What to buy when starting out can seem like an overwhelming task – do you need more than one lens, what is teleconverter and is it better to have a tripod or a beanbag? Some items are essential to photography, but some really are just an add-on sale, and some can even be made at home. So where do you start?

Basic Essentials

Start with your camera. The top two brands are Canon and Nikon, so do your research, and find out the pros and the cons of each brand. Most cameras come with a basic lens, which is normally around 18-50mm which is great to play around with but you will soon find you want at least one more to increase your zoom. A good camera bag and cleaning equipment are also essential.

Optional Extras

Once you have your camera and a couple of lenses and have started to play around you can start to add on. A tripod is a great extra to help steady your hand, and if you are using a tripod consider getting a ball-head as well – this enables the camera to move up and down and swivel. Editing programmes such as Lightroom are a good buy, and if you are really serious then get a good quality computer screen and software. Lighting and filters can often be duplicated by editing so play around before you invest in flashes and filters.

Wildlife Photography Extras

If you are specialising in wildlife photography there are a couple of extras that will help you out – a good pair of binoculars, a flashlight and a waterproof lens cover. A beanbag on your window can replace a tripod, and a telephoto lens up to about 400mm will be beneficial. Also look at a teleconverter or extender to increase the range of your big lenses for those close-ups.