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15 Essential Accessories for Your Nikon or Canon DSLR Camera

If you’ve got a Nikon or Canon DSLR camera, you’ve made a great investment, and most likely you are interested in improving your photography skills to take great pictures.

Once you have a quality DSLR camera, your next step in photography journey is to get appropriate camera accessories, which will help you to get the most out of your DSLR camera.

Here I’ve listed 15 different types of DSLR accessories that are essential for your camera.

For each and every accessory, I’ve given my recommendation for both Canon and Nikon. I’ve also given a cost-effective alternative for each type.

The accessories listed here will work on all types of Nikon and Canon cameras, including the following:

  • Nikon: D7X00 series (D7000, D7100, D7200, etc.), D5X00 series (D5500, etc.), D3X00 series (D3300, etc.)
  • Canon: All EOS Rebel series including T6i, T5i, SL1, T5 and Rebel T6 and EOS 70D

This list will be updated on an on-going basis to include the newer version of the accessories. So, bookmark this page for your future reference.

1. External Flash

DSLR FlashThe flash that comes with your DSLR camera is really weak. If you are shooting lot of pictues indoors (for example, taking pictures of kids indoor) in low light environment, you definitely need to get an external flash that can be mounted on top of your DSLR camera. This will make a huge difference in the quality of the pictures that you take in low light conditions.

The flash mentioned below are portable and supports both hot-shoe (on top of the camera) and wireless (away from the camera) operations. They support some variation of TTL flash control. These flash have full swivel head with 180-degree angle. Groups of these flashes can be controlled together. You can also add color gelatin filters to the flash head. These are zoom flash heads.

For Nikon:

  • Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash (or) Nikon SB-300 AF Speedlight Flash – These work with all Nikon DSLR model. These are original high quality flash built by Nikon. These are excellent one-time investment you can make on a very high quality flash. They support both hot shoe and wireless operation. Uses i-TTL flash control both on-camera and wireless.
  • Altura Flash Kit for Nikon – This is cost effective alternative for Nikon. You are getting lot for your money in this kit. This kid includes: 1) Flash 2) Wireless camera flash trigger and remote control (with 1 transmitter and 1 receiver) 3) Cable-M cord for remote control 4) protection pouch for flash 4) hard diffuser 5) microfiber cleaning cloth.

For Canon:

  • Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash (or) Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash – This work with all Canon DSLR model. These are original high quality flash built by Canon. This uses new wireless multiple flash system over radio wave to control upto 5 groups of flashes.
  • Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite – This is cost effective alternative for Canon. This is compatible with both Canon and Nikon. This has a vertical rotation angle from 0 – 90 degrees and horizontal rotation angle from 0 – 270 degrees.

2. Camera Bag

DSLR BagA high quality DSLR camera bag is essential to protect your camera. Personally I prefer one bag that I can use to carry both my laptop and camera. I recommend that you consider using a backpack style camera bag (or) messenger style camera bag. The bags mentioned here are very low profile, extremely comfortable. These won’t look like a camera bag, which is a huge advantage.

Backpack style camera bag:

  • Evecase DSLR Camera/Laptop Travel Backpack – This has lot of space inside. You can hold upto two DSLR and 2-5 lenses. This has a separate compartment for laptops (upto 15 inch), tablets and books. The shoulder straps are very comfortable Includes rain cover, tripod holder with strap. It also has a luggage handle slot.
  • Professional Gear Backpack for Digital SLR – This also can fit a laptop upto 15.6″. You can wear this as a backpack with two straps, or tuck one of the straps and wear it as a sling. This also includes rain cover, tripod holder with strap and foot holder.
  • AmazonBasics Backpack for DSLR Cameras – This is cost effective back pack. You can keep 2 DSLRs with 3-4 lenses. There is no separate slot for your laptop. If you just want a simple DSLR camera backpack without breaking your bank, this is it.

Messenger style camera bag:

  • Evecase DSLR Camera/Laptop Messenger Bag – Fits laptop upto 14 inch. This has space to store a DSLR and 2-3 lenses. Comes with rain cover and tripod strap. If you remove the inserts, you can use this as a regular messenger bag. Comes in 5 different colors.
  • AmazonBasics Medium DSLR Gadget Bag – Cost effective messenger bag. There has a slot to store your tablet. Holds 1 DSLR and 2 lenses. This also has small slots inside to store your SD cards and extra batteries.

3. Super Fast SD Card

DSLR SD CardThe type of SD card you use makes a huge difference in terms of your Camera’s performance. Especially when you are shooting in burst mode. SanDisk is hands-down the best SD card brand out there in terms of reliability and performance.

