Essential kit, Getting started

Essential kit

Improve and expand your Canon photography experience with these must-have items

1 Lenses
The wider the selection of lenses a photographer has at their disposal, the more genres of imagery they can produce. As a general rule of thumb use a focal length of less than 28mm for landscapes, 35 to 85mm for portraits, and anything over 100mm for zooming into the action such as sports, wildlife or documentary

2 Camera bag
With so much kit to carry it's wise to invest in a rugged camera bag. The best bags feature removable padded separators for protecting your equipment; they can be pulled out and reattached by their Velcro strips to suit the style and shape or your own equipment. Also look for one that is waterproof, lightweight, has plenty of smaller pockets and a strap for attaching your tripod to

3 Filters
A UV or skylight filter acts as a simple protective piece of transparent glass that safeguards your lens against smears, knocks and smashes. It is widely considered essential, particularly if the lens is expensive. An ND grad is used in landscapes and can help to 'trick' the camera's image sensor when you want to manipulate exposures. A polariser filter can minimise glare caused by reflections, boost colours and heighten contrast

4 Tripod
A tripod is essential when you want to use a long exposure or focal length and don't want to risk the camera moving; which would result in camera shake or image blur. This is particularly important for night or low-light photography. Enhance the chances of success by firing the shot with a timer

5 Lens pen or cloth
Lens spots and dust motes are an expected annoyance when using lenses on a regular basis. Trust in a reliable make of lens cloth or pen to wipe away marks and stains before you begin capturing your subject. This will save you hours upon hours of time later on, cloning and removing the blemishes in an editing suite

6 Flash
A portable flash is a wise investment for anyone shooting above a beginner level. This type of flash grants the photographer more creativity because portrait, fashion, event and wedding photographers can bounce the flash off ceilings and walls to generate softer more flattering effects to illuminate the subjects, which are much more natural than those of the camera's own pop-up flash. Flash is also useful when it comes to shooting action or sports photography

7 Memory card
Unless your camera has a particularly large internal memory you'll need a memory card to record your images on. The most common formats used today are SD/SDHC and SDXC. Opt for several smaller cards (4-16GB) rather than one large card (32GB) in case that card is lost, stolen or damaged

8 Remote control
If you enjoy shooting landscapes, seascapes or nightscapes you may want to invest in a remote control. These type of shots call for longer exposures and as such any movement the camera and tripod experience will be captured in your shot. Using the camera's self-timer or even better; a tethered or wireless remote control will eradicate this


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