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Phones are great at capturing moments on the go, but a phone camera can only take you so far. If you want to elevate your photography, you’re going to need to upgrade your equipment.

These six tech essentials make it easier to take professional-quality photos and upgrade your photography game.  

A Compact Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras are a great step up from your iPhone, and the Olympus PEN E-PL9, which is designed for beginners, makes the transition easy. Weighing in at 12.8 ounces, you can easily shove it in your purse, fanny pack or even your back pocket. 

Equipped with Bluetooth, it is quick and easy to upload and share your photos with Instagram. Capturing images at 16.1 megapixels compared to the latest iPhone 12. The ability to fully customize and utilize all of the creative and editing features on this camera means you can adjust the settings exactly the way you want. The different lenses come in a variety of colors, so you can build a right camera for you. If you are looking to test out the shutter speed or take some long exposure shots, you can play around with this camera and find the perfect settings.

Not only is this camera compact, but the vintage look and feel also makes you feel hip just by holding it. It is important to note that this camera does come with a lithium-ion battery, so you might also want to grab a few extra rechargeable batteries if you plan to be out and about using your camera.

Related: The 9 Best Portable Speakers For Your Summer Adventures

A Camera Strap

A camera strap is a necessity for any level of photographer. We love the Tarion camera shoulder strap option from Amazon for many reasons. First off, the price point is very digestible at under $10 and is made from a durable cotton and leather combination, making it super comfortable to wear. 

This neck strap is great for photographers of all different heights and can be easily adjusted. Every photographer needs a quality camera strap, and this strap is compatible with all of the top-name camera brands like Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Instax and more. And if you need a neck strap for your binoculars or rangefinder this strap will work too! 

A Camera Bag to Carry All of Your Gear

Image via AER.

Buying a bag that's sole purpose is storage for your camera and accessories is wasteful. Especially know when a laptop is as much a part of photography gear as the camera itself.

You can store your camera, laptop, a book and all of your chargers in the fashion-forward AER Tech Sling

This stylish sling has multiple interior pockets for organizational ease. You can safely store your camera in a separate sleeve from your emergency Larabars. The dual carry strap allows you to carry like a briefcase or shoulder bag full of all your camera gear.

A Large (Yet Compact) Power Bank

We are all familiar with the feeling triggered when the ‘low battery’ notification pops up on our devices. A power bank is a necessity in 2020. 

The Anker PoreCore 20100 power bank from Amazon deserves all its top ratings. We've been fans of Anker for many years. Recently we upgraded to this model because of the dual charging capabilities.


When traveling, it is nice to have this bank if you are stuck without a compatible outlet. In case you need some extra juice or want to binge your favorite Netflix show. You can fully charge your Apple or Android phones up to five to eight times, depending on the model.


A Mobile Gimbal

A gimbal holding a mobile phone.

If you aren't quite ready to spend the money on a new camera or gimbal, the DJI OSMO is a great option. Built for your smartphone, this accessory is offered at a lower price point than a traditional gimbal.

You can edit and customize your videos with music, filters and effects. Uploading and sharing them on social media is also very easy. The story mode offers multiple templates that can be added automatically while filming so you can focus on soaking in your surroundings.

The foldable design makes it easy to take anywhere and carry in your pocket or purse. Mounting your phone is also very easy if you have used a selfie stick before you can figure this out. With all the controls on the joystick, you can easily operate with one hand. Be aware, shooting 4K videos will drain your phone battery, so make sure you have a power bank close by.

An External Hard Drive

Photos and videos take up a ton of room on any device, so an external hard drive is essential. As you can see, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive’s sleek design is convenient for traveling, holding up to 2TB of data weighing .66 pounds. If you want to get a bigger hard drive, you can also keep one at home, up to you. The USB 3.0 also ensures speedy transfer rates, which is great. 

LaCie offers a free 2-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography when you buy this particular drive. This promo is nice when you are starting out and want to try new programs cost-effectively. Both the Adobe program and the hard drive give you the ability to organize, transform and, share your photos from anywhere.  

A Few SD Cards


As a new photographer, you will likely be taking a lot of photos. We recommend having a few memory cards on deck. Newer cameras will have the option to upload pictures via WiFi, but if you are rocking an older model you will most likely be using some SD cards. You really can't go wrong with the SanDisk or a Lexar model, just make sure it is the right GB for your needs. 

If you want to stay uber-organized, you can dedicate one SD card to low light photos, another to slow shutter release images and a third one for wide-angle lens images, that is totally up to you! If your computer isn't equipped with a memory card reader, they are pretty cheap and won't take up much room in your camera bag either. 

Cleaning Kit

The Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit is made for DSLR cameras and any other sensitive electronics you might need to clean. This cleaning kit is safe on all camera brands and models.

Whether you are rocking the old Canon camera from the '80s your grandma gave you or the latest Nikon release, this kit will work great. It comes with a lens cleaner, cleaning pen, air blower cleaner, leans brush, lens cleaning tissue paper and a few microfiber cloths. The microfiber cloths are great for cleaning the entire camera body and getting rid of any smudges you might find. 

Photo Editing App

There are countless photo editing apps out there, but we're big fans of Snapseed. Known for its robust features and intuitive interface, you’ll be editing photos like a pro in no time. 

In typical Google fashion, Snapseed gives users a vast amount of editing options to bring your photos to life. And the best part? It's free! New photographers don't need to spend the pretty petty on Photoshop or Lightroom quite yet; a free app will work just fine.


So those are our nine essential camera gadgets for getting started on your photography journey. Camera accessories are great for all photographers, but you don't need to break the bank and buy everything right when you are getting started. Professional photographers' needs are much different than aspiring photographers.

Now get lost in nature, test out that camera lens and capture some breathtaking photos!

You might also be interested in: 8 AirPod Alternatives [The Wireless Earbud Revolution]

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Posted 
Aug 11, 2020
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