Don’t take risk with other brands. The last thing you want is a SD card to fail you. Both the following SanDisk SD cards are reliable and fast for your DSLR camera.

  • SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC Class 10 UHS-3 95MB/s – Read upto 95 MB/s and write upto 90 MB/s. This is a Class 10 UHS-3 card. This is also compatible with SDXC. This is shockproof, X-Ray proof and waterproof (to some extend).
  • SanDisk Extreme SDHC Class 10 UHS-3 90MB/s – If you want a cost effective alternative, use this. But, you’ll be loosing some performance when compared to the above option. Read upto 90 MB/s and write upto 40 MB/s. This is a Class 10 UHS-3 card.

4. UV Filters

DSLR UV FilterApart from reducing UV rays, this filter is a small investment that will protect your expensive lens from accidental bumps and breaks. These will protect your lens from dust, dirt and scratches. This is a must have for all your lenses. These will work on both Nikon and Canon lens.

5. Lens Hood

DSLR Lens HoodWhen you are shooting outdoors during day time, you definitely need a lens hood. This will help you to avoid the stray light, lens flaring and ghosting. This will avoid the small circle of light in your picture when there a strong light source is present outside of your frame. Sometimes a lens hood can also help you to prevent lens scratches and dings.

For Nikon:

  • (For Nikon 18-55mm) Nikon HB-69 Bayonet Lens Hood – This is the original Nikon hood designed specifically for 18-55mm G VR II DX AF-S lens. This will help you to produce a more saturated image. This is a reversible lens hood.
  • (For Nikon 18-55mm) Fotasy Bayonet Lens Hood – This is exactly same as the above HB-69, but much cheaper and great quality. This one fits specifically 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED I II and VR version lens. When you are not shooting in the sun, you can mount this hood in the reverse on the camera, which helps to put the camera along with the lens and hood in the camera bag.
  • (For Nikon 55-200mm) Nikon HB-34 Lens Hood – This helps you to deflect those oblique light angles that sometime displays the flare effects on the pictures that you take. This is the original version from Nikon.
  • (For Nikon 55-300mm) Nikon HB-57 Bayonet Lens Hood – The original version from Nikon for 55-300mm lens.
  • (For Nikon 55-300mm) Generic HB-57 Bayonet Lens Hood – Cost effective alternative option of the original version of HB-57 lens hood.

For Canon:

  • (For Canon 18-55mm) Canon EW-63C Lens Hood – This is the original version from Canon. It is a reversible lens hood.
  • (For Canon 18-55mm) Altura Lens Hood for Canon – Cost effective alternative option. This is compatible with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, II, IS.
  • (For Canon 55-250mm) Canon ET-63 Lens Hood – The original version from Canon for 55-250mm lens.
  • (For Canon 55-250mm) Fotodiox Lens Hood for Canon – Cost effective alternative option for ET-63 lens hood. They also provide a 2-year warranty.

6. Extra Batteries (and Charger)

DSLR BatteryWhen you are on a long trip, you definitely need to have couple of spare batteries in your bag. Get a spare battery and put it in your camera bag now itself as you’ll never know when you’ll need one.

For Nikon:

For Canon:

7. Vertical Battery Grip Holder

DSLR Vertical GripThis can act as both a veritcal camera grip, and additional battery holder to double to DSLR’s battery capacity. Some of them even take extra AA batteries.

For Nikon:

  • Nikon MB-D15 Grip Multi Battery Power Pack – This is for D7200 and D7100 series. Apart from holding EN-EL 15 battery, it can also take 6 AA batteries. This also has shutter-release button, AE/AF lock button, multi selector, both main and sub command dials, which are helpful while taking photographs vertically. This is the original version from Nikon.
  • Big Mike’s Vertical Battery Grip Kit (with battery and charger) – This is an cost effective alternative that works with D7100 and D7200. This is a combo pack that includes three items: 1) vertical battery grip 2) two EN-EL15 extra batteries 3) battery charger. This can also hold 6 AA batteries.
  • Neewer Vertical Battery Grip Holder for EN-EL14 Battery – This is for D3X00 series. This vertical grip can hold 2 extra EN-EL14 batteries. This has a signal transferring cable for shutter release.

