There’s a huge array of camera accessories that are designed to help you capture better images, carry your kit more comfortably or enable a wider range of photographic opportunities.
In fact, there are so many photography accessories that it can be hard to know what to chose. Thankfully here at Jabber HQ, we get hands-on with a huge range of kit so we can advise. We’re all photographers and we use the accessories in real-world shooting situations to find the best. In fact, many of the items included in this buyer’s guide are things that we use on a regular basis as part of our day-to-day camera gear.
What are the best camera accessories to own?
If you’ve already read our article 10 camera accessories every photographer needs, you’ll know why some accessories are essential and some are extremely useful to photographers.
This post is about specific photography accessories, those items that we think are the best around, but here’s a list of the type of things that are essential:
- Camera bag
- Tripod head
- Remote release
- Flash diffuser
- More lenses!
- Lens hood
- Lens and sensor cleaners
And of course, if you’re interested in shooting video then you might want to add a couple of other items to your list such as:
- Motorised gimbal
All of those items will come in handy, either extending the range of images that you can capture, making capturing certain images or video easier, or keeping your gear in good condition. But what about the specifics? Read on to discover our recommended camera accessories.
3 Legged Thing Toolz
- Product type: Multi tool
- Tools: 4mm hex key, flat screwdriver / coin key, bottle opener, carabiner
- Material: ABS plastic and stainless steel
British Tripod manufacturer, 3 Legged Thing has solved the perennial search for a coin or a hex key with the Toolz. It combines a 4mm hex key and a flat head screwdriver (that takes the place of a coin) for tightening a quick release plate onto a camera. The ABS plastic is also shaped to make a bottle opener, with metal reinforcing the vital ‘lifting’ section and incorporates a light carabiner that can be used to clip a weight onto the bottom of the centre column of a tripod.
If that’s not enough, there’s also a split ring to enable the 3 Legged Thing Toolz to be attached to a keyring so you never leave home without it.
Once you have a Toolz, you’ll never be rummaging around or a coin or a hex key again when you want to use a tripod!
- Easy to carry everywhere
- Good price
- We'd love to see an all-metal version
Sea to Summit Stretch-Loc TPU Straps
- Material: TPU straps with acetal buckles
These tough slightly stretchy straps can be used to secure a wide range of items, so whether you need to tidy a cable or secure a tripod to a backpack, they come in handy.
Sea to Summit makes the Stretch-Loc TPU Straps in a range of sizes starting at 300mm / 12inches in length and 12mm /1/2inch wide up to 750mm/30inches in length and 20mm wide, and multiple straps can be joined together to make a longer strap. They are sold individually, in pairs and in packs of four different sizes.
- Grippy and stretchy
- Adjustable and strong
- Can be joined to create a longer strap
- The holes don't run the entire length of the straps
Think Tank Red Whips V2
- Product type: Bungee cord fastening
- Length: 16cm
- Weight: 20g
These bungee cords come with quick-release fastenings and are sold in packs of 12. They’re useful for all sorts of things, but they’re especially handy for keeping cables tidy, attaching small accessories and pouches to a bag or preventing a tripod from flailing around on your backpack. They can even be used to hang a weight from the hook at the base of a tripod centre column.
At £9/$9.75 for 12 they’re worth buying to have available whenever you find a need for one.
- Construction: 3mm PVC
- Size: 40x40cm or 60x60cm
- Reproduction ratio: 1:1 Lifesize
Finding the right background for still-life, food, macro or product photography can be a chore. If you’re lucky you may have a range of different table-tops and walls that you can use, but after a while you’re likely to want something different.
Photo Boards are made from 3mm-thick PVC and are supplied in 40×40 (£18) or 60x60cm squares. The 40cm squares a useful for smaller items but the 60x60cm (£30) are more versatile.
As they’re made from PVC, the Photo Boards are wipe-clean, which makes them ideal for messy food photography. There’s also an extensive array of designs with everything from rustic boards to marble replicated using 3D scanning technology.
As they are flat you need to take care with the lighting that you use – seemingly raised areas won’t cast a shadow – but the Photo Boards look very realistic.
Photo Boards are available to purchase direct from the Photo Boards website.
- Realistic appearance
- Easy to store
- You always need one more
Rode Universal Thread Adaptor Kit
- Thread sizes: 1/4, 3/8 and 5/8inch adapters
- Material: Stainless steel and brass
- Dimensions : 25x18x79mm
- Weight: 71g
There are lots of cheap thread adaptors available but this Universal Thread Adaptor Kit from Rode keeps a 5/8-inch, 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch adaptor together on a carabiner, making them easy to transport and locate. At the top of the Kit, where the carabiner attaches, there’s also a flathead screwdriver, but it’s a bit wide for routine use on a tripod quick release plate.
