29 other things to buy after your first DSLR

I recently did a pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast on buy­ing your first DSLR. In that pod­cast I sug­gested NOT spend­ing a whack of cash on your first cam­era body, and sav­ing it for lenses and acces­sories instead.

Speak­ing of all those accessories…member masp from our pho­tog­ra­phy forum started this thread list­ing other items you’ll need to go with that first DSLR if you want to get seri­ous about pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s a big list for sure but it will give new­bies in par­tic­u­lar a feel for what many advanced shoot­ers con­sider to be essen­tial gear, acces­sories and must have gadgets.

So hat tip to masp once more for this list! Feel free to add your own sug­ges­tions in the com­ments if you feel any­thing is missing.

Here’s a par­tial check­list I’ve put together from my own research and lis­ten­ing to the pod­cast. I’m sure I’ve prob­a­bly left some­thing impor­tant out here or there, so please let me know if you spot any omis­sions or use­ful things I should include. Aster­isks denote the stuff that is more impor­tant or cheap enough to buy first.

* 1. UV fil­ter ($10 to 30 to $60?)
* 2. Padded cam­era case
3. Cam­era armor?
* 4. LCD screen cover if not included. (Included for Nikons)
* 5. Viewfinder cover and mag­ni­fier
6. Fancy cam­era strap, like the Black Rapid straps?
* 7. Lens hood for any lenses that lack one. (Also keeps stuff from bang­ing into your lens)

* 8. Microfiber cloth and a “huff of breath” (Can’t be more than a few bucks)
9. Air blower. Marko says to buy from a cam­era store, but Ken Rock­well says a $5 air blower from a drug store may suf­fice. Any rea­son to dis­agree with Rock­well here? (I’m kinda cheap )
* 10. Also con­sider a blower brush or lenspen. ($5–10)
* 11. Sil­ica gel — it eats mois­ture in humid con­di­tions (A few bucks)

12. Polar­izer and ND fil­ters
* 13. Tri­pod ($50? — $140 + + No rea­son not to buy used though, I think)
14. Maybe a mono­pod for porta­bil­ity, but a tri­pod seems more use­ful.
15. Flash (con­sider buy­ing the most expen­sive one)
* 16. Reflec­tors maybe, or just a cheap piece of card­board wear­ing white cloth­ing.
17. Light meter. Use­ful for stu­dio work mainly.

* 18. SD or CF reader. Can you go with a cheap one here? As long as is a high speed one, I *think* it’s okay, but I’d hate to cor­rupt my data.
19. Photo printer. Pict­bridge?
20. A decent mon­i­tor that isn’t exces­sively blue, con­trasty or bright (refer­ring to cal­i­bra­tion pod­cast)
21. Mon­i­tor and printer color cal­i­bra­tion tools.
22. Pho­tog­ra­phy soft­ware (I’m going to stick with what’s free for now, but I sup­pose I’ll even­tu­ally buy some soft­ware when I fig­ure out what’s most stan­dard)
23. Color cal­i­bra­tion equip­ment ($400-$1400?). Some may be avail­able for $200 or under. Con­sider buy­ing one before you start doing a lot of editing.

24. Spare bat­tery ($10 to $30 on Ama­zon, more for brand name)
25. SD or CF card ($20 to $40 depend­ing on desired size)
26. Extra lens and body caps (los­ing the orig­i­nals may lower the resale value of your gear?)
27. Plas­tic trash bags to cover your gear bag if it’s not water­proofed and it starts rain­ing. White ones may dou­ble as reflec­tors if you don’t mind look­ing unpro­fes­sional.
28. Zip lock bags for hold­ing your clean­ing sup­plies and other stuff maybe.
29. Base­ball bat for when some guy on the street tries to grab your cam­era. J/K J/K I don’t con­done vio­lence, except for the Three Stooges variety.


  1. fridamm says:

    I agree with almost all the items on the­list (thank you by the way). UV fil­ter and Extra bat­tery are always on the top of the list for me.Here is another list that I have found which lists the essen­tial acces­sories that are priced under only $15:


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