Basic Tools for Beginners

Michaela Baldos

Pinoy Techie
As you experiment with your new camera, it's likely you'l be experimenting a lot on different styles and subjects. And that needs power. Therefore have extra batteries at hand. Go for rechargeable batteries for your cams, as it saves cash in the long run, plus you'll be helping Mother Earth as well (by reducing waste of one-time use batteries.) Camera these days rely on LCDs to view your shots, and that drains power. Pack in the charger always, in case you run ot of power on a shoot.

Tripods come in many shapes, sizes, and brands. Most are priced quite cheaply, others have an equal value to the camera. Make sure your tripod is stable and sturdy enough to support your camera. If possible, go along with ones that have a "quick release" mechanism. It allows you to mount and dismount your camera faster. You can even leave the tripod plate on the camera, if you prefer. You'll need a tripod when you shoot in low light, like in the evening or indoors.

No photographer likes dirt in their gear. A basic kit usually includes a wipe, some cotton buds, and a blower. You'll need these in any situation. There are times cameras breakdown due to the elements, so have a cleaning kit handy. Or ask Sir Mel about “LenSpa.” :D

The cam that came with your bag is nice and durable... but is it? These days, camera kits come with a free bag, and their quality varies. Some are well built, some have cheap foam and cardboard for protection. Stay away from bags with loud branding in front, as they are an invitation for ill hands. Get a padded bag for protection, and better yet, make it a waterproof one, just in case it starts to rain on your shoot, or protect it from dirt and dust. You'll need pockets in that bag as well, for cards, charger, batteries, and other accessories.

Your camera may have included a memory card in the kit, but do get more cards. Don't buy cards in large capacities, as these cards can malfunction later, and you lose all your images. Get small to mid-capacity cards. That way, your loss wouldn't be as big if you purchased just one high-capacity card that goes berzerk. Keep the case that came with your card, to protect the cards when you don't use them (if it was purchased with one). Card holders come in different qualities, from simple plastic ones from Daiso, to ones with waterproof sealing.

Other necessary equipment, If your budget allows it:

Using your camera to read the memory card can drain the camera's power. You can transfer and view your images when you need to.

If your camera supports it, get some lens filters. Some have creative effects, while most are clear, made to protect your camera lens. It's better to have a cracked filter than a cracked lens, in case something goes wrong. However, some cameras don't allow add-on filters, so check your camera and manual if the camera supports it.

In case your camera supports it, get a good camera flash. That way it can help brighten up your images in difficult situations.

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