What’s in my (Camera) Bag?

There’s a new addition to our family, but luckily I don’t have to feed it or send it to college. But let me tell you, it has given me some schoolin’. After stalking my favorite bloggers and friends for about two years, I finally made the plunge and brought home a big-girl camera.

Isn’t she beautiful?  Sony A65

Sony A65 DSLR camera

Yes, I went ahead and upgraded right away to the Tamron AF 18-270mm lens for Sony, even though I don’t know what those numbers mean exactly. I would NEVER have done this without the benefit of being able to play with both lenses in the store. More about Cardinal Camera in a minute.

I also quickly acquired a whole bunch of accessories.

must have DSLR Camera accessories

  1. +1 +2 +4 +10 Close-Up Macro Filter Set with Pouch that I learned about from Courtney at ClickItUpANotch.com.
  2. Automatic Flash I wasn’t going to buy this right away, until I saw that they were relatively cheap, at about $20. Now I know the magic of making shadows completely disappear.
  3. Lens Cap Clip. This clips onto the camera strap and holds the lens cap. Brilliant. I already labeled the inside of my lens cap, because I’m expecting to lose that any minute now.
  4. Padded Insert for Dslr Camera. More on that below.
  5. Memory card. Yes, you have to buy these separately, and you have to buy a certain one (class 10), although I limped along for a few days on the card from my crappy little point and shoot camera while awaiting the awesome Eye-Fi card. More on that below, too.
  6. I read about the Wireless Remote Control, and again, relatively cheap at $7, I bought it, but haven’t used it yet.
  7. Lens cap filter. This filter doesn’t do anything fancy…it just protects the very expensive lens from getting scratched and becoming a “very expensive paperweight”. Probably worth the $15 or so.
  8. Microfiber cloths. I already have a bunch, so I threw a couple in my bag.
  9. Battery charger that came with the camera. I didn’t buy a secondary battery just yet, but probably will.
  10. (Not pictured) I also grabbed a 3-pack of Clear LCD Screen Protectors, which go right over my little LCD display, which is going to take a beating, just like any phone or iPad screen.

Mostly, though, I absolutely, positively had to have the Eye-Fi 16GB Pro X2 memory card. It talks to my computer and downloads shots immediately after I take them in my office. It also automatically downloads on-location shots once I return to the office. I can even change the settings, and have it download to my iPad when I’m out on location, so I can send a high-quality picture on the go. I’m still figuring out how to use it in all the settings, but I’ve been happy that their customer service has been willing to help.

wireless download DSLR camera card


About that time, I was feeling pretty broke, so I wasn’t about to spring for some of those fancy camera bags. Instead, I purchased a Padded Insert for Dslr Camera from Amazon.


padded camera bag insert

I paired it with a $30 purse from TJ Maxx. Now I can carry this or switch out to whatever bag I’m using.

camera bag with DSLR camera padded insertcamera bag with padded camera insert

Here’s a camera accessory that you might not think of including in your bag, but I now consider essential equipment, thanks to my Angel Photo Advisor and Pro Photographer, Kara Raudenbush. (She took my awesome headshots, by the way.) Tissues are great for throwing over my external flash to dampen the flash just a bit. That one little tip has made all the difference in my early photographs. (And yes, it is ironic that I can’t actually get the shot I want here- without shadows- because I am taking a picture of the thing that makes the shadows go away. Ah, well, the perfectionist in me will have to take a number.)

DSLR camer accessories include tissues

And speaking of tips, if you aren’t already following her, you’ll want to read up on what Courtney  has to say about getting off of Auto mode. I can honestly say, that between her great articles that I’ve been reading over the last year, and the hands-on advice from Kara Raudenbush (who is a natural teacher), I have only shot in auto mode twice, and I didn’t like it at all. I can get the actual picture that I want every single time, using the aperture, shutter, ISO, and exposure settings. Maybe just not in the first take. 

I hope you love the pictures that I’ve been sharing. I hope it makes your organizing and decorating adventures even more exciting. And I also hope one more thing…

When you get ready to buy your next big purchase, especially if that is an expensive camera, I hope that you’ll go and check out your neighborhood shops. My “neighborhood” shop actually was in the second largest mall in America. But still, the staff at Cardinal Camera (Devin, my new boyfriend) spent over an hour with me going over the different camera models and lenses, helping me make a great purchase. I got the same deal, perhaps even better, than if I had ordered online. Ideally, when I pop into the store with a quick question or for a full lesson, they are better able to help me on the spot because they know what kind of photography I do. Sadly, since last Christmas when I purchased my camera, Cardinal Camera has closed this location. But I’ll head to the local camera shop in the nearest town when I need more advice and gear.

The more people that buy local, the better the likelihood is that the local shop will be there in a year. Shop local whenever you can.

(I know, again, ironic that I’m giving you Amazon links and then telling you to go shop local. To each his own.)

I’m not a photography expert by any means, and I never will be, but if you have any questions about my new camera or yours, I’m happy to take a stab at answering, or maybe sweet talking my amazing photographer friends to weigh in.

Did you get a new DSLR camera in the last year? Do you have some of these same accessories?

*This post is chock full of affiliate links, which just means that Amazon might buy me coffee if you click through on any of these products I’ve told you about, but you won’t pay more for this insider advice, I promise.