Skip to main content

The best camera accessories in 2020: essential photography gadgets and add-ons

Best camera accessories
(Image credit: Alexandru G)

The best camera accessories don't have to cost a fortune. Sure, a new camera or a new lens might make a big dent in your bank balance, but tripods, filters, memory cards and camera bags are everyday essentials that are just as important. 

The fact is there's an incredible world of photographic gear to explore, and if you're just getting started in photography (and even if you're an old hand), you may not be aware of everything that's out there. 

For example, what camera accessories do you have that help you control your lighting? Do you use any camera filters for creative effects? Does your tripod offer rock-solid support and have a head that allows you to execute smooth panning movements? 

We've compiled a list of the best camera accessories around right now, and also done the work of finding you the best deals you can get them for. Everything from supports to bags, lights to memory cards and filters is here, and we've divided the article into different categories to make it easier to find what you need.

The best camera accessories in 2020

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. Here are some of our favorites.

Best camera accessories: Manfrotto 190XPro4

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

1. Manfrotto 190XPro4

A rigid and sturdy tripod with a rock-solid XPro ball head

Material: Aluminum | Leg sections: 4 | Max load (legs/head): 10/7kg | Max height (with head): 175cm | Folded height: 57cm | Weight (with head): 2.6kg

Bubble level on centre column
Rotate freely to capture new angles
Lacks swing-up legs
Quite bulky when folded

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

(Image credit: Vanguard)

2. Vanguard Veo 2 Go 265HCBM

A really nice combination of weight, price, size and height

Material: Carbon fibre | Extended height: 166.5cm | Folded height: 41cm | Weight: 1.4kg | Feet: Rubber pads, spikes included | Leg sections: 5 | Max load (legs, head): 10kg

Good weight and load capacity
Rubber feet and spikes
Monopod conversion (M) version
Needs center column for decent height

The Vanguard Veo 2 Go models are the latest versions of Vanguard's travel tripod designs. The Veo 2 Go 265HCBM model offers extra height (the 'H' in the name) and a detachable monopod (the 'M). here's a removable monopod leg, spikes are included and a short center column for low angle shots. It's a really nice, neat tripod for the money and easily handles DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. 

Read more: Best travel tripods

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

3. Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock plate

A winning tripod ball head that nails the basics

Max load: 10kg | Weight: 520g | QR plate: Arca-compatible

Extremely smooth
Ergonomic locking levers and friction dial
Less compact than some rivals

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

4. Vanguard Alta PH-32

A pan and tilt head that's perfect if travelling light is your top priority

Height: 13cm | Weight: 0.68kg | Payload capacity: 5kg

Very competitive price
Light and compact
Best for lighter camera setups
Slightly awkward panning control

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

(Image credit: Future)

5. Manfrotto Pixi Evo

A well made tabletop tripod that nails the basics for a fair price

Weight: 260g | Packed length: 20.5cm | Max extended height: 19cm | Max payload capacity: 2.5kg

Lightweight and slim when folded
Useful and precise leg extension
Doesn’t stretch as tall as some rivals
Not that rigid with legs at full stretch 

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, but this Evo version steps things up with its extendable two-section legs. The ball head itself is of a usefully large size for a mini tripod and it clamps securely. It can also tilt through 90-degrees into portrait orientation.

Read more: Best mini table top tripods

(Image credit: Benro)

6. Benro Adventure MAD38C Carbon Fiber Monopod

A high quality monopod, with a unique adjustable rounded foot

Material: Carbon fiber | Sections: 4 | Max load: 16kg | Extended length: 158.5 cm | Packed length: 52.5cm | Weight: 0.5kg

Stable rubberised foot
Strong and lightweight build
Expensive
Doesn’t pack down very small

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

(Image credit: Future)

7. DJI Osmo Mobile 3

A superb smartphone stabilizer for a bargain price

Compatibility: Smartphone (62 to 88mm width) | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 405g | Dimensions: Unfolded: 285 x 125 x 103mm, Folded: 157 x 130 x 46mm | Battery life (approx): 15 hours

Amazing battery life
Effective, highly customizable stabilization
Initial set-up and connection takes time
No camera-swapping while recording

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.

