Summertime Accessories: 12 Essential Items that Belong in Your Camera Bag

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Summer is the prime season for outdoor activities, going on vacation, traveling, hiking, water sports, beach parties, and, of course, taking lots of great pictures! Not surprisingly, the published stats on picture taking prove that the number of pictures taken worldwide peaks during the summer months. When temperatures are balmy and the days are longer, you tend to spend more time outdoors, and you’re more likely to bring your camera along. To help you maximize your picture-taking possibilities and enhance your summertime shooting experience, here’s an enticing collection of a dozen imaging accessories guaranteed to upgrade your ability to capture awesome images on bright sunny days, in and under the water, on the trail, at the beach, or wherever your travels take you.

1.Tiffen Variable Neutral Density (VND) Filter: It’s the perfect summertime filter because it lets you shoot at wide apertures and/or slow shutter speeds on bright sunny days and capture gorgeous pictorial effects. In its fashion, this VND filter adds another control to the camera, a continuously variable ring that lets you adjust the amount of light coming through the lens. By turning the milled front ring on the filter, users can reduce the exposure from 2 stops (ND 0.6) to 8 stops (ND 2.4), or anything in between. A dotted reference scale makes it easy to return to any previously used setting. Although it uses polarization to achieve variable ND control, it is not a polarizing filter. However, it is beautifully made and finished, turns very smoothly and precisely, and is manufactured using Tiffen’s proprietary ColorCore technology to seal in the actual filter material, ensuring absolute uniformity in production.


Tiffen 52mm Variable Neutral Density Filter

2. B&W XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission Circular Polarizer MRC-Nano Filter: Ideal for shooting summer scenic and landscape images, it increases overall color saturation, adds contrast for dramatic skies, and eliminates unwanted glare from water and glass surfaces. Using proprietary Kaesemann Foils, it provides 99.5% light transmission and a filter factor of 2-2.8x. To get the effect you want, just rotate the front ring of this two-part filter until you see it in the viewfinder or on the LCD.


B+W 77mm XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission Circular Polarizer MRC-Nano Filter

3. DiCAPac Waterproof Case For Mirrorless Cameras: This cool budget-priced underwater housing for mirrorless cameras lets you shoot to a depth of 16.4 feet and operate all camera controls through the housing. Constructed of durable lightweight PVC, TPU, ABS, PC, and silicone, it features a touch-fastened seal and a UV-coated lens port with an extension ring, to accommodate lenses up to 65mm in diameter and 68mm in length. It comes with a sturdy neck strap and a sponge block to lift shorter camera bodies to align with the port. Similar DiCAPac cases for DSLRs are also available.


DiCAPac Waterproof Case for Mirrorless Camera

4. Manfrotto Compact Aluminum Monopod Advanced: Monopods are great ultra-portable summertime accessories that take up little space and add stability for sharp shots, whether you’re shooting in dim light or focusing on sports or wildlife with a long telephoto lens. This sturdy 5-section unit folds to 16.3 inches, extends to an eye-level 61.3 inches, will support cameras up to 6.6 pounds, and weighs just 12.3 ounces. It has fast-operating flip locks for easy setup, a quick wheel that lets you hold the camera with one hand while mounting it with the other, an ergonomic soft grip, and a wrist strap for added security.


Manfrotto Compact Aluminum Monopod Advanced

5. Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Slim Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive: Taking a compact, high-capacity hard drive along on your summer excursions lets you back up your images and videos on the fly and free up space on your memory cards. This sleek 2TB capacity unit measures a compact 4.5 x 3.0 x 0.5 inches, weighs only 0.4 pounds, is bus-powered via a super-fast USB 3.0 connection, and features a maximum sustained read/write speed of approximately 100MB/sec and a spindle speed of 5400 rpm. The Seagate Dashboard includes a Protect function that lets you schedule automatic backups in one click, Save and Capture features for acquiring and backing up files from social media, and a Share feature for uploading multiple files to social networks. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems.


Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Slim Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive

6. Sigma WR Ceramic Protector Filter: Many experienced shooters use a clear or UV filter over their lenses to protect their precious glass from dust, sand, scratches, and direct physical impact, but the Sigma WR Ceramic Protector Filter takes this protection to a higher level, employing a super-hard ceramic substrate that combines an impressive 99.7% transmittance value, a hardness greater than chemically strengthened glass, and flexibility greater than sapphire crystal. Thus, it delivers superior shock, scratch, and impact resistance under adverse conditions and features an easy-to-clean, water-repellent, anti-static coating that resists water droplets and smudging.


