Buying a Canon camera is an investment whether it’s a small compact camera for snapping holidays and events, or a bigger DSLR model for professional or pleasure purpose. When it comes to adding accessories, the choices are vast, stretching from gizmos and gadgets that are fun play with, to more serious pieces of kit such as tripods and cleaning equipment.
Chances are that if you’re passionate about photography, your kit wish list will never end as you aim to build as many options as possible to help you shoot better images using different techniques. We’ve compiled a list of accessories that complement your Canon camera and explain briefly about how they’ll help you.
We start looking at tripods, which are often the most bulky piece of equipment after your camera itself. We then move on to bags and cases to keep your camera safe, as well as ones that are easy to carry from one adventure to the next. Next, we delve into Flashes and Speedlights, explaining what the two terms mean and which model will offer you the best results for your camera and level of skill. Finally, we look at straps, SD cards and the cleaning products you need to keep your gear in to condition.
One of the biggest enemies of good photography is the inevitable camera shake that comes along with capturing everything by hand. Mounting your camera to a tripod means that you can be sure the unit remains absolutely still as you snap a shot. This allows you to start being a bit more creative with shutter speeds and manual settings. Many of Canon’s compact range come with a built-in anti-shake function, but this can only get you so far if you’re hoping to push your artistic boundaries.
There are many options, such as the GorillaPod, that are small enough to complement your compact gear but still allow you to find interesting angles to shoot from and, above all, keep it steady as you go. We look through some top options on the market that’ll be a perfect match with your Canon.
MANFROTTO 055 (NEW SERIES) CARBON FIBRE 3-SECTION TRIPOD
Made with the professional photographer in mind, Manfrotto offers a lightweight yet durable tripod as part of its 055 series. The body is made from carbon fibre and the 90-degree centre column mechanism allows it to be extended horizontally.
The Quick Power Lock levers block and unblock each leg section for easy adjustments, and it can take up to 9kg, making it ideal for DSLRs. At its maximum height it reaches 170cm. which is good enough for great landscapes and portraits. Though it is on the expensive side, it is a worthy investment for any serious photographer and will become an indispensable item in your kit.
SIRUI N-3004X TRIPOD WITH BUILT-IN MONOPOD
This tripod stands out from the crowd because you can remove one of the legs and use it as a monopod, and there’s a hand strap included too. It’s constructed from aluminium, weight 1.8kg, and can hold up to 15kg, so it’s certainly a solid option. It has flip-type leg locks and nonslip rubber feet with metal spikes that can be retracted, so you’re able to get all-rounder and its ability to be turned into a monopod makes it a really versatile option.
VELBON ULTRA 355 TRIPOD
This compact tripod comes with a three-way panhead and quick-release platform. It also has a multi-angle splittable centre column to allow you to work down to 18cm. When it’s folded up it’s just 36cm in length. It’s also lightweight at 1.07kg, yet can be extended to 137.5cm and holds a maximum of 2kg. This is great option for photographers and videographers wanting something they can just split into backpack.
Mount your Canon point and shoot on this bendy-legged mini tripod that can be used on any surface – even wrapped around railings or threes for creative photographs. The custom stainless steel screw fits right into the bottom of your camera while the rubberized ring and foot grips provide stability on smooth or rough terrain. If you’re a compact system camera user, then check out the GorillaPod Hybrid model.
2/ Tripod heads
When shooting with a tripod, the legs do the bulk of the heavy lifting but it’s the tripod head that provides the functionality. Entry-level tripods often come as a kit with both the legs and the head included, but as you move up, these two ranges of gear are often sold separately. Some manufacturers, such as Manfrotto, offer kits that include both components, but it’s not
uncommon for photographers to mix and match according to their immediate shooting needs. As with all camera equipment, the price of tripod heads range dramatically from the very highly priced top range to offerings aimed at amateur photographers.
The most important aspect to keep in mind is how much flexibility you will need while you’re shooting. High-end models aim to give photographers a seamless experience when moving their cameras from one angle to another and try to reach as many angles as possible with minimum effort. Look for a head that is sturdy, compatible with your camera and that lets you move around as much as you need to for your level.
MANFROTTO 3-WAY PHOTO HEAD WITH COMPACT FOLDABLE HANDLES
This unique tripod head has been innovatively designed so that you can fold down the handles when it’s not in use. This massively reduces the amount of space it takes up, making it an extremely portable option for photographers on the move. It’s also made from Adapto, a lightweight polymer, to cut down on its weight, yet can take up to 4kg of kit. It has three bubble levels to help you get it perfectly straight and comes with a quick release system so you can quickly take your camera off the tripod when the moment warrants it.
MANFROTTO 055 MAGNESIUM BALL HEAD
Built to work with the 055 Tripod series, this head is extremely precise and offers extra smooth movements, which is especially important if you use your Canon for the dual purpose of filming and photography. Its most useful features include the 90-100 degree portrait angle selector and an independent pan lock. It’s constructed from light-weight magnesium and it comes with a traditional disk attachment.
GITZO SERIES 1 MAG CENTRE BALL HEAD GH1780
At a basic level the design of ball heads are based on a large ball that sits inside a socket, which is locked by clamping screw. This model by Gitzo features the same basic design but with an added emphasis on balance and smoothness for the photographer. This tripod head is made of magnesium and can take up to 10kg of weight. It has a 360- degree panoramic rotation and includes a level bubble. It doesn’t have a quick release plate, though.
VELBON PH-157Q 3-WAY PAN/TILT HEAD
This three-way head gives you independent and smooth movement with its long panhandles. The Velbon is constructed from die-cast aluminium, which makes it strong and robust without adding excessive weight to the top of your tripod. It comes in at an affordable price and makes a good option for photographers who are just getting started with kit essentials.