Five Camera Accessories Under $50 I Always Have In My Bag
It is tempting to use the strap that came with your camera, but they aren't that great and often hold the camera in an awkward uncomfortable system. I've been using this camera strap for several years and absolutely love it. There are two features I like the most. First, it is really quick to adjust and can get long enough to allow a camera to hang at hip height comfortably. Second, the quick release mechanism makes it easy to remove when shooting on a tripod. This allows me to quickly transition my camera from one shooting scenario to another. On top of those two great features, I've also jerry-rigged it as a dog leash.
A headlamp might not seem like the most obvious piece of gear for photography, but it is indispensable for landscape photography. Landscape photographers are often on location early in the morning or late into the evening, times when the light is best. This means you'll likely be traveling some distance in the dark, or near dark. In addition, a headlamp can be great for finding gear in your bag or to illuminate the buttons on your camera. Finally, a headlamp can allow for some creative lighting on a subject, especially when doing long exposures.
There are a lot of options in the multitool market. I've always been a huge fan of Leatherman tools. I've had a Leatherman Wave for over a decade and have enjoyed other smaller multitools like the Skeletool as well. Any sort of multitool will allow you to tighten down a quick release plate, fix a broken tripod, or snip zip ties (another must-have item in your bag). This is one of those pieces of gear you'll find yourself using on a regular basis, and you will likely find that at some point it will save a shoot.
These are two items that are easy to overlook but can really bite you in the butt. I can't recall the number of times I've forgotten to put a memory card back in my camera after pulling images off it, only to realize this when I'm miles from my vehicle at a backcountry location. Thankfully, this only happened a handful of times (more than I would like to admit) before I purchased a bunch of extra cards and stashed them in my camera bags. These cards have saved me countless times. I also like to keep my cards organized and protected in a Pelican case. I absolutely love Pelican products, they stand the test of time.
This is another item I have stashed in multiple places. You always want to have some way to safely clean dust off your lens. Microfiber cloths are great for this and seem to come with every new electronic device, sunglasses, or camera. Just like memory cards, they are easy to misplace or leave behind. I like these Nikon cloths because they have an integrated pouch that makes them easier to find and keeps them protected from dirt and debris when not in use. The clip is nice as well, I usually keep one attached to the key chain clip found on most backpacks.
It's easy to get into camera gear overload, spend lots of money on new bodies and lenses, and overlook the simple items that will make your photography outings go smoothly. These five items are always with me and have proven more instrumental than other pieces of gear that cost a lot more. Do you have favorite items you always carry with you? Share them in the comments below.