The 1/4-inch male to 5/8-inch female adaptor is useful for connecting accessories with a 1/4-inch thread (such as a camera) to a standard microphone stand or mount, while the 5/8-inch male to 3/8-inch female adaptor is perfect for connecting mic clips or shock mounts to stands that have a 5/8-inch thread. Meanwhile, the 3/8-inch male to 1/4-inch female adaptor is helpful for mounting microphones and accessories onto camera cages and brackets.
The adaptors can also be used in combination, for example, the 1/4-inch male to 5/8-inch female adapter, coupled with the 5/8-inch male to 3/8-inch female adaptor enables a camera or other item with a 1/4-inch socket to be mounted on a light stand.
- High quality integrated set
- Easy to store and transport
- Makes quite a heavy keyring
- Integral driver not particualrly useful
Think Tank Lens Case Duo
- Product type: Lens case
- Case 5 internal dimensions (diameter x height): 7.5 x 11.5cm / 3 x 4.6-inches
- Case 15 internal dimensions (diameter x height): 8.5 x 17cm / 3.4 x 6.7-inches,
- Case 20 internal dimensions (diameter x height): 10.8 x 16.5cm / 4.3 x 6.5-inches
- Weight: 100g
- Suitable lenses for Case 5: Canon / Nikon: 18-55mm f3.5-5.6, Canon: 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 Canon / Nikon: 50mm f1.4, Nikon: 55-200mm f4-5.6 AF-S, Olympus: 12-40mm f2.8, 40-150mm f4-5.6
- Suitable lenses for Case 15: Canon / Nikon: 70-300mm f4.5-5.6, Canon / Nikon: 18-200mm f3.5-5.6, Tamron: 18-400mm f3.5-6.3, Nikon: 18-300mm f3.5-5.6, Nikon: 10-24mm f3.5-4.5, Tokina: 11-16mm f2.8, Canon / Nikon: 24mm f1.4, Canon / Nikon: 35mm f1.4, Canon / Sony: 100mm f2.8, Nikon: 105mm f2.8
- Suitable lens for Case 20: Canon / Nikon / Sony: 24-70mm f2.8, Canon: 24-105mm f4, Nikon: 14-24mm f2.8, Sony: 85mm f1.4, Canon / Sony: 100mm f2.8, Nikon: 105mm f2.8
Think Tank’s Lens Case Duo comes in a range of sizes to suit a wide variety of lenses.
The Think Tank Lens Case Duo 20 is likely to be one of the most useful for enthusiast photographers because it can hold a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with the lens hood reversed, or a Canon 24-105mm f4, Nikon 14-24mm f2.8, Sony 85mm f1.4, Canon 100mm f/2.8, Sony 100mm f/2.8 or Nikon 105mm f2.8.
All the Lens Cade Duos have a zip around the top edge and another down the side. This makes it easy to access or stow your lens, while the 420D velocity nylon and high-density foam protect the optic.
The exteriors have two stretchy pockets plus a belt loop and attachments for the strap supplied with the larger cases.
£20$20.75 / £24.95 / $26.75 / £26.95 / $28.75
- Excellent lens protection
- Side or top-opening
- Available in a range of sizes to suit lots of lenses
Lexar Professional 1667x SDXC UHS-II Card
- Capacity: 256GB
- Class: 10
- UHS Speed Class: U3
- Video Class: V60
- Read speed: 250MB/S
- Write speed: 120MB/S
- Speed: 1667x
- Type : UHS-II
It’s not the fastest UHS-II card available but with read/write speeds of up to 250/120MB/s, the Lexar Professional 1667x SDXC UHS-II card enables 4K at 30fps, 100Mbps recording on cameras like the Sony A7 III without a hitch. It’s also fast enough to facilitate the maximum stills shooting rates of most current cameras.
And all this for a great price that makes it well worth opting for the large capacities. Lexar offers the Professional 1667x UHS-II card in 64, 128 and 256GB. Once you start shooting with a 128GB or 256GB card you soon appreciate that extra capacity, it means you rarely need to swap cards on a day’s shoot.
- Fast enough for most cameras
- Cheap for the speed and capacity
- Decent capacity options
- Little to go against
Wandrd Sling Strap
- Construction: Recycled soft-touch nylon webbing, metal clips, Hypalon loops
- Strength: Up to 45Kg / 100lb force
- Length: 73.6 - 118.7cm / 29 - 46.75inches
- Width: 3.2cm / 1.25inches
The Wandrd Sling Strap has a thin but strong Hypalon loop that passes through the camera’s strap lug and then secures in a metal slip. It’s very quick and easy to attach to lots of cameras, and when you want to mount the camera on a tripod, you can remove it in seconds so it won’t flap in the breeze.
This adjustable strap is long enough to be worn across your body or it can be shortened for wearing around your neck or over a shoulder.
The adjustment mechanism is very easy to use but the strap doesn’t extend in length as you carry the camera. It’s part of what makes this my current favourite strap.
