No one is more obsessed with gadgets and gear in general than photographers and it’s around this time of year that thoughts turn to wish lists. So I thought I’d put together a different kind of list than the usual “what to get for a shutterbug” list. With my list, what you should get depends on what you already have or what problem you might want to solve. Here are my top ten based on items I actually use and love.

 

  1. If you’re tired of missing shots because your speedlights:
    • don’t fire consistently with the infrared system most manufacturers build in
    • don’t fire because they’re in a softbox
    • don’t fire outside because it’s too bright for the infrared system,

    Then you need a radio remote system like PocketWizard makes. It fires your lights every time, has huge range and can control your speedlights using TTL signals from the camera.

     

  2. If you’re a Nikon shooter and use a PocketWizard Mini TT1 on your camera,

     
    Then you need the PocketWizard PW-DC-N10 power cable. This connects the TT1 to the camera via the 10 pin terminal and provides power so you won’t need to replace that expensive lithium disc battery again because you forgot to turn it off after your last shoot.

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  4. If you’re looking for a way to attach your camera to your tripod head with a standard Arca Swiss clamp,

     
    Then don’t get a camera body plate, get an L-Plate specific to your camera and make sure the base is threaded so you can attach a strap or other accessory without having to remove the plate. Really Right Stuff and ProMediaGear both make excellent ones.

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  6. If you shoot a lot in bright light and can’t see your LCD properly,

     
    Then you need a Hoodman HoodLoupe. This will allow you to see the LCD display in any light and make proper decisions on exposure and focus.

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  8. If you’re tired of importing and exporting files in Lightroom and managing multiple catalogs,

     
    Then you should try ACDSee Pro. It allows you to manage any file on your computer immediately and has a full suite of correction tools that are very similar in function to Lightroom.

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  10. If you’re looking for a portable light modifier to use with your speedlights,

     
    Then you should check out the Westcott RapidBox Octa. This is a 26″ octagonal reflector you can use with a speedlight that opens and closes like an umbrella. The included diffuser turns it into an octagonal softbox and an optional deflector plate turns it into a beauty light. Very cool.

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  12. If you’re tired of having your camera slide off your shoulder or worried about having it snatched by a thief,

     
    Then you should try the BlackRapid strap. It fits across the body and attaches to your camera via the tripod socket. It’s comfortable and secure.

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  14. If you’re looking for a table top tripod for doing macro or low level work,

     
    Then check out the Table Top Pod from Jobu Designs. It’s simple and sturdy and with a proper head will support anything you’re likely to throw it’s way.

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  16. If you do a lot of travelling and need one adapter to meet all your needs,

     
    Then you should look at the World Adapter EVO USB from SKROSS. It will allow you to plug any cord into any outlet as well as charge two USB devices in a compact design smaller than your 50mm lens.

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  18. If you’ve been searching for a lightweight pair of gloves that will still allow you to operate all the controls on your camera,

     
    Then you should check out the Manzella Silkweight Windstopper gloves. They’re great on their own most of the time and can be used as liner gloves inside mittens in extreme cold.