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Outdoor Photography Equipment Top 12 Recommendations

Many photographers will often head off for adventures to capture breathtaking photos during perfect conditions in the great outdoors. We may want to emulate beautiful images, which we’ve seen on social media of forests, seascapes or mountain views. Whichever subject you’re going to photograph, from wildlife to landscapes, action to cityscapes, you may find yourself outdoors at any time of year, come rain or shine. Whether you’re new to photography or more experienced, it pays to know what outdoor photography gear you’ll need to nail the shot.

The Essential Outdoor Photography Gear You Need

This guide will help you pick the most essential photo accessories to bring when you next set off to brave the elements and help you to get the perfect shot during your own adventures.

The Outdoor Photography Accessories Every Photographer Needs

There are a huge number of accessories available for every situation a photographer may find themselves in. This can be daunting and costs can add up quickly, but which outdoor photography accessories are essential for every photographer, helping them to capture amazing images? Discover the best camera bag to carry all your gear, what features to look for in a travel tripod and get advice on protecting your equipment if the skies do open up.

Outdoor photography in the mountains

Outdoor Camera Bags

One of the most important accessories for any outdoor photographer is the camera bag that they use to carry photography gear on adventures. Being able to comfortably walk, hike, or climb freely is crucial, so a specially designed outdoor camera backpack is normally preferable. There are many hundreds of backpacks to choose from, with no single one being the perfect solution for everyone, however we’ve highlighted some essential features to look for.

  1. Are the materials water resistant and does the bag include a rain cover? Often backpacks will have a DWR coating (durable water repellent) as well as a separate rain cover in case it really pours down.
  2. Is there enough room for all of your gear? Consider the size of your camera with at least one or two extra lenses as well as essential accessories. These should include camera cleaning equipment, perhaps portable hard drives if you’re on an extended trip, a tripod as well as spare clothing and some snacks. If you shoot wildlife, you’ll need space for a longer telephoto lens, whereas if you shoot cityscapes this may not be necessary. Leave a little room to grow if you’re new to photography, as you may acquire new kit as your skills develop.
  3. What kind of flexibility is there in the storage system? Some backpacks allow you to add extra items on the exterior using MOLLE or similar attachment points. Can the internal dividers be adjusted to suit your gear and are there pockets for a water bladder or bottle? A versatile and expandable pack makes good sense in the long run, particularly if you want some flexibility to bring different equipment on different adventures.
  4. Some bags are modular and include removable camera ‘inserts’. These make a great choice for photographers and content creators who bring different equipment on their trips. You can buy another insert for more or less gear, leaving space for clothes, a tent or simply remove the insert completely and use the bag as a regular backpack without a camera.
  5. Comfort is key so look for a harness system that includes well padded shoulder straps, a waist belt and chest strap if you carry heavier loads.
  6. It can be useful to have quick access to your camera while hiking if you happen to spot a fleeting moment to photograph. That’s why some bags offer multiple access points – from the side like a sling, the top, and front or rear. Rear camera access allows you to put the bag down in wet or muddy conditions, which is often ideal, but isn’t quick.
  7. Do you need space for a laptop or tablet? The option to bring a device for editing while we’re travelling or on an extended adventure can be extremely useful.
  8. Look for a long or Lifetime Guarantee for the original owner, from the most generous manufacturers. A good backpack makes a great investment and can last a lifetime if you look after it.

City street photography with 3 Legged Thing

Here are three of our top pick camera bags, which combine several of these essential features and all come with a lifetime warranty for the original owner.

  1. Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III Camera Backpack Black – The Flipside series is one of the most enduring Lowepro backpack ranges and comes in several sizes and colours. The third generation has 18 litres of gear space, with room for pro-sized camera gear or a drone and a 15” laptop. The backpack features improved bump protection with better waterproofing, YKK® zippers and an All Weather AW Cover for excellent protection from the elements.

Lowepro Flipside backpack from the 3rd generation

  1. The Everyday Backpack 15L Zip V2 Black from Peak Design has 15 litres of gear storage (a larger Everyday Backpack 20L model is also available). This pack is extremely popular with good reason – eco-conscious photographers will love the weatherproof 100% recycled 400D nylon canvas shell and there’s also a waterproof 900D bottom liner. Dual side access, space for a 13” laptop and clever, flexible protective internal organisation give you plenty of options. This range is extremely comfortable, with quick-drying mesh padding and a quick-connecting, storable sternum strap.

Peak Design 15 litre backpack

  1. Our third option is the super versatile WANDRD PRVKE 21L Photography Bundle. Now in its third generation, this backpack is a completely modular carrying system updated with more comfort and extra padding. You can get the PRVKE series from WANDRD in a wide range of colours and carrying capacities, with this model offering 21 litres of space and a removable ‘Essential Camera Cube’. If you shoot in more urban environments, where weather is less of an issue, this makes a versatile and expandable choice.

WANDRD PRVKE 21L Photography Bundle

Outdoor Camera Tripods

A brilliant investment for every outdoor photographer is a good quality tripod. The vast majority of landscape photographers will bring the sturdiest tripod on every excursion, as will many wildlife, sports and action photographers. A tripod helps get sharper shots at lower ISO’s and gives you a platform for shooting long exposures, panoramas and astro photography. As with camera bags, the choice can be daunting, so we’ve locked down three options if you’re new to photography with a tripod.

