Figuring out the right camera and lens probably takes up most of the time you spend thinking about gear. But the smaller stuff, like a fast memory card, special-effects filter or cleaning gadget, often can make the time you spend shooting more productive—and even just more fun.
An alternative to a camera neck strap, the b-Grip EVO belt holder keeps your DSLR firmly and comfortably at your side. The base attaches to a waist belt and a quick-release plate connects to the camera’s tripod socket, so your DSLR stays in place without swinging until you need it. Optional accessories, such as a tripod adapter and hand strap, are also available. Estimated Street Price: $59 (belt holder).
The Lens Bumper from DeluxGear absorbs impact and prevents scrapes, scratches, dents and cracks to your lenses. The exterior is a tough 0.08-inch Santoprene outer cover, while the cushioned, water-resistant inner core is made of 0.25-inch-thick closed-cell neoprene. Slide it over the end of your lens or hood, or reverse the hood over the lens and slide the Lens Bumper over the inverted hood. List Price: $24 to $74.
Whether shooting with a DSLR or a point-and-shoot, LensPen makes a cleaning solution for your camera. All the models are small enough for fitting in a camera bag or even your pocket. Each one includes a soft, retractable brush for removing loose dust and a cleaning tip with a carbon compound for removing fingerprints and other difficult marks. List Price: $14.
Cotton Carrier offers many useful solutions for transporting your camera from one location to the next. The basic system holds one or two DSLRs and comes with a unique one-size-fits-all adjustable vest. The Carry-Lite version consists of a cotton waist belt with a shoulder strap and side holster for carrying a camera at your side. For attaching a camera to your backpack or a second one to a camera vest, the StrapShot is ideal for photographers who are often on the move. Estimated Street Price: Varies.
Keep your lenses clean with Hoodman’s Lens Cleanse natural cleaning kit. The towelettes are made of soft natural wood fibers that won’t scratch the glass. Organic plant enzymes make up the cleaning solution, which breaks down grime without damaging the coatings on your lenses and filters or the environment. Each kit has a wet and a dry towelette, and they come in single units or packs of 12. List Price: $9 (12-pack).
Boost your smartphone’s picture-taking capabilities with the Novoflex Phone Kit. It includes a mini-tripod, a ballhead, a suction-cup mount for fastening to smooth surfaces and a universal mount that can be attached to the ballhead with one click. There’s also a special holder for iPhone 4 and 4S shooters. The ballhead and tripod can support a load capacity of up to 6.6 pounds, making it useful for point-and-shoots and mirrorless cameras, too. There’s also an optional iPad holder and a series of clamps to mount it to bikes and motorcycles. Estimated Street Price: $159.