For Canon:

  • Canon Battery Grip BG-E8 – This is for cameras that uses LP-E8 batteries, including EOS Rebel T2i, T3i, T4i, etc. This can hold either 2 LP-E8 or 6 AA batteries. This also has a vertical shutter release and standard mode wheel. This is the original version from Canon.
  • Canon Battery Grip BG-E18 – This is for cameras that uses LP-E17 batteries, including Rebel T6s and Rebel T6i. This can hold 2 LP-E17 batteries. This does not support AA batteries. This has shutter button, Aperture/exposure compensation button, AE/FE lock, and AF point selection button. This is the original version from Canon.
  • Big Mike’s Vertical Battery Grip Kit – This is cost effective option. This kit contains vertical grip and 2 extra LP-E8 batteries. This is for EOS Rebel T2i, T3i, T4i and T5i model.

8. Wireless Remote Control

DSLR RemoteYou definitely need a wireless remote control for your camera when you want to take a group picture. It is also helpful when you don’t want vibration, and have the camera mounted on a tripod. With a wireless remote control, you can press the shutter release remotely whenever you are ready.

For Nikon:

  • Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control – This is the original Nikon version, which works pretty much with all Nikon models. The remote can be configured for 2 second delay, immediate picture, mirror up. It comes with the required battery. The range is 16 feet.
  • AmazonBasics Nikon Wireless Remote Control – This is an excellent cost effective alternative. It’s compatible with all Nikon DSLR cameras including D7X00, D5X00, D3X00 series. It has a 16 feet range.

For Canon:

  • Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller – This is the original Canon version, which works with all Canon models. This has 2 second delay, or immediate picture mode. This also supports bulb mode. The range is 16 feet.
  • AmazonBasics Canon Wireless Remote Control – This is an excellent cost effective alternative. It’s compatible with all Canon DSLR cameras including EOS Rebel T2i, T3i, T4i, T5i, T6s and T6i. The range is only 10 feet.

9. Remote Flash Trigger

DSLR Flash Trigger

  • (For Nikon) Altura Photo Wireless Flash Trigger for NIKON – This can do three things 1) Wireless flash trigger to control remote flash (speedlight or studio light), which is the primary function 2) Wired remote control 3) Wireless remote control.(for DSLR camera with remote socket). This kit includes 1 transmitter and 2 receivers. The range is 30 meters and operates on 433Mhz frequency with 16 selectable channels. This works with all Nikon DSLR cameras.
  • (For Canon) Altura Photo Wireless Flash Trigger for CANON – Everything is exactly same as the above, but this is for Canon DSLR camera, which works with all Canon models.

10. All-in-One Camera Lens

DSLR LensIf you have a 18-55 lens, it is good enough, but you can’t zoom-in enough to take telephoto pictures. If you have a 55-200, you can’t use it indoors, as it is not wide enough. The best solution is to carry only one lens with you on the camera, which can cover both wide angle and telephoto. This way you don’t have to carry multiple lens, and don’t have to worry about switching between different lens.

For Nikon:

  • Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm – This is the best all-in-one lens for Nikon DX camera. The aperture range is f/3.5-6.3. This is an auto-focus, vibration reduction zoom lens. The only lens that you need on your Nikon camera. This is the original lens from Nikon.
  • Sigma 18-300mm – This is a very good quality cost effective 18-300mm lens for Nikon. The aperture range is same as above f/3.5-6.3. This supports auto-focus and has optical stabilization.

For Canon:

  • Canon EF-S 18-200mm – This is the best all-in-one lens for Canon DSLR. The aperture range is f/3.5-5.6. This is an auto-focus lens. This has optical image stabilizer that can correct upto 4-stops even at full zoom. This is the original lens from Canon.
  • Sigma 18-200mm – The aperture range is f/3.5-6.3. This is an auto-focus lens with optical stabilizer which helps to compensate your camera shake.

11. Tripod (Regular and Mini)

DSLR TripodOne of the simplest accessory for your camera that can make a good impact is a tripod. Invest in a quality tripod that is lightweight and easy to carry around. Get a regular tripod and a mini tripod.

Regular Tripod:

  • AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod with Bag – This is an excellent cost-effective beginners tripod. This extends from 25 to 60 inches. You can title and swivel using the 3-way head. Comes with quick-release mounting plate and a very good carrying case.
  • Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Tripod – Manfrotto makes the best high quality tripods. This is a lightweight, but very sturdy tripod as both the ball head and legs are made of aluminium. This is designed to fit in your backpack or carry-on luggage. Easy for travel.

Mini Tripod:

  • Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod – This is hands-down the best mini tripod in the market. It is lightweight, portable, sturdy and extremely easy to use. You can also quickly close the legs and hold it in your hand with the camera. This has a high quality ball head that can lock in your selected position.
  • Pedco UltraPod Mini Tripod – This uses a unique ball and socket camera mount to position camera in different angles. It comes with a removable d-ring velcro brand that can be used to attach this tripods to various surfaces. Maximum safe load on this tripod is 6 pounds.