Wandrd has hit the sweet spot for the width of a camera strap with its Sling Strap. It’s wide enough to be comfortable when carrying all but the biggest, heaviest cameras but not so wide that it gets in the way or makes you feel hot.
Also, one side has a series of silicone bands to give some extra grip when you’re carrying the camera on your shoulder.
If you’re looking for a different type of strap, perhaps a harness for carrying one or two cameras or a wrist strap, or you want to see what other neck and sling strap alternatives there are, take a look at our buyer’s guide to the best cameras straps in 2021.
- Easily adjustable length
- Quick and easy to fit
- Rather thin for heavy cameras
- The flat-head tool is too wide for attaching many tripod quick release plates
Hahnel Pro Cube 2
- Product type: Battery charger
- Compatibility: Available for a range of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony camera batteries
- Capacity: Charges 1 or 2 camera batteries or 4 AA batteries at a time
- Power supply: Mains or 12V car adapter (supplied)
Camera manufacturers may be trying to extend battery life, but digital cameras still chomp their way through battery power at a fair lick. And increasingly, we’re seeing USB charging being featured and now battery charger supplied in the camera box. While this can be convenient for travel, without a battery charger you’re stumped if you want to shoot with one battery while you charge another.
The Hahnel Pro Cube 2 is a great solution.
Firstly, the Hahnel Pro Cube 2 has two battery slots so you can charge two batteries at a time. But if you only need to charge one, that’s fine too. Also, the battery plates are interchangeable you can use one charge a range of batteries. Hahnel supplies the Pro Cube 2 with battery plates/trays for a specific camera brand, plus a 4x AA tray.
The AA battery charge just slots on top of the camera battery tray. If you need to swap to a different camera battery tray, just reach for the supplied pin (or a straightened paper clip), push it in the hole to release the tray and click in the one you need. Easy.
Helpfully, a small display on the front of the charger keeps you informed about the battery status.
- Compact design
- Dual charging
- Battery health check
- Health check not immediately obvious
- Not app-enabled
- No battery refresh option
BioLite Charge 80 PD
- Product type: Powerbank
- Battery: 20,000 mAh, 74 Wh Li-Ion
- Total power output: 18W
- Connections: 1x USB C-PD (power delivery), 2x USB A
- Power input: USB C-PD, up to 18W
- Power outputs: USB C-PD: 5V/3.0A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A USB A: 5V/3.0A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
- Provided cable: USB-A to USB-C charge cable
- Dimensions: 170 x 82 x 25mm / 6.7 x 3.2 x 1.0-inches
- Weight: 465g / 16.4 oz
The BioLite Charge 80 PD is a power bank with some serious power as it features a 20,000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery. It also has a USB-C power delivery port to enable the unit to be recharged and to charge connected devices at up to 18W and two USB-A ports for charging devices at up to 15w.
It has the power to charge a 13-inch laptop once, or a smartphone up to 5 times, and if your camera is compatible with the USB-C battery charging, it can also recharge a camera battery. We tested it with a Fujifilm NP-W1126S battery which is supplied with several Fujifilm cameras including the Fujifilm X-S10 and X-E4 and we were able to recharge the battery nine and half times from a single charge of the Charge 80 ND.
It was also possible to use the Fujifilm X-S10 whee the battery was depleted but the Charge 80 ND was connected via a USB-C cable.
Given that you can expect to pay around £50/$65 for a genuine battery (depending on the brand), that makes the BioLite Charge 80 PD a good investment.
- Enough power to charge a camera battery several times
- Easy portable solution
- Bigger than the average powerbank (but more powerful too)
- Battery-life indicator not visible in bright light
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
- Product type: Portable solid state storage drive (SSD)
- Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
- Interface: USB-3.1 (Gen2)
- Dimensions: 8.85 x 49.55 x 96.2mm
- Weight: 38.9g
This rugged little storage drive is perfect for taking away with you to store images or videos and prevent your laptop from grinding to a halt.
Helpfully, it’s also water and dust resistance to IP55 standard and can withstand a drop from 2m on to a concrete floor. According to Western Digital, it’s vibration-resistant and shock-resistant to 1500G which means it’s not a drive you have to worry about too much. Sling it in your bag and it’s all good.
Further good news is that it comes supplied with a high-quality USB-C abled and a decent USB-A adapter, so it’s compatible with lots of computers.
We found that images and vide transfer quickly to and from the card, and they render quickly when you browse them on the drive.
- Slim enough to fit in a small bag
- Up to 550MB/s read speed
- Supplied with a high-quality USB-C cable and USB-A adapter
- You'll always want more capacity
- Heats up a little during use
Breakthrough X2 Infra Red Filter
- Diameter: 49 - 82mm
- Construction: CNC machined aluminium and AGC glass
- Coatings: Each side has 4-layers of Multi-Resistant Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, Breakthrough Nanotec Nano Coating to repel dirt and water
The Breakthrough X2 Infra Red Filter is a great accessory if you want to capture more unusual images.
