Six essential items for an amateur photographer

When you’re starting out in amateur photography some key essentials will set you on the right path. Here we explain what gear you need at the beginning.

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1 Camera tripod

Whatever you’re shooting, a tripod is essential. They are useful in low-light or night environments as their stability enables you to take longer-exposure snaps without camera shake. The Amazon Basics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod is reasonably priced and fairly portable.

2 Remote shutter release

A remote shutter release allows you to ‘take a shot’ without actually touching the camera, eliminating camera shake. There are wireless and wired types; either is fine for the beginner. More technically advanced remotes have built-in timers, LCD screens and half-press support.

The Neewer Shutter Release Remote Control offers a lot of functionality for its price. You’ll need a remote for your brand of camera.

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What Digital Camera suggests essential kit items here:

3 Prime lens

This section is only relevant to mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.

As your skills progress, you’ll amass lots of different lens types. At the start, however, you just need one prime lens that won’t zoom. A fixed lens encourages your composition techniques.

For Nikon and Canon, the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is the cheapest. But if your camera boasts a crop sensor, a 35mm prime lens is more flexible.

4 External flash

Every photographer has to use a flash at some point – but don’t employ your camera’s. Instead, purchase an external flash unit. The Yongnuo YN-560 IV Wireless Flash is cheap yet still feature-rich and powerful, regardless of your proficiency level.

5 AA batteries plus charger

When you begin employing flash units, your battery requirements mount up – this is why you need rechargeable batteries once you get serious about photography. Amazon Basics AA
Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries won’t disappoint, while a good battery charger is La Crosse BC-700 Alpha Charger.

6 Camera cleaning kit

Moisture, dust and dirt can get into camera kit, potentially causing permanent damage. Don’t neglect camera maintenance – you need to clean kit yourself. The Altura Photo
Professional Cleaning Kit is Amazon’s best-selling cleaning gear. It contains all of the necessary parts (including cleaning solution, an air blower, microfibre cloths, etc.) and lasts a long time.


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