Is someone you know getting a new DSLR in their stocking this year? Well here’s a short list of items that will go perfectly with that new camera. These are all items that I have tested and use on a continuing basis. They also range in price so there is something for every budget.
The Lowepro Messenger Bag
Lowepro actually has several sizes to choose from for this very popular bag. The thing I like best about it is that it is very unassuming. It has the look and feel of a messenger bag while still holding lots of gear for the casual photo outing or street shooter. The Lowepro Messenger 160 AW will hold a pro DSLR, 2 or 3 lenses, a grip, and even a flash. It runs around $150 at Amazon and Adorama. There are 2 larger models, the AW 180 and 200, which will hold even more gear should the need arise. I also like using the Lowepro Classified 160 AW, which is also a messenger style bag with a slithly smaller configuration. You can check out my review here [LINK]
The Spider Holster
If you like to keep your spare lenses in a bag but have your camera at the ready for quick access, you might want to consider a Spider Holster. The Spider Pro SCS (Single camera System) Camera Holster provides photographers with a comfortable and secure carrying solution that puts the weight of the camera on the photographer’s hip, eliminating back, shoulder and neck strain often experienced with traditional camera straps. Besides general all-day comfort the Spider Holster also alleviates photographers from the tangle of neck strapped cameras that can swing across their chest and leave the photographer’s hands free the Spider Holster Black Widow easily supports consumer-level DSLRs and other small-body cameras such as point-and-shoot, micro four thirds, compact system cameras (ILCs), and camcorders. Be sure to check out my review of the complete holster system.
Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader
I just recently began using this card reader and I can tell you that it is fast and very reliable. It doesn’t have 29 different types of media slots like most card readers. All it accepts is Compact Flash and SD media. Luckily those are the only two types of media that I use on a daily basis. Of course it will handle any of the cards in those two formats including SDXC and SD UHS-I (USB 3.0). Because it is USB 3.0 compatible, you will get continued use out of this reader for years to come. The Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader runs about $35 at Amazon and is well worth every penny.
Gary Fong Puffer Pop Up Flash Diffuser
So here’s the deal, those pop up flashes on our DSLR cameras are handy but the reality is that they pretty much suck. They act like little light hand grenades, throwing bright, harsh flashes of light on our subjects, making them look harsh and washed out. All is not lost though. Just stick the cool little Gary Fong Puffer Pop Up Flash Diffuser on your hotshoe so the diffuser is in front of the pop up flash and you will get a much better quality of light on your subject. It’s not going to be as good as a speed light with a bounce head but it’s not a bad solution for about $20.
The Perfect Vacation Lens
If you want to travel light but want the versatility of having a wide angle lens as well as a telephoto then you might want to look into the lens that my buddy Scott Kelby called the “perfect vacation lens”, the 18-200mm. I own 3 of these lenses, one for my EOS EF-S cameras, one for my Nikon DX bodies, and another for my Sony Alphas. They aren’t going to win any contests for being the sharpest lenses ever but they do win my award for most versatile. It’s very liberating to be able to walk around with one lens and be able to cover a full range of subject matter. I used one of these lenses on my trip to Peru and, while I did have other lenses with me, this one stayed on my camera for 90 percent of the time. The only problem with these lenses is that they cane be a little expensive, which is why you might want to consider looking at the Sigma versions. Sigma makes some very nice quality glass and their prices are generally less than the OEM brands. They also make lenses for most of the popular lens mounts including Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Pentax. Prices vary so check out this link to see what a lens for your camera will run.