Camera Accessories for Beginners

Meta Reviews The Best Camera Accessories For Beginners

The Best Camera Accessories for Beginner Photographers

The Best Camera Accessories – In this Camera Accessories Section of Photography Reviews, Meta Reviews The Best Camera Accessories For Beginners. See What’s In Meta’s Camera Bag?

Meta’s Recommended Camera Accessories all have 4 to 5 Star Ratings on Amazon!

Meta’s Camera Accessories Reviews are based on her Personal Ownership, Years of Professional Photographer Experience and Extensive Remote Field Testing on the Remote Hiking Trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park of Western North Carolina.

Meta’s Field Tested Recommended Camera Accessories

Camera Harnesses and Straps
Tripods and Ball Heads
Camera Bags
Camera Cleaning Kits
Faster SD Cards
Camera Lens Filters
Electronic Accessories
Protection from the Elements
Creative Backdrops
Meta’s Camera Bag Checklist

Where To Buy The Best Camera Accessories

Meta Reviews The Best Camera Harnesses and Camera Straps

Review of The Cotton Carrier Harness

Cotton Carrier Camera Harnesses – If you’re into Nature Photography, think How to Hike Safely with your Camera. The Cotton Carrier Harness allows Hands Free Hiking! Meta keeps a spare 5/32” Allen Key in the Harness and Camera Bag. 5 Star Rated!

Side Holsters – If you love the Cotton Carrier System, but don’t need the Camera Harness, purchase the Cotton Carrier Side Holster. This handy camera accessory slides over Camera Belts for carrying your Camera on your side. 5 Star Rated!

Sony Leather Hand Straps – A Leather Hand Strap gives you a safe and secure single handed hold on your Camera with one hand. This is Meta’s Favorite Camera Accessory. She has Leather Hand Straps on all of her Sony Digital Cameras. 4 Star Rated!

Vintage Photojournalist Jackets – Meta’s Husband often wears a Vietnam Era Jungle Jacket to transport all of his Camera Accessories on Remote Hiking Trails. The X-Large 4 Buttoned Pockets are Perfect for Photojournalists. 5 Star Rated!

Shoulder Pad Cushions – If you carry a Heavy Camera Bag or Tripod for a long periods of time, slip one of these Shoulder Pad Cushions over your Shoulder Strap, for less pain and fatigue. Meta uses these on all her Shoulder Straps. 5 Star Rated!

Camera Belts – Meta uses her Think Tank Photo Speed Belt to transport her Multiple Sony Flash Units. It can carry Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bags, Lens Cases, Camera Accessory Pouches and Water Bottle Pouches. 5 Star Rated!

Photography TipsWhile Remote Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Meta once slipped and fell with her Camera, hung on another popular side strap harness. Luckly the only damage was to the plastic Lens Hood. Meta now hikes uses a hands free Cotton Carrier Camera Harness! Bring an extra 5/32” Allen Key with you.

Meta Reviews The Best Tripods and Ball Heads

Review of Slik Pro 700DX Tripod

Slik Pro DXS Tripod – This Short Sturdy Tripod has No Center Column, so it can lay flat on the ground. This Tripod is perfect for Low Level Macro Photography. Fits in Compact Tripod Bag. Use a Slik Ball Head with Round QR Plate. 5 Star Rated!

Slik Pro 700DX Tripod – Meta says there are two kinds of Tripods: “The ones that work and the ones that are easy to carry”. This Tripod has a Short Center Column. Fits in 90cm Tripod Bag. Use a Slik Ball Head with Round QR Plate. Manual. 5 Star Rated!

Slik Ball Head with Round QR Plate – Features an easy to use, single knob operation to lock or release the large ball connected to the Easy To Use Round QR Plate. Oversized knob has a well-textured surface for a sure grip. Manual. 5 Star Rated!

Photography TipsTripod Leg Protection Covers – Nature Photography can be dirty! Protect your tripod legs from water, salt, mud, sand and snow. These Tripod Leg Sleeves pack down small and include a carring pouch. Thick gauge matte plastic construction and reinforced clear bottom stand up to real-world use. Available Long or Short. 5 Star Rated!

