So you got a cool new DSLR as a holiday gift. For those of you who are upgrading from point and shoot to DSLR, here’s a list of accessories you need to finish your leap to the next level.

1. Tripod

Okay, it doesn’t have to be a $1000 Gitzo carbon fibre tripod, but some sort of tripod really helps when you first move to a DSLR. That new camera is probably significantly heavier than your old compact camera. It’s added weight makes camera shake a problem. If you stabilize your camera on a tripod you can greatly reduce the blur caused by camera shake.

Some of my favorite solutions include:

a. Joby GP3 Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible Tripod with BH1 Ball Head with Bubble Level

b. Induro Carbon 8x Tripod C-114

2. Extra Battery/Charger

If you shoot often, as in all-day, you will need a backup battery. My advice is to buy the one designed and sold by the manufacturer of your camera. It’s also not a bad idea to have a backup charger. This allows you to leave one at home and carry a charger with you on the road so you know you’ll always have one, no matter where you go.

3. Additional Memory Cards

It’s likely your DSLR came with a small memory card, or no memory card at all. Whether it’s SD or CF memory, it’s affordable and there’s no reason to go cheap here. These cards can last a lifetime and you don’t need to replace them like film, so buy the best you can afford. If your camera supports UDMA, buy UDMA-certified cards.

Some of my favorites include:

a. Lexar Media Professional Series UDMA 8GB Compact Flash 300x

b. SanDisk SDCFX3-004G-A31 4 GB Extreme III CompactFlash Card (Retail Package)

c. SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro CF memory card – UDMA 90MB/s 600x (SDCFXP-032G-P91, Retail Package)

4. Memory Card Reader

While we’re talking about memory cards, do yourself a huge favor and buy a memory card reader. This will save you a bunch of time compared with connecting your camera to your computer with the included USB cable. Downloads will be much faster.

I like:

a. Lexar Dual-Slot USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader RW035-001

b. Lexar Compact Flash FireWire 800 Reader, RW034-001

c. Hoodman Raw USB2.0CF Card Reader USB2.0 CF Card Reader

5. Editing/Organizing/Post Processing Software

Once you capture all those great images from your DSLR what will you do with them? How will you organize them?

If you have a Mac, you already have iPhoto and for non-pros, this is probably sufficient for the basics. But if you want to step up to the next level, try:

a. Aperture –

b. Lightroom –

6. Camera Strap

Yep, your DSLR came with a strap but it’s probably not the most comfortable thing in the world. A neoprene strap with quick release is a much better option. You can take these straps on and off with a minimum of fuss, and they are more friendly to your body.

Here is my favorite camera strap: (Note: Make sure that you purchase a recent version. While I never had any problem with it, the original version of strap was recalled for new fittings. I assume that purchase of the strap any time in the last six months will be safe.)

a. Kata KT A91E Reflex E Camera Strap

7. Camera Bag

You’ll need a bag to carry your new camera and lenses and accessories, etc. Unfortunately, if you’re like most photographers you’ll end up with several. There are bags for storing gear, transporting gear and working with gear. I have dozens. But a few basic bags worth considering are:

a. Think Tank Urban Disguise 30, Plain Looking, Fully Functional Saddlebag Size Shoulder Bag for a Pro SLR & Two Lenses up to 70-200mm f/2.8

b. Think Tank Airport International 2.0, Medium Size Airline Carry On Photo Roller Luggage

c. Domke F-2 Original Bag (Black)

d. Gura Gear Kiboko Camera Bag

e. Boda Dry Jr Fully Weatherproof Ballistics Cordura Lens System Case (6.5

There are many, many, many more accessories you can buy (and probably will) for your new DSLR, but in my opinion, these are the most important.

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

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