Read more: Best gimbals for smartphones and cameras

8. Adonit Photogrip

This combined smartphone grip and mini-tripod is sheer genius

Material: PC+ABS | Extended height: N/A | Folded height: N/A | Weight: 0.064kg | Feet: Flat | Leg sections: 1 | Max load (legs, head): N/A

Doubles as a smartphone grip
Trouser pocket sized tripod
Integrated Bluetooth remote
Balance issues with big phones

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

(Image credit: Syosin)

9. SYOSIN Selfie Stick Tripod

A multi-functional selfie stick, with Bluetooth and a remote

Compatibility: Smartphones, GoPros, DSLRs/mirrorless cameras | Extended length: 82.5cm | Retracted length: 20cm | Bluetooth: Yes

Converts to tripod
Huge battery
Bluetooth
Not much!

Stable, durable, equipped with a 65mAh rechargeable lithium battery that can capture up to 50,000 selfies from full charge... the SYOSIN Selfie Stick Tripod does pretty much everything you could ask for from a product like this. As the name implies, it can also convert into a quick, cheap and cheerful tripod for getting stable shots, and it can support action cameras and small mirrorless/DSLR cameras thanks to its tripod mount. Bluetooth functionality is present and correct, and the stick also comes with a wireless remote. Pretty much perfect!

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:

(Image credit: Peak Design)

10. Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

A super stylish camera bag you could also use at the office

External size: 410×170×300mm | Weight: 1,210g | Color options: Black, Ash | Laptop size: 13-inch (15-inch version available)

Surprisingly high capacity
Lots of pockets and cubbyholes
The lid is the only main closure
Smaller items can rattle around

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 it has enough style to work as an office/commuting bag too.

Read more: Best shoulder/messenger bags for photographers

11. Lowepro ProTactic BP 350 AW II backpack

A versatile, modular backpack that’s perfect for airline cabins too

Dimensions: 30x18x47cm | Weight: 2.2kg | Lenses: 4 | Raincover: Yes | Padded hip belt: Yes | Tripod storage: Yes | Laptop compartment: 13in | Tablet compartment: No

Modular design
Accepts a drone
Accessories can look messy
Accessories are expensive

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, 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

(Image credit: Think Tank)

12. Think Tank Digital Holster 10 v2.0

Our favorite camera holster and available in seven sizes

Internal dimensions (WxDxH): 160x100x152-210mm | Weight: 400g | Alternative sizes: 6 | Removable shoulder strap: Yes | Belt loop: Yes | Top handle: Yes | Adjustable divider: Yes | Additional pockets: 3

Expanding height adds versatility
Extensive feature set and range of sizes
Only available in black

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

13. Peak Design Slide Summit Edition Strap

A super strap that's slick to use and has some smart design touches

Weight: 171g | Maximum length: 145cm | Material: Polyester / Neoprene

Quality strap and fittings
Efficient attachment loops
Tight squeeze in the kit bag

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

Lighting

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.

(Image credit: Hähnel)

14. Hahnel Modus 600RT Mk II

Good features, great value and a long-lasting lithium-ion battery

Compatible with: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm | Bounce: -7 to 90 degrees | Swivel: 180/180 | Zoom range: 20-200mm | Wide-angle diffuser: 14mm | Manual power settings: 1/1 to 1/128 | Wireless master/slave: Master/Slave IR/RF | Dimensions: 64 x 76 x 190mm

Performance and wireless functions
Outstanding value for money
Lacks any weather-seals
Additional batteries are expensive

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

(Image credit: Rotolight)

15. Rotolight NEO II

Great for both stills and video, with good power and controls

Color temperature: 3150-6300K | Output (0.9m): 2000 Lux, 1032 Lumen | Power: 6x AA batteries/power adaptor, L-type li-ion, AC mains | Dimensions: 27.8x21.5x11.1cm | Weight: 354g

