Each year at about this time we start to get inquiries from our most recent new camera owners. What they want to know is “What do I need next?” Some of them are looking for gift ideas, others want to be prepared for the Holidays and picture taking. Either way we are happy to report that we have an actual list of The Stuff You Need.
It’s a fairly simple list of about 12 items. Some apply to any camera while others are compact or DSLR specific. The first six items make up today’s Blog entry:
#1 – Every camera needs a bag or case for protection and to aid in carrying it around. Every camera needs to be protected for what it is: a box full of glass. Dust and debris are as much a danger as a drop from a table top or a dunk in the pool. A bag keeps all your photo stuff in one place ready to grab and go and it keeps the dirt away. Compact cameras $10.00 to $35.00. DSLR’s $35.00 to $400.00
#2 – Every camera needs a neck strap. Wrist straps are standard equipment in the box with compact cameras. Cloth webbing is a standard strap material included with DSLR cameras off the shelf. At the very least attach and use the included straps because 80% of camera repairs are from drop damage. And when you are ready for a strap that doesn’t suck get a neoprene neck strap. The stretchy neoprene material absorbs tons of shock and makes carrying a camera for several hours a breeze. $7.00 to $25.00
#3 – Every camera needs a cleaning kit. Take a look at the front of your camera’s lens. Do you see a record of your last month’s use? Dust, dirt, and grubby fingerprints? Just how sharp do you suppose your pictures will be when you shoot through all of that crud? No, a Kleenex and spit won’t work; you’ll just scratch your lens. Lens cleaning kits run a whopping $5.00 to $30.00
#4 – A spare memory card. You need at least two, most folks own between four and six of them. Extra storage capacity aside, having a spare card keeps you shooting when the inevitable memory card error occurs. Prices range from $11.00 to over $100.00
#5 is a memory card wallet to hold and keep track of all of your memory cards. Portable storage from $4.99 to $19.99
#6 – You need a spare battery. You can’t walk into the nearest convenience store and buy a spare battery for your camera. Few cameras use AA size batteries anymore because they just don’t hold up as well as lithium rechargeable battery packs. Even if your camera does use AA size you should use rechargeables and have a spare set charged and ready to go. Spare battery packs run from $20.00 to $90.00, AA rechargeables run around $20.00 with charger.
These first six items work for just about any digital camera. The next group is a little more specific. We’ll complete the list on Monday!