Available in a range of sizes from 49 to 82mm it screws on to the end of a lens and cuts out all visible light, only allowing infra-red (IR) to reach the camera’s sensor.
It features Breakthrough’s Nanotec nano coating to repel dirt, water and fingerprints and has 8-layer (4 on each side) multi-resistant coatings to reduce flare and ghosting.
The Breakthrough X2 Infra Red Filter is cheaper and more affordable than permanently converting a digital camera to IR photography.
Follow the link to buy the Breakthrough X2 Infra Red Filter and get 5% by using the code CAMERAJABBER at the checkout.
- Premium quality
- Easy to use
- Textured frame for easy fitting
- Requires a different approach to focus
Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 Photography Glove
- Product type: Glove
- Designed for: Mid-winter
- Available sizes: XS-XXL
- Materials: Goat leather, 2 ply DWR outer shell and suede with Thinsulate insulation and Merino wool inner
Winter is a great time for photography but the cold can really take its toll on your fingers when you’re holding your camera.
These gloves are the upgrade to the original Vallerret Markhof Pro gloves that are still giving Jeff and I great service.
The Thinsulate insulation and merino wool inner keep your fingers nice and warm, then when you want to take a photographer you just need to flip back the index finger and thumb caps to give you the dexterity to use the camera controls. Helpful magnets keep the caps out of the way while you shoot.
Once you’ve finished shooting, just flip back the caps to keep your fingers toasty.
Vallerret W’s Nordic Photography Gloves
- Product type: Gloves
- Designed for : Mild winter
- Sizes available: XS-L
- Materials: Goat leather, 2 ply twill outer shell and suede with Thinsulate insulation and Merino wool inner
Designed with women’s hands in mind, these gloves are very similar to the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 photography gloves.
Like the Markhof Pros, they keep your hands warm, have a comfortable jersey cuff along with a zip-closing pocket on the back of the right glove which contains a tripod quick release plate key on a lanyard.
Hahnel Captur Timer Kit
- Product type: Wireless remote release
- Comaptibility: Available for a wide range of cameras
- Range: 100mm
- Connection: Wireless using 2.4 GHz frequency
- Power: 2x AA batteries
A wireless remote helps you capture perfectly sharp, shake-free images. However, a wireless remote like the Hahnel Captur Timer Kit can do a bit more besides. There’s a built-in interval timer, for example, that enables you to shoot timelapses. It means you’ll be able to create stunning short videos of events that normally take place over a long period of time – sunsets can be compressed into seconds, for example.
It can also help with timing long exposures for streaked clouds or smooth water.
Hahnel offers the Captur Timer Kit for Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus and Sony cameras.
- 100m range
- Doesn't rely on line of sight
- Ideal for long exposure and timelapse photography
- Not app-enabled
- Can be fiddly to operate
MagMod Starter Kit
- Product type: Flash modifier
- Material: Silicon and polycarbonate
- Mount: Stretch-fit and magnets
The light from most flashguns can be harsh and unattractive so it usually needs some form of diffusion by a modifier. The Profoto A1X is a notable exception and it comes with its own range of modifiers in the box.
Some flash modifiers take a bit of setting up or use troublesome rubber bands or noisy velcro. The MagMod system uses an ingenious grip that slips over the end of your flashgun and houses a couple of magnets. These then allow the MagMod modifiers like the MagSphere or MagGrip to be popped on and off very quickly. You just leave the grip in place ready for the next time you need to use a modifier.
MagMod’s modifiers have proved a huge hit with wedding and social photographers because of their ease of use and the soft light they produce without losing lots of flash power. They get our vote too.
- Very easy to use once the MagGrip is on
- Silent - no ripping Velcro
- Excellent softening
- Fairly expensive
- MagGrip can be tough to pull on the flash - but it's a one-time job
Gitzo Mini Traveler
- Product type: Mini tripod
- Material: Carbon fibre and Aluminium
- Maximum payload: 3Kg
- Closed length: 22cm
- Miniumum height: 12.5cm
- Maximum height: 17.5cm
- Head type: Ball head
- Number of leg sections: 1
- Leg angles: 50°, 75
- Weight: 265g
Sometimes you don’t need a full tripod but you need some support and control beyond resting your camera on a convenient wall, log or bench. While its price might justify a second take, the Gitzo Mini Traveler is an excellent little tripod that’s light enough to slip in your bag and go unnoticed.
Its head and spider are made from aluminium while the legs have carbon fibre eXact tubes. And when the legs are at the widest of their two angles, the Mini Traveler can support a payload of up to 3Kg.
It also has a simple ball head built in and thanks to a drop-slot, it allows for landscape or portrait orientation shooting.
