The 3 Best Digital Camera Accessories in My Bag Right Now

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes sits on her back patio stairs holding a Nikon D5500 DSLR camera

A few months ago I purchased a Nikon D5500 DSLR camera. Among other awesome features that I first mentioned in my Why I’m Loving Nikon post, I really appreciate its more compact size with all the traveling we do. I’m more of a less is more person when it comes to travel, so I like small items that make a big impact.

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog wears a black and cream striped long sleeve t-shirt and takes photos with a Nikon D5500 DSLR camera

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog stands on her patio steps looking down at her Nikon D5500 DSLR camera

I’m not a professional photographer, but I did purchase 3 items that have helped me tremendously whether I’m on the go or simply just want to set up and snap a few shots quickly at home. If you’re new to buying a DSLR (or any camera really) it can be overwhelming when the sales guy tries to add on to your purchase with accessories you may never even use. These 3 little tools are definitely worth it.

Before we get into these tools, allow me to introduce my special guest – Bella, our 9 year old yellow Labrador Retriever. She is the love of our life and this first photo epitomizes her personality – she is a talker! She’s also a frequent and welcome photobomb, but I decided to get some photos of the two of us for this post. She never leaves my side when I’m home and is the best dog in the world. She doesn’t always want to pose how we would like, but we don’t care. We think she’s perfect. Maybe I should include her on the blog more often…what do you think? :-)

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog sits on the steps of her home with her yellow labrador retriever

The 3 best digital camera accessories in my bag right now include (1) a lightweight tripod, (2) cleaning pen, and (3) polarizing lens filter.

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog stands in her backyard grass with her yellow labrador retriever

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog bends to pet and talk to her yellow labrador retriever

Let’s start with the tripod. I have avoided buying one of these for years and now I’m not sure why. Maybe it has to do with the fact that tripods haven’t always been so lightweight or compact, so I knew until now I didn’t want or have the room to bring one with me when I travel. I found this tripod on Amazon for less than $15 and I’ve been using the heck out of it since. It packs up easily into its included carrying case which makes it a breeze to toss into a bag with other accessories and not scratch anything.

Amazon basics camera tripod

Tripods are pretty necessary to stabilize your camera enough to get amazing night shots. I also use this tripod when I want to snap off a few shots of myself using the camera’s timer. It sets up and takes down quickly, too.

The next accessory I’m loving right now is this cleaning pen from Lenspen®. I know it’s not the sexiest of camera accessories but it gets the job done. I don’t have space to be lugging around a lot of camera cleaning tools and this pen-shaped cleaner is perfect for back pockets. I do have some additional cleaning tools that I keep mostly at home so I was looking for something that was much more portable. It does a great job getting smudges off the lens. A really great job, actually.

Lenspen Camera Lens cleaning pen

By far the coolest new accessory I have right now is a polarizing lens filter. I purchased this Platinum 55mm Circular Polarizer Lens Filter from Best Buy. Of the three items this one is the biggest investment, but it also yields a pretty big reward.

Polarizing lens filter and Nikon D5500 DSLR camera

I had never used one of these before but was excited to try it out for some water photography I shot while in Greece. It makes a huge difference in photo quality. The colors really pop so you get lots of depth of color, but it also reduces glare on the water’s surface. It’s almost like your camera lens is wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses. So what you get is a deeper view into the water, as you can see in this photo I took of Ammoudi Bay in Santorini.

Two boats docked at Ammoudi Bay in Oia Santorini Greece

Nikon D5500 DSLR camera with tripod, lenspen, camera lens filter

Hey photographers (especially the pros out there), what are some of your “must have” items in your camera bag? Anything you’d recommend to get started with or upgrade to? Any splurge or steal items I should know about? Comment below or let’s chat on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog takes photos in her backyard with a Nikon D5500 DSLR camera

A close up photo of Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog taking a photo using her Nikon D5500 DSLR camera

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes blog poses in her backyard with the sun setting behind her.

A quick note about the photos in this blog post – they were taken with an iPhone and not a DSLR. The sun was setting and if you know anything about Texas weather this time of year, it’s still hot. So dressing up for a fall shoot meant working quickly! But given those challenges I’m kind of digging the airy golden sunset look the camera captured. Not every shot has to be absolutely perfect, so don’t beat yourself up over it.

Also, I hope you enjoyed meeting my special guest! She hopes you love her mom’s blog. ;-)


Striped lace hoodie | Jeans | Fringe Boots

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This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

The 3 Best Digital Camera Accessories in My Bag Right Now appeared first on Cathedrals and Cafes.

2 thoughts on “The 3 Best Digital Camera Accessories in My Bag Right Now

  1. Hi Erin,
    Your camera insights were helpful. I totally agree with your comments about a tripod. Being a portrait artist I have definitely learned to use this great tool in my studio. About five years back I purchased a Canon EO3. It is a little larger than your camera. Has been giving me some great shots with the help of a tripod. In photographing Canvas oil paintings equal or balanced lighting is very important indoors. I actually like to wait for a cloudy overcast day so that I can take my work outside. Clouds are a great filter for bringing out the colors in my paintings.
    With our move recently to a new location I am sorry to say that my camera in its bag with all the accessories became missing which I have not been able to replace. So with my next purchase I will remember this blog about your camera. Your photography has been excellent.
    Sincerely, Dorothy


    1. Hi Dorothy! Thank you for stopping by and reading. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, but so sorry to hear about your lost camera. Hopefully it will turn up in a box somewhere. If not, I definitely recommend the Nikon if you’re going to replace it, although Canon makes great cameras as well. I also love taking photos on a cloudy day. It’s the perfect natural lighting. Thank you again for your sweet comments on my blog! xo


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