Cutting-edge creative effects
Bluetooth for remote adjustments
Battery life and temperature range
Limited range outdoors

Continuous LED lighting has become ever more practical as camera ISOs get higher and lenses get faster, and the NEO II is a great choice for those creatives who are likely to shoot stills photography one day and video footage the next. You can use it inside via a mains plug, or take it outdoors thanks to 6x AA batteries. The battery life is impressive, with Rotolight stating the NEO II is capable of 1.5 hours continuous output at max power or a whopping 85,000 full power flashes/ With an adjustable colour temperature of 3150-6300K, videographers can use the NEO II to deliver warm or cool light (or a mix of both) onto the subject. 

Read more: Best LED lights for photography and video

(Image credit: Elinchrom)

16. Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4/4 To Go

The best studio flash kit around, a lighting kit with real clout

Head power: 400Ws | Power range: 5 stops | Power adjustment: 1/10th f/stops (custom) | Power supply: Mains only | Cooling fan: Auto-sensing | Modelling lamp: 100W | Modelling lamp settings: Prop, full, low, off | Sync socket: 3.5mm jack | Wireless RF trigger: Included | Dedicated TTL/HSS triggering: HSS with C N S P MFT trigger upgrade | Head dimensions: 14x26x19cm | Weight per head: 1,500g

Immaculate build quality throughout
Superb performance, easy to use
Pricier than some competitors
Requires trigger upgrade for HSS flash

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

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

17: Lastolite ePhotomaker kit - Large

Perfect for photographing small objects with 'wraparound' light

Portable, simple assembly 
Good results from a single light source
Crease-prone backdrop 
Lacks structural rigidity

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

18. Phottix EasyHold 5-in-1 Reflector 107cm

Perfect 'bounce' lighting for a typical home studio

Size (open): 107cm | Surfaces: diffuser + gold, silver, white, black

Includes all essential color surfaces
Well priced
No subtle colors
Handles could be better

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

Filters

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.

Best camera accessories: Hoya PRO1 Digital Circular PL

(Image credit: Future)

19. Hoya PRO1 Digital Circular PL

Looking for a great quality polarizer? Look no further

Good build quality
Fantastic results
Can be tricky to screw in

Polarizers are perfect for intensifying blue skies and subduing reflections off glass, water, painted or glossy surfaces. The Hoya PRO1 Digital Circular PL polarizer is a great option for photographers looking for something slightly cheaper that's still great quality. This filter is Digital Multi-Coated (DMC) to reduce lens flare and ghosting caused by reflections, making it an effective option for shooting bodies of water. It also features a Low Profile Frame (LPF), which consists of an ultra-thin filter frame that will help to avoid vignetting on wide-angle lenses. Usefully, this filter can also hold a lens cap too.

Read more: Best polarizing filters

(Image credit: Future)

20. LEE Filters 100mm Neutral Density Grad Set

Cost-effective resin filters perfect for outdoor and landscape photography

Available sizes: 75x90mm, 100x150mm, 150x170mm | Included densities: 1, 2 & 3 stops | Available transitions: soft, medium, hard, or extra hard

Excellent optical quality
Light and resilient construction
Poor water and oil resistance
Resin rather than glass

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

21. Cokin Nuances Extreme ND Z-Pro

Great budget ND (neutral density) filters for long exposures

Available sizes: 84x100mm, 100x100mm, 130x130mm | Available densities: 6-stop ND64, 10-stop ND1024

Flawless colour accuracy
No sharpness reduction
Perfect f/stop accuracy
Cokin's holder quite pricey

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

(Image credit: Marumi)

22: Marumi DHG Vari ND2-ND400

Great value variable ND filter for videography

Sizes available: 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72,77, 88, | Exposure increase: +1.5 to +8 stops

The screw-in knob is nice 
Reasonable price
Slight color cast
Unevenness at higher settings

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

(Image credit: K&F)

23: K&F Concept Natural Night Filter Light Pollution Filter

Cuts light pollution in urban areas at night

Available sizes: **Available sizes:** 52mm, 58mm, 67mm, 77mm, 82mm and 100mm

Scratch and water resistant
Nano coating for low reflection
Not the cheapest

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. 

