Did you just buy a DSLR?
Here are 5 must have DSLR accessories that every new DSLR owner should have, in order to not only take full advantage of their DSLR, but also in order to protect it from dust, scratches, water and worse!
Memory cards: While majority of DSLRs come with a free SD card or two, it is essential to have at least couple of large capacity fast memory cards, which allow you to shoot photos and videos throughout the day, without worrying about running out of storage space. I use SanDisk Extreme 16 GB SDHC Card in my Canon 60D, since it has a claimed write speed of 45mb/s and is easily able to keep up with my Canon 60D’s burst speed and full HD videos.
UV Filter: While DSLRs do not need protection from UV rays. A UV filter can go a long way in protecting your lens from dust, fingerprints, flying debris and rigors of cleaning (no matter how gentle and careful you are). After all, it is better to ruin a filter costing few hundred rupees than your lens and usually multi coated filters can be easily cleaned, without scratching their surface or coating (with the help of blower, lens tissue and Lenspen). I use Hoya HMC UV filters for my lenses, since these filters aren’t too expensive and yet are decent enough to not cause any major deterioration in image quality. If you are a Nikon user using 18-55 kit lens, then you will need one in 52 mm size, while users of Canon’s 18-55 kit lens will need 58 mm filter. If you have any other lens, then you can easily find the right filter size for it by checking its specs online or by leaving a comment below.
Camera cleaning kit: Let’s face it, no matter how careful you are, your DSLR will end up attracting dust and worst still, finger prints on the front element of your lens. Hence it is essential to have a good camera cleaning kit, consisting of a bulb type blower, microfiber cloth, lens tissues and Lenspen. Camera cleaning kits like these have the first 3 ingredients and you can easily buy original Lenspen extra to complete your kit. Remember, do not use the liquids which come with cleaning kits to clean your lens or filter, else you can end up destroying the coating of your lens/filter.
Camera bag: Cameras bags are one thing, which just aren’t enough, no matter how many you buy! I currently have 4 (including 1 I got free with my DSLR.) Hence choosing the right camera bag, which will continue to serve you for several years, is crucial. It is also crucial to buy a bag, which can take in more gear than what you have already, so that you aren’t forced to buy a bag, as soon as you buy a new lens. While you can buy locally made camera bags for few hundred rupees at markets like Chandni Chowk, I prefer to use camera bags from manufacturers like Lowepro, which are not only sturdier, but also comfortable to use. Something like a Lowepro Pro Runner 200AW is perfect backpack for anyone starting out and looking to buy a specious DSLR bag for single entrylevel/prosumer DSLR body.
Tripod: Tripods are essential for anyone planning to shoot long exposures, time lapse, products, macros or self-portraits. It is important to buy a good quality tripod, which can not only handle the weight of your current camera and lens, but also any future lenses you are planning/hoping to buy. I currently use a Benro T 800EX tripod, which is an entry level tripod and stable and light enough to fulfill my needs. Although I am hoping to buy a good quality ball head and sturdy carbon fiber tripod eventually, it is way too expensive for me at the moment.
At the end of the day, it is about striking a perfect balance with what you want, what you need and what you can afford and there is no shame in choosing to avoid buying anything except the bare essentials (lens cleaning kit and UV filter), especially since camera manufactures bundle basic camera bag and memory card to get you shooting from the moment you buy your DSLR. However, if a slow or low capacity memory card is preventing you from shooting RAW images or HD videos or if not having a comfortable camera bag deters you from carrying your DSLR with you on trips, it is best to cut corners elsewhere and spend the amount.