You might recently have laid down the GDP of a small country on a new DSLR camera, but you’ll be glad to know that there is a wide variety of expensive gubbins that you can spend your money on to improve your photography experience. Lucky you. 

Tripod 

A tripod is probably as essential as essential camera accessories come. If you want to get stable, perfectly framed shots no matter where you are, then you’re going to want a tripod to do so. You’ll want to prioritise something that is sturdy, which usually means spending a bit more money, but that’s better than getting something cheap that fails to hold up your pricey camera properly. 

Extra Batteries 

Most DSLR cameras use batteries that will see you through a solid afternoon of shooting, but if you’re one for snapping off multiple shots in quick succession or you’re planning to spend the whole day taking photos, then it is well worth carrying one or two spare batteries around with you. I’d recommend always having at least one spare, even if you’re not planning on doing lots of shooting because you never know when your battery will run out right when you need it, or if the charging cable was mysteriously never turned on – totally not your fault that, a random freak occurrence. *ahem* 

Screen Protector 

Many DSLRs will come with their own basic screen protector to stop the viewscreen from getting damaged or scratched, but it’s worth investing in your own heavier duty protection. A damaged viewscreen will obviously make it difficult for you to take shots or browse your photos, but it can also devalue your camera if you come to sell it when you next upgrade. A small investment now can save you lots later. 

External SSD 

While internal SD cards have been getting bigger and faster over the years, they’re still no comparison to a good HDD or SSD for memory size and speed. While your camera may not be able to save directly to the external drive, it is worth carrying one around anyway so that you can periodically move images and video over and free up space on your SD card for new content. 

Remote Shutter Release 

If you’ve ever struggled with positioning your camera for a selfie or setting timed release, then a remote shutter release is well worth the investment. Aside from being great at catching you in the perfect pose, a remote shutter helps you to reduce or entirely avoid creating any wobble or movement to the camera when you’re taking the shot. This means that you’ll always be shooting exactly what you want. 

Camera Bag 

The last item on this list is certainly going to be essential if you’ve picked up all the others. A camera bag will be necessary for properly transporting all your equipment and peripherals, and it will also help to protect it from damage. This is particularly important if you are carrying around a few different lenses that you like to work with. 

If you have any interest in filming, even if it is just for posting on social media, I’m sure that you’ve already been tempted by the idea of buying a drone. But, while the image of flying around and getting lots of aerial shots might seem like a dream, what can you really get for your money and is it all worth it? I’m here to cover a few of the things that you should consider before venturing into the world of drones. 

They’re Pricey 

While it is true that you can pick up a drone with a camera for around £50, you’re really not going to be getting anything of any quality until you go above the £300 mark. So, it all really depends on exactly what you want to do with your drone. If you simply want to enjoy flying around and video is a way to keep a record of that, then you might be happy enough around the £150 mark, but if you absolutely want to be using your footage for more than just person reference, you’re going to have to lay down some serious cash. 

If you want a drone that can take high-quality 4K footage, auto-hover and avoid collisions, then you’ll be looking at laying down around £900. Obviously when it comes to that amount of money you don’t want to throw it away on something that you’ll only play with once, so make sure that you think carefully about what you’ll be doing with your drone. 

They Will Break 

One of the things that you’ll have to accept about being a drone owner is that sometime, someplace, you’ll break it, often spectacularly. To be fair, it is a delicate machine that you’ll be flying through the air at high speeds while focusing on trying to get interesting shots, so it’s no surprise that you’ll eventually crash it into a tree, a bird or a small child. It’s just one of those facts of life. 

Now that you’ve accepted that you’ll be crashing and damaging your expensive toy, you can plan around it. When you get a drone, it is worth preparing for crashes by stocking up in some replacement parts or investing in some insurance if it is available. 

They’re Fun 

Since I’ve got all that doom and gloom about prices and breakages out of the way, I’d just like to give you a reminder that drones are incredibly fun and satisfying to use for filming, or even just flying around. If you can justify the cost then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend picking up a drone, and you’ll be getting fantastic shots from unusual perspectives in absolutely no time at all. 