Read more: Best light pollution filters for astrophotography

(Image credit: LEE)

24: LEE Filters LEE100 Holder

One of the best 100mm square filter holders

Filter size (width): 100mm | Material: Composite | Pouch included: Yes | Number of filter slots: 2 (up to 3) | Polarizer compatibility: Yes (filter not included) | Adapter rings included: No, sold separately

Quality range of filters
Locking system works well
Lightweight design
Polarizing filters positioned at front

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

Video accessories

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.

25. Rode VideoMic Go

A good choice for budget-conscious videographers

Transducer type: Condenser | Form: Shotgun | Polar pattern: Supercardioid | Frequency response: 100Hz-16KHz | Power source: None (plug-in power) | Supplied windscreen: Foam

Plug in and play
Fuss free mic that's well made
Hiss is apparent in the high frequencies

Video isn't just about video! You need good quality audio too, which almost always means using an external microphone. The VideoMic Go is at the affordab le end of the spectrum and mounts onto a hotshoe, with an effective shockmount to reduce handling noise. It's fuelled by plug-in power from the camera's mic socket, so doesn't need a battery, and it comes with a foam windscreen to reduce wind noise.

Read more: Best microphones for video

(Image credit: Olympus)

26. Olympus LS-P4

A great audio recorder with its own internal memory

Recording formats: FLAC, PCM (.WAV), MP3 | Connections: 3.5mm | Internal memory: 8GB | Expandable memory: Micro SD card | Battery type: AAA | Weight: 75g

Affordable price helpful for beginners
Lightweight and compact on small bodies
Slide-out USB connection for downloading
No Phantom power for demanding mics

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 Olympus LS-P4 is small and lightweight, enabling users of small compact cameras to still mount it on the hotshoe and connect the audio recorder to the camera. Users have 8GB of internal storage, but if that’s not enough, you can pop in a Micro SD card (up to 32GB). The LS-P4 enables users to plug in a lav mic for interview situations, or you can use the built-in three-microphone system.

Read more: Best audio recorders for video

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

27. Manfrotto Lumimuse 8 LED Light

Great for on-camera lighting with decent power from a small package

Color temperature: 5600K | Output: 550 LUX (1m) | Power: Rechargeable L-type li-ion (included) | Dimensions: 28x59x86mm | Weight: 160g

Small and portable for easy transport
Bluetooth for remote control
Additional creative filters included
Limited output for outdoor use

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

(Image credit: Future)

28. DJI Ronin-SC

Lightweight, yet fully featured, and a great gimbal for mirrorless cameras

Compatibility: DSLR/mirrorless camera (up to 2kg weight) | Stabilization: Three-axis | Weight: 1.1kg | Dimensions: Unfolded: 370 x 165 x 150mm, Folded: 220×200×75 mm | Battery life (approx): 11 hours

Great stabilisation out of the box
11-hour rechargeable battery life
Can still feel heavy after prolonged use
Only suitable for lighter mirrorless setups

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.

Read more: Best gimbals for video

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

29. Manfrotto BeFree Live Lever Kit – aluminum

A small and light video tripod ideal for travelling or compact cameras

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 151cm | Folded height: 40cm | Weight: 1.75kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 4kg

Folds into a compact package
Fast to set up and use
Light weight
Only takes a payload of 4kg
No Pan and tilt drag adjustment
No counterbalance adjustment

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

(Image credit: Atomos)

30: Atomos Ninja V

A powerful but compact on-camera monitor/recorder

Screen size: 5-inch | Screen tech: LCD | Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Recording capabilities: Yes | Batteries: Sony L-Style | Touchscreen: Yes | HDR: Yes | Brightness: 1000 nits

Very compact
Built-in video recorder
Feature-packed
Fan noise
No buttons

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 new standard in on-the-go external monitors that double up as video recorders. 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

Storage

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.