Meta Reviews The Best Camera Bags

Review of Think Tank Photo Camera Bags

Think Tank Photo Camera Bags – Invest in The Best Quality, Custom Fit, Camera Bags with Reliable Fused Zippers, Built-In Rain Cover, Padded Shoulder Strap, Side Storage Pockets and Modular Straps! Attaches to Camera Belts. 5 Star Rated!

Lowepro Lens Cases – Store each lens in a Lowepro Lens Case. These soft padded Lens Cases come in many different shapes and sizes and can be attached to Camera Belts or Camera Bag. Add Silica Gel Packs to each lens case. 5 Star Rated!

Lens Filter Pouches – Lens Filters are a very long term investment. Filter Pouches store and help keep dust and scratches off of your Camera Filters. Filter Pouches can fit inside the top flap of the Camera Bag. 5 Star Rated!

Flash Pouches – Flash Units are Delicate Electronic Instruments. Protect them in Think Tank Photo Flash Pouches. Holds a large Flash with Diffuser. Side pocket hold 8 AA Lithium Batteries. Attaches to Camera Belt or Camera Bag. 5 Star Rated!

Think Tank Photo Camera Accessory Pouches – If you own Adapters, Battery Chargers, Camera Batteries, Remote Controls, etc., carry them in Think Tank Photo Camera Accessory Pouches. Attaches to Camera Belt or Camera Bag. 4 Star Rated!

Water Bottle Pouches – As a Registered Nurse, Meta is always telling her patients to ”Drink More Water”. Water Bottle Pouches are perfect for day hiking and hold a 32oz. bottle. Attaches to Camera Belt or Camera Bag. 5 Star Rated!

Photography TipsScotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield repells water on your expensive canvas Camera Bags, Pouches and Tripod Bags. One 13 oz. spray can covers 20 sq. ft. on heavy canvas fabrics. Reapply Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield as needed. Repels water during use and in storage. 5 Star Rated!

Meta Reviews The Best Camera Cleaning Kits

How To Clean Dust Off Your Camera Sensor

Sensor Cleaning Kits – (Video: Above) Those small dark spots in your Photos mean your Sensor or your Lens is probably dirty. If Air Blasting and Vibrating the Camera Sensor doesn’t work, you’ll need a Sensor Cleaning Kit! 5 Star Rated!

Lens Cleaning Kits – Pouch contains one Zeiss Microfiber Lens Cloth, Retractable Lens Cleaning Brush, Optical Cleaning Fluid, Moist Lens Cleaning Wipes and a Zeiss Air Blaster in a Restockable Fabric Pouch. 5 Star Rated!

Lens Cleaning Supplies – Use the Zeiss Air Blaster, then a Moist Lens Cleaning Wipes followed by a Zeiss Microfiber Lens Cloth. Always start in the center of the lens and work outwards to the edge. 5 Star Rated!

Photography TipsRocket Air Blasters are used to remove any dust from your camera sensor. Try to avoid changing your lenses outside, especially in windy and dusty enviroments. Meta only changes her lenses inside, and keeps her Sony Digital Camera inverted the entire time while swapping lenses.

Meta Reviews The Best Media Storage

Review of Sony Tough SD Cards

Sony Tough SD Cards – Digital Cameras don’t come with SD Cards! Avoid Slower “Drug Store Brand” SD Cards which often cause Buffer Lockups and Slow Shooting Performance. Meta highly recommends Sony Tough SD Cards! 5 Star Rated!

Transfer Your SD Card Files – You can easily transfer some or all of your SD Card Photos to your iPhone with an Apple Lightning to SD Card Reader or to your or MacBook with an Apple USB-C to SD Card Reader. 5 Star Rated!

SD Card Carrying Cases – A must for every Professional Photographer. Store and protect your SD Cards from damage and data loss. Keep your SD Cards in one safe location. Soft cutouts hold up to 12 SD Cards. 5 Star Rated!

Photography TipsUltra Fast SD Cards might seem extreme, especially if your Sony Digital Camera can’t write as fast as the SD Card is rated. The big advantage of using Fast SD Cards comes when you insert them into your Computer, and you will notice the increase in Read Transfer Speed to your Computer’s Hard Disk is so much faster.

