5 Essential Pieces of Gear All Newcomers to Canon Cameras Should Own

Getting the most out of Canon cameras is made easy with these five affordable pieces of kit.

If you picked up one of the amazing Canon cameras that have been on sale in recent weeks you’re probably wondering what lenses and accessories you should buy for it. Canon users have access to one of the most robust line-ups of lenses, bags, tripods, flashes, and countless other accessories. This can make shopping for new gear quite overwhelming though. We have put together a list of five items that we think every new Canon camera owner should make a part of their kit. Join us after the break to see what we recommend.

Getting the most out of your new camera, enjoying it and having fun with it, and making beautiful images can be made much easier with the addition of just a few key items. One of the first things you should do is buy a new lens or two so that you can replace the kit lenses that come with Canon cameras. You’re should also look into getting a new bag that is both stylish and protective, a tripod that can handle the weight of your new camera and lenses, and a strobe so that you can shoot in any lighting conditions.

You might be thinking to yourself that all of these items sound expensive, but we’ve got good news for you. Because the Canon marketplace is so vast, and because so many manufacturers make items to work with Canon cameras, these items are all incredibly affordable Just because they’re cheap, it doesn’t mean the quality is low. Lets take a quick look at five items all owners of Canon cameras should make a part of their kit.


Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS USM


While the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS is by far the most expensive item on this list, it should be considered a must-have for all owners of Canon cameras. Canon’s L series line of professional lenses are hard to beat. The 24-105mm f4 L IS USM comes packaged with many high-end Canon cameras, and for good reason. This lens is built like a tank, it’s weather sealed, offers fast autofocusing speeds, and the image quality is superb.

In our review we said:

“The fast autofocusing speed, silent motors, image stabilization, sharpness, color rendering, and zoom range make this lens a no brainer for most photographers. Rightfully so, it has earned a special place on our list of recommended lenses for Canon owners.”

The 24-105mm focal range is incredibly versatile and lets you go from wide angle to telephoto in just a few seconds. One minute you can be taking a landscape shot, and then seconds later you can be shooting a closeup portrait. This is without doubt one of the best lenses on the Canon platform for running and gunning. The lens is also weather sealed so you can be out in the elements and will have nothing to worry about (as long as your camera is weather sealed too, of course).

Inside the lens you’ll find 18 elements in 13 groups, along with eight aperture blades. The lens also features image stabilization which is good for an extra three stops. It feels great in the hands thanks to decently sized zoom and autofocus rings, while the body itself has a nice light texture to it. It’s not too heavy (1.48lbs) and is easy to use for extended periods of time. Image quality is wonderful. You’re going to get nice sharp images, and colors that absolutely pop. Autofocus speeds are very fast too. Overall this lens is a solid performer and great for many genres of photography. Just keep in mind that if you will be using this lens on a crop sensor camera the equivalent focal range will be 38.4-168mm.

If you have the extra money to spend on this lens you will not be disappointed. The overall versatility of the 24-105mm f4 and its ease of use makes this a great lens for owners of Canon cameras. Used, you can find these lenses for under $500, but if you want piece of mind and would prefer a new lens, you’ll be happy with your outlay.

Buy now ($759): Amazon


Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS Image Samples



Pro Tip: The straps that come with Canon cameras might look nice, but they aren’t very comfortable. We recommend that you pick up an affordable padded camera sling that will help disperse the weight of your camera across your upper body, and will give you a secure way to carry around your gear.


Canon 50mm F1.8 STM Lens


The Canon 50mm f1.8 is a lens every Canon shooter should have in their camera bag. The lens’ light weight, small footprint, and fast aperture make it a must have. This little beauty is capable of producing great images, and offers the perfect way to introduce yourself to prime lenses. For under $130 you’re getting a lens that will not let you down.

In our review we said:

“Canon’s 50mm f1.8 STM is a great lens for the beginner, hobbyist, enthusiast or even the professional who likes to rough and tumble their equipment.”

The Canon 50mm f1.8 is one of the best f1.8 nifty fifties on the market. Many manufacturers have tried to replicate this lens and it’s performance, but they still cannot match what this little gem can do. Other manufacturer’s versions of this lens are usually double the price too, so this lens represents outstanding value for the money. The 50mm f1.8 has six elements in five groups, and seven rounded aperture blades.

Because of the price point you might be thinking there must be some caveats, but you’d be wrong. Images are excellent for the price that you pay. They are sharp (especially when the lens is stopped down just a little), colors are nice, the bokeh produced is pleasing to the eye, and autofocus performance is really good. There is just a hint of color fringing, but software like Capture One 12 and Lightroom can take care of that with a single click of the mouse.

The build quality is also good; you’re not getting a premium lens here but the plastic is tough, and it will survive being tossed around in your camera bag. There is no weather sealing so keep that in mind, and if you will be using it on a crop sensor camera the equivalent focal length will be 80mm.

The Canon 50mm f1.8 is really a marvelous little lens. It’s small enough to put on your camera and walk around with all day. It’s a great portrait lens, it’s a great street photography lens, and can be an excellent event lens too. When it comes to must own lenses for Canon cameras, this one is right there at the top.

Buy now ($125): Amazon


Canon 50 mm F1.8 Image Samples



Pro Tip: Keep the front elements of your lenses nice and clean at all times. It is far easier to remove water spots and dust with a basic lens cleaning kit than it is with photo editing software. This one has everything you need to keep your lenses in tip top shape.