- Better quality than the average mini tripod
- Weighs just 265g
- Solid support
- High price
- No quick release plate
F-Stop Kashmir UL 30L
- Product type: Modular backpack
- Capacity: 30L
- Fabric: 210D nylon shell with polyurethane and water resistant coating, Hypalon reinforced base
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 52 x 31.8 x 27.9cm / 20.5 x 12.5 x 11-inches
- Weight: 1.1Kg / 2.5Lbs
The F-Stop Kashmir UL 30L is a modular backpack from F-Stop’s Ultra Light range. It’s suitable for use by any photographer but it was designed with female photographers in mind.
It’s a modular pack and can accept a range of F-stop’s Internal Camera Units (ICUs) to accommodate your kit. We tested it with the Slope ICU – Medium which retails for £92/$89. This fits inside the main compartment of the Kashmir UL 30L to hold your camera gear and protect it from bumps.
The F-Stop Slope ICU – Medium has a configurable interior with padded dividers. It can house a double-gripped camera like the Nikon D6 or Canon EOS-1D X Mark III plus 3 or 4 lenses including a 70-200mm f/2.8. It can also be customised to hold smaller camera systems such as a Nikon Z6 II or the Fuji X-T4.
After carrying the fully-loaded F-Stop Kashmir UL 30L on several long walks, I’ve concluded that it is one of the most comfortable backpacks that I’ve ever put my camera gear in.
- Extremely comfortable to carry
- Compatible with F-Stop's Internal Camera Units and accessories for customisation
- Water-resistant outer fabric, durable base
- The Internal Camera Units and accessories add extra cost - look for kits and bundles
- Items in the top can get lost behind the ICU
Rotolight NEO 2
- Product type: Portable LED light: continuous or flash
- Power: Mains or 6 x AA (NiMH or Lithium-ion) high performance batteries provides 85,000 flashes at full power, or 1.5 hours continuous run time (max power)
- Mount: Integral tripod-mount thread
- Trigger: Cable or via an Elinchrom Skyport - a wireless flash receiver is built-in
- Colour temperature: Adjustable 6300-3150K
- Power: 2000Lux at 0.9m, aperture at ISO 200/400/800 : f8/ f11/ f16 (in HSS Flash mode)
- Class Color Rendering (CRI): 96
- Dimensions: 145 x 50mm / 5.7 x 1.96inches
- Weight: 354g body only, 504g including 6x AA batteries
The Rotolight Neo 2 is a LED light, as well as being a constant light, it can be used as a flash. And not just any old flash, it can be used in high-speed sync (HSS) mode to sync with shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 sec with no recycling time.
If you want the HSS functionality, you’ll need a wireless trigger like the Rotolight HSS Transmitter by Elinchrom. This is available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus/Panasonic and Fujifilm cameras. The transmitter links to the Skyport receiver that’s built-in the Neo 2. Some third-party transmitters are also compatible, but they don’t enable some of the remote control that the Rotolight unit does.
Helpfully, the Neo 2 also has a 3.5mm sync port. This means you can also use a cable connection to your camera, however, the shutter speed is limited to the camera’s standard sync speed. Typically, that’s up to a maximum of 1/250sec.
Of course, many people are more interested in the Rotolight Neo 2’s constant light capability. This is especially useful with mirrorless cameras because their live-view-enabled electronic viewfinder lets you see the image as it will be captured. Also, the Neo 2 is small and light enough to be mounted in the camera’s hotshoe, which is ideal for video.
Conveniently, the Neo 2 is a bicolour light so you can adjust the colour range between 3150K and 6300K to suit the conditions.
The Rotolight Neo 2 is convenient and easy to use. What’s more, its colour accuracy is good and you don’t find it drifting during a shoot. It’s the same with the brightness, it stays at the set value and there’s no flickering evident in video.
For more information on this versatile light, check out our Rotolight NEO 2 review.
- Excellent, soft and controllable light
- Flash or continuous light
- Simple controls
- Flash not as powerful as a high-end flashgun
- App-control would simplify setting selections
- Requires a wireless trigger like the Rotolight HSS Transmitter by Elinchrom to use the high-speed sync function
B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC Nano
- Product type: Variable neutral density filter
- Filter strength: 1-5EV
- Size: Available in 52-82mm
If you’re getting into video you’ve probably discovered that it can be hard to maintain a constant shutter speed and aperture when you’re shooting outside. The variation in the light means the exposure keeps changing and that has an impact upon the look of your footage. A variable ND filter allows you to even out those changes so you can maintain the same shutter speed and aperture throughout.
Schneider Optics’ B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC Nano is a great variable ND filter. Its Multi-Resistant Coating that repels rain and sea spray and reduces ghosting and reflections to ensure high-quality results.
It’s also available in thread sizes from 52-82mm and provides between 1 and 5EV of light reduction.
