Modern digital cameras document and archive our lives, from important career milestones to our children's birthdays. Although most cameras are capable of quality images out of the box, that doesn't mean they come with everything you want to keep them stay powered up, protected and ready for that next shot. Choosing parts and accessories for your camera requires some consideration, given their potential impact on camera longevity and image quality.
Invest in a larger or spare battery if you plan to shoot for extended periods, or if you will be away from access to a charger for some time. Stock batteries that come included with most cameras are functional, but you can purchase batteries featuring longer use times from various camera and camera accessory manufacturers. Spare batteries come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so make sure you select one made for your camera. Always purchase the largest spare you can afford, and take both batteries with you just in case.
Pick up a padded bag or case. Bags should be zippered to seal out most elements, ideally with separate pockets for sundry items including your spare batteries, flash media and lenses. Even if you have a smaller camera, having a roomy bag allows you to carry other items like extra batteries, flash cards, lenses and other items that you might want to use while shooting.
Consider a tripod if you are traveling or shoot in low light. Tripods keep the camera far more stable that you can, important in low light scenarios where shaking hands commonly result in blurry photos due to long exposure times. With a lightweight collapsing tripod you can take group shots on the go without constantly having to recruit a stranger to take pictures for you.
Have a few types of lenses if you own or are considering purchase of an SLR camera. These high-end consumer and pro-grade models allow swapping of lens barrels for various scenarios including better zoom, high-speed shooting and low-light shooting. Lenses have the greatest impact on picture quality, all else being equal, so if you're serious about photography don't skimp here.
Invest in high-capacity flash media. Today's digital cameras offer more in the way of resolution, measured in megapixels or millions of pixels than ever before. This increased amount of data translates into taking up more space on your memory cards. Given the reduced cost of storage, there is no reason to risk not having enough capacity or being forced to perform image triage to make space on a card pushing its capacity limits.
Purchase a quality ultraviolet filter for each lens you own. UV filters allow more natural color for your images, while passively regulating incoming light aiding in the prevention of washed out images. Since almost all digital-editing processes discard information, it's better to have an accurate image at the outset rather than attempting to fix it through digital manipulation.
Think about an extended warranty. Cameras are precision devices that are relatively delicate and highly-portable, encouraging their frequent use. Accidental damage and moisture intrusion that wouldn't be covered by the manufacturer might be with a quality extended service package.
- Purchase media and batteries from reputable, known manufacturers to prevent problems in the field.
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