Yongnuo 560 III Radio Flash


Anytime you get a new camera you should invest in a flash too. If you’re new to world of photography, don’t let flashes and strobes scare you. The best time to start using one is right off of the bat. Fortunately you can get an incredible flash for Canon cameras that is well under $100. The Yongnuo 560 III is not only one of the most affordable flashes around, it’s also one of the best performing too. Many photographers use these, and for good reason.

In our review we said:

“The Yongnuo 560 III should dispel a lot of myths. Not only is it affordable and well built, but it also is a killer deal overall. For significantly less than what all the big players offer, you’re getting a flash with radio transmission built in.”

The Yonguo is a fully manual flash, meaning you will need to set the power output and the flash range to match your focal length. But don’t let that put you off. While automatic flash systems such as E-TTL are great, being able to fully control and manipulate light will give you a better understanding of how flashes work. Think of it as jumping out of auto mode on your camera and using manual mode. You’ll be able to create far better images because of it.

The Yonguo 560 III is easy to use thanks to a large LCD display on the back of the unit and nicely laid out controls. It offers great light output (guide number 58 at 105mm), the recycle time is three seconds when used at full power, power control is from 1/1 to 1/128, it has a tilt and swivel head so that you can bounce flash easily, and it has a built in radio transmitter.

If you want to use the Yongnuo 560 III in a soft box, just purchase the wireless flash controller. This will give you a great starting point if you plan to shoot portraits. Even with the transmitter purchase you still won’t be spending more than $100. This really is a bargain, and should be one of the first accessories owners of Canon cameras look into.

Buy now ($58.10): Amazon

Wireless Flash Controller Buy Now ($36.96): Amazon


Yongnuo 560 III Sample Images



Pro Tip: Flashes like the Yongnuo III use AA batteries for their power. One of the best ways to minimize cost of batteries is to use rechargeable ones. These rechargeable batteries are some of the best you can buy and will ensure that you can get many shots before they need a recharge.


Vanguard VEO2 235CB Tripod


A good sturdy tripod should be high on your list of things to buy. Tripods are certainly not an accessory you want to compromise on as it will be holding thousands of dollars worth of your gear. Having said that though, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get one that won’t let you down. Vanguard is known for producing top quality products, and this tripod continues that fine tradition.

In our review we said:

“At a bit under $200, you’re getting a solid deal. If you’re a landscape photographer, travel photographer or an urban explorer, this is the tripod that you’ll most likely want to bring with you.”

The Vanguard VEO 2 235 CB is a lightweight tripod perfect for use in the great wide open, in a sprawling urban jungle, or in a studio setting. For under $200 you will be getting a carbon fiber tripod that is incredibly sturdy, weighs just 2.63lbs, and the included ball head offers all the controls any photographer could ever need.

The VEO 2 235CB can hold up to 13.2lbs worth of gear, which means it will support the weight of a Full Frame camera and a heavier lens. When folded the tripod is just 15.87 inches long which makes it easy to carry around. When unfolded the VEO 2 has a maximum height of 57.1 inches.

The twist lock legs are easy to extend and retract, and they feel rock solid. You certainly won’t have to worry about your gear when it’s attached to this tripod. The VEO BH-50 ball head is easy to use, offers smooth control, and has a bubble level built in so that you can compose your shot perfectly.

This is a great tripod to take along with you on your adventures, and it is a great companion for Canon cameras. It’s lightweight, sturdy, comes with an easy to use ball head, and it will support your gear with ease. Check it out.

Buy now ($146.09): Amazon


Vanguard VEO2 235CB Product Images



Pro Tip: Not all Canon cameras and lenses are weather sealed so make sure you’re ready to protect your investment by keeping some weather proof camera and lens covers in your camera bag. These are affordable, and will allow you to keep on shooting when the weather takes a turn for the worse.


Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag


When you get a new camera and new lenses you’re going to want to get a bag that is not only functional, but comfortable and stylish too. The Peak Design Everyday 15-inch canvas messenger bag is one of the best looking messenger bags around, and it’s also very practical; a win-win.

In our review we said:

“I like the Peak Design Everyday Messenger bag; and if I like it other folks will love it. It has a damned great build quality, it’s comfortable when properly set up, can carry lots of gear, has a great way to take the weight off your back, the best locking design I’ve seen thus far, and looks nice.” 

This bag is large enough to carry a full size DSLR, can hold up to three lenses, will house a 15-inch laptop, a tripod, and many other accessories. The divider system is quite different from others you’ll see, and is possibly one of the best we have used. The unique way the dividers can fold enables you to eliminate all the dead space in your bag. Because of this, you can carry the maximum amount of gear and it will still be well protected.

If quick access to your gear is very important you’ll love the Everyday Messenger. Thanks to the top zipper you have almost instant access to your camera, lenses, and accessories. This is a nice feature that will serve photojournalists and documentarians who need to get to their gear rapidly so they don’t miss the shot.

Another great feature is the strapping system. Peak Design spent a great deal of time making sure the padded straps could evenly disperse the weight in the bag across your entire upper body. The straps make this bag incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time, which is great as you never know how long you will be out in the field.

The Everyday Messenger is waterproof thanks to the waxed canvas finish, and it’s also very stylish with its color coded stitching. The Maglatch system is a quiet and secure way to lock away your expensive gear, but it also gives you quick access to everything inside. If you want to have a bag that looks good, but is also very practical and comfortable, this one bag may be the one for you.

Buy now ($239.99): Amazon


Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag Product Images