The best camera accessories allow you to push your photography and your thinking further than just the camera or the lens. Tripods, monopods, bags, filters, memory cards, laptops, software – any and all of these things can help you push your image-making further.
No matter whether you're a newbie in photography or someone who's been shooting for years, the sheer wealth of gear out there can be hard to keep track of. Fortunately, we have a team of dedicated reviewers spending most days testing the latest and greatest accessories, and we use their findings to keep this guide bang up to date with everything that's out there.
if you're looking for a flashgun to capture motion, a tripod to support your camera, a head to execute smooth panning movement, a bag to keep it all in, or really, anything else, this guide is where you want to be, as we've compiled the fifty essentials to keep you shooting. And we haven't forgotten about video, with a selection of gimbals for stabilising your footage, and microphones to transform your audio quality.
We've also done the legwork of finding the best deals on all the products here, so you can be sure you're not overpaying. We've divvied up the article into sections based on the different categories of accessory, so all you need to do is dive straight in as we count off the fifty best camera accessories you can buy.
The best camera accessories in 2023
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Tripods and supports
Every photographer needs a tripod. Not for every shot maybe, but for night shots, time-lapses, long-exposure seascapes, macro shots and more, a tripod will give you pin-sharp shots and a stability you can't get from handheld exposures. A regular tripod will give you good stability at an affordable price, while a travel tripod will pack down small for easy portability.
Every photographer needs a tripod, and this Manfrotto is one of the best all rounders in this price bracket. The four-section Manfrotto 190XPro4 ball head kit (MK190XPro4-BHQ2) is a full-sized tripod that reaches a lofty operating height of 175cm, yet shrinks to a fairly modest folded height of 57cm.
Read more: Best tripods for photographers
The Peak Design travel tripod is not exactly cheap, but its design is a revelation. It folds down really small but opens out to provide a good working height and excellent stability. There are clever design touches everywhere, from the ultra-compact ball head to the smartphone clamp tucked away in the center column.
Read more: Peak Design Travel Tripod review
You can buy tripods and heads separately, and if you are looking to upgrade your tripod head, the Manfrotto's XPRO ball head is a great choice. The magnesium construction is rated to support 10kg, with grease-free polymer housing for exceptionally smooth movement, even with a lot of friction applied. The XPRO ball head can be specced with several mounting plate designs, including an Arca-Swiss compatible Top Lock system.
Read more: Best ball heads for tripods
Vanguard’s baby three-way head weighs just 680g. The rated maximum payload is a modest 5kg, with only two locking handles, with a selector that allows you to set the longitudinal tilt handle to lock only the tilt axis, or both tilt and pan simultaneously. It’s a neat trick that works well. Up top is a traditional Arca-Swiss style QR system.
Read more: Best 3-way pan and tilt tripod heads
Sometimes a mini-tripod is all you need, and they are so easy to pack in any camera bag. Manfrotto’s Pixi mini tripods have been with us for several years, and this version is one of the most affordable and portable, though with a payload limit of 1kg, it's best for smartphones or very small cameras. The push-button ball head is useful and easy to get to grips with. If you want a tiltable ball head, consider the more advanced Pixi Evo version
Read more: Best mini table top tripods
Monopods are super-useful for supporting heavy telephoto lenses or just for a little added camera support for slower shutter speeds. Made from durable and lightweight carbon fiber, Benro’s Adventure MAD38C is also equipped with a round, vari-angle, rubberised foot. Quick-flip leg locks for its four leg sections make the monopod fast to deploy and simple to pack down.
Read more: Best monopods
For smooth run and gun style video with a smartphone, you need a stabilised gimbal. The Osmo Mobile's spring-loaded clamp effortlessly accommodates even the largest phones, and its gimbal arm can rotate through 90 degrees for seamless switching between landscape and portrait orientation. You can choose between modes like Walk and Sport to adjust the intensity of the stabilisation. There’s even an option called Active Track, whereby the gimbal will automatically track a moving subject for you, with customizable tracking sensitivity.
We tested it using the iPhone 14 Pro Max and despite it being one of the heavier smartphones now available it was able to keep up with some aggressive movements from us and still maintain incredibly smooth footage.