12. Camera Cleaning Accessories Kit

DSLR Cleaning KitYour lens can easily attract dirt, and you should clean it frequently. These accessories can help you to keep your Camera and lens clean.

  • Nikon LensPen Lens Cleaner – This has a pen-style design with brush that retracts to the pen body. Use this to keep your lens clean from dust, fingerprints, etc. Use this on any camera lens.
  • Nikon Microfiber Cleaning Cloth – Don’t use any low quality micro-fiber cloth to clean your lens. This is one of the best high-quality microfiber cloth. This is cloth comes attached to the pouch, which makes it easier to put the cloth back safely immediately after cleaning.
  • Giottos Rocket Air Blaster Large size (or Medium size) – With a powerful blast of air, you can quickly remove dust and debris from your camera, lens, or filter. This has a one-way valve which will prevent this blaster from breathing-in the dust, which means when you blast air, it won’t spread any dust from the blaster. You can get either a large size or medium size.
  • Altura Camera Cleaning Kit – This is a good cleaning kit for your money. The kit includes: 1) Lens cleaner pen 2) separate lens brush 3) air blaster 4) lens cleaning paper 5) empty spray bottle to hold lens cleaning liquid 6) micofiber cloth
  • CamKix Camera Cleaning Kit – This kit includes: 1) double-sided lens cleaner pen 2) air blaster 3) empty spray bottle 4) microfiber cloth 5) lens cleaning tissue
  • Nikon LCD Screen Protector – You should also protect your camera’s LCD screen from scratches and dust using a screen protector. You can get either anti-glare, or glass, or crystal-clear type. Choose the appropriate Nikon camera type from the drop-down list.

13. External Microphone

DSLR MicrophoneIf you are using your DSLR to record videos, you would’ve realized that the in-build microphone is very weak, and low quality. Adding an external microphone will make a dramatic difference in the quality of your video with a clear audio. All these microphones works on both Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras.

  • Nikon Stereo Microphone – This has a 3.5mm mic jack and a wind screen to reduce wind noise when you are recording outdoor. This comes with a soft carrying case. This doesn’t require battery. This is the original version from Nikon.
  • Nikon Wireless Microphone – This is a compact wireless Bluetooth microphone system which will capture audio from up to 164 feet away. The receiver connects to the 3.5mm mic, which in-turn connects to the microphone using bluetooth.
  • Takstar Shotgun Microphone – This is a very good cost effective option. Uses AA battery and has On/Off button to conserve battery. There is a bass filter switch when turned on will reduce ambient noise. Windproof cotton is included. There is a sensitivity tone up switch for +10dB.
  • Rode VMGO VideoMic Go Super-Cardio – No battery required, as it is powered by camera’s microphone input. This is a lightweight on-camera shotgun mic. This has a rycote lyre shockmount, which isolates and removes the sounds from bumps and vibrations.

14. Extra Lens Cap

Lens CapLens cap is something that might get lost easily, especially when you are travelling. So, it is better if you get a replacement lens cap ahead of time for your particular lens, and keep a spare in your camera bag.

15. Misc DSLR Accessories

These are few additional accessories that you might not think about until you need it. It is better to keep a spare of these accessories.

Eyecup:

  • Altura Rubber Eyecup for Nikon – This is an upgrade to your camera’s eyepice. The eyecup rotates to accommodate both left and right eye. This will help you to block unnecessary ambient light blocking your view in the viewfinder. It is very comfortable on your eyes when compared to the default eyecup that comes with the camera.
  • Nikon DK-21 Rubber Eyecup – This is a replacement Nikon rubber eye-cup, which attaches to the viewfinder eye-piece, which will reduce external light to give you more clarity on your viewfinder.
  • Canon Eyecup-EF for EOS Rebel – This is a replacement Canon rubber eye-cup, which attaches to your viewfinder to remove stray lights. This fits pretty much all Canon Rebel models. (cost effective alternative: Altura Eyecup for Canon)

Flash Hotshot Cap:

  • BS-1 Hot-shoe Protection Cap – If you don’t have external flash mounted on top of your camera, you should cover it with this cap to prevent dust from entering those connectors. This fits both Nikon and Canon cameras.

Note: This list will be updated on an on-going basis to include newer version of the accessories when they are released. Even if you are not ready to get these accessories now, you can bookmark this page and come back to it later when you are ready.
 
List updated on: June 2017