5 Must Haves for Your DSLR Camera

If you are thinking about switching to a dslr camera, you may be wondering what all you will need.  What sort of investment will it be?  Maybe you have already switched and still aren’t sure what the must-haves are.

I switched from a point and shoot to a Canon EOS Rebel T1i about a month ago.


I was pretty clueless when I started considering dslr cameras so that I could take better quality photos.   The first big choice is Canon or Nikon?  I went with Canon because my last camera was Canon – it seems like just a personal choice.  In addition, I found if I got last year’s Canon model, it was much cheaper.

I love it so far, but there is one thing that I realized after buying it.  It cannot be exposed to any extreme weather – windy, rainy, very hot, etc.    So, it’s not prime for a lot of outdoor shots.  But, overall, for the money, it’s still a good value.  And, the lenses that you get can be used for any future Canon camera.



I got the T1i kit.  It came with the following:

- The 18/55mm zoom lens shown above
- A 4 hour battery and a 6 hour battery
- External charger
- 8 GB Ultra High Speed No Error SD Card
- Table top tripod (was a bonus gift)
- Cleaner Kit
- Strap

So, that is a good place to start.  But, I quickly began to realize that there were a few other things I needed.  I wish I had found a simple post like this, so since I didn’t, I am making one for you all!

Other than what came in the kit, what are those other must-haves?   Here are five.

1.  Camera Bag.  Be sure to have a safe place to store and transport your equipment.  Some like to have one large bag for everything while others like to have a small bag for easy and quick transport.

I chose a backpack style (not the one shown below).   Bags can be found at BH Photo, Amazon, Best Buy, and so on.


2.  50mm f/1.8 lens if you are doing any portrait style shooting.  I was told by professionals that this is “nice glass” for a fairly inexpensive lens.  It is not a zoom lens so you must physically get closer or further from the subject, but it does blur the background quite nicely (thanks to  the 1.8 Aperture) for portrait style photos.


3.  UV Lens Protectors.  They will protect the lens from the sun and prevent glare, but also, if you get a scratch, wouldn’t you rather it be on the protector than the actual lens?


4.  Lens Cap Holders.  I know, so simple.  But, it didn’t come with one.  Lenses don’t for whatever reason.  I found myself forgetting where I laid the cover.  So, this was a great solution.  They are just simple rubber band things that keep the lens cap attached to the camera.  I’d buy a few.  I hear they occasionally break.


5.  Tripod.  Tripods can get expensive, but I went for this $35 one and got two – one small one that is a few feet tall and another taller one that is five feet tall.  Why a tripod?  Well, if the shutter stays open a while in order to get some light into a darker room, it’s nearly impossible to hold the camera steady.  The result is blurry photos.  A tripod eliminates that.  They fold up nicely and fit right in those little bags that come with them.


And, if you are extra cautious and know you’d freak out if something happened to this new expensive toy, invest in some insurance.  We invested into a personal articles policy through our regular insurance company.  It just about $30-40 a year, depending on the exact cost of what you are insuring!  Way worth it.

Hope that helps!  Did I miss anything?  Did those of you who have a dslr camera find that similar things were must-haves when getting started?



  1. Hi Kristy

    I bought my first DSLR camera last year a Canon EOS 1000D, I bought it to go on an overseas trip to Europe to make sure I had good quality photos, I’ve never looked back.

    The major necessities I went straight for were the camera bag and the UV filter.

    There is so much to learn with them, it is my new passion. Good luck with yours!


  2. great post. I definitely need the lens protecter or and holder. I am forever misplacing my lens cap.

  3. As if you read my mind…I have my DSLR Camera Canon Rebel XSI for 2 years now, and I wanted to buy a new lens for it since long time ago but I couldnt decide which one Because there is so many options I got so overwhelmed…I will read those lens reviews and description ,same thing for the tripod…
    One question: Do you know which lens is good for Zoom and portrait at the same time?
    Thx a million

    • As a beginner, I’m not really sure… I’d search for around 50mm plus zoom and check out user reviews. Anyone out there know? (Maybe someone will read this comment and know.) So glad the info helped!

  4. These are really good tips. I definitely need a UV filter and a lenscap holder.

  5. Great tips, thanks! I have the canon too and I am so clueless. Your camera advice has been really helpful. Let us know what else you figure out in taking good pictures!

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