Best camera accessories: 23 essential bits of kit for your camera

Photographers would be lost without the raft of camera accessories that support their photo shoots. From the bags used to carry their kit and the tripods that permit long exposures right down to the smaller essentials the keep dust away from sensors and lenses, photographers always have a handful of accessories that they couldn't be without.

Here are some best camera accessories that deserve your attention. Whether you want to splash out on a sturdy tripod or a lighting solution, or just chuck a few useful extras into your kit bag, read on to get up to speed on what today's photographer relies upon for their craft.

Best camera accessories in 2020

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1. Rotolight NEO 2

A game-changing LED panel for photographers

Reasons to buy

+
Bi-color LED design for control 
+
Zero recycle times

Reasons to avoid

-
Overkill if you just need flash 
-
Larger than most flash units

A lighting solution that makes conventional flashguns pretty much redundant, the NEO 2 employs an LED panel to offer both continuous light and flash, with zero recycle times and up to 85,000 flashes on a fully charged set of batteries. Functionality is bolstered by the further option of high speed sync shooting and built-in Elinchrom Skyport receiver, and you can adjust the colour temperature of the light in fine increments to suit the subject you're shooting. How many regular flashguns can claims all this? Precisely zero.

2. Blackrapid Sport Breathe

Ditch your strap for this superior alternative

Reasons to buy

+
More comfy than standard strap 
+
Works with 1/4in tripod thread

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat pricey for a strap 
-
Metal hook can come off

The straps the come with DSLRs and mirrorless camera might be fine for occasional use, but as any Blackrapid user will attest, they’re far from an ideal solution if you plan on carrying your camera for most of the day. This ingenious strap shifts the weight from your neck to your shoulder for comfort, and has a locking mechanism that keeps the camera in place by your side as you move.

3. Anker PowerCore 20100

Refresh your camera's batteries on the go

Reasons to buy

+
Massive capacity 
+
Great power-to-price ratio

Reasons to avoid

-
Can’t be charged while using
-
No quick-charging tech support

This affordable powerbank boasts a powerful 20100mAh battery in a sleek and portable shell, making it a great option for keeping a compact or mirrorless camera battery charged when you’re not near a power source (providing it offers this through its USB port). And when you’re not using it to charge your cameras, you can keep you phone or tablet juiced up, with enough capacity to fully charge an iPhone 7 almost seven times over.

4. RØDE VideoMic Pro

Much loved for very good reason

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality 
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery fiddly to access 
-
Mount makes it less sturdy

Still very much the affordable shotgun mic of choice for anyone intending to record high-quality speech with their camera, the VideoMic Pro has Rycote’s Lyre suspension system integrated into its design to separate it from the camera, thus reducing the chance of you operating the camera or lens being picked up on recordings. The built-in foam shield also minimses wind noise, so it’s great for shooting on location in addition to indoor use.

5. Lowepro ProTactic BP 350 AW II Backpack

Bags of space and protection from the elements

Reasons to buy

+
Masses of space 
+
All-weather cover and ventilation

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat pricey for a backpack 
-
Front-loaded laptop section not ideal

With enough space for a two DSLRs and zoom lenses attached, together with six additional lenses, a 13in laptop, and plenty of space left over for accessories, this stylish solution from Loewpro lets you carry everything you need for full day’s shooting in comfort. Loops on the side allow you to hook on a tripod, while the integrated All Weather AW cover provides extra protection should you get caught up in inclement weather.

6. Sandisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II card reader/writer

Super-fast reader for the latest SDXC cards

Reasons to buy

+
UHS-I and UHS-II support 
+
Very compact design

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper options available  
-
Not much else

Great if your laptop or desktop computer doesn’t have a built in card slot (we're looking at you Apple), this neat USB 3.0 card reader supports the very latest UHS-I and UHS-II SD card formats, as well as older non-UHS cards. Well made, while the design means neighbouring ports can be accessed. 

7. Lastolite EzyBox Micro

Perfect for portrait photographers working alone

Reasons to buy

+
Compatible with many flashguns
+
Light and collapsible design

Reasons to avoid

-
Only fits standard flashguns
-
A little expensive

Pop this lightweight mini softbox on your flashgun and it’ll soften its output without you needing to bounce it from any other surfaces. This makes it particularly useful for when you’re working outdoors, especially if you're working alone and you don’t have a reflector to hand, and so it ideal for the mobile portrait photographer that might find themselves shooting on a range of locations.

8. Datacolor SpyderX

Make sure your monitor is on point with this colorimeter

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Accurate color profiling
+
Quick measurement times 

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn’t profile printers 

This Pro version of Datacolor’s SpyderX aims to ensure that your monitor is displaying things exactly as it’s supposed to, so you can edit with greater confidence. It comes in two flavors - Pro and Elite, with the Pro version the more affordable option, as the Elite version is designed for users who want to ensure multiple displays (including projectors) are calibrated and perfectly color-matched. The software easy to use, while it's also quick to calibrate your monitor, delivering accurate and pleasing results. If you're looking for a hassle-free way to make sure your monitor is displaying colors correctly, this is it.

9. Adobe CC Photography Plan

Photoshop and Lightroom for an annual or low monthly fee

Reasons to buy

+
Industry-leading software 
+
Constantly updated

Reasons to avoid

-
Many strong rivals packages
-
Ongoing fee 

Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan rounds up the company’s best-known programs for photographers, namely Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. It also throws in 20GB of cloud-based storage space to play with so you can access your masterpieces from a computer, tablet or smartphone, wherever you find yourself. The software is constantly updated, not just to add new features but also to prov