(Image credit: Sandisk)

31. SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I

A great all-round SD card right, either for burst shooting or 4K video

Card type: SDXC | Capacity: Up to 512GB | Read Speed: Up to 90MB/s | Write Speed: Up to 170MB/s | Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty | Suitable for: Both photography and video (including 4K)

Great rapid-fire performance
Good for stutter-free video
Slightly pricey
There are faster cards at this level

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

(Image credit: Sandisk)

32. SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card

One of the first CFexpress cards available

Card type: CFexpress | Capacity: Up to 512GB | Read Speed: Up to 1700MB/s | Write Speed: Up to 1400MB/s | Warranty: Not specified | Suitable for: Pro photography

Incredible speeds
Loads of capacity options
Expensive
Limited compatibility (for now)

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

33. WD My Passport

An affordable and portable USB-powered hard drive

Technology: HDD | Available capacities: 1TB-4TB | Dimensions: 110 x 81.5 x 13.8-21.5mm | Image read/write speeds: 112/112MB/s | Video read/write speeds: 114/114MB/s

High capacity for modest money 
Fairly quick
Not USB-C
Average data transfer speeds

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

(Image credit: Sandisk)

34. SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD

The fastest portable SSD we've ever tested, plus it's water-resistant!

Available capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Dimensions: 110.26mm x 57.34mm x 10.22mm | Image read/write speeds: 518/509MB/s | Video read/write speeds: 645/554MB/s

Unparalleled speed
Small and rugged
Competitively priced
Max speed requires very fast computer
2TB capacity very expensive

Portable SSDs are much more expensive than regular hard drives, but they are much faster too, and much better suited to video editing. This Sandisk Extreme Pro is blisteringly fast, with a claimed 1050MB/s maximum continuous read speed. Capacities come in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, with the notable absence of an entry-level 250GB version. The 500GB option makes most sense unless you definitely need more space, as prices pretty much double in line with capacity.

Read more: Best portable SSDs

(Image credit: Seagate)

35. Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB

An affordable and easy to use desktop drive in many capacities

Capacity: 4-16TB | Interface: USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)

Looks good on a desk
Loads of capacities, including 16TB
Super-easy to set up and use
Not the cheapest

If you just need a backup or storage disk for your desktop computer, you don't need to pay a fortune. Seagate's no-frills desktop hard drive comes in capacities from 4TB to 16TB, with the 6TB and 8TB options currently being best value and spacious enough for around 1.6 million JPEG images. The drive's fast USB 3.0 connection gives you speed as well as easy plug-and-play compatibility with most computers. Just bear in mind the included USB Type-A cable may need a cheap adapter to convert it to a Type-C plug that'll fit a modern MacBook.

Read more: Best external desktop drives

36. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS drive

NAS storage made simple – the perfect choice for photographers

Capacity: 4TB, 8TB, 12TB, 16TB | Interface: Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 | Features: Remote file access, RAID features, My Cloud OS 3 software

Dual core CPU
Dual bay for RAID setups
Operating system is simplistic
Lack of app support

NAS drives make your images available online via your own private Internet connection. Some NAS drives can be intimidating, but the beauty of the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra is how easy it is to set up and use, with no unnecessary or confusing initial settings to navigate. The My Cloud EX2 Ultra is already equipped with hard drives, so there are no unpleasant extra costs to be incurred. The deals we've got are for the base 4TB capacity, which is plenty for most users, but you can spec up to 16TB of space if you're a heavy user. The built-in software  allows you to use the drive as an FTP server, and the drive can also be set to make automatic backups.

Read more: Best NAS drives

Computing

As photographers and videographers, we spend half as much time in front of our computers as we do behind the camera! Here are some kit suggestions to make this computing time faster, more effective and more efficient.

