Digital photography is an expensive hobby without a doubt, especially if you stepped in to the world of DSLR photography. But don't worry, you don't always have to spend too much to collect some of the most essential accessories for your DSLR.
I have listed 8 must-have accessories that will help you improve your photography. And the best part is, you can get each for under $15.
1- Balance Grey Card Set
You probably know that you can shoot RAW and adjust white balance later in the post process without decreasing image quality but what if you prefer shooting JPEG. More over, if you like to get everything right at the beginning, you will need some kind of grey card with you to use as a reference to set the white balance.
This is the one that I recommend: it is small, durable and very cheap($9.95): Opteka Pocket-Sized Reference Color & White Balance Grey Card Set
Stop using your shirt to clean your lenses and get one of these. They are made of antistatic microfiber material specifically designed to effectively clean your lenses without stratching or contaminating the surface.
I prefer this one, it is high quality, comes with a clip-on carry case, and no need to mention that it is cheap ($5.95):Nikon 8072 Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
3-Mini Softbox for Speedlight
If you are into flash photography, you already know how diffused light changes the way your photos look. Soft and even light on your model gives a more pleasing look, eliminating harsh shadows on their face and reduces hot spots. Bigger is always better for softboxes but it is not always possible to carry a large box with you and their set up takes time. A mini softbox that can easily be attached to your speedlight will save you those times. Don't expect miracles but remember it is always better then having nothing.
I prefer Fotodiox 6"x8" Softbox (only $12.95), as they are compatible with almost all popular speedlights, materials are of high quality, it is foldable and easy to attach/deattach, and it doesn't interfere with the IR sensor.
4- Pop Up Flash Diffuser
The same principles I mentioned in the previous item applies for the pop up flash of your DSLR. If you don't have a speedlight and pop up flash is the only option, consider having one of these with you all the time. I use Lumiquest LQ-051D Soft Screen Pop-Up Digital Camera Flash Diffuser ($14.95)
If you start seeing spots on your photos, get one of these blowers for yourself. It is simple but works well to effectively take dust off your sensor or lens. Remember always try to avoid the cleaning methods where you have to touch the sensor or lens surface as this could result in a much more serious problem than a dust spot (been there, done that). I use Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster, ($8.95) it is not the smallest of its kind but as long as it works, i don't care much.
I use these light reflectors mainly for portrait photography when I need a simple set up without using my speedlights. I prefer the 5-in-1's ( 5 different surface: translucent, silver, black, white and gold). They fold and pack in to a small zip package that fits in my camera bag. It also fits any standart reflector holders. For only $11.99, it is must-have: 110CM 43" 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector
When my blower is not enough to remove the dust on my lens surface, or the surface is contaminated by my fingertips, my lens pen comes in to play. They mostly have two side: brush for removing the dust and cleaning tip for the rest. This one for $6.94 does the job for me: LensPen Cleaning System
8- Remote Shutter release
I use remote shutter release to prevent vibration, especially during long exposure and close up shooting, resulting in sharper photos. It is also helpful if you are after self portraits. I prefer the cable ones as i don't find the wireless ones very reliable. There are so many products in this category but this one is the best seller and for $3.58, you can't go wrong. (this one is compatible with some of the Canon, Pentax and Samsung models, please check for the compatibility with your camera before buying)
Support DSLR Passion and keep updated by;