How do I Choose the Best Digital Camera Accessories?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Some digital camera accessories are things that everyone or nearly everyone needs. But beyond those, the best digital camera accessories for you are ones that work well with your particular camera and the types of use to which you put it.

A digital camera.
A digital camera.

Probably at the top of the list for digital camera accessories is memory cards because, frankly, the built-in memory holds far too few photos for most users. And you’ll likely want two, so that you can switch off when one gets full, rather than having to copy the photos to another safe location before you can continue shooting. Also, if one card becomes corrupted or otherwise damaged, lost, or stolen, if you’ve used two cards you won’t have lost all your photographs, so its best to have more than one.

Necessary digital camera accessories may include a memory card reader.
Necessary digital camera accessories may include a memory card reader.

Memory cards are available in a variety of sizes and, depending on your purposes, you might be happy with a 512 megabyte or 1 gigabyte card. Photographers warn against using cards that are too large for the “putting all your eggs in one basket” reason: you’ve got too much to lose with, say, 16 GB of photos on one card.

Make sure to read your cameras specs in order to choose the proper type of memory. You will also want to make a careful match with what’s likely to be your second accessory purchase: a card reader for downloading your digital memory card to your computer. Card readers show up on computers as a drive when you connect it via USB or FireWire.

Items that nearly everyone needs include an extra battery and a battery charger. Whether you use your camera at home or on the road, there are likely to be times when a 4 hour to overnight break for recharging would prove inconvenient. If you’re buying a battery adapter kit in order to make it functional in other parts of the world, think ahead: you may be able to get a multi-country kit for the same price as a single adapter.

A camera case, to store and protect the camera when not in use and carry your battery, memory, card reader, etc. is another high priority digital camera accessory. You may wish to purchase it after you purchase other accessories though, to make sure you can fit what you need to. Some people recommend purchasing a camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag in order to reduce the chance that it will be stolen.

Depending on the camera, one or more lenses might be next on your list. Of course, it’s important to make sure that the lens you have in mind will fit the particular model you have and, if you need an adapter, that it is available. An attachable flash can be key for some photographers, and a tripod – perhaps a full height one and a mini as well – may be important to you. Mini tripods specify camera type for weight-bearing purposes, so don’t simply order the smallest in order to fit it easily into your camera bag. A tripod case or carry bag can make transporting the tripod much easier.

For best results, you may want to make at least some of these purchases of digital camera accessories in person with your camera and manual in hand. This will help you to make sure that all your accessories work smoothly and fit properly with your camera.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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