11th Apr 2006

Buying Tips for Digital Camera Accessories

No matter what you call them, there are a wide variety available for your digital camera. From carrying cases, spare batteries and memory cards, to flash attachments, card readers, add-on lenses, and portable image storage, there is something for everyone’s needs, desires, and budget.

Digital camera accessories are meant to extend or enhance your camera’s performance, safeguard it when traveling or in storage, or provide additional support services beyond the scope of your camera. Take portable image storage, for example:

There are portable compact disk recorders that operate without the need for a PC. They are totally self contained and are designed to let you download your images and burn them to CD/ROM out in the field. What an absolutely outstanding idea if you are going on vacation and want to take more pictures than your camera’s memory (or spare memory cards) can handle.

Iomega makes something called the “Click! 40”. It is a portable, battery operated, storage device for digital camera users with CompactFlash or SmartMedia removable flash memory cards. The contents of your flash memory cards can be copied onto tiny and fairly inexpensive 40MB Clik! cartridges while out in the field. When you get home you place the Clik! Drive into the Docking Station and then transfer your images from the Clik! disks to your hard drive. You can now erase or format the Clik! disks and use them again and again. With additional flash memory cards being expensive, and Click! disks costing $10 or less, you can be miles ahead of the game using something like this.

If you’re really into cool then you’ve GOT to have the “Kaidan 360° One VR”. It’s an an optical system that captures a complete 360° panoramic image in a single camera shot! It comes with special image display software for your PC, and no special skills are needed to operate it. It can be camera or tripod mounted. In fact, about the only thing you need, that you might not have, is the $999 that you’ll need to take it home.

If you like to shoot with unusual and imaginative lighting conditions, a slave flash can be just the ticket. They can be used as manual flash, a stand alone remote slave flash, and it can be synchronized with your primary flash. Some slave flash units can also function as a pro hand grip.

Of course, there is always the need for the dull and boring stuff like extra batteries, carrying cases, lanyards, lens covers (add-on lenses are often available for extended effects), extra memory sticks or cards, camera-to-PC cables and the other hum drum items that we all need.

The one thing to always keep in mind, when shopping for digital camera accessories, is NEVER PAY RETAIL! There are far too many discounters, selling well below MSRP, and you can find them on the Internet with very little effort.

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