Read more: Best gimbals for smartphones and cameras
Smartphones are easy to carry but tricky to grip and support – but the Photogrip does both. It’s a spring-loaded grip that opens wide enough to fit even a fat smartphone and clamps around it securely, while in the base is a tripod socket for a regular tripod or the tiny pocket tripod included in the kit – you can also use this with the legs folded in as a camera grip. In the top is a Bluetooth shutter button that’s actually built into a tiny remote you can slide out to fire the shutter remotely!
Read more: Best camera phone tripods and supports
Maybe you don’t need more than a metre of selfie stick in your life – but on the other hand, maybe you do? The Andoer 54-inch selfie stick is quite a whopper when fully extended, but it does retract to a pleasingly short 18.5cm. All this girth makes it one of the heavier selfie sticks you can get, weighing more than half a kilo, but there’s a hell of a lot of functionality. It’s compatible with smartphones, action cameras and smaller cameras, and there’s also a handy Bluetooth remote that comes included. It also converts into a handy mini desktop tripod! Versatility really is the name of the game here.
• Read more: Best selfie sticks
Camera bags and straps
You've got all the gear, so now you need something to carry it around with that keeps it protected and accessible all at the same time. Or maybe you prefer a strap to a bag? Here's a selection of camera-carrying options:
The Peak Design Everyday Messenger is a bit of an icon in the world of camera messenger bag design. It looks as smart as a briefcase, but it packs in as much camera gear as any regular shoulder bag. There are so many clever design touches it's hard to take them all in straight away. So is it the best bag ever? Nearly, but not quite, though we gave it plaudits in our review
The Lowepro backpack can be easily modified for all kinds of scenarios. The Velcro dividers inside can be moved to accommodate specific gear (including a drone) or dumped in favour of open space, while the rear-opening lid contains a zipped compartment for a 13-inch laptop. However, as we found in our review, the real genius is the front’s succession of loops that can be used to attach accessories such as a neoprene flash holder, a tripod toe-cup and straps, and a phone case, making this a truly versatile camera backpack.
Read more: Best camera backpacks
Camera holsters are really handy for carrying a single camera and lens combo, and this Think Tank holster is packed with clever features and comes in no fewer than seven different sizes, to suit everything from a medium-sized CSC right up to a pro-style SLR with a 150-600mm super-telephoto zoom attached. The 10 model here has a removable strap, a grab handle on the top, plus an over-sized belt loop which has a Velcro fastening so it’s easy to attach to a belt or other strap. A slip-over rain cover is also supplied.
Read more: Best camera holsters
A sling, shoulder and neck strap in one, the Slide exudes quality with a seatbelt-style strap and premium fittings, which include clever quick-release buttons to detach the strap. The Peak Design is neither small to pack away nor cheap to buy, but he materials, attachments and adjustments are brilliantly designed.
Read more: Best camera straps
Sometimes you need to supplement the ambient light with a little lighting of your own, either for creative effect or just because it's too dark to shoot otherwise. Here are some lighting options for both photographers and videographers, whether you need light that's big and powerful or small and portable.
You can buy a dedicated flash from your camera's maker, but the Hähnel Modus 600RT flashgun matches or beats the features of camera manufacturers’ own-brand flagship models, but at a fraction of the price. Three different options are available, so you can buy the flashgun on its own, or as a wireless kit that includes a hotshoe mounting Viper RF (Radio Frequency) transmitter. There’s also a pro kit that comprises two flashguns and a Viper trigger, enabling the versatility of dual-flash lighting setups – and power comes from a lithium-ion cell for high capacity and fast recycle times.
Read more: Best external flash/strobe
Continuous LED lighting has become ever more practical as camera ISOs get higher and lenses get faster, and the Rotolight NEO 3 is the latest and greatest version of one of the best LED lights ever made. Delivering a range of colours in both continuous and flash modes, with full RGBWW options, we reviewed this light and praised it as a brilliant solution for video shooters and anyone else who needs a little constant light. It's available in various kits and options; make sure you check and get the one you want, as you may need a wireless trigger or mains power adapter, and these don't come as standard.
Read more: Best LED lights for photography and video
Looking for a traditional studio lighting setup that includes everything you will need? The Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4/4 To Go is a range-topping kit that includes a pair of 400Ws flash heads, sturdy stands, a 66cm square softbox, a 56cm octagonal softbox, and a translucent deflector that enables a beauty dish effect. Elegant and intuitive, the push-button control panel offers easy adjustment of power output through a 5-stop range, in 1/10th stop increments. Selecting proportional, full, low and no modelling lamp output is similarly simple, using a conventional 100W bulb. An auto-sensing cooling fan is built into the head.