(Image credit: Apple)

37. Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2019)

This MacBook Pro is the ultimate photo-editing laptop

Processor: Up to 9th-gen Intel Core i9, 8 cores, 2.4GHz base frequency | RAM: Up to 64GB | Storage: Up to 8TB SSD | Screen: 16-inch IPS LCD, 3072x1920

Blazing fast and stunning screen 
Touch Bar great with Photoshop
Poor connectivity
No touchscreen 

Macbooks are expensive compared to Windows laptops, but once you factor in the hardware you get, the difference is not as high as it seems. The 16-inch MacBook Pro can be specced up to incredible levels, with RAM up to 64GB and storage up to 8TB. But do this and the price rockets into the stratosphere. We reckon the best value is to go for the 2.3GHz 8-core Core i9 processor with 32GB RAM, a 1TB SSD and Radeon 5500M graphics with 4GB VRAM. Should you need additional storage, it can be purchased more cost-effectively by getting one of the best portable SSDs.

Read more: Best laptops for photo editing

(Image credit: Acer)

38. Acer ConceptD 7

One of best laptops for video editing... but at a price

CPU: Hexa-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 (UHD) IPS | Storage: 1TB SSD | SD card reader: No | Thunderbolt 3: Yes

Beautifully calibrated screen
Not an RGB gaming light in sight
Very expensive
No SD card slot

If you thought Macbooks were expensive, just wait until you properly spec up a Windows laptop for video! Nevertheless, if you’ve got a lot of cash to invest, the Acer ConceptD line is a series of laptops and desktops that have been fine-tuned for designers and editors. Specifically, the ConceptD 7-series laptop has gaming laptop power but it's also ideal for color grading, as its 4K UHD display covers 100% of the Adobe RGB gamut, and its color fidelity is Pantone validated, with a color accuracy of Delta E <2. With the latest hexa-core i7 internals from Intel, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card and up to 32GB RAM, whether you’re processing out Full HD or 4K footage, Acer’s Concept D should make short work of it.

Read more: Best laptops for video editing

(Image credit: Benq)

39. BenQ SW271

A monitor that's hard to fault, and our go-to screen for photo editing

Size: 27in | Ratio: 16x9 | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Brightness: 350cd/m2 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | sRGB gamut (claimed): 100% | Adobe RGB gamut (claimed): 99%

Rigid stand
Shading hood included
Excellent performance
Slight green cast before calibration

Your monitor is how you judge the color, contrast and sharpness of your images as you edit them, so it has to be good. This BenQ screen has a 27-inch panel size with a 4K UHD native resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. It also boasts the usual 10-bit color depth, equivalent to more than a billion colours. Factory preset sRGB and Adobe RGB modes are available, along with an HDR mode. BenQ claims 100% coverage of the sRGB range and an impressive 99% for Adobe RGB. Palette Master Element calibration software comes with the monitor, to maintain optimum colour accuracy. Other supplied extras include a hotkey puck control dial for easily switching between sRGB, Adobe RGB and advanced B&W display modes.

Read more: Best monitors for photo editing

(Image credit: Dell)

40. Dell UltraSharp PremierColor U3219Q

The best all-round video editing monitor

Screen Size: 31.5-inch | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Brightness: 400cd/m2 | Color space coverage: 99% sRGB, 80% AdobeRGB, 99% Rec. 709, 95% DCI-P3

Excellent video color space coverage
Well priced
Plenty of screen space
AdobeRGB coverage not great
Only 2 display inputs

Dell produces several excellent monitors for video editing, but the U3219Q offers the best value of them all. This 31.5-inch panel can display 99% of the sRGB color space, but more importantly for video, there's 99% Rec. 709 coverage and 95% DCI-P3 coverage - the latter being exceptional for a 4K screen at this price point. Factory color calibration ensures a Delta-E accuracy of less than 2 and the monitor is capable of displaying HDR content as it just meets the 400cd/m2 brightness needed for HDR playback.

Read more: Best monitors for video editing

(Image credit: Datacolor)

41. Datacolor SpyderX Pro

A great value monitor calibration tool that has every feature you need

Much quicker than previous Spyder5
Great overall accuracy
Good value
Interface could be more friendly
No budget Spyder X 'Express' version

The best monitors come with their own calibration systems, but for other monitors you might need a separate calibration tool. SpyderX is the successor to Datacolor’s popular Spyder5 monitor calibrator series and uses a brand new lens-based sensor system rather than the old honeycomb baffle on the Spyder5. The result is a claimed increase in calibration accuracy, especially in the lightest and darkest image regions, and a sub-2-minute calibration time, making this the fastest Spyder calibrator ever. 

