Useful Gear For Photographers in 2024


Photography is ever-changing, with new techniques, new ideas, and new gear. Focussing on the gear, there is a plethora of new types of equipment released year on year. Some is old stuff revamped, some entirely new. Some of it is very useful, and some a pointless waste of money.

As a photographer with quite a few years under my belt, I have come to find that there is some gear I cannot do without. This is the type of gear that will go with me almost anywhere.

Cameras and lenses are obviously essential gear, however, that’s stating the obvious. Tripods are essential to some and not for others, and very much depend on the type of shoot you are going on.

What I want to look at today, from a personal viewpoint is the gear I find essential in 2024.

Summary of Gear Mentioned:

Essential GearKey FeaturesProsConsPrice Range (as of 2024)
ND Filters (Kase Magnetic)Magnetic attachment, various densitiesEasy to use, high-quality glassMore expensive than traditional filtersCheck here.
Mini Tripod (Cullman)Compact, durable, metal constructionSturdy, portableLess flexible than flexible tripodsCheck here.
Action Cam (DJI Osmo Action)Waterproof, in-built stabilizationHigh-quality video, durableLimited image quality compared to DSLRsCheck here.
Mobile Apps (PhotoPills)Ephemeris, exposure calculator, planning toolsComprehensive features, user-friendlyRequires learning curveCheck here.
Remote Shutter ReleaseWired/wireless, intervalometerReduces camera shake, versatileBattery dependentCheck here.
Portable LED LightRechargeable, adjustable color temperaturePortable, continuous light sourceLess powerful than some flash unitsCheck here.
Small Power BankHigh-capacity, USB-C outputCan charge multiple devices, portableAdditional item to carryCheck here.

ND Filters

As a hybrid photographer, ND filters are at the top of the list of essentials. I love to shoot long exposures, capturing motion in water and in clouds. The ethereal look makes for some very evocative images. They nearly always require an ND.

As I also shoot a lot of video stock, I also need to keep the light levels down. This is so that I can achieve the 180-degree shutter rule. This is a technique to keep the camera’s shutter speed twice that of the frame rate. So if I were shooting at 25 fps, I would need a shutter speed of 1/50th second. As you can imagine that’s impossible to achieve in bright light without an ND.

I have been through pretty much all types of filters, from circular to square, but I now use magnetic circular filters from Kase. They are easy to use and great quality.

A set of Kase Magnetic Filters with leather case
Kase Magnetic ND Filters. By Jason Row Photography

A Mini Tripod

A full-sized tripod is a cumbersome beast, especially if you are walking around for an extended time. That’s why mini tripods are so valuable. They fit in your camera bag, taking little space or weight. A good one can be very sturdy even during the longest of exposures.

There are a couple of types to look at. The newer Gorilla Pod style allows you to clamp the tripod to trees or streetlights. However they do have a reputation for fragility

The other is the more traditional solid, three-legged mini tripod. These are less flexible but more rigid and durable. Always go for a metal-based one and factor in a decent mini-ball head when buying.

Cullen Mini Tripod with ball and socket head
My Cullman Mini Tripod is an ideal addition to my camera bag. By Jason Row Photography

An Action Cam

Might seem odd but an action cam is a very useful addition to any kit bag. Matched with the mini tripod you can shoot great-looking time-lapses and video. You can also use it in a storm without fear that it will get soaked and damaged.

That waterproofing allows you to stick it underwater for some really original images be that in the sea of just a local city fountain. If you enjoy vlogging about your photography an action cam can provide you with a small, discrete yet high-quality video camera. With in-built stabilization and a mini tripod, you have everything you need to get a vlog out.

DJI Osmo Action camera in a train window
The original DJI Osmo Action always travels with me. By Jason Row Photography

Mobile Apps

Smartphones have revolutionized photography. Not only can we take incredible images and video with our phones but there are also a plethora of apps to help us plan and learn photography.

My most used app is PhotoPills. Not only is it an ephemeris but also calculates exposure when using filters, and shows moon phases, depth of field, and field of view. All from one cheap simple app.

Beyond that, there are amazing weather apps, one of my favorites being Clear Outside. This shows cloud cover for a given time and location. There are drone planning apps that show ATC zones and other dangers plus things like Google Earth and Steetview for location planning. Mobile apps are definitely something I cannot do without.

Screenshot of the Photo Pills Photography app
Photo Pills is a brilliant photography planning app.

Remote Shutter Release

A manual, electronic, or wireless and remote shutter release is a small, lightweight gadget that can really improve your photography. This is especially so if using a mini tripod which might have some vibrations if the camera is fired directly from the shutter.

More advanced wired and wireless versions will often have intervalometers built in allowing you to shoot time-lapses as well as have more advanced self-timer options.

Third-party remotes are often significantly cheaper than OEM and often more functional to boot.

Portable LED Light

In days gone by, the flashgun used to be the only source of portable light for the photographer on the move, Although perhaps not as obvious as the advance in camera technology, lighting technology has really moved on.

These days we can buy small LED panels powered by rechargeable lithium batteries that give as much power output as a flashgun. They are however continuous lights so you can easily preview the effect of the light on your subject without the need to take multiple images. Their battery life is often good enough for an hour at full power. They are also often able to change the color temperature of their output allowing you to match the ambient light with ease.

A small portable LED light for photography and video
Small portable LEDs take little space but pack a powerful punch. By Jason Row Photography

Small Power Bank

The addition of multiple battery-powered essentials to our kit bags means we may run out of battery power. Whilst we could carry spare batteries for all our electronic gear, a better option is a power bank.

These are small but high-capacity battery packs with USB-C output. You can plug in any of most modern electronic camera gadgets to them either to recharge or to provide power on the go.

They are an inexpensive way to bring extra power to multiple devices and charge quickly at home or in your hotel room.A good one can be had for around $50 and would be sufficiently powerful to charge an iPhone to full 2-3 times.


Most of the items I have listed are small, lightweight, and yet can provide very useful functionality to your photoshoots. There is some wonderful photographic technology out there, beyond the cameras and lenses.

Personally, I think any gear that can improve, prolong, or aid my location shoot is well worth the small extra bulk that it incurs.

Do you have any essential items in your camera bag? If so, let us know in the comments below.

About Author

Jason has more than 35 years of experience as a professional photographer, videographer and stock shooter. You can get to know him better here.

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