Meta Reviews The Best Camera Lens Filters – CPL, UV and ND Camera Filters

Review of Hoya HD3 Filters

HOYA HD3 CPL Filters are used to control reflections, provide more vivid colors, darken blue skies and reduce glare without changing the color of the light. Meta has a HOYA HD3 CPL Filter for each diameter of Camera Lenses. 5 Star Rated!

HOYA HD3 UV Filters are primarily used on Cameras as Lens Protection Filters, but they can also reduce harmful ultraviolet light and eliminate any bluish cast in images. Meta keeps a HOYA HD3 UV Filter on each of her Camera Lenses. 5 Star Rated!

HOYA ND Filters are sold in as a Set of 3 ND Filters: NDX2, 0.3 (1 stop), NDX4, 0.6 (2 stop), and NDX8, 0.9 (3 stop). HOYA ND Filters are used to eliminate overly bright, washed out images and to control Long Exposures and Depth of Field. 5 Star Rated!

Photography Tips Many Professional Photographers, like Meta, leave High-Transparency CPL Filters on their Camera Lenses all of the time, especially if they shoot in bright sunlight or you always under expose for RAW Post Processing. Think of CPL Filters as Sunglasses for your Camera. Meta’s Rule of Thumb – If you need sunglasses, so does your Digital Camera.

Meta Reviews The Best Electronic Camera Accessories

Red LED Headlamp – Meta wears a Red LED Headlamp when shooting Astrophotography or Sunrises and Sunsets. The Bright Red LED that won’t effect your night vision! Runs for many hours on 3 AAA Lithium Batteries. 5 Star Rated!

Sony Wireless Remote Control – Use a Sony Wireless Remote Control to avoid touching your Sony Digital Camera when you take a shot! Meta keeps one of these Remote Controls in each Camera Bag. Runs on one CR2025 Lithium Battery. 5 Star Rated!

12V Camera Battery Chargers – During Hiking Season, Meta keeps a Spare Camera Battery on a 12V Camera Battery Charger in her car! There’s nothing more frustrating than getting out on a Hiking Trail with a dead Camera Battery! 5 Star Rated!

IntervalometersTimed Remote Shutter Releases are required for Time Lapse Photography. Use as a Wired Shutter Release. Attaches to your Tripod Leg in a Protective Case. Read the Intervalometer’s User Manual. 4 Star Rated!

Sony Digital Camera Batteries – Meta uses Sony Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries. These last longer than “No-Name Brand” Camera Batteries. Rated at 11.8Wh / 1650mAh, Sony NP-FM500H “M” Camera Battery works in Sony A-Mount Cameras. 5 Star Rated!

Sony A77 Dual Battery Grip – For Time Lapse Photography, a second battery is a must! The Sony A77 Dual Battery Grip holds 2 Sony Digital Camera Batteries and works with the Sony a77 Camera and Sony a77 II Digital Camera! 5 Star Rated!

Dew Remover – For Shooting Long Exposures on Cool Summer Nights a 5W USB Powered Dew Remover keeps your Lens from Fogging up. Compact Anker 13000 USB Power Bank can power the lens heater for about 2.6 Hours. 5 Star Rated!

7 Outlet Woods Power Strip – If you have Camera Battery Chargers, but not a lot of wall sockets, the 7 Outlet Woods Power Strip can hold 3 Battery Chargers on a side. Meta has 3 of these to hold and charge her Sony Digital Camera Batteries! 4 Star Rated!

Red LED Micro-Flashlight – Clips to the Camera Pouch, Camera Bag, Photographers Vest or Tripod Leg. Runs on 2 CR2032 Lithium Batterries. A must have light for all Night Photography and Astrophotography. 5 Star Rated!

Photography TipsShooting in at night or in total darkness can be dangerous. Wearing a Low Power Red LED Headlamp and having a Red LED Micro-Flashlight attached to your Tripod Leg can help maintain your night vision, while still illuminating your Camera and Tripod. If you park your car close by, consider changing the Dome Lights to Red LED Dome Lights.

Meta Reviews The Best Protection From The Elements and Pests

Pest Protection – Nature Photography involves getting bitten by mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, chiggers and no-see-ums – Especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Meta always carries Ben’s Deet Wipes in her Camera Bag. 5 Star Rated!

