Just got a new camera? What to buy next? Pete's Pro Tips
So your camera probably came with a standard 18-55mm kit lens or something like that. And thats fine for starting out with, hell I used a kit lens "professionally" way back in my early days as a "professional" photographer on my old Canon kiss (rebel) mkIII film camera which I bought back in the late 90's and used to shoot group photos, newspaper shoots and 2nd shoot for weddings back in Australia. Yes thats how I started out so you don't need the best of the best gear to get by with but here are 5 or maybe 6 accessories that I think are must have items to complement your new camera and get you rolling on this crazy hobby called photography.
You'll also find links to the items I recommend in case you'd like to purchase them from Amazon.com. These are my affiliate links so I get a little cut back if you buy from my link which helps keep the photography biz and site running. Of course it won't cost you any extra! 8)
#1 50mm prime lens. 50mm prime lenses can be picked up super cheap. Used 50's even cheaper and theres generally nothing wrong with them. Canon's 50mm f1.8 lens can be picked up new for under $100 these days! 50mm primes A.K.A The Nifty Fifty are great because they make you work for your composition more because of the lack of a zoom. This will help you slow down and learn to compose your images better. The other obvious benefits of a 50 prime or any prime for that matter usually are the faster aperture allowing you to shoot in low light conditions, better IQ or image quality and allowing you to get a shallower depth of field over your standard kit lens.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens Nikon 50mm
f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR FX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
#2 Polarizer lens. A.K.A PL filters are the must have filter for landscape shooters as they cut down on unwanted reflections and make colors nice and vibrant. Your clouds will really pop off the blue sky when you use a PL filter with your landscape images. Just remember that you have to use the PL filter at a 90 degree angle from the sun. So it wont work if your shooting into the sun or have the sun behind you. Also don't get caught up in the "circular" polarizer vs linear polarizer thing. A circular polarizer is not referring to the actual physical shape of the filter itself but how the polarizer is actually refracting the light passing through it. For example it is possible to have a square circular polarizer. Basically circular PL filters are designed to work with auto focus lenses where as linear PL filters were the norm before AF lenses became popular and are still used today a bit in the film industry to my knowledge.
B+W 77mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating
#3 Cable release. There are so many times when I've gone out shooting landscapes and seascapes but have cursed at myself for forgetting to bring along my cable release. Yes you can set your camera for the 2 second timer to avoid camera shake but what if you want to make exposures longer then 30 seconds? You can't unless you hold down the shutter button manually which is not a good idea. Using a cable release will allow you not just to fire your camera without actually touching it but also to lock down your shutter so you can do really creative shots past the 30 second long exposure time. For that really silky smooth water look or long star trail nigh shot try keeping that shutter open for 4 or 5 minutes with a cable release.
Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch for EOS-1V/1VHS, EOS-3, EOS-D2000, D30, D60, 1D, 1Ds, EOS-1D Mark II,III, EOS-1Ds Mark II,III, EOS-10D, 20D, 30D,40D, 50D, 5D
Nikon 25395 MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord (1 Meter)
#4 Tripod. Of course in order to use a cable release you still need to put your camera on a tripod to keep it nice and steady during your exposures. I find my images shot using a tripod are generally quite a bit sharper then the ones I've taken hand held. Just make sure you invest in a decent one. You don't want to get a cheap nasty tripod as it will just be frustrating and you won't want to take it out then you will have just waisted your money so just bite the bullet and invest at least a couple of hundred bucks in a decent tripod to begin with and it should last you for many years to come.
Induro CT-313 8X Carbon Tripod 3 Section 73-Inch Max Height 39lb Load
#5 Flash (Speedlite) If you do have a pop up flash on your camera its pretty much next to useless apart from maybe using it to trigger other flashes or as a little fill light for your subject. A proper clip on flash gun A.K.A Speedlite or speedlight will open up a lot of creative possibilities for you. Especially once you learn to take the flash off camera (Check my other Youtube videos on how to do that). You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a flash like myself and many other have done before now that companies like Yongnuo have come out with very cheap "knock off" copies of the more expensive flash units. I still have Canon speedlites but for most of my shoots I use the Yongnuo yn560 III which runs about $80, does not have TTL but works just great all the same. Very simple to use and also have some features the more expensive flashes don't have. I like them for their built in wireless receiver which allows me to pop a Yongnuo wireless trigger on my cameras hotshoe and fire my flashes very easily off camera.
Yongnuo Professional Flash Speedlight Flashlight Yongnuo YN 560 III for Canon Nikon Pentax Olympus Camera / Such as: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark, EOS1D Mark, EOS 5D Mark, EOS 7D, EOS 60D, EOS 600D, EOS 550D, EOS 500D, EOS 1100D
#6 is a bonus item thats not really an accessory but something I think is a no brainer and thats some kind of editing software. I have most experience with Adobe Lightroom and love it so thats what I'm recommending. You can pick it up with the Creative Cloud option for about $10/month or buy it stand alone for around $100 these days I think. Apple's Aperture will do the same kind of thing as well but I've used Lightroom from day one that it was released and couldn't live without it. Great for keeping all your images in order and for making light work of bulk editing.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
So there we are 6 tips to help with your "GAS" (gear acquisition syndrome) that everyone goes through when they get their first DSLR camera. After that I suggest keep saving your pennies for better "glass". Camera bodies will be upgraded every year or so but investing in high quality lenses that you could potentially use for a life time if you look after them is the way to go for sure.
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