Read more: Best monitor calibration tools

(Image credit: Logitech)

42. Logitech MX Master 3

Simply the best mouse for photo editing

Buttons: 7 | Sensor precision: 4000dpi | Connection: Wireless (Bluetooth & 2.4GHz) | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Easy switch to connect to different devices, USB-C quick charging, gesture button

Super high quality
Packed with features and controls
Very ergonomic
Right-handed use only
Pricey

Every computer needs a mouse (unless you are happy with your laptop's trackpad), so you might as well make it a good one! The MX Master is the flagship of Logitech's office mouse range, with a highly ergonomic sculpted shape and twin thumb buttons placed directly beneath a secondary thumb-operated scroll wheel. The primary scroll wheel uses Logitech's clever MagSpeed Electromagnetic scrolling to provide precision when rotated slowly, or hyper-fast scrolling when flicked at speed. A 4000DPI laser sensor gives supreme pointer precision.

Read more: Best mouse for photo and video editing

(Image credit: Wacom)

43. Wacom One (2020)

The best graphics tablet for performance and price

Dimensions: 225 x 357 x 14.6mm (8.9 x 14.1 x 0.6in) | Built-in screen resolution: n/a | Pen pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connections: USB-C, HDMI | OS: Windows, macOS or Android

Portable design
Affordability
Display area is almost A4/Letter sized
Small surface area

If a mouse seems an unnatural way to paint selections and strokes, consider using a graphics tablet instead. The Wacom One was launched right at the start of 2020, and is  the best all-round entry-level graphics tablet that Wacom has ever produced. With a 13-inch surface area, it is a long way for being the biggest graphics tablet you can get – but that does mean that this is an peripheral you can take along with your laptop when away from the home or office. Built-in feet allow you to place the surface at a slight angle, if you don't want it flat on your desk.

Read more: Best graphics tablets

(Image credit: Canon)

44. Canon PIXMA Pro-100/100S

An affordable wide-format printer for both color and black and white

Max Print Size: A3+ | Print resolution: 4800 x 2400 dpi | Print speed (6x4; std quality): 33 seconds | Interfaces: USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, BT | Scanner: No | Dimensions: 689 x 385 x 215 mm | Weight: 19.7kg

Very fast print speeds
Top quality photo printing
High quality build
Lacks memory card slots

As a photographer, you can rely on online print services, or you can make your own prints yourself with a photo printer like this one. The Pro-100S uses dye rather than pigment inks, aiming for exceptionally smooth output on glossy paper. The Pro-100S is well suited to creating black & white photo prints as well as color output, with the inclusion of grey and light grey cartridges. 

Read more: Best photo printers

(Image credit: Plustek)

45. Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE

A high quality film scanner with infrared dust and scratch removal

Maximum scanning resolution: 7200 dpi | Requires computer: Yes | Supported film types/sizes: 35mm color and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives | Dimensions: 120 x 272 x 119mm

Class-leading scanning quality
Easy to use
Automatically removes dust & scratches
Pricier than OpticFilm 8100
Slow at max scanning res

If you still like to shoot film, or you've got drawers full of old slides and negatives, you'll need a film scanner that can do them justice. The OpticFilm 8200i SE costs more than the company's 8100 model but has in infra red scanning channel for dust removal – highly recommended! There is also a Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai available, a flagship model that adds color calibration software into the package, that is useful for color transparency scanning - albeit at a higher cost.

Read more: Best film scanners

Software

We all know when we need to upgrade our kit, but what about our software? You may already have what you need, but if you're still trying to find the perfect program, here are some ideas.

