Like many of us, I am on a budget. I want to save money and buy things that I perceive to be a good deal. As you are aware, there are third-party options for just about everything in dealing with our cameras. Some are absolutely worth it and some just don’t make the cut. Here are a few products that I have found worth saving on and a few I have found that ended up wasting more money in the long run.
I have been shooting Canon most my career. Truthfully the Canon brand intervalometer used for timelapse and remote shooting is way too expensive. I bought a couple cheap knock offs for $10 and they work perfect. Now I just use my Trigger Trap. The app for my iPhone is free and the cord to connect my Canon is around $30. I have more options and better control using my $30 product versus several hundred dollars from the Canon brand intervalometer. I love how more and more cameras are just including this feature within the camera itself.
I find these are great to have on your camera especially when shooting long days for events such as weddings. This will depend on what camera you have but in my experience, the knock off version for many of the Canon cameras are well worth the savings in buying third party. Do your homework though and read the reviews found at many online retailers. My experience is to go for the knock-off.
I have bought and used my share of knock-off batteries. In my experience they save you money in the short term (and are NOT worth it). Right now not ONE of my knock off batteries still work to this day. Even over the weekend I put one in my camera that was fully charged and 15 minutes later it was dead. This is not ideal to have happen on a shoot. My advice, stick with the brand name for your camera. If you have had a different long term experience with your brand of camera and third-party battery, let me know.
I believe many of us have bought the no name cheap brand tripods as we began our photography journey. I also hope most of us have learned, they aren’t worth it. Save your money and get a well-known brand name tripod that will last you for many years.
This can go either way, so always read reviews before buying. I try and keep an eye out on third party lens companies like Tamron or Sigma. They’re companies strictly dedicated to making lenses and some of those lenses are known to out perform a Canon L-Series and even a Zeiss lens. Do you homework. I know many Pros who use nothing but third party lenses.
The Bottom Line
Do your homework. Many times the investment is worth the cost of trying to save money up front. Other times, its clear to go off brand. Read reviews, ask other photographers, and do your research.
You can find Pamela on IG & Twitter @pamelaannberry