Thanks to smartphones most of us now walk around with cameras readily available. And not just any cameras, but cameras that can snap photos large enough and clear enough to blow up into prints. But having a smartphone handy doesn’t turn the average Joe into a photographer. The pros know that going out into the field to snag that perfect shot requires the right gear.
Whether you’re one of those pros or just starting out, here are some of the best travel accessories for photographers on the go.
Your camera isn’t much good to you if it runs out of juice. Instead of using your phone as a backup, stash Goal Zero’s Venture 70 in your camera bag. Whereas most portable device chargers can handle a phone or tablet at best, this is one of the few that was specifically designed to charge a full-size camera to full power – seven times over.
A rock steady tripod is a must-have whether you’re taking snapshots of landscapes or shooting portraits. MeFoto’s is one of the strongest and most adjustable on the market, able to support a full-size DSLR with a zoom lens, but it’s also one of the smallest and the lightest. At just three and a half pounds it can fold to the size of a travel umbrella so it can slide into your luggage, no problem.
A workhorse of a tablet is useful not so much for taking photos but rather for editing them when you’re out on the road, and is perfect for uploading them to the Cloud. The iPad Mini 4 is perfect for editing on-the-go, as well as catching up on social media and you favorite Netflix series with programs like T-Mobile’s Binge On.
Sometimes it’s not the camera weighing you down, it’s all the extras. Skooba’s zip up case has inner and outer pockets plus internal straps to keep gear like memory cards, power cords, chargers and filters secure and accessible
When you don’t want to travel with your whole kit, Zeiss’ lineup of iPhone lenses can up your camera phone game. To get the designs just right, the lens experts at Zeiss teamed up with ExoLenses and the end result is a series of super high-end screw mount lenses. With real glass elements and a sleek design, they look and feel professional. Need a less expensive alternative? Photojojo’s smartphone lenses are a passable option.
When you need lots of light in a hurry, Promaster LED120SS Super Slim Rechargeable LED Light is a rechargeable LED panel with tilt and pan that is very portable and gets the job done. But if you need your lighting to do more, Nikon’s SB-5000 Flash has features like built-in radio triggers, a flash cooling system that allows for 100 consecutive shots at full output and TTL metering at a distance.
If your plan is to offer prints to subjects right after the shutter goes snap, Canon’s newest version of their wireless Selphy dye sub printer is the way to go. It’s compact enough to be travel-friendly and fast enough to be the perfect photo printer for events. Add in the extended battery life of the 2016 edition – 54 prints on a single charge – and there’s no reason to leave this printer at home.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the new accessories designed to make travel easier and more productive for serious and amateur shutterbugs alike. Manufacturers are well on their way to proving that bigger isn’t always better and that apps and peripherals really can turn handheld devices into photography tools worth exploring. Your camera may be your life but don’t forget that great straps, cases, triggers and printers can make photography more enjoyable.
In other words, find the right accessories and snapping pics on the road becomes a lot more fun.