a fast performance to capture HD video footage. Even if you don’t plan to do video, it’s nice to have just in case you plan to in the future.
Be sure to shoot your photos in RAW instead of JPEG so you get the best quality photo possible. Plus, shooting in RAW will provide you the most flexibility when it’s time for you to edit your photo. Do keep in mind that it does mean it will take up a lot more space than a regular JPEG file!
Some good and reliable SD cards that I recommend are:
- PNY Elite Performance 32 GB Class 10 SD Card (I use this)
- Sandisk Extreme Pro 32 GB Class 10 SD Card (good alternative)
One day you might go out into the field and realize you forgot to charge your battery last night, and only have 1 bar left. I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar with your smartphone, right? You know what I’m talking about.
For this reason, and other obvious reasons, is why you should consider purchasing a spare battery for your camera. It should be pretty easy as most name brands usually sell their own batteries, and 3rd party retailers also sell compatible batteries for most cameras on the market.
50mm Prime Lens “Nifty Fifty”
This could end up being the most expensive item on the list, and that is a 50mm prime lens aka “nifty fifty”.
The 50mm prime lens is a great all-around lens that all photographers own. What makes it such an amazing lens and all-around, is that it provides the least amount of distortion, and the 50mm focal length is what’s closest to what our eyes see.
Hand Air Dust Blower (or just a cleaning kit in general)
Last but not least, the final camera gear that I recommend you have is a dust blower. What a hand air dust blower do is when you squeeze it, air blows out of the bulb. You can use this to clean your camera lens in case dust particles are on your lens. After all, it’s not a smart thing to touch your camera with your bare hands or use napkins to clean it. Doing so can potentially smear the lens or perhaps even scratch it! The camera lens is the most expensive piece of equipment that a photographer owns. Here is a good one since it comes with additional cleaning accessories that may come in handy for a low cost:
Again, the essential camera gear for beginners I recommend you consider purchasing are a tripod, spare memory card, spare battery, and a 50mm Prime Lens. It will not make you a better photographer (since that is based on your creativity), but rather, it will definitely make your life easier.
If you have an extremely limited budget, and can only afford one of the items from the list above, at least choose to get a good solid tripod. It is something that you will probably be using the most even when you become a pro photographer. Just make sure you don’t cheap out on it. I learned this from personal experience by purchasing a cheap-o tripod for around $30.