The 37 best photography accessories in 2017

13. Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT

The big daddy in Canon's Speedlite family

Guide number: 60m @ ISO 100

Weatherproofed to same level as the flagship EOS-1D X Mark II body
The mark I unit is now temptingly priced by comparison

The flagship model in Canon's Speedlite family, Canon's EX600 II-RT packs a powerful guide number of 60 (m at ISO 100) and can be fired from up to 30m away, using built-in radio or optical control. Full tilt-and-swivel control is offered, and it can also fire 50% more flashes continuously than Canon’s previous mark I version.

14. Nissin NI-HDI702S Commander Air 1 Kit

Compatible with DSLR and mirrorless systems, this kit has massive appeal

Works with: Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony and Micro Four Thirds

Compatible with many different camera systems
Arguably not the most refined in appearance

This value-for-money combo includes a powerful external flashgun that boasts a high guide number of 54 (m at ISO 100) with an advanced wireless trigger. This enables photographers to use the flashgun off camera to create dramatic, directional lighting. 

15. Nissin MF18 Macro Flash

This affordable unit boasts a clever expanding design for larger lenses

Supports: Canon E-TTL/E-TTL II, Nikon i-TTL

Cheaper than equivalent units from camera manufacturers
Some of the adaptor rings (49mm, 55mm and 82mm) need to be bought separately

PhotoPlus magazine bestowed this unit with a Best Value Winner badge in a recent group test. With flash-heads placed around the lens, the unit will illuminate close-up subjects without casting shadows on them. You even get a High Speed Sync (HSS) mode, should you need it.

Read more: The best digital cameras in 2017

16. Phottix Aether Collapsible Ring Flash Adapter

Turn your regular flash into a ring flash in an instant with this adapter

Works with: Hot shoe-mounted flashguns

Very affordable against dedicated ring flashes ...
... but obviously not quite as convenient

This quirky looking lighting accessory is a collapsable ringflash that turns any flashgun into a studio-style ring flash. It folds down into a compact size and helps deliver a shadowless style of lighting that's popular with portrait photographers, and Phottix has even thrown in a two-year warranty.

17. Rotolight NEO 2

This bi-colour panel bring the benefits of LED technology to flash shooters

Panel: Bi-colour LED (3150-6300K range)

Unmatched functionality, with many advantages over flashguns
Fairly large for a hot shoe-mounted unit

The winner of both the Best on Test and Gold Awards in a recent Digital Camera roundup, this second-generation update to the acclaimed NEO model combines an LED panel with high-speed-sync flash to deliver a whopping 85,000 (yep 85,000) flashes per charge and no recycling times, as well as a three-hour battery life that makes it great for continuous video recording. It sounds too good to be true, but it is true and we love it.  

18. Lastolite by Manfrotto Joe Mcnally Ezybox Speed-lite 2 Plus

Pop this mini softbox on your flash for instantly flattering light

Works with: Hot shoe-mounted flashguns

 A nice, compact size when folded down
Not the cheapest of its kind, but this is reflected by its build

Perfect for the mobile portrait photographer, this mini softbox helps bring soft, studio-style light to on-location shoots, easily slipping onto the front of your external flashgun. It can be used while the flashgun is on the camera or set up on a stand, and folds up to save space in your kitbag. You can even use it in conjunction with other Lastolite accessories such as honeycombs or gel holders.

19. Rogue FlashBender 2 Portable Lighting Kit

This kit will let you modify your flashgun's output in a raft of different ways

Contains: FlashBender 2 – Large Reflector, FlashBender 2 – Small Reflector, Large Diffusion panel, Small Diffusion Panel, Rogue Flash Gels (Combo Filter Kit), Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid (Stacking Grid System), Rogue Grid Gels (Combo Filter Kit), Rogue FlashBender Travel Bag

Exhaustive range of light-modifying options
Might be awkward to keep everything in one place

The well-deserved recipient of Best on Test and Gold Award badges in Digital Camera's recent group test, this kit includes a range of light modifiers and gels to let you do a whole heap of things with your flashgun. Build quality is excellent and, above all else, it's really fun to use. 

20. Nanguang CNLUX1600C

For those on a budget in need of some powerful LEDs

Panel: Bi-colour LED (3200-5600K range)

Superb value for money if you don't need any extras
No low-battery shut off - just gradually dims

This panel, which recently was awarded Digital Camera's Great Value, sits on top of the camera via the hot shoe mount and has its colour temperature adjusted between a 3200-5600K range. Powered by six AA batteries, multiple units can be banded together to create a larger lightbank, each carrying 160 LEDs and boasting 50,000-hour lifespan.

21. Rode VideoMic Pro R

Serious audio from this lightweight, shockproof-mounted mic

Fits: DSLR and mirrorless cameras with a 3.5mm mic port

Great sound quality from a respected audio brand
Battery compartment is a little fiddly to access

This well-loved shotgun mic is suitable for use by professional videographers and is powered by a simple 9v battery. It sits on the camera’s hot shoe mount and connects via a 3.5mm jack, and has been designed with a Rycote Lyre suspension cradle to reduce any unwanted noise caused by knocks or movement.