5 Useful photography gifts to level up your camera trickery
There's no end of camera accessories for the keen photographer to play with, whether it's to improve their astrophotography or try out portraits and landscapes
For vivid landscape photography, this Sekonic L-478D LiteMaster Pro Light Meter, £349.99
Most cameras nowadays come with a built-in light meter, but for ambitious landscape photographers, having a handheld device in your arsenal won’t go amiss.
It comes down to the differing ways that the two meters measure light: where your built-in meter will tend to check the reflected light (ie, the light bouncing back from your subject), an incident light meter turns away from your subject and measures the light beaming into the scene.
That makes the measurement on an incident light meter more accurate, so you can capture landscapes in crisp detail with more dramatic colour.
This Sekonic model switches between incident and reflected light, and uses DTS Exposure Profile to match your camera’s performance, allowing for more accurate readings.
It’s easy to power too, requiring just two AAA batteries.
Promising review: “A tool to get it right from the start. It is digital with a touchscreen, works smoothly. I get the incident light exposure which does not react to colours, blacks and whites, so it gives the perfect exposure all the time. Simple to customise, and navigate through the functions.”
For a steady shot, this lightweight tripod, £18.99
To line up the perfect frame, this lightweight packaway tripod is ideal both for portraiture and for taking with you on long walks or hikes.
Weighing in at just 593g and measuring 42cm when it’s folded away, it’s easily fixed to your backpack. It unfolds to a maximum height of 135cm, with a load bearing of up to 2kg—so it’s best suited to a small to average-sized DSLR camera.
Once your camera is attached, the three-way head movement has a panning range of 360° and tilts to 180°, giving you optimum control over your shot.
It also comes with an optional clip for your phone, so you can switch between DSLR and smartphone photography if you wish. The additional Bluetooth control allows you to take photos with your phone hands-free from up to ten metres away.
Promising review: "This tripod packs small and is very light in weight, making it ideal for portability. Mounting my Canon Mirrorless camera onto it is as easy as any other tripod and it sits on top with acceptable stability. This is exactly what I wanted it for and it fits the bill nicely."
For crisp night sky protography, this Urth Night Filter Plus+, £75
That yellowish haze masking the night sky is a nightmare for city photographers and astrophotography alike.
Affixing this light pollution filter to your camera lens helps to remove some of the most common yellow and orange wavelengths from your shot, giving your photos extra contrast and more accurate colour. On a clear night, the stars will shine more brightly too.
This product features 20-layer nano-coated Neodymium glass, which is highly effective at filtering out the warm glow of sodium street lighting.
You’ll need to make sure that the filter is correctly sized for your camera—this particular model is suitable for a 58mm lens.
Promising review: "Good quality with easy threading and a robust case for when not in use. Has removed the street lighting glare from my photos with nice results."
For organising your kit, this spacious Beschoi photography bag, £56.99
As you acquire more kit, you’ll want a suitable photography bag to keep your camera and its accessories safe.
This bag by Beschoi combines practicality with style, with multiple compartments variously sized for your camera, lenses, flashes and even a laptop, with the ability to attach your tripod to the outside.
Spare SD cards, charging cables and filters can be slipped into multiple small side pockets.
The padding inside is sturdy enough to protect your equipment from knocks and shocks as you walk, while a rain cover offers extra weather protection.
Front and side access allows you to quickly reach for your camera on the move, so you’ll never miss that perfect shot.
If you’re lugging your equipment around on long shoots, wearing this backpack is relatively easy on your shoulders thanks to the air mesh adjustable straps.
Promising review: "This bag is quite versatile and can be configured in lots of ways. Can easily take two mirrorless cameras with lenses attached, along with two additional lenses. Lots of pouches for memory cards, documents etc. The best part of the bag for me, is that small parts can be opened rather than having to open the entire thing. The little 'door' on the side is very handy for being able to just pull out the camera really quickly."
For compact travelling, this vintage-style YUHAN shoulder camera bag, £24.99
Sometimes you don’t need a fancy backpack with all the trimmings. For light packing on easy days out, this small shoulder bag will fit the bill.
Don’t let its petite size fool you though—the bag comes with multiple compartments for organised packing, plus an additional zip pocket to keep your spare SD cards, keys and phone in.
It’s roomy enough for one DSLR, one digital camera and one lens. The compartment separators are removable, so you can make more space if you need to.
The cotton lining makes the bag shock-proof, while the canvas exterior is waterproof. The vintage messenger bag style makes this a fashionable as well as functional bag to wear on your next day out.
Promising review: "Lovely quality bag, nice and sturdy and looks great, very stylish. Fits a Nikon camera with accessories, very roomy. So pleased with my purchase, would highly recommend."
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