Whether you've been given a camera as a gift or have treated yourself to one, you'll want to look after it. Cameras can be pretty hardy pieces of kit, but there are a number of essential accessories out there to offer added protection.
1 Camera Armour
Cameras can get accidentally dropped and knocked when out in the field, so wrapping your camera in a protective silicone shell can prevent unnecessary damage should it hit the deck. These ‘skins' are designed for specific camera models to take into account button layout and the size and shape of the camera.
2 Protective Filters
Both Skylight 1B and UV filters are transparent, though they do affect your image marginally. A UV cuts out ultraviolet rays and reduces haze, while a Skylight 1B reduces the bluish cast that can occur in outdoor photography. But it's not what they do to the image that's so important, but the protection they provide.
Attach either of these to the front of your lens and they offer an extra layer of protection to the front element of the lens - far better to scratch or crack an inexpensive and replaceable filter than potentially write-off a pricey optic. Once on, they can stay on the front for the life of the lens.
Large LCD displays are lovely, but they can get scratched pretty easily, ruining the quality of your display. Luckily though, there are a number of options out there to protect your screen from such hazards, with the choice of self-adhesive ultra-thin glass protectors, self-adhesive film-type protectors, removable glass LCD protectors and flip-up protective hoods that also feature a slide-out magnifier for enhanced viewing.
4 Rainproof Covers
While some cameras feature dust and moisture seals to protect them from the elements, if you're going to be out in heavy rain or are likely to face conditions where your kit could get drenched, a rain cover is required. Rain covers are available in different sizes to suit different body and lens combinations, with handy sleeves providing access to shooting controls while the lens sleeve can also be adjusted to suit the diameter of the lens.
A dedicated camera bag or case will offer your camera and other accessories much-needed protection when in transit, out on a shoot or simply stored away at home. With padded compartments to protect items from rubbing together, they can also offer protection from the elements, with many offering built-in all-weather covers. They're available in a range of shapes and sizes, so you'll want to ensure your bag is tailored to suit the amount of kit you've got and the way you like to shoot.
6 Underwater Housing
For underwater photography, you can place your DSLR, CSC or compact camera in a purpose-built underwater housing designed specifically for the model of camera you have. With the most expensive models offering a hard anodized aluminium alloy construction, controls for all camera functions and a depth rating of 100m, they can cost as much as the camera.