  1. The Manfrotto Element MII Aluminium Black is an updated entry-level tripod and a great starting point for newcomers. It supports plenty of camera / lens combinations up to 8kg, is sturdy and compact, and well suited to hiking as it weighs just 1.55kg. This kit comes with a ball head too, which presents amazing value at this price point.
  2. As a UK company we had to include the 3 Legged Thing Pro 2.0 Leo and AirHed Pro LV Bronze colour. Not only does 3 Legged Thing give their gear awesome names and eye catching colours, but they are simply brilliant British products. This particular kit includes a ball head, packs down to just 37.4cm and supports a whopping 30kg, showing off some of the innovations you’ll get from any 3 Legged Thing tripod.
  3. The Peak Design aluminum travel tripod adds some useful features for travel, including being quicker to setup/takedown and supports a larger camera or smartphone. It is suitably lightweight at 1.56kg, supports up to 9.1kg and packs down to a very compact 39.1cm. It’s a brilliant little tripod from a super popular range, which also includes the high-end carbon fibre model that shaves 1/2 kg off the weight.

Shooting outdoors with 3 Legged Thing Tripod

Camera and Lens Covers

Camera and lens covers offer protection, camouflage, or both, and may be invaluable in some situations you find yourself. If you’re looking for the perfect way to camouflage your equipment from wildlife, then Easy Cover Silicone Skins are the ideal choice. However, if protecting your equipment from the elements is your biggest concern, then a rain cover is essential to allow you to shoot gorgeous photographs – no matter what the weather.

Choosing a silicone skin for your specific camera also adds protection from knocks and bumps, while maintaining full access to camera controls. A rain cover is made to be more flexible, but you should still choose one which fits your camera/lens combination. A small size Vanguard Alta Rain Cover fits a camera with a shorter lens, whereas a large Vanguard Alta Rain Cover is suitable for a longer 400mm or similar telephoto lens. Rain covers are perfect for adverse conditions, as well as capturing beautiful waterfalls and seascapes.

Use a rain cover to protect your camera and lens

GPS Adapters

A camera GPS unit or adapter can be very useful for cameras without built-in GPS. These will let you track your adventures on a map, or enter caption information in the image metadata, so you know exactly where a photo was taken from. The Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver includes an electronic compass and can be attached to compatible DSLR, mirrorless and pro video cameras.

Wireless Camera Remotes

Sometimes taking the most epic photos outdoors requires a remote control for your camera. With a remote control (sometimes called a trigger), you can place yourself in the frame showing off grand scale in the scenery. A remote will also help avoid camera shake during a long exposure shot, or for astrophotography. You can take group photos, create engaging content like time-lapses and even reduce blur with regular landscape photos, as you won’t need to touch the camera to trigger the shutter release.

Canon remote control for camera

Make sure you pick a remote control for your camera brand and camera type. For example the Canon BR-E1 remote controller is compatible with many Canon DSLR and EOS R mirrorless cameras, whereas the Sony RMT-P1BT Remote Commander works with Sony mirrorless cameras. Once you have a camera remote, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this essential accessory.

Storage for Accessories

After photographing all day in the pouring rain, the last thing any photographer needs is a lost or damaged memory card or other accessory. There are innovative accessory storage solutions for just this purpose, which fit inside your main camera bag to make sure this doesn’t happen to any of your equipment.

The Peak Design Travel Tech Pouch in Charcoal will securely store all of your travel essentials within a compact weatherproof bag, as will the 2nd generation Lowepro GearUp Camera Box Medium Size. The Lowepro works perfectly on its own, or packed inside your main camera bag, acting a bit like a Tardis with acres of space inside. A Tenba Tools Reload Universal Card Wallet in Black offers versatile storage to keep your memory cards safe and organised, making it one of the best choices on the market.

Lowepro GearUp organisational accessory

Emergency Camera Cleaning Kit

If you shoot outdoors it goes without saying that you’ll inevitably find yourself, and your gear, getting wet, muddy or dusty at some point. This can cause anything from dust and fingerprints on your lens, to specks of dirt on your camera sensor. Even drops of rain or sea spray on a lens can ruin a perfectly good shot, rendering it unsalvageable even with advanced post processing skills. Sensitive electronic contacts on your camera body can also get wet, which may cause equipment failure, so it’s well worth bringing an emergency camera cleaning kit with you.

Luckily you can pick up everything you need for cleaning in the field easily, you just have to remember to pack them in your bag before you head out! Make sure your images are clear and smear-free by having a handful of lens wipes from the 24 Pack of ZEISS Lens Wipes in your bag. Alternatively you can bring a couple of Spudz 6x6 Inch Micro-Fibre Cloth in Deep Red, with easy to find bright colours and reusable after washing. A dust blower is another absolute essential, making easy work of rain drops, water drips or dust particles found on any of your equipment.

Peak Design backpack

You might even notice dust or rain spots getting onto your sensor when switching lenses. This needn’t ruin your shots, as you can pack a suitably sized sensor cleaner from VisibleDust. These include a full frame EZ Dualpower-X Regular Strength 1.0x Cleaning Kit, the EZ Dualpower-X Regular Strength 1.6x Cleaning Kit for APS-C, or EZ Dualpower-X Regular Strength 1.3x Cleaning Kit for micro four thirds. If conditions are too poor, you can always clean the sensor when you get back to your hotel/camp in the dry.

In order to capture stunning photos in the great outdoors it’s crucial to bring all of the essential camera accessories along with you. Always keep your camera and lens clean and dry and remember to pack accessories in weather-resistant storage. Bring a lightweight, compact tripod, which is strong enough to hold your camera and lens combination. Store all of this in a suitable backpack, which is both waterproof and comfortable, then head out to make some magic happen.

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By Park Cameras on 22/12/2021

Trade in your old equipment

Fast and easy trade in service ensures your old gear is collected efficiently and you are paid quickly! It's very simple to trade in your unwanted photography gear. Just head over to our dedicated Sell or Part Exchange page, fill out the details, and we'll get back to you with an offer for your old gear. Take the cash, or put it towards the cost of your new gear. It's up to you! Find out more