So, you’ve got your camera body and lens - what’s next? Whether you're a novice or a professional, you should also have some high-quality accessories in your kit to enhance your photography experience and aid in capturing the perfect shot. In this article, we’ve included the basic and essential accessories that a new photographer should look into adding to their kit. Luckily, you've already spent the big bucks on your camera body and lens, and accessories generally aren't too big, complicated, or expensive. Tripods, gimbals, memory cards and bags can be just as important to your photography kit - especially for certain styles and types of work - and we share some of our top picks!
Gimbal For Smooth Footage
When it comes to recording on the fly, whether it's for your new vlog, video or even photos, a gimbal can be a game-changer. A gimbal is a hand-held device that allows a camera to rotate smoothly along an axis. They are equipped with motors and sensors which stabilise the camera whether you’re tilting, panning, or rolling. This results in smooth, cinematic footage that adds a layer of quality to your content!
If you want professional performance and great value wrapped into one, we recommend checking out the ZHIYUN WEEBILL-S Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer. This compact and lightweight gimbal provides smooth and steady footage, while being extremely portable, making it perfect for on-the-go shooting. It's built to handle mainstream mirrorless and DSLR camera & lens combos, thanks to its upgraded motor units and an innovative high-precision software algorithm. It's packed full of useful features that will take your cinematography to the next level, including compatibility with the optional TransMount image transmission module, Intelligent Auto-Tune, various creative shooting modes, and more!
If you're more of a smartphone content maker - or like using your smartphone as a second camera - check out the ZHIYUN Smooth-5 Smartphone Gimbal too! We have an entire article on the Top Camera Stabilizers and Gimbals so be sure to check that out for more recommendations!
Tripod For Clear and Steady Shots
A tripod can be incredibly useful for capturing the best shot in certain circumstances. When you need your camera to be steady, be it stills or videos, a tripod is for you. Examples of when a tripod can be useful is when you're taking long exposures or shooting in darker environments; this is because when you need to adjust your exposure and shutter speed, there’s a risk of camera shake which could result in blurry images.
Tripods don’t just only hold your camera, they can also be your light stand for your flashes, LEDs, reflectors and more. When using a telephoto lens, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to balance handheld but placing the lens over the tripod will help balance it out giving your photos the sharpness it deserves.
One of our most popular tripods is the WeiFeng WT-6662A Professional Ball Head Tripod. It's a durable multi-action tripod that swivels 90 degrees vertically, 360-degrees horizontally, and has the ability to be extended to a maximum height of 64-inches. Weighing in at roughly 1.5kg, it is a nice portable weight while still being reliable and sturdy. It has a maximum weight of 3kgs. For a smaller and more compact option, check out the WeiFeng WF-0103 Mini Tripod - this one has the added perk of flexible legs, allowing you to wrap it around all sorts of objects and structures to capture the perfect shot!
Microphone For Quality Audio
No video is complete without good audio and using an external microphone will do the trick. There are multiple types of microphones such as the lavalier mic - a wireless mic that is ideal for use in interviews as they can easily be clipped on someone’s clothing; or a shotgun mic - a good all-purpose microphone that is mounted on top of the camera's hot shoe and records anything you point it at.
The RODE VideoMic is our go-to pick for shotgun mics, as it features a studio-grade condenser, high-pass filter and a two-stage level control for recording loud sounds, making it an extremely multi-purpose microphone. It has an integrated Rycote Lyre shock mounting system which provides good isolation from external vibrations and a high-density windshield. Keep in mind the RODE VideoMic requires a 9V battery to operate. For the top-of-the-line option, check out the RODE VideoMic Pro.
For those who prefer a wireless lavalier mic, check out the popular Rode Wireless GO II. This microphone is great for picking up crisp clear audio from key subjects making it especially ideal for video journalists and vloggers, but is suitable for a wide range of content creation applications. It is ultra-compact and extremely versatile, with a system that consists of a dual channel receiver and two transmitters. The Wireless GO II boasts a range of powerful features, including universal compatibility with cameras, mobile devices and computers, extended range (200m line of sight) and improved transmission stability, on-board recording capabilities, and much more. For a more affordable version of the Lavalier style microphone, consider the Boya BY-XM6 S1.
Lights for More Control
Lights are an incredibly useful camera accessory because they allow you more control over the lighting in your shots, no matter when and where you are shooting, thus, enhancing the quality and aesthetics of your content. Good lighting equipment can significantly improve visibility in low-light conditions, ensuring that your subject is always well-illuminated and clear; and they can transform the mood and atmosphere of your shots, so you can effectively execute your artistic vision.
The FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick from Zhiyun-Tech is a portable, lightweight, and versatile 100W lighting solution for content creators and vloggers. It features an output of 1200 lux at 3.3' (6200K) and a variable color temperature of 2700-6200K. Precise colour adjustability allows you to meet ambient conditions, match other fixtures, or produce creative effects. You can choose between CCT, HSI, and FX light effect modes with variable light intensity from 0 to 100%. This light stick is a great addition to your toolkit for those wanting greater control over the artistry of their content!
If you only need a simple lighting setup - say, if you're a vlogger or mobile content creator - check out the JOBY 12" Beamo Ring Light. This LED light offers 10 brightness levels and 3 colour temperatures, making it the perfect companion for content creation! Perfectly designed to accentuate your vlogs and selfies with complimentary lighting and eye-catching reflections, this light pairs seamlessly with JOBY supports, mounts, and microphones (sold separately) to facilitate awesome content creation.
Memory Card For Storage
There’s nothing worse than having a camera that can’t shoot fast, or isn’t capable of recording in 4k video. A slow memory card causes bottlenecks in the data and slows down the camera. There are two types of memory commonly used in cameras: CompactFlash and SD cards. First, figure out what type of memory card your camera uses and decide how much storage you will use. However, that isn’t the only thing to look at when browsing memory cards. Reading and writing speeds play an important role, especially for those looking for high-speed continuous shooting or high-resolution video. We’ve included a mixture of card types below, that we’d recommend depending on your purpose.
Camera Bag For Protection
A camera bag is not only there to carry your equipment, but also to protect it. However, finding the right bag for you can be a challenge thanks to the many different designs. You might want a messenger bag, shoulder sling style, or you may prefer a small case or pouch to put your gear in then pop it inside your backpack.
Whichever style of bag you prefer, ensure that you choose one that has a good quality zip, as those are normally the first thing to fail! The last thing anyone wants is their gear to potentially fall out and get damaged. You’ll want to ensure your bag has enough space for your needs (will it fit your camera + your go-to lenses?) and make sure it has proper padding and customisable compartments to fit your gear. If you often take a tablet or laptop with you it may be worth checking your bag has an extra slot for that as well as a rain cover for those that go hiking.
If you've got an entire camera kit, we recommend a bag like the PGYTECH OneMo 2 Backpack 25L. This is a versatile 25L camera bag that caters to a content creators' varied needs. Its well-designed interior accommodates camera essentials as well as personal items. It has V-shaped and H-shaped expansion for gimbal stabilizers for flexible storage. Enhanced comfort is assured by a high-performance back panel and thick waist strap. Quick access to large lenses is provided through top and side entries. The pack's splashproof PU-coated surface and rain cover protect against weather surprises. Features such as a phone pocket, optional camera clip, multiple handles, battery-indicating system, YKK zippers, and secret AirTag pocket are thoughtfully implemented to amplify user experience.