We’ve all played with the idea of starting our own vlogging series on YouTube, whether it’s to catalogue our lives, share our hobbies, talk about our favourite things, or just as a platform to complain from. You might have the material, charisma and look to pull it all off and launch a successful channel, but to do all that you’re going to need the right equipment. So, here we go with my recommendations for the some must have equipment for starting your career in vlogging. 

Camera 

You won’t be able to do much filming unless you have a way to do it. If you have a phone with a decent camera on it, then that is a perfectly viable option for filming, especially if you’ll always be filming in places with good lighting. However, if your phone is a bit on the weak side, then I’d recommend picking up a dedicated camera for use. It’s best to avoid getting a camcorder, as these won’t be too useful for taking stills, which can be essential for good thumbnails. Have a look around the web and try to find the best camera that is within your price range.  

In general, it isn’t worth getting a DSLR for filming, since you can get other cameras that will give the same quality for less. However, if you’re going to be doing taking lots of photos as well as filming, then a DSLR is a viable choice. 

Shotgun Mic 

Audio quality can make or break a vlog and it really shouldn’t be underestimated. Even if you’re delivering full 4K video, if the audio sounds like people are talking from the other side of a wall or eating a packet of crisps right beside the mic, your audience is going to be put off. The vast majority of cameras come with onboard microphones, but these won’t be useful for lots of filming scenarios, so it’s definitely worth getting an outboard mic. You should prioritise getting a camera that has a port for your microphone, but if that isn’t an option, you can record audio independently and then sync it with the video while editing. 

Lapel mics can be a good choice if your priority is picking up voices, but in terms of a good all-rounder mic, a shotgun mic is probably the best option for you. To put it very simply, these mics will pick up audio of whatever you point them at, and most of them can be mounted to the camera itself, making your job easy and straightforward. 

Flexible Tripod 

A standard tripod will serve you well for lots of types of filming or for taking still photography, but it will severely limit you when it comes to vlogging. A flexible tripod or mic stand will allow you to place your camera almost anywhere and get stable footage. The flexible legs allow you to wrap them around objects, like a chair or tree branch, turning anything into an extension of the tripod. These flexible tripods can also have their legs straightened, allowing you to easily film in a selfie-style, without having to change mounts or hold the body of the camera itself. 

Depending on the content of your vlogs or what you want the focus of them to be, you might find that you’ll need some equipment that is not included on this list. But, if you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of vlogging and get started with discovering your own voice and style, then this equipment will set you on your way comfortably. 

You’ll probably have seen some dashcam footage somewhere online, possibly on YouTube which has been inundated with footage from Russia where dashcams are particularly popular. But why have people started using them, and why should you consider joining in? 

Protecting Against Accidents 

So, the most basic and practical function of a dashcam is to help you to limit the consequences of being involved in an accident. A dashcam will clearly show fault, so if someone cuts you off or slams into you, a dashcam will support the fact that it was not your fault. This can obviously be really useful for when you deal with the police or your insurance company after an accident. In fact, installing a dashcam can actually reduce your insurance premiums, since it ensures that exactly what you saw during or before the accident is recorded. 

As an interesting side note, this is one of the reasons why dashcams are so popular in Russia. Because of some interesting laws on where the fault lies during accidents or collisions with pedestrians, there had been an increase in people intentionally causing small accidents so that they could sue and claim damages. By installing a dashcam in their cars, Russians are protecting themselves from fraud. Neat! 

Documenting Your Trips 

On top of protecting yourself from the repercussions of accidents or other people’s bad driving, dashcams can be great as a tool for simply recording your drives and documenting your trips. If you’ve ever wished that you could really appreciate your surroundings while doing a really scenic drive, but you’ve had to focus hard on the road or if you’ve wanted to share the views from a pretty drive, then a dashcam can be the perfect way to do that. If you’re one for creating compilations or collages of your trips, then a dashcam will also let you add to your footage with some often really interesting perspectives. 

Aside from the practical functions of a dashcam, there is also the novelty of recording all your drives to consider. Sometimes it can be fun to just sit back and watch the little things that you miss or to show off some of the cool cars and bad drivers you’ve encountered to your friends.