Read more: Best studio lighting kits
If you need to photograph small objects for your online shop or auction sites, a light tent is perfect. The ePhotomaker is a collapsible diffuser panel on one side and a collapsible reflector on the other, tied at the top and spanned by a white fabric sheet that forms a seamless back/base. The design means you can use just a single light – a regular desk lamp is suggested – shone through the diffusion side of the tent, with the reflector creating a fill light on the opposite side of your subject.
Read more: Best light tents for photography
Reflectors are super-simple tools for bouncing light back on to your subject. They are so simple that, for occasional use, it’s difficult to justify splashing out on a premium product over a budget model. Phottix’s keenly-priced EasyHold even has a pair of handles for easier positioning. A double sided, reversible cover gives you a traditional selection of gold, silver, white and black colour options.
Read more: Best reflectors
Photo editing software has revolutionized the creative effects we can apply to photos on our computers, tablets and smartphones, but there are still some things only a physical camera filter can do, and here are some examples.
Polarizers are perfect for intensifying blue skies and subduing reflections off glass, water, painted or glossy surfaces.
This HD nano Mk II filter is a simply superb circular polarizer. Build quality is epic, the glass is toughened and the nano structure coatings are hard as nails. In our tests we found that there’s actually less of a darkening effect than usual. Compared with most circular polarizers, this Hoya delivers 25 per cent more light transmission, which equates to about half an f/stop.
It’s not only a bonus when using the optical viewfinder of a DSLR, but also when you need to retain speedy shutter speeds under low lighting. It’s available in a wide range of popular sizes, overall performance is spectacular and it’s well worth the investment.
Read more: Best polarizing filters
Graduated filters are a standard tool for landscape photographers, who frequently need to reduce the intensity of bright skies. Lee’s grads are made from polycarbonate resin rather than optical glass, and Lee claims this makes it easier to dye the tinted portion, resulting in a more accurate density across the filter and greater precision when controlling the transition line. This filter set comprises three densities - 1, 2 and 3 stops - so they'll cater for a wide variety of lighting conditions – and come with a choice of transitions (soft, medium, hard and extra hard).
Read more: Best ND grad filters
ND filters are used to reduce the amount of light passing through the lens, to allow ultra-long exposures which blur water and skies in landscape shots. Cokin’s Nuances Extreme ND filters come in 6-stop and 10-stop densities, which is an ideal choice for long exposure photography. They can also be had in three sizes: P-size (84x100mm), Z-Pro (100x100mm), and X-Pro (130x130mm).
Read more: Best ND filters
Variable ND filters are used mostly by videographers, who need to control the amount of light without changing the shutter speed or altering the lens aperture – both will change the 'look' of the footage. With its ND2-ND400 density range, Marumi’s filter enables between one and eight stops of light reduction.
Read more: Best variable ND filters for video
Astrophotograhy is difficult near to centers of population because of the light pollution from artificial lighting. This filter aims to deliver more clarity, contrast and natural looking colors when shooting at night in urban areas, this double threaded K&F Concept branded round filter features double-sided nano coating to help stop yellow and orange wavelengths of light from entering the lens.
Some filters attach directly to the lens's filter thread, but most are designed to fit square filter holders where they can be used in combination. Filter holders come in different sizes, but 100mm is the most common. The LEE100 Holder is one of the best and features a multi-function locking dial that not only securely locks the holder in place, but also locks the angle of the filter holder to protect your composition.
Read more: Best filter holders
Almost any camera phone or camera can shoot video these days, but to get the best results you need to be using the right accessories. Here are some gadgets and add-ons to take your video to the next level.
Video isn't just about video! You need good quality audio too, which almost always means using an external microphone. The RØDE VideoMic Go II is arguably the ur-example of a simple, high-quality shotgun mic – it's a straightforward directional mic that you point at the thing you want to record. Mount it to your camera's hotshoe, and it'll record the audio from whatever you're filming. Couldn't be simpler. What's more, this updated version has a USB output, making it much more versatile in terms of the devices you can plug it into.
