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50 best camera accessories in 2021: essential photography gadgets and add-ons

best camera accessories
(Image credit: PhotoPlus Magazine)

The best camera accessories are not necessarily big, expensive or complicated. A new camera or a new lens are not the only way to try something new in photography, or to get better at the things you love shooting. 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 to make your photography easier and better. 

For example, what about lighting? The best LED panels have enough power to replace a flashgun and they are perfect for video. 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? 

If you shoot video as well as stills, did you know that the best gimbals can stabilize your camera for truly smooth, professional looking footage, or that the best microphones can transform your audio quality.

We've compiled a list of some of the best camera accessories around right now, and also done the work of finding you the best deals too. 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 get ideas and find out more.

The best camera accessories in 2021

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.

• See also: Best tripods | Best travel tripods

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

1. Manfrotto 190XPro4

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

Specifications
Material: Aluminum
Leg sections: 4
Max load (legs/head): 10/7kg
Max height (with head): 175cm
Folded height: 57cm
Weight (with head): 2.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Bubble level on centre column+Rotate freely to capture new angles
Reasons to avoid
-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: Peak Design)

2. Peak Design Travel Tripod

Spectacular for both its design and its folded size, but not cheap!

Specifications
Material: Carbon fiber or aluminum alloy
Extended height: 153cm
Folded height: 39cm
Weight: 1.27kg/1.56kg
Feet: Pads (spikes optional extra)
Leg sections: 5
Max load: 9kg
Reasons to buy
+Supremely portable+Ultra-low-profile ball head+Phone mount and bag included
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive carbon fiber version-Not the tallest-Some hex key fiddling

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

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

3. Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock plate

A winning tripod ball head that nails the basics

Specifications
Max load: 10kg
Weight: 520g
QR plate: Arca-compatible
Reasons to buy
+Extremely smooth+Ergonomic locking levers and friction dial
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Height: 13cm
Weight: 0.68kg
Payload capacity: 5kg
Reasons to buy
+Very competitive price+Light and compact
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Weight: 260g
Packed length: 20.5cm
Max extended height: 19cm
Max payload capacity: 2.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and slim when folded+Useful and precise leg extension
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Material: Carbon fiber
Sections: 4
Max load: 16kg
Extended length: 158.5 cm
Packed length: 52.5cm
Weight: 0.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Stable rubberised foot+Strong and lightweight build
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Amazing battery life+Effective, highly customizable stabilization
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Doubles as a smartphone grip+Trouser pocket sized tripod+Integrated Bluetooth remote
Reasons to avoid
-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

Best selfie sticks: Andoer 54-inch selfie stick

(Image credit: Andoer)

9. Andoer 54-inch selfie stick

This super-long stick has an aluminium build that ensures tensile strength

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphones, action cameras, small cameras
Extended length: 137.1cm
Retracted length: 18.5cm
Bluetooth: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Huge extended length+Very broad compatibility
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than others-Quite heavy

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:

(Image credit: Peak Design)

10. Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

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

Specifications
External size: 410×170×300mm
Weight: 1,210g
Color options: Black, Ash
Laptop size: 13-inch (15-inch version available)
Reasons to buy
+Surprisingly high capacity+Lots of pockets and cubbyholes
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Dimensions: 30x18x47cm
Weight: 2.2kg
Lenses: 4
Raincover: Yes
Padded hip belt: Yes
Tripod storage: Yes
Laptop compartment: 13in
Tablet compartment: No
Reasons to buy
+Modular design+Accepts a drone
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Expanding height adds versatility+Extensive feature set and range of sizes
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Weight: 171g
Maximum length: 145cm
Material: Polyester / Neoprene
Reasons to buy
+Quality strap and fittings+Efficient attachment loops
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Performance and wireless functions+Outstanding value for money
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Cutting-edge creative effects+Bluetooth for remote adjustments+Battery life and temperature range
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Immaculate build quality throughout+Superb performance, easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-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

Reasons to buy
+Portable, simple assembly +Good results from a single light source
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Size (open): 107cm
Surfaces: diffuser + gold, silver, white, black
Reasons to buy
+Includes all essential color surfaces+Well priced
Reasons to avoid
-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