46. Adobe Photoshop CC 2020

Photoshop is still the world's best-known photo editor

PC: Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 processor 2 GHz, 2GB RAM (8GB recommended), Windows 7 to 10 | Mac: Multicore Intel 64-bit, 2GB RAM (8GB recommended), OS X 10.11 or later | Hard drive: 4GB | Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768 pixels

Immensely powerful
Clean, intuitive interface
Subscription-based
Needs Lightroom or Bridge for organizing

Adobe’s decision to make Photoshop CC a subscription-only product remains controversial, but for just $9.99 per month you get access to both Photoshop and Lightroom, and you can cancel your subscription if you change your mind. Photoshop is slick, powerful and constantly improving, and despite its reputation for complexity, Photoshop actually offers a very clean, slick interface. 

Read more: Best photo editing software

(Image credit: Adobe)

47. Adobe Premiere Elements 2020

An easy to use video editor for beginners – and no subscription!

Platform: Mac and Windows | Ease of use: Beginner | 4K support: Yes

Affordable
Comprehensive features
User friendly
No 360 video support yet

Professional videographers will use a program like Adobe Premiere Pro, but for amateurs or those just starting out, Premiere Elements is much cheaper and simpler – and doesn't come with a subscription. Premier Elements can be bought as a standalone product or bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements as a twin pack. Its Guided Mode can even teach you the basics of video editing and act as a personal instructor, but you can switch between Guided Mode and Expert Mode at any time.  

Read more: Best video editing software

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson)

48. Pro Camera by Moment

DSLR-like camera controls and raw file shooting on a smartphone

Platform: iOS and Android | Price: $4.99/£4.99 iOS $3.99/£3.59 Android | Camera controls: shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, white balance, focus | Effects: traditional camera effects

Range of exposure and focus controls
Slow shutter and time lapse add-ons
Focus peaking, histogram, clipping views 
*Android version no longer developed

Designed to complement Moment’s range of smartphone lenses, Pro Camera by Moment offers control over aspects such as shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, focusing and white balance, which you won't get with your phone's default camera app. 

Read more: Best camera apps for smartphones and tablets

Cleaning and maintenance

It's not the most glamorous side of photography, but camera kit does need periodic cleaning and maintenance, and here are some bits and bobs to make this easier.

(Image credit: Future)

49. VisibleDust EZ SwabLight Kit

It's not the cheapest sensor cleaner, but the SwabLight does a great job

Included items: 4x cleaning swabs, cleaning liquid, LED light | Cleans: Loose dust, smudges, oils

Unrivaled cleaning performance
Shifts almost any contaminants
Useful SwabLight illumination
High price per clean
Extra consumables aren’t cheap
No loupe included

Sensor spots are the downside of interchangeable lens cameras, and sometimes you have to resort to manual sensor cleaning. There isn’t much to this kit; just 4 swabs, a tiny 1.15ml phial of cleaning liquid, and the SwabLight itself. This is a tiny torch that slots on to the top end of a swab and shines downward, so wherever you clean, the light always follows. Plus, the SwabLight’s grippy casing is much easier to hold than a spindly swab handle. 

Read more: Best camera sensor cleaning tools

(Image credit: Future)

50. Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipes

Unparalleled lens cleaning quality and convenience... and cheap

Cleaning type: wet | Quantity: 200 wipes

Super-convenient
Gives a spotless clean
Cost-effective when purchased in bulk 
Streaks can take a little while to fade
Wipes dry out quickly when opened

You could clean your lenses with the tried and tested combo of a microfibre cloth and specialist cleaning spray, but there’s a risk the cloth will pick up dirt in your kit bag, while the spray takes up valuable space. These pre-moistened lens wipes, on the other hand, are extremely handy. Each wipe comes in a small 5cm-square sealed sachet and unfolds to 15x12cm – just the right size for cleaning a front or rear lens element.

Read more: Best camera lens cleaners

Read more:

The best cameras
The 10 best point-and-shoot cameras
The 10 best bridge cameras
The 10 best travel cameras
The 8 best portrait lenses for Canon users
The 8 best portrait lenses for Nikon users
The 10 cheapest full-frame cameras
The best full-frame DSLRs
The 10 best cameras for enthusiasts
• The best camera battery
• The best camera lenses