Read more: Best microphones for video
You don't have to use an external microphone when recording video – you can use a separate audio recorder and merge the audio with the video later. The bargain Zoom H1n portable recorder is a great choice, featuring an onboard stereo microphone that lets you easily record two tracks of high-resolution audio in the palm of your hand. Filmmakers will enjoy the H1n's ability to capture clean, distortion-free speech. And like other H-series products by Zoom, you can hold it in your hand, attach it to a mic stand or tripod, and even mount it to a camera via the shoe mount (sold separately).
Read more: Best audio recorders for video
There will be times when transporting a bigger LED light around is simply not an option and in these situations, the Manfrotto Lumimuse 8 could well prove to be your saviour. The tiny light can attach to the hotshoe mount of your camera and can be controlled over Bluetooth by your iOS smartphone. Eight LED lights produce illumination of 550 LUX (at 1 metre), making the Manfrotto unit suitable for vlogs or product videography.
Read more: Best video lights
If you shoot run and gun style video, you will almost certainly need a gimbal. DJI's Ronin-SC has been specifically designed for mirrorless camera setups up to 2kg in total weight. That’s plenty for a camera like a Canon EOS R or Fujifilm X-T3, but it’s best to steer clear of bulky and heavy lenses, as these can be tough and sometimes impossible to balance properly. Each axis can be individually locked, making initial balancing much easier, and, and the SC folds surprisingly compact. In fact a lot about the DJI Ronin-SC is surprising, as we noted in our review, it's both cheaper and more capable than you first expect.
Read more: Best gimbals for video
Serious filmmakers will need a bigger tripod, but for vlogging, a smaller tripod like this Manfrotto may be all you need. The BeFree Live Lever-Lock tripod kit uses three-section aluminum legs that are clamped down using lever locks. There is a different version available using twist-lock legs, too. And even a lighter carbon fiber version but that costs significantly more.
Read more: Best video tripods
For serious video work it's likely you'll need a bigger screen than the monitor on the back of the camera and higher-powered capture and storage capabilities. The Atomos Ninja V is the gold standard in on-the-go external monitors that double up as video recorders, earning the highest possible score in our review for its ability to improve the quality of footage captured. It’s particularly suited to videographers, with support for 4K capture at up to 60fps, ProRes HQ, 422, DNxHR to name a few codecs.
Read more: Best on-camera monitors and recorders
You need a way of storing your digital images and video, both in your camera during capture, on your computer or while you're travelling from one location to another. Here are some of our top recommendations.
There are A LOT of SD cards on the market, but we think this one offers a great combination of speed, capacity and affordability. This SanDisk comes in capacities ranging from 32GB to a staggering 1TB and an impressive UHS Speed Class 3 rating. However, the most impressive aspect of the Extreme PRO SDXC card is its write speeds of up to 90MB/s, which allows your camera to handle rapid-fire sequential shooting in both JPEG and RAW with ease and also makes it suitable for 4K video capture.
Read more: Best memory cards
CFexpress is the latest, best and fastest memory card format, and SanDisk has hit the ground running with its new Extreme Pro CFexpress cards. These offer the kind of transfer speeds up to a frankly astonishing 1700MB/s read and up to 1400 MB/s write. The card format is being rapidly adopted by high-end cameras, such as the Canon EOS-1D X Mk III, Nikon D6, Nikon Z6 and Z7, as well as the Panasonic Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R. We're confident we'll be seeing a lot more of this fantastic format in the future, with prices continuing to fall as a result.
Read more: Best memory cards
Portable hard drives are perfect for storing images and video when you are on the move, and for boosting the often limited capacity of a laptop computer. This latest WD My Passport design comes in black, white, red, blue, orange and yellow colour options. It’s about as light and compact as a conventional portable hard drive gets. Value is the My Passport’s biggest selling point, with the 4TB version being especially enticing thanks to its incredible price per gigabyte.
Read more: Best portable hard drives
Portable SSDs are much more expensive than regular hard drives, but they are also smaller and lighter and WAY faster. This is not SanDisk's top-of-the-range portable SSD - that honour currently goes to the Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2, but this cheaper non-Pro version is still the one to go for. That's because almost no computer currently available can fully exploit the extra speed offered by the Extreme Pro, so in real-world use it's barely faster than this SSD. Capacities come in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, but it's the 500GB option that makes most sense unless you definitely need more space, as prices pretty much double in line with capacity.
• See also The best portable SSDs