Mosquito Guard Repellent Bands – Flys and Bugs seem to be attracted to the High Frequency Noise of the Sony Digital Camera when mounted on the Tripod. Slipping one of these Repellent Bug Bands over the Tripod Head repels pests! 4 Star Rated!

Emergency Rain Ponchos – Getting stuck on a Remote Hiking Trail in an afternoon thunderstorm is not good you or your camera. This camera accessory can save your Camera! Keep an Emergency Rain Poncho in your Camera Bag! Not Rated!

Moisture Protection – Place Silica Gel Packs into all your Camera Bags, Lens Cases, Flash Pouches, Camera Harnesses and Camera Pouches, to absorb moisture. This cheap camera accessory can protect your Camera Gear from moisture! 5 Star Rated!

LCD Screen Protectors – The Rear LCD Display Screen on Cameras can get easily scratched. LCD Screen Protectors are available for most Cameras. This is the first Camera Accessory Meta installs when she gets a new Sony Digital Camera! 5 Star Rated!

Rain Protection – The LensCoat Rain Coats fit over your Sony Digital Camera and Lens to protect it from rain. Comes in different sizes and styles, including Mossy Oak. Meta used one while Whale Watching off the Coast of Southern California. 4 Star Rated!

Photography TipsWho said Nature Photography was Painless? One Aleve Pain Relief Packet lasts up 12 hours for temporary relief of minor aches and pains while Remote Hiking. Meta keeps an Aleve Packet in each Camera Bag! Always take with liquid. Check Expiration Dates. 5 Star Rated!

Meta Reviews The Best Creative Backdrops

Camo Bandana – For Nature Looking Green and Brown Blurred Backgrounds in Macro Photography. Carry in your Tripod Bag. Can also be used to Camouflage your Camera and Lens for Hummingbird Photography. 5 Star Rated!

Light Absorbing Black Velvet Cloth – The Best Black Backdrop Material for Macro Photography. Carry in your Tripod Bag. This Black Velvet Cloth has good vertical sense, which is wrinkle resistant, machine washable, ironing. 5 Star Rated!

What’s in Meta’s Camera Bag?

Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 20 Bags
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 20 – Fits 3” to 5” Lens

Standardization and Organization – Keys to a Photographers Success

Camera Bag Checklist – Meta Standardizes and Organizes all of her Camera Accessories in her Camera Bag, using the Japanese 5S System, so she knows exactly where everything is located, how many items she should have, what is missing and what Disposable Supplies, such as Moist Lens Cleaning Wipes, need to be Reordered from Amazon.

All of Meta’s Sony Digital Camera’s, Tripods and Camera Bags are labeled with 1” Vinyl Number Stickers for Easy Identification and Faster Inventory Control.

View Meta’s Camera Bag Checklist

Modular Camera Bags – Meta uses Modular Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bags (Photo: Left) to carry her Sony a77 II Digital Cameras, custom fit for her small, medium and large Vintage Minolta AF Lenses, with and without the Sony Dual Battery Grip. This Modular Camera Bag System comes complete with a Built-In Rain Coat and Padded Shoulder Strap!

Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 30 Bags
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 30 – Fits 6” to 9” Lens
Think Tank Photo Camera Bags – Meta owns many Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bags. The Bag Size and Model depends on the Camera and Lens Length:
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bag 20 – Sony a77 II with 3”–5” Lens
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bag 30 – Sony a77 II with 6”–9” Lens

Note: Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bag 10 will NOT fit the Sony a77 II Digital Camera, but it will fit the smaller Sony a65 Digital Camera.

If you use the Sony Dual Battery Grip, consider these two Wider Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bags:
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bag 40 – Sony a77 II with 3”–5” Lens
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster Camera Bag 50 – Sony a77 II with 6”–9” Lens

Camera Bag Checklist – Meta’s Camera Bags are checked before they leave and rechecked when they return, using her simple, but effective Camera Bag Checklist. Pay Special Attention to Disposable Supplies, which are often used up in the field, but not always accounted for, like camera cleaning supplies.

