What should I get with a new Digital Camera

This is an older copy of a former post revisited.  I hope you find the information helpful.

One of the most frustrating experiences for me was getting a new camera and then realizing I had everything I needed, but there were a couple of items I should have had after I got back home from my first photo outing.

If you purchase a point and shoot camera or quality D-SLR in a kit, not body only, it will probable come with a few accessories.  These add-ons, or accessories are only meant for short-term and you will have to eventually upgrade or replace most of the accessories that come with your purchase.

Accessory item #1:  A spare battery.  One is good, two is ideal.  I have had weekends where one battery lasted me the entire weekend, but when it’s dead…  You’re finished shooting pictures.

Accessory item #2:  A spare memory card or two.  If you are leaving for an extended trip consider another backup device like a laptop or portable hard drive you can plug the card into without a laptop.  They are available.  The one thing you don’t want is for your only memory card to crash and lose all of your pictures from your two-week cruise in Alaska.  Memory cards are durable and very reliable, bu like all devices, they will fail eventually.

Accessory item #3::  A camera bag.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be functional.  Backpack camera bags are very comfortable for long walks, but very difficult to get to in most cases and will require time to get your camera out.  So that deer that just walked in front of you on the trail ahead is probably out of the question.  Some side-carry camera bags have easily accessible compartment so you can open them on the move.  Remember, comfort and ease of access are very important.

Accessory item #4:  A tripod.  Someone will not always be there to help you and your significant other by taking the picture for you while you pose in the once-in-a-lifetime sunset at the scenic overlook of your dreams.  Almost all cameras these days have an automatic timer function on the camera so you can press the button and move, move, move to get back into the picture.  For point and shoot cameras these tripods do not have to be all that huge but they should be stable.  A tripod for a D-SLR is probably going to run about $100 or better.  Kit-tripods will usually  self-destruct within 2 to 3 weeks of your purchase.  (On a side note, if you leave your camera sitting on a tripod while it is taking a picture, make sure you are the fastest running person in the immediate area, should your camera decide to run off in a hurry with another potential aspiring photographer or salesperson.)

Accessory item #5:  A small cleaning kit containing a lens brush, lens cleaning solvent, small wiping patches and even a small blower to blow the dust off of the face of the lens.  When cleaning any type of optics, do not use fiber-type cloth, aka a t-shirt to wipe the dust off. Always try blowing it off first, then give the lens a couple of gentle strokes with the lens brush, if that doesn’t work then a moist wipe-down with the cleaning cloth, patches or swabs will be in order.

Accessory item #6:  An ultraviolet filter for your precious lens!!!  This last item applies specifically to D-SLR users.  If you are going to pay upwards of $150 dollars to thousands of dollars for a nice lens to put on your camera, please, please, please take the time to buy a comparatively inexpensive Ultraviolet Filter to put on the front of the lens.  These filters only cost about $10 to $15, don’t affect the picture at all, and most important, they take the beating if something should try and ruin your precious lens.  I would much rather replace a $12 filter than have to buy another $200 lens just because I didn’t have a filter  on there.

Accessory item #7: An adhesive plastic film cover for the screen on the back of the camera.  I’m a huge fan of protecting the screens on cameras.  People who wouldn’t ordinarily think of walking up and smearing their hands all over a high-def TV screen to wipe away a dirt spot, will lick their finger and rub it across the back of the camera.  This is a very, very bad thing to do.

Digital Photography Basics , , , , , , , , , ,

19 comments


  1. OK, Other than protecting the lens from a beating, does the UV filter offer any other protection for the inner workings of the camera?

    Tim Van Milligan, helping you Make Money Online, God’s Way!

    • Dewayne

      In digital, none whatsoever, but it does make for a great, inexpensive insurance policy. in film it does make a difference.

