Black Friday’s bound to bring some fantastic deals for those looking for a camera or lens at a knockdown price. But if you’ve already got your main kit sorted, don’t ignore Black Friday.
Dig a little deeper and beyond the dirt-cheap cameras and lenses, you’ll find a ton of essential photo accessories that have the potential to transform your photography for a minimal outlay.
Let’s take a look at some of the key photo accessories you should look out for on Black Friday…
Despite the advent of digital, photo filters still have their place, and none more so than the humble Skylight filter. Completely clear in appearance, they have no affect on the final image, but the name of the game here is to protect the front element of your lens.
Rather than being lumbered with a hefty repair bill if you scratch or smash the front of your lens, it’s much better to let a Skylight filter take the hit.
Because the front element of lenses are different sizes, you’ll need to make sure you get the right size – you’ll often find this marked in mm round the front of the lens or on the inside of your lens cap.
One filter that can transform your images is a Polarizing filter – not only does it boost saturation (it works really well with blue skies), it also reduces reflections – perfect for shooting glass and water.
If you bought a cheap and cheerful tripod when you first got your camera, you’ve probably discovered that it’s not really up to the job – the legs flex and the slightest hint of a breeze will see your camera kit wobble and vibrate, defeating the point of a tripod.
A decent set of legs are a great photography investment – look after them well and they’ll easily outlast your camera kit. Think about the weight of your kit and the load the tripod has to take, but something like Manfrotto’s 190 Go! is a great option – especially if you plump for the lighter carbon fibre option.
Better tripods tend to come without tripod heads (though some come as a kit), allowing you to pick a tripod head separately depending on what you like to shoot.
Three-way pan and tilt heads offer plenty of control, so are ideal for studio and close-up photography, while ball head tripods are more compact and are much quicker to use – landscape photographers love them as they’re easier to carry and quick to use on location, while there are dedicated video heads for the videographers amongst you. Our pick would be Manfrotto’s XPRO ball head, but there’s plenty of choice out there to suit the photography you do.
The built-in flash on your camera is fine for the odd bit of fill-in flash, but it isn’t powerful enough to do much more than that, which is where a dedicated flashgun comes in. Not only do they have much more kick than a built-in flash, the head can be titled and swivelled to change the quality of the light. That’s not forgetting the ability to take the flashgun off your hotshoe and fire it remotely, for a much more striking and professional look. Manufacturers make their own dedicated options, but there are a load of third party alternatives, like the Metz 52 AF-1.
If you’ve started to shoot your own videos, then you’ve probably discovered the built-in microphone isn’t really up to the job. The good news is though that there’s a huge range of alternative microphones out there, but with so much choice, which one do you pick?
Radio mics are great, but expensive, so for those looking to simply improve the quality of their audio recording, then a shotgun microphone is a great choice, and you’re not going to go far wrong with Sennheiser’s MKE 400.