Summer Cameras - Kit
Hot New Gear! Best Summer Kit
Once you've got the basic kit in place some extra purchases can make that extra ounce of difference that'll take your experience and even your pictures up a notch. Whether it's a tripod, a bag to carry your gear around in, or extra flash to totally change up the results, here's a rundown of some summer-tastic photo kits...
Superzoom Expansion Kit
Extra kit doesn't always have to cost an arm and a leg, and those on a modest budget looking for ways to expand their camera kit have plenty of options available...
Sigma Microfibre Lens Cloth - £6
It's easy to overlook a dirty lens, but excess fingerprints, dirt or markings can cause issues with final image quality. Rubbing it down with a tissue or similar will leave fibrous remnants that won't help, so investing in a quality yet affordable microfibre lens cloth is the solution.
Panasonic DMW-CZ18 - £55
Having a camera on display all day isn't always ideal, so a bag is the ideal solution to hide away and protect your gear. Panasonic's own DMW CZ18 offering has an easily accessible top section and a front pocket should you wish to carry other items too.
Gorillapod SLR Zoom - £35
This bendable tripod-like accessory can wrap around all kinds of objects and terrain. It's unobtrusive to carry around in a small bag, and when you're dealing with an 486mm superzoom equivalent this can be the essential sturdy support that you need.†
Micro Four Thirds Accessories
Micro Four Thirds is all about being small and light. To help keep your cool in the hot summer sun there are plenty of additions to help beef up your system, and the E-P1 wears them all rather trendily too...
Olympus FL-14 flash - £160
Attach to the E-P1's hotshoe and the powers of flash will be bestowed upon you. Bright summer sun can be so harsh in illuminating subjects that a much-needed pop of fill-in flash can make all the difference to creating a stunning image.
Domke satchel bag -£100
Not immediately identifiable as a camera bag, the Domke is a classic street-smart offering that's been successful for decades. It looks the part too, whether picked up in its ‘sand', ‘olive', brown or black finish. Its durable cotton finish is high quality and coated for weather-resistance. Discreet storage at its very best.
Optical Viewfinder VF-1 - £100
If the LCD screen's not for you or that bright summer sun is proving too reflective, then framing up an image using an optical viewfinder can be of help. The VF-1 has a fixed focal length of 35mm (roughly matches the Olympus 17mm pancake), so this needs to be considered when using a zoom or lenses of different focal lengths.
Olympus MF-2 - £150
Add this adaptor and your E-P1 will take advantage of older Olympus OM-type lenses. With some 30 years of releases, the ability to add such a vast array of glass to the system opens up an entirely new retro door of creativity.
DSLR Summer Hiking Kit
Setting up in the hills means you'll want to keep it light and easy but also have those magical extra accessories to push your photography to the next level. From bags to filters, there are plenty of additions worthy of purchase...
Manfrotto 055XPROB & 804RC2 three-way pan/tilt head - £120 + £50
A good tripod is ideal for low-light situations, particularly landscapes, but can also hugely assist with composing an image. The Manfrotto ‘basic' set-up is this affordable, robust tripod with three-way pan and tilt head for accurate, lockable adjustments.
Kata Bumblebee PL-220 backpack - £250
Every gram counts, especially when lugging a lot of gear around. Kata's new Bumblebee range weigh very little, supports in all the right places, yet is strong and durable. The mid-level PL-220 is fully customisable, can hold numerous lenses, a couple of DSLR bodies and still leaves room for your sandwiches too.
Hoya PRO1D Circular Polariser filter - £65 to £160
This ‘magic' filter not only offers extra protection to the front element of the lens, but can be used to counter reflective surfaces, darken skies and improve colour saturation. Screw filters are available in 52-82mm diameters, so ensure you have the right size for your lens.
Ultimate Travel Accessories
From lugging kit around, to making the right choice of high-quality tripod, and ensuring you have enough battery juice to get you through an extended period of shooting - there are many important extras that the ultimate travelling photographer needs to consider this summer...
Think Tank Airport Takeoff roller bag - £250
You'll want to keep precious camera gear close at hand and well protected should you be boarding a plane. Think Tank's roller bag offering can be easily wheeled around an airport, adheres to international carry-on size and is big enough for two DSLR bodies and an array of lenses and accessories.
DSLR Battery Grip†
(Nikon MB-D10 for D300s, Canon BG-E7 for Canon 7D, VG-C90AM for Sony Alpha a850) - £150 to £290
Adding a battery grip to your DSLR will enable it to last longer, often increase the continuous shooting burst rate, and add an additional shutter button to use in portrait format. For a long day's shooting with nowhere to nip off for a charge up, it can be the ideal addition.
Giottos Vitruvian VGR9255 Tripod plus MH5310-630 Ball Head - £200
Lightweight and compact, with an extension height of 157cm, the Vitruvian combines aluminium tripod excellence with the versatility of a ball head. A max load of 4kg can take a number of DSLR cameras - and at a collapsible size of 40cm and a carry case included, it's easy to carry around.