  2. That is a great list, and luckily for me, when I got my last camera, the salesmen mentioned all but the last item. We were going on a cruise and needed all those items to take all the pictures I wanted. Its a good list!
    Sonya Lenzo
    http://www.yourchanceforromance.com

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I had to go back and order two UV filters for the lens that came with the body and also the zoom that I bought. Another thing that you typically need to add on that comes included with the point and shoots is the flash.

    Seize the Day,
    Rob

    Simple Family Survival Tips For Disasters and Emergencies

    • Dewayne

      Thanks for the reminder Rob, you’re exactly right. The built-in flash on the D-SLRs is adequate only to a distance of a few feet. Anything more than that requires an additional external flash.

  4. DeWayne,

    These are great tips. I don’t have an extra battery or an extra memory card. I just don’t shoot many pictures. I do need a camera bad and I’ll try to remember to pick one up when I buy a tripod (which I plan to get this week!).

    What I need is a bag that is obvious enough that it doesn’t get lost on my desk.

    Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT,CES
    Fat Burning Home Workouts

  5. This is a great list of accessories to have. I tend to be a camera idiot. I would either forget to charge the battery, forget to bring a tape, forget to buy film, etc. Digitals have made it a little easier for me, but having a checklist like this is perfect! You’ve covered absolutely everything.

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services, Nanny Services, and Nanny agencies

  6. I really need to get a new camera. Thanks for the information! This is going to help me.

    Trisha
    http://www.eyecandywebpromotions.com
    http://www.stopthesun.com/blog

  7. This is a great list. I have actually shared it with a few people who are currently in the ,market.

  8. I have seen more u/v filters same lens to prove they are worth the len’s weight in gold! I also agree having more than one battery is very beneficial especially if you are going to be shootinig in cold weather… Cold kills batteries faster. So keep many, keep them warm! Great recommendations Dewayne!

    Mark
    Direct Selling Advice, Leveraging Relationships for Long-term Profit

  9. When I go out and buy my next camera I will take all of this in mind. I am looking to pick up and slr for some nice photos of some flowers (plumeria and hybiscus).
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    http://www.scottbellconsultant.com
    Now go implement!

  10. Your posts are extremely informative and useful. I will use your tips when I buy my D-SLR, which is on my planning list for this year.

    Steve Chambers
    Body Language Expert

  11. Vegas Boomer Dating Expert

    Hi Dewayne,

    Oh this post about digital cameras is so helpful. Beyond my functionality as a photographer, and so helpful.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Single Boomer Dating Expert

  12. Shane Kester

    What’s your stand on using your shirt to clean a lens?

    Oh, the very thought makes me cringe like hearing someone scratch a chalkboard.

    Shane
    – Change Your Thoughts and Improve Your Life –

  13. Nice little handy checklist of accessories to buy when you spring for the new digital camera.

    Have you thought about doing a little ebook on this? I’m sure a lot of people who are interested in getting a new digital camera would love having your expertise collected in an ebook with a special checklist they could print-out to take with them to the store
    or for shopping on Ebay.

    Michael
    The Success Secrets

  14. Great checklist to have. So many people forget the things that go along with getting new camera until they are in the middle of the vacation and need something. This is a great site for anyone to come to looking to buy a new camera!!

    Mike Casey
    http://www.stemcelltherapyresearch.com

  15. I like that you added a tripod. I have yet to buy one although with the way I can’t sit still…I definitely need one.
    Great list to follow
    Jen B
    The Harwood Group – Tinnitus, Chronic Illness, Fears, and Anxiety

  16. Great tips. I was borrowing a friend’s very nice SLR camera, and it slipped. Luckly, the filter cracked, and the rest of the lens was fine. I have never been so grateful for a filter in my life.
    I definitely need to get some new gear that you listed above for my camera. Mine uses AA batteries, which is great if you are in a pinch.

    Michelle
    Fun and Free Activities

  17. Great list checked it against the one the wife gave me…..she has got all the bits and pieces of essential kit.

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