Choose Accessories for Your Digital SLR Camera - dummies

Choose Accessories for Your Digital SLR Camera

By Doug Sahlin

You will eventually want to purchase accessories for your digital SLR camera. When you buy a digital SLR camera, you get a camera body, a battery, and a lens. That’s enough to get you by when you’re shooting close to home, but what happens when you take a daylong journey in search of lovely landscapes and animals to photograph?

Or maybe you’re going on vacation. Well, the battery charge dwindles as you photograph, and you fill up the memory card pretty quickly. You also have to maintain your equipment. Here are some accessories you should consider:

  • An extra battery: It’s a good idea to keep a spare battery fully charged in your camera bag for each camera. If you buy a third-party battery, make sure you aren’t voiding your camera warranty by using it.

  • Extra memory cards: Memory cards come in different capacities and different data transfer rates. High-speed memory cards decrease the amount of time it takes the memory card to accept the data from your camera. That means your camera’s memory buffer won’t fill up as quickly when you hold the shutter button to capture a sequence of images.

    High-speed memory cards are expensive, but well worth the money if you like to photograph sports or other genres of photography where you use continuous drive mode.

    Some manufacturers include data recovery software with their high-speed cards. Data recovery software is handy if a card should ever become corrupt, which means you won’t be able to download the images to the computer. The data recovery software may make it possible to recover the corrupt data.

  • A lens-cleaning brush: A lens-cleaning brush has soft hairs that you use to whisk dust off the lens.

  • A lens-cleaning cloth: A good microfiber lens-cleaning cloth is used to clean any smudges off the camera lens. Use the cloth after you use the brush.

  • A memory card holder: When you have lots of memory cards, a memory card holder is a great way to keep everything organized.

    Buy a memory card holder with two sides, ideally with different-colored backgrounds. Put your empty cards on one side and your full cards on the other side.

  • A rain sleeve: The camera case protects the camera when it’s nestled safely inside your camera bag. But what happens when the weather turns bad and you still want to take pictures? Digital cameras have sensitive circuitry that should not get wet.

    The Op/Tech RainSleeve is made of heavy-duty plastic. It comes with a drawstring you use to snug the sleeve around the barrel of the lens you’re using. It also has a hole over which you slip the viewfinder shield. The sleeve offers adequate protection. For more information, visit Outdoor Photo Gear.


  • A comfortable camera strap: The strap that comes with most cameras is very thin and has the camera manufacturer’s name emblazoned on it in big bold letters. A thin camera strap digs into your neck and becomes quite uncomfortable after awhile. For comfort and convenience, consider purchasing a wide padded camera strap that will be comfortable when you carry your camera and a long telephoto lens.

    A company named BlackRapid has invented a unique camera strap that attaches to the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. The strap slings over your left shoulder, which positions the camera by your side, ready for action. The strap takes the pressure off your neck and is more comfortable than conventional camera straps, especially when you’re traipsing in the wilderness.

    The company has a model that is tailored for a woman’s physique and another model that has pockets for memory cards and other small accessories.