Reasons to buy
+Good build quality+Fantastic results
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Available sizes: 75x90mm, 100x150mm, 150x170mm
Included densities: 1, 2 & 3 stops
Available transitions: soft, medium, hard, or extra hard
Reasons to buy
+Excellent optical quality+Light and resilient construction
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Available sizes: 84x100mm, 100x100mm, 130x130mm
Available densities: 6-stop ND64, 10-stop ND1024
Reasons to buy
+Flawless colour accuracy+No sharpness reduction+Perfect f/stop accuracy
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Sizes available: 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72,77, 88,
Exposure increase: +1.5 to +8 stops
Reasons to buy
+The screw-in knob is nice +Reasonable price
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Available sizes: **Available sizes:** 52mm, 58mm, 67mm, 77mm, 82mm and 100mm
Reasons to buy
+Scratch and water resistant+Nano coating for low reflection
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Quality range of filters+Locking system works well+Lightweight design
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Transducer type: Condenser
Form: Shotgun
Polar pattern: Supercardioid
Frequency response: 100Hz-16KHz
Power source: None (plug-in power)
Supplied windscreen: Foam
Reasons to buy
+Plug in and play+Fuss free mic that's well made
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Recording formats: FLAC, PCM (.WAV), MP3
Connections: 3.5mm
Internal memory: 8GB
Expandable memory: Micro SD card
Battery type: AAA
Weight: 75g
Reasons to buy
+Affordable price helpful for beginners+Lightweight and compact on small bodies+Slide-out USB connection for downloading
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Color temperature: 5600K
Output: 550 LUX (1m)
Power: Rechargeable L-type li-ion (included)
Dimensions: 28x59x86mm
Weight: 160g
Reasons to buy
+Small and portable for easy transport+Bluetooth for remote control+Additional creative filters included
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Great stabilisation out of the box+11-hour rechargeable battery life
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Material: Aluminium
Extended height: 151cm
Folded height: 40cm
Weight: 1.75kg
Leg sections: 3
Maximum load: 4kg
Reasons to buy
+Folds into a compact package+Fast to set up and use+Light weight
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Very compact+Built-in video recorder+Feature-packed
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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)
Reasons to buy
+Great rapid-fire performance+Good for stutter-free video
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Incredible speeds+Loads of capacity options
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+High capacity for modest money +Fairly quick
Reasons to avoid
-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: WD)

34. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2

A hugely fast yet well-priced portable SSD, plus it's water-resistant!

Specifications
Technology: SSD
Available capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Dimensions: 110.26mm x 57.34mm x 10.22mm
Image read/write speeds: 693/496MB/s
Video read/write speeds: 780/564MB/s
Reasons to buy
+Unparalleled speed+Small and rugged+Competitively priced
Reasons to avoid
-Max speed requires very fast computer-2TB capacity very expensive

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

(Image credit: Seagate)

35. Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB

An affordable and easy to use desktop drive in many capacities

Specifications
Capacity: 4-16TB
Interface: USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
Reasons to buy
+Looks good on a desk+Loads of capacities, including 16TB+Super-easy to set up and use
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Capacity: 4TB, 8TB, 12TB, 16TB
Interface: Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0
Features: Remote file access, RAID features, My Cloud OS 3 software
Reasons to buy
+Dual core CPU+Dual bay for RAID setups
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Blazing fast and stunning screen +Touch Bar great with Photoshop
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Beautifully calibrated screen+Not an RGB gaming light in sight
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
Size: 27in
Ratio: 16x9
Resolution: 3840x2160
Brightness: 350cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
sRGB gamut (claimed): 100%
Adobe RGB gamut (claimed): 99%
Reasons to buy
+Rigid stand+Shading hood included+Excellent performance
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Excellent video color space coverage+Well priced+Plenty of screen space
Reasons to avoid
-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

Reasons to buy
+Much quicker than previous Spyder5+Great overall accuracy+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Super high quality+Packed with features and controls+Very ergonomic
Reasons to avoid
-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

The best graphics tablet for performance and price

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Portable design+Affordability+Display area is almost A4/Letter sized
Reasons to avoid
-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 drawing tablets

(Image credit: Canon)

44. Canon PIXMA Pro-100/100S

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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Very fast print speeds+Top quality photo printing+High quality build
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Class-leading scanning quality+Easy to use+Automatically removes dust & scratches
Reasons to avoid
-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

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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Immensely powerful+Clean, intuitive interface
Reasons to avoid
-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