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Essential Digital Photography Gears

Before we enter into the world of photography, we must be aware of the different gears used in this piece of art. It contains some basic gear, without which we cannot do photography and some additional gear, which helps at different stages of photography.

Here is the exhaustive list of gears of Photography:

4 Basic Pieces of Photo Gears:

  • Camera: Camera is the equipment, which contains all the technology to capture an image. Previously we had the films and now we have sensor, which actually registers the image. A digital camera also instantaneously shows the image on the LCD screen for quick view.
  • Lens: Lens is placed in-front of the sensor. Lens is a combination of different types of glass elements (concave, convex or plane). These elements are arranged in a pre-defined fashion to ensure clear focus of the subject across the image.
  • Memory Card: Memory card stores the images captured by the camera. Camera also has some internal memory, but that is not sufficient to support good number of images. To keep capturing images, without worrying of numbers, a memory card must have the required space. This space is dependent on the size of image generated and the number of images to be captured. Generally, a memory space of 8 GB or 16 GB is fairly good. The speed of writing in memory card is also an important factor to avoid a time lag in taking photos.
  • Battery: Battery provides power to camera. Many point and shoot cameras support standard AA size batteries, however, DSLRs support manufacturer specified batteries. In fact, camera manufactures have different types of batteries for different models of DSLRs. All these batteries are re-chargeable and have life of 3yrs – 4 yrs. It is always advisable to carry a spare battery to ensure uninterrupted shooting and re-charge a battery only after it has completely discharged for longer life.
  • Photography Gears you shuold know about
  • Additional Gears:

    • Tele-convertor: A tele-convertor helps in increasing the focal length of the lens. It is generally available at 1.4x or 2.0x, which means the focal length of the lens would be multiplied by a factor of 1.4 or 2.0 respectively. On one side, this is a boon , as it increases the focal length at cheaper price (500mm will become 1000mm with 2.0x tele-convertor), but on the other side, the image quality and the available maximum aperture has to be compromised. The maximum aperture decreases by the same factor (f/2.8 will become f/5.6 with 2.0x tele-convertor).
    • Lens Hood: Lens hood is a passive device, installed in front of the lens. It is either round or flower shape (specific for each type of lens as defined by the manufacturer) and helps in increasing the overall sharpness, controlling stray light and protecting lens from accidental break.
    • Tripod: Tripod is a three leg stand, which helps to keep camera stable during photography. It provides support for the camera and is very useful in long duration (slow shutter) shots. It prevents camera from shake and ensures sharp images. A sturdy tripod is must to get shake free images.
    • Remote Release: Remote release helps in releasing shutter from a distance, without touching the camera. It can be wired or wireless. It is particularly helpful in night photography, long duration photography and astrophotography. Camera can be place at a stable surface or on a tripod and a shot can be taken using remote release.
    • Light Meter: Light meter helps in measuring light, i.e., in providing correct aperture and shutter speed of incident light on the subject. It helps in taking correctly exposed images. This device is a better option over the camera in-built light meter (which is dependent on the reflected light).
    • Cleaning kit: A camera cleaning kit contains a brush, a lint free cloth, an air blower, a cleaning solution, tissue papers and soft cotton buds. These items helps in keeping the camera body, lens surface and sensor clean. It must be used after every long trip.
    • Filters: Apart from protecting lens surface, filters provide extra control over light, which cannot be managed in post editing. General filters are:

      • UV filter: It is a plain filter, which blocks the UV light, thereby removing the bluish tinge from the images. This is a must filter for every lens.
      • Polarizing filter: It helps in controlling the reflections. One can take clear images across glass, inside vehicle (with glass) and inside water (provided the water is clear). It also increases the saturation of the image.
      • Neutral Density filter: This filter decreases the amount of light entering into the lens. This is particularly useful in bright light conditions, where one wants to use slow shutter speeds or large apertures.
      • Graduated Neutral Density Filter: This filter has half part dark, which is gradually decreasing towards the center. This is helpful in taking images of landscapes where we have over exposed sky and under exposed surface.
    • Camera Bag: This is a special type of bag, made for carrying camera and its gears (lens, filters, tripod, etc). It has customizable compartments to keep different items. It is preferable to buy a rain cover for the bag or water proof bag.
    • Flash: Camera can use in-built flash or external flash to add extra light to the scene. Different types of flashes are available based on usage, flash distance and functions.
    • Digital Cabinet: This protects camera and its accessories (lens, filters, etc) from humidity, which is the main corroding factor. It is a closed humidity controlled cabinet and useful primarily when you have multiple number of expensive equipments.
    • Studio lights: Studio lights are artificial lights, used for completely controlled photography. A photographer can decide and design all the effects of lights and shades using these lights. These are available in different forms, such as strobe lights, reflectors, diffusers, etc.
    • Photo editing software: This is a post editing software, which helps in manipulating image after capturing it. One can control multiple parameters such as white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness, exposure, colors and even the elements of the images. It is best to capture the image in RAW format to ensure best output after photo editing by software.