My must have kit!
Following on from the last post, what are the must have items of camera equipment?
Well as everybody wants different things from their camera, their needs for extra equipment will differ, so I will run through some suggested pieces of kit, starting with what I think is a must have item.
The camera bag
The first thing I would buy is a decent camera case, your camera will do you no good at home or if it is out with you and broken, so a good camera bag will protect it when ever the camera is not in your hands.
Cases fall into two types, the first just holds the camera and maybe some small accessories, the second will hold the camera and, depending on its size, any extra equipment you may have. The first type of bag will suit most people’s needs as it is small and easy to carry, so it won’t be left at home and you will get more use out of your camera. I have one of these for my compact camera, it’s made by Lowepro and it fits just the camera, a spare memory card and a spare battery. For my SLR I have a similar case made by Camera Care Systems, this one holds the camera and a lens along with a spare lens, spare SD memory card and battery. When choosing this type of bag don’t be tempted to make it too big as you will only fill it with stuff and then not want to carry it around.
The second type of bag is normally associated with SLR cameras, and is designed to hold your whole system, what ever size that maybe. The governing factor here is what kit you have and what you may want to take out with you. My bag of choice here is a Billingham, well designed and made to last for years, they come in a range of sizes and can be adjusted to carry your kit in a very secure way. My main bag can carry 2 SLR bodies, around 5 lenses, a flash gun and a collection of filters and leads. The only problem with this is once it’s full I cannot carry it for any distance. With these types of bag you are looking for protection and longevity, so plan what kit you will need to carry, taking in to account what items you may buy in the future as well. Also think where the bag is going and what sort of conditions it might face, a soft bag like a Billingham is fine for most conditions, but if you are looking to spend your time photographing on or around water, then a fully water proof case could well be a good idea.