Are you trying to decide which camera accessories or equipment to invest in next, and which ones are a must-have for an everyday photographer?
There isn't a standard set of equipment that every photographer relies on. Some have extensive collections, while others have smaller ones that are more focused on their photography niche. Choosing the correct accessories can be a game changer and drastically improve your ability to capture different types of photos. Each accessory falls into a certain category despite the wide number of options available. Fortunately, the majority of them are also reasonably priced.
Today, we'll go over the top two accessories for photographers and explain why they're worth the investment. Ultimately, not all of these options will be the perfect fit for your situation. However, the ones that do will add enormous value to your workflow and make your life much easier in the photography world and you'll find out which solutions are ideal for you. Today we are going to cover Camera Bags and Tripods.
Ok, maybe this one is a gimme. Camera Bags preserve your equipment while traveling and are required if you film outside of a studio. Invest in a decent camera bag before your camera is nicked or scratched and new photographers should consider one early on to protect their investment.
Your camera size and the amount of gear you need to store might affect the price of a bag significantly. If you're searching for a tiny camera backpack to hold your DSLR and a few lenses, expect to pay anything from $25 to $55 for it. Here are a few bags we have tried in the past that we recommend!
Best Everyday Sling Pack
Moment's Rugged Sling is aimed at street photographers who trek around all day. It has a modular organization system inside, and its weather-proof fabric is made from recycled sails (technically it's recycled polyester fiber and film, made by Northsail). There's a large zippered front pocket that makes it easy to get to your gear, and the "winged" rear padding design makes it super comfortable on your back. The best part is the ingenious magnetic clip system, which works very well. It comes in two sizes, 6 liters and 10 liters. I found the larger version perfect for carting around a drone.
Best Quality Backpack
Simply put, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L V2 is a sleekly designed bag. Its great options include dual side access for your camera and top access for additional storage needs and additional ways to pack your gear. The attention to detail in this bag is one of the reasons we liked it so much. Magnets hold the pockets closed and attach the shoulder straps to the back of the bag when they're not in use. Speaking of pockets, we counted 18 total, including water bottle pockets. A lot of those pockets are of the stretchy, internal variety with magnetic closures. We appreciate the multiple travel-friendly attributes, like a luggage pass-through on the back panel for easy integration with a rolling bag, as well as zipper pulls that can be latched together to deter pickpockets.
The addition of the pivoting shoulder straps ensures comfort on long days. With its durable and weather-resistant textiles, the Everyday Backpack holds off the elements well when fully closed. An adjustable laptop sleeve keeps your computer positioned towards the top of the compartment, which is great for two reasons. First, it's simply easier to access. Second, since it doesn't fully rest at the bottom of the bag, the laptop is protected if you drop your bag a little too hard.
Best Quality Budget Over The Shoulder Bag
If you are just starting out in photography or need a bag that won't be carried for long distances, the straightforward AmazonBasics Large Camera Bag is our recommendation. Accessing your gear is simple with the easy top-loading design. If you're looking to keep things more secure for crowded travels or more adventurous outings, there are buckles and a zipper to keep things in place. The bag's weather resistance proved to be better than we expected. After going through a short but heavy downpour, we couldn't detect any signs of moisture in the camera compartment. Like all the other bags we tested, the AmazonBasics uses a velcro divider system, and this bag comes with four dividers. It has an additional spot that could be used for a small tablet. This system makes it easy to configure for most simple camera setups. Although it can hold a 70-200mm lens with a mirrorless body attached, that setup leaves no additional room in the bag for other lenses.
The biggest drawback to this bag is its comfort (or lack thereof). After loading up this bag with gear and a tripod and wearing it for about a mile, our shoulders were not happy with us. We're also unsure of how well it will hold up over time because of the plastic buckles and single stitching in its manufacturing. Another issue is that this bag doesn't offer much room for accessories or non-photographic equipment outside the main compartment. For some, that won't be a big deal, but for others, it could be a deal-breaker. We appreciated the included straps that can hold a tripod; however, adding even a small travel tripod makes this bag hard to manage for longer distances.
Next, let's go over some Tri-Pod Options
When photographing landscapes, products, long exposures, macros, or low-light photography, a sturdy and durable tripod is a must-have. And a good tripod can open up a whole new world of possibilities for photographers. The longer the shutter speed, the more light can be captured for optimal exposure in certain scenarios.
For landscape and product photography, many images are often necessary. Additionally, these photos can be combined to create a greater depth of field. If the camera moves, the photo will be shaky at that point. With the help of a well-built tripod, you can avoid fuzzy photographs caused by camera movement. So with that, let us dive in on the top 3 Tripods we recommend!
Rigid and sturdy, with a rock-solid XPro ball head
Manfrotto’s highly popular 190-series tripods are now split into 190 and ‘190go!’ categories. The latter uses twist locks for the leg sections, whereas the current 190 tripod range has redesigned Quick Power Lock levers. Choices include three-section and four-section aluminum legs, with XPro heads of either 3-way or ball design; while carbon fiber alternatives are only available for the 190Go! series.
In this price bracket, the four-section Manfrotto 190XPro4 ball head kit (MK190XPro4-BHQ2) is our top choice. It’s a full-sized tripod that reaches a lofty operating height of 175cm, yet shrinks to a fairly modest folded height of 57cm. That’s despite the tripod lacking swing-up legs.
In this latest version, the 90-degree pivot facility is quicker and easier to operate, enabling you to swap to horizontal boom mode in just a few seconds. The four-way, multi-angle leg lock system is also improved, and the new locking levers for the leg sections have an innovative design that enables you to push one side of the lever or pull the other to release them.
The tripod legs remain rigid and sturdy even at their maximum operating height, with the centre column fully extended (and the four-section legs help to reduce the carrying size). The real star of the show, however, is the XPro ball head. It’s absolutely rock-solid, comes complete with an adjustable friction damper and pan only release.
The biggest of Benro's four new Rhino travel tripods is great all round
The Benro Rhino FRHN34CVX30 is at the top and of the size spectrum for a ‘travel’ tripod, but its simplicity, rigidity and ease of use mark it out as a top choice for landscape shooters, hikers and any outdoor photographer who needs to travel light but still have the best support possible – and Benro’s VX ball head is just brilliant.
If you need to pack a small camera support for city breaks and street photography, take a look at the Peak Design travel tripod, or the smaller Benro Rhino FRHN05CVX20, but if you need a portable tripod that doesn't sacrifice height or rigidity, the Rhino FRHN34CVX30 is one of the top of the line tripods on the market right now!
A really nice combination of weight, price, size and height
The Vanguard Veo 3 Go models are the latest versions of Vanguard's travel tripod designs, but the Veo 3 Go 265HCB model offers extra height (the 'H' in the name) and a detachable monopod. This makes it very effective as a lightweight everyday general purpose tripod too. If you don't need either of those things there's a shorter 265CB and a lighter payload but same size 235CB.
What we like about the Vanguard Veo 3 Go 265HCB is its light weight, neat design, simple operation and a really good combination of folded size (41cm) and maximum height. You do need to raise the center column for chest-level shooting, but that's an acceptable compromise in tripod that packs down as small as this one does. There's a removable monopod leg, spikes are included and a short center column for low angle shots. It's a really nice, neat tripod for the money and easily handles DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
In whatever equipment you choose, it is important to do your research and make sure it is right for you and your applications. We hope you found some value in this post and look forward to bringing you more items we find help us in our photography journey!