What equipment do I need?
One of the most common questions that I am asked is – “I would like to get more serious with my photography, what equipment should I buy to get better pictures?”
Well it is not an easy question to answer as a lot depends on the type of photography that you want to do. I will address this post from the nature / wildlife photographers area.
A DSLR camera, one that will take interchangeable lenses. Yes you can use other cameras and I know some great photographers that do. A DSLR allows you to switch out lenses and do upgrades using the same camera body. Also a camera that is at least 8 megapixels is a good place. If your camera meets the above specifications then I would upgrade other equipment first.
A good wide angle lens for landscape and a good telephoto lens for wildlife is a must. You do not need to go with the $14000.00 lens but small improvements in your lens quality and range will help you to properly frame your pictures better. I have a amazing Sigma 150-600 that I LOVE for my wildlife. Well worth every penny!!!
For nature and wildlife I would stay away from spending on any flashes. In my opinion more important areas should be updated first.
Tripod / Monopod
If you do not have a good tripod this is an area that you should look at. The cheaper tripods are fine as a platform to hold your camera in bright light but nothing less. A good tripod will hold your camera still and allow you to pan with your lens. You can use your tripod for long night exposures and also to hold your larger lenses. Monopods are a great option if you like to hike or just need some extra support for a big lens in bright light. They are cheaper than a tripod and a lot lighter. These are designed to add some additional support when hand holding.
A good carrying bag is a must to keep things organized and safe. If you do a lot of hiking get a good backpack and you will never regret it.
Extra batteries are relatively cheap and a great idea. Nothing is worse than getting out to a location and running out of power. A in-vehicle charger is also a good idea to charge your batteries if you are going to be on location for a number of days.
Accessories / Equipment
Other items like filters, remotes, etc can also help improve your photography. My way of telling if I need something or not is if I have needed it at least a couple times I will put it on my list to buy. I NEVER buy something if I don’t need it for some type of shooting.