If the price of the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC Nano is too high for your budget, take a look at our buyers’ guide to the best variable ND filters.
- Very convenient in changing light
- Simple to fit and use
- Excellent optical quality
- You need multiple filters or a larger filter and step-up rings if you have lenses with different filter thread sizes
- High price
- Strong filtration required in very bright light
Shimoda Explore 40
- Product: Backpack
- External dimensions (W X H X D): 29 x 57 x 26cm / 11.4 x 22.4 x 10.2inches
- Internal dimensions: 29 x 44 x 17cm / 11.4 x 17.3 x 6.7inches
- Weight: 1.3kg / 2.94lb
The Shimoda Explore 40L is a backpack for adventurers and explorers who need a no-fuss high-quality pack. Its design is simple, but there are two features you should be aware of: it has a fully modular design and you can customise the fit to your body shape.
On the outside it may look minimalist, but everything you need is contained within. And the way you configure its modules completely changes how the bag works. Once you start to experiment with its slots, cavities and internal mesh, you’ll quickly realise its versatility. Shimoda even makes a range of optional straps that are specifically designed for women to use with the Explore 40.
Shimoda sells a range of Core Units, the inserts that house your camera gear.
In our tests, we packed the bag with a couple of Sony A7 III’s and three lenses, plus a Benro Travel Angel tripod and a few clothes. This was for a flight. Once we arrived, we then quickly switched around the dividers and configured the inside as a large daypack with quick access to kit ready for use out on the trail.
Shimoda even makes a range of optional straps that are specifically designed for women to use with the Explore 40.
- Excellent build quality and durable construction
- Very comfortable
- Alternative straps are available as optional extras
- No small outer pockets
- The Core Unit inserts are an additional cost
Billingham Hadley One
- Product type: Shoulder bag
- External dimensions (WxDxH): 410 x 190 x 275mm / 16⅛ x 7½ x 11-inches (excluding top handle)
- Capacity: Without padded insert: 8.75L With included padded insert: 3.9L
- Weight: 1.38Kg
- Laptop compartment capacity: 13-inch laptop
Billingham’s Hadley One is aimed at photographers with a mirrorless camera or a small to medium size DSLR. It has an unrivalled finish with fabulous attention to detail, while the durable brass locks and leather straps mean this is a bag that will last you a long time. In fact, Ali has been using a Hadley for 20 years.
There’s more than enough room to carry a DSLR with a 24-70mm lens attached and a long lens like a 100-400mm. Plus there are two front pockets to hold a few accessories.
We love the Billingham Hadley One, but read our buyers’ guide to the best shoulder bags to see a few other options.
- Iconic style and design
- Made from water-resistant canvas or FibreNyte fabric depending upon the colour
- Will last a lifetime
- The strap could be a little more comfortable
- Quite expensive (in the short term)
- Suitable for mirrorless cameras and mid-sized DSLRs
Rode Wireless Go II
- Product type: Wireless microphone system
- Announced: 23rd February 2021
- Transmission type: 2.4GHz Digital Frequency with 128-bit encription
- Transmission range: 200m line of sight
- Microphone type: Omnidirectional
- Input: 3.5mm TRS
- Frequency Range: 50Hz - 20kHz
- Power: Built-in rechargeable Li-po battery with a life of up to 7 hours
- Dimensions: Transmitters: 44x45.3x18.3 mm, Receiver: 44x45.5x18.3mm
- Weight: Transmitters: 30g, Receiver: 32g
Rode’s Wireless Go II is the update to the original Wireless Go which made using a wireless mic easier than ever before. It employs a 2.4GHz frequency band and offers a range of about 200m, more than twice the range of the original system.
In another key upgrade of the original, the Rode Wireless Go II receiver is capable of connecting with two transmitters. That makes it useful for face-to-face interviews as well as individual narration or voiceovers.
Both transmitters in the Wireless Go II kit have a pre-polarized and pressure-operated internal capsule with an omnidirectional pickup pattern and a frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz. They also have a 3.5mm TRS input which means that it’s also possible to connect another microphone, such as a lavalier.
Rode has upped the game for the Wireless Go II by adding the ability to record over 40 hours of audio to each transmitter, and the introduction of a safety channel that records a second channel that’s 20bD lower than the main channel’s.
There’s a clip on the transmitters and receiver to enable them to be attached to clothing – or a camera hotshoe in the case of the receiver. They are also powered by an internal rechargeable battery with a life of up to seven hours on a single charge.
The Wireless Go, which continues in Rode’s range, is one of the best vlogging mics you can buy and its replacement, the Rode Wireless Go II makes a great upgrade with some useful advanced features.