CR2032 Lithium Batteries in the Sony Wireless Remote Controls and Red LED Micro-Flashlights are replaced once every spring.
Sony Digital Camera Batteries are swapped out and recharged after each use.
• Cotton Carrier Hub Screw Tightened with 5/32” Allen Key – Check After Each Use.
• Any Camera Supplies that are in Short Supply are Reordered from Amazon.
• Cameras and Lens Exteriors are wiped down with Alcohol Cleaning Wipes.
Alcohol Cleaning Wipes remove bug wipes, dirt, facial oil, sweat and make-up.
• Optics are cleaned with Moist Lens Cleaning Wipes and a Microfiber Lens Cloth.
SD Card Images are transferred to the iMac Computer upon returning home.
• Any Camera Accessories containing Liquid are put in a 3”x3” Heavy Duty Zip Bag to prevent any leakage in the Camera Bag.
• Disposable Photography Supplies, such as Aleve Packets, Bens Deet Wipes, HotHands, with Alcohol Cleaning Wipes and Moist Lens Cleaning Wipes with Microfiber Lens Cloths can be group packaged into kits in 3”x3” Heavy Duty Zip Bags. Check Expiration Dates.

Photography TipsThe Japanese 5S System saves a lot of time and frustration when a Camera Accessory is missing, damaged or misplaced. No more “Where’s the Sony Wireless Remote Control?” because every Camera Accessory is in the same location, every time, and in each Camera Bag – Numbered, Checked, Counted, Cleaned, Recharged and Ready!

Meta’s Camera Bag Checklist

Camera Equipment
• 1 Sony a77 II Digital CameraCamera Battery and SD Card
• 1 Sony Digital Camera Battery – Rain Coat Pocket – Fully Charged
• 1 Sony Tough SD Card – Rain Coat Pocket
• 1 Sony Wireless Remote Control – Top Flap
• 1 Sony 55mm Lens Cap – Tall Bag Side Pocket
• 1 5/32” Allen Key – For Cotton Carrier Hub

Tripod and Camera Bags
• 1 Slik Pro 700DX Tripod with Slik Ball Head – In Car
• 1 Camera Bag Strap with Pad – Clipped to Camera Bag
• 1 55mm Spare Lens Cap in Tall Camera Bag – Side Pocket

Slik Pro 700DX Tripod Accessories – Tripod Leg Pouch
• 1 Intervalometer – On Tripod Leg in Protective Case
• 1 Red LED Micro-Flashlight – Attached to Tripod Leg Screw
• 1 Sony Wireless Remote ControlProtective Case
• 1 Emergency Rain Poncho – Tripod Bag
• 1 Tripod Leg Protection Covers – Tripod Bag
• 1 Tripod Bag – Holds Slik Pro 700DX Tripod

Slik Pro DXS Tripod Accessories – Tripod Leg Pouch
• 1 Sony Wireless Remote Control – Tripod Pouch
• 1 Emergency Rain Poncho – Tripod Pouch
• 1 Mossy Oak Bandana – Tripod Pouch
• 1 Compact Tripod Bag Holds Slik Pro DXS Tripod
Disposable Photography Supplies – In Each Camera Bag
• 1 Microfiber Lens Cloth – Rain Coat Pocket
• 2 Moist Lens Cleaning Wipes – Rain Coat Pocket
• 4 Silica Gel Packs – One in Each Pouch and Pocket
• 2 Aleve Packets – Rain Coat Pocket (Note Expiration Dates)
• 1 Emergency Rain Poncho – Side Pocket
• 2 Photos By Meta Business Cards – Top Pocket
• 2 Bens Deet Wipes – Side Pocket (Summer)
• 1 HotHands Battery Warmers – Side Pocket (Winter)
• 2 Alcohol Cleaning Wipes – Side Pocket
• 1 Lens Filter Pouch – Inside Top Pocket When Needed

Macro Photography Field Kit – Attaches to Camera Bag
• 2 Fine Mist Water Bottles – Distilled Water
• 2 Fine Mist Water Bottles – 50% Water / Vegetable Glycerin
• 1 ProMaster 12” Silver/Gold Reflector
• 1 ProMaster 12” Translucent Disc
• 2 Mini Tripods – Light Stands to Widen Depth of Field
• 1 Small Pointed Scissors – To Trim Grass

Contact Us

Boone NC Commercial Photographers
Boone NC Commercial Photographers

Photos By Meta

Boone NC Commercial Photographers
PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
1-828-265-2730
Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM (Eastern)

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