Also known as battery grips, these are accessories that attach to the bottom of some DSLRs or mirrorless cameras to offer extended battery life and, usually, a duplicate set of controls to make the camera suitable for extended use in portrait (vertical) mode. In some cases, a battery grip may also increase the continuous shooting speed of the camera. For example, the battery grip of the Nikon D850 increases its continuous shooting speed from 7fps to 9fps.
As every keen photographer knows, the camera is just the start. There's a whole raft of photographic accessories designed out there designed to make your photography better, easier or or simpler, so here's a guide to just a few of them.
These are designed specifically for holding camera gear, with a padded interior separated into compartments with padded dividers which you can usually rearrange to suit your kit. Camera bags fall into a handful of main types:
- Backpacks are the largest and designed for carrying a large quantity of kit over some distance. They’re also good for packing kit for travel. On the downside, they are bulky and don’t offer very quick access to cameras and lenses, so they’re not ideal for casual ‘walk around’ photography.
- Roller bags are even more specialised. They’re designed mainly for packing gear and travel and are often designed to fit airline cabin bag dimensions.
- Shoulder bags come in various sizes to suit a single camera and lens or a multi-lens kit. Access is usually quick and easy but they may be less comfortable over longer periods.
- Messenger bags combine storage for cameras and regular commuting/office gear like a laptop and are typically designed like a briefcase or satchel you can throw over your shoulder.
- Sling bags aim to provide the comfort of a backpack with the access of a shoulder bag, and are designed to swing around from your back to your side and can work well but won’t suit everyone.
Three-legged camera support that doesn’t really need much more explanation, except to say that they vary considerably in cost, size and rigidity, and that some come with tripod heads while others require you to buy them separately.
A device for measuring light levels. Digital cameras come with their own sophisticated internal light meters, but it is possible to get external light meters where the settings have to be transferred to the camera manually. This is slower, but has advantages in some circumstances.
Used for accurate white balance calibration, usually under artificial lighting where the colour of the light sources is unknown or variable. You can use the camera’s manual white balance preset control to take reading from the grey card, or set the white balance using the card and the WB eyedropper tool in many image-editing programs.