- Small, compact units with a built-in mic
- Dual-channel recording
- Safety channel available
- Internal battery not replaceable
- Advanced features require a computer for activation and deactivation
Peak Design Travel Tripod
- Maximum height centre column raised: 152.4cm / 60inches
- Maximum height centre column down: 130.2cm / 51.25inches
- Minimum height: 14cm / 5.5inches
- Collapsed length and diameter: 39.1cm / 15.4inches, 7.9cm / 3.125inches
- Weight: Aluminium: 1.56Kg / 3.44lbs, Carbon fibre: 1.27Kg / 2.81lbs
- Maximum payload: 9.1Kg / 20lbs
- Number of leg sections: 5
- Leg material: Aluminium or carbon fibre
- Leg lock material: Aluminium
Peak Design makes two versions of its Travel Tripod, one with aluminium alloy legs and one with carbon fibre legs. While the price of the aluminium tripod is more palatable, if low weight is especially important, bite the bullet and go for the carbon fibre tripod which is 290g lighter.
Don’t be fooled by the thinness of the lower leg sections, the Peak Design Travel Tripod is very stable. In our tests it even delivered sharp long exposures in a stiff breeze with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens mounted on a full-frame camera.
The beauty of the Peak Design Travel Tripod is that it packs down to less than 40cm in length and its legs fold in tight together so it has a very narrow diameter. It’s a tripod that you won’t mind carrying ‘just in case’.
£329£569 / $349.95 / $599.95
- Very compact
- Very stable for a travel tripod
- Quick to deploy
- Centre column needs extending slightly to give the head full movement
- Hex wrench (supplied) required to attach and detach the quick release plate
- High price - especially for the carbon fibre version
- Product type: Motorised stabilising gimbal
- Announced: February 2019
- Tilt mechanical range: Max： + 182° Standard： 314° Min： -132°
- Roll Mechanical Range: Max： 247° Standard： 314° Min： -67°
- Pan Mechanical Range: 360º
- Gimbal modes: Pan Follow, Locking, Point of View, Follow, Go, Vortex
- Battery life: 12-14 hours
- Weight: 926g / 32.66oz excluding tripod and batteries
At about half the weight and much smaller than the Zhiyun Crane 2S, the Zhiyun Weebill-S is an attractive option for anyone who doesn’t need to stabilise large cameras like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III or the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro but who wants to shoot video on cameras like the Nikon Z7 II or Sony A7 III with 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.
Balancing the gimbal is straight-forward and with a bit of practice it only take a few minutes. There are also locks to fix everything in place for transportation. That means you can set-up the gimbal before you leave home and then unlock it for use when you get to the shooting location. The locks can be awkward to unlock, but if you wiggle the motor as you press the lock button, it usually does the job.
Despite its compact form the Zhiyun Weebill-S does a great job of taking the shake and wobble out of hand-held video. It also enables smooth moves for more professional-looking video.
There are also some optional extras like the Image Transmission Module, Remote Controller and Focus/Zoom Controller which enable more advanced use, but the strength of the Weebill-S is its portability and speed of use. It doesn’t take long to get to grips with the basics to help you produce better quality, more dynamic footage.
- Great size and weight
- Copes with full-frame mirrorless cameras
- Two-in-one release plate is compatible with Manfrotto RC2 type tripod heads and Arca Swiss heads
- Fiddly locks
- L-shaped body makes the screen hard to see at times
3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0
- Maximum height: 1.94m
- Maximum height without centre column: 1.5m
- Minimum height: 23.1cm
- Folded length: 61.2
- Maximum leg diameter: 29mm
- Maximum payload: 40kg
- Weight (tripod-only): 1.73kg
- Kit weight (tripod with Airhed Pro): 2.05kg
3 Legged Thing is a company that listens to the feedback from its user base, and the Winston 2.0 is a true testament to this.
Designed as the ultimate every day, every occasion tripod, the Winston 2.0 offers superb stability and is packed with features. These features include three detachable legs, so with the addition of the optional Vanz footwear, the tripod converts from a full-size support down to a tabletop tripod.
While the Winston 2.0 is feature-rich, it maintains a simple and sleek design that makes it one of the most versatile tripods available today.
- Full Height tripod
- Decent monopod conversion
- Ability to convert to a tabletop tripod
- No accessories thread on the crown
- Product type: Motorised stabilising gimbal
- Weight: 3.2lb (gimbal only), 4.0lb (including gimbal and grip)
- Dimensions: 202 x 185 x 486mm
- Load weight: 3.6Kg
There was a lot of excitement about the arrival of DJI’s three-axis gimbal and it doesn’t disappoint. It delivers on its main aim of stabilising your camera to create, smooth, footage but it has lots more to offer. For instance, the handle has a joystick that enables you to change the camera position and there are buttons to allow you to select the SmoothTrack profiles and start and stop recording.
In addition, there’s a Focus Wheel that can mount on either side of the handle and the Push Mode lets you adjust the pan, tilt and roll axis by hand.