Sigma 72mm WR Ceramic Protector Filter

7. Pelican 1040 Micro Case: Great for protecting small items like cell phones and electronic gear at the beach or on the trail, this cool, compact, water-resistant, crush-proof, dust-proof case is made of strong, durable polymer, has a rubber liner that doubles as an O-ring seal, and a pressure equalization valve to balance interior and exterior pressure and keep water out. It employs stainless-steel hardware and comes with a carabiner clip. The case floats in salt water, carries a payload of up to 1.26 pounds, measures 6.5 x 3.87 x 1.75 inches internally, and weighs 11.36 ounces.


Pelican 1040 Micro Case

8. Sirui W-1004 Waterproof Aluminum-Alloy Tripod: Ideal for shooting at the beach, on the trail, or in dusty or inclement conditions, this ingenious submersible tripod features a Waterproof Sealing System that prevents water, dust, and sand from entering its 4-section twist-lock leg tubes. One leg is removable, and can be attached to the split center column to form a full-sized 63.8-inch monopod. The removable rubber feet can be replaced by stainless-steel spikes for enhanced stability on a variety of outdoor surfaces. The W-1004 extends to a maximum height of 65 inches, folds to a compact 19.3 inches, has an impressive load capacity of 33.1 pounds, and weighs 3.7 pounds. Its split center column enables a minimum height setting of 5.7 inches for grounder shots, and provides a ballast hook for hanging a stabilizing weight. Its reverse-folding legs wrap around most accessory ball heads to ensure maximum compactness.


Sirui W-1004 Waterproof Aluminum Alloy Tripod

9. Bower SFD5400 Digital Autofocus DSLR Flash: Flash is a great way to tame the harsh facial shadows often encountered on bright sunny summer days, and this compact, powerful hot-shoe-mounted unit is compatible with both Nikon i-TTL and Canon E-TTL dedicated systems. It delivers an impressive guide number of 131 (feet) at ISO 100 and the 105mm setting, features an auto zoom range of 24-105mm, can tilt upward to 90 degrees, rotate left to 180 degrees and right to 90 degrees. Other features: a built-in bounce card and easy-access wide-angle diffuser, an infrared AF assist beam, and built-in red-eye reduction. The Bower SFD5400 runs on 4 AA batteries, recycles in 0.5-7 seconds, and supports slow sync on Nikon cameras, as well as first- and second-curtain sync settings.


Bower SFD5400 Digital Autofocus DSLR Flash

10. Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc (42"): This versatile light-modification tool is great for filling in the harsh shadows often encountered when shooting in bright sunlight. It provides white, silver, gold, and black surfaces, plus a one-stop translucent diffusion panel, and is great way to achieve the precise lighting effects that you want when shooting on location, outdoors or indoors. The white disc provides a neutral fill, the silver one adds contrast and increases specular highlights, gold adds a touch of warmth, black blocks unwanted reflections and eliminates spill, and the translucent disc cuts the light by one stop and creates a broader, softer light source. The 42-inch size of the discs makes them suitable for ¾-length portraits and medium-sized still life subjects, and they fold to 1/3 their size for storage in the included carrying bag.


Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc

11. Sigma APO Teleconveter 2x EX DG: This highly corrected 2x converter is a compact, lightweight alternative to carrying extra lenses when you’re on the go. It mounts directly behind the lens to double its effective focal length while losing only 2 stops of light—e.g., a 50mm f/1.4 becomes a 100mm f/2.8, and an 85mm f/1.4 becomes a 170mm f/2.8, to enhance shooting flexibility in the field. It also maintains communication between the lens and the camera so auto-exposure (AE) and AF functions operate normally, and it’s multicoated to maximize light transmission and minimize flare and ghosting. Available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA mounts.


Sigma APO Teleconverter 2x EX DG for Canon EF

12. Giotto’s Lens-Cleaning Kit with Small Rocket Blower: A great travel accessory for those “Oh no!” moments, it comes complete with Multi Optical Cleaning Solution, suitable for all glass and plastic surfaces; a microfiber cloth; a retractable goat-hair brush; ten 100% cotton swabs with paper shafts; and a Small Giotto’s Rocket Blaster blower made from natural rubber. This German-designed blower has a unique inlet valve design that prevents it from blowing back dust, making it suitable for cleaning delicate sensors.


Giottos Lens Cleaning Kit with Small Rocket Air Blower

Is there anything you always want in your bag during the summer? Make sure to leave a comment!

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