It can take a while to balance your camera in a gimbal and get everything set-up, but the Ronin-S is one of the easier models. Helpfully, it has an Auto-Tune function that monitors the motors and adjusts the strength and speed as required.
DJI also offers a companion smartphone app that extends the Ronin-S’s features with options such as Panorama, Motion lapsed, Timelapse and Track.
Further good news is that the battery lasts for 12 hours on a single charge.
- Simple set-up
- Enables incredibly smooth video
- Solid construction
- Quite heavy for a single-handle unit
- Not compatible with all cameras so check the DJI website
- Product type: Flashgun
- Launched: 23rd September 2020
- Power: 76Ws
- Energy range: 9Ev (f/2-f/10)
- Recycling time: 0.05-1.0s
- TTL: Yes
- Compatibility: Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm cameras
- Wireless connectivity: AirTTL built-in, 20 channels, 2.4 GHz (2404 to 2479.3 MHz), Profoto AirX (Bluetooth Low Energy technology)
- Power: Rechargeable Li-ion, powers up to 450 full-power flashes
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.5 x 7.5 x 10.8cm
- Weight: 560 g (1.2lbs) including battery
While the price of the Profoto A10 gives cause for thought, it’s a very well made flash that’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. It delivers very natural-looking light and is a consistent performer on or off the camera.
Profoto makes the A10 with mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony or Fujifilm cameras with TTL or manual metering. While it has a hotshoe for mounting on a camera, the A10 also has Profoto’s AirTTL technology is built-in which means it can be controlled remotely by a Profoto Air Remote TTL, the super-simple Profoto Connect or another Profoto flash with AirTTL technology.
The A10 builds on the original Profoto A1 and its follow-up the A1X with the addition of Profoto’s AirX Bluetooth system which enables the flash to connect to and be triggered by a smartphone. It has the same round head as the original A1-series lights and it’s compatible with Profoto’s magnetic Clic light shaping tools. It comes supplied with a Clic Dome and Bounce card.
Profoto also recently introduced the Profoto OCF Adapter which enables the A10 to be used with a wide range of Profoto Light Shaping Tools.
In HSS mode the Profoto A10 has a maximum sync speed of 1/8000sec and it switches to the mode automatically when the shutter speed is pushed above a cameras standard maximum sync speed.
Using the Profoto A10 off camera is easy as it is on-camera, it connects very quickly with a Profoto trigger or a paired smartphone and it delivers consistent results.
- Rechargeable battery and magnetic modifiers included
- Produces natural-looking light
- Intuitive interface makes it very easy to use
- High price
- Not as powerful as some cheaper units
BenQ PhotoVue SW271C
- Screen Size: 27-inches
- Resolution Max: 3840 x 2160
- Panel Type: IPS
- Backlight Technology: LED
- Brightness: 300nits
- Native Contrast(typ.): 1:1000
- Viewing Angle (L/R;U/D) (CR>=10): 178 / 178
- Colour Gamut: 99% AdobeRGB, 90% P3, 100% sRGB
- Colour modes: Adobe RGB / sRGB / Rec.709 / DCI-P3 / Display P3 / M-book / B+W / HDR / Calibration 1 / Calibration 2 / Calibration 3 / Custom / Paper Color Sync / DICOM
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Display size: 596.12 x 335.34mm
- Pixel pitch: 0.1552mm
- Pixels per inch: 163
- Connections: 2x HDMI, 1x display port, 2x downstream USB 3.1 (for connecting devices) 1x upstream USB 3.1, 1x USB-C (PD60W), 1x SD card reader
The BenQ PhotoVue SW271C is a 4K monitor with a 27-inch display aimed at photographers and videographers.
Launched in March 2021, the BenQ PhotoVue SW271C boasts an Adobe 99% RGB colour space and 100%sRGB colour space, promising a greater range of colour reproduction than the average monitor. To improve its RGB colour accuracy, the PhotoVue SW271C also offers a 16-bit 3D LUT and the company’s BenQ AQCOLOR technology which is based on ICC and ISO colour standards.
What’s more, the SW271C supports two HDR formats (HDR10 and HLG) for more precise colour grading. Videographers can preview the HDR effect of the video content for intelligent brightness and contrast control.
BenQ’s Paper Colour Sync software also allows photographers who use specific papers with the Canon Pixma Pro-10 or Pixma Pro-100 Epson SureColor P600 or SureColor P800 printers to match the preview on their display to the final print.
The SW271C also supports CalMAN and LightSpace video calibration software and contains the latest USB-C port for high-speed video/audio/data transmission.
In use, the BenQ PhotoVue SW271C gives a great view of your images and video, with plenty of detail visible while colours and tonal transitions look great.
- 27-inch 4K screen
- Bespoke calibration software
- Good screen height range
- 16:9 aspect ratio makes the vertical orientation less useful than you might hope
- Calibration hardware not included
- USB-C computer connection required for the Palette Master Elements calibration sofware