Get More From Your RAW Files With These 5 Accessories for Photogs

photography accessories
These accessories are a must-have for photographers who want total control over their RAW files.

We have been having a healthy debate recently in regards to RAW files and JPEGS. JPEGS are great for those who want to just go out and enjoy shooting without needing to worry about editing the images later. RAW files are for photographers who want to eek every bit of data out of their pictures. Both are great formats; there’s no right and wrong. But if you like RAW files, and you want to get the most out of them, you should take a look at these five accessories that will help make your images shine.

There’s no doubt about it; when it comes to maximizing your return on every image you shoot, RAW is the way to go. Your camera’s sensor can capture an insane amount of detail, and if you want to make the most of all the data in the image you capture, you need to edit that RAW file yourself. We all spend more hours than we’d like to admit sitting behind a computer manipulating our images, so if you’re going to edit your images, you might as well make sure you have all the tools to do it the right way. Below, you’re going to find five accessories that will help you protect and squeeze every pixel out of your pictures so that you can walk away with the perfect image every time.

Datacolor SpyderX Elite

post processing

There’s absolutely no way you can get the very best out of the RAW files from your camera unless you have a properly calibrated display; that’s just a fact. Monitor calibrators like the Sypder X Elite from Datacolor will ensure your monitor’s color ranges stay within spec, and it will help you dial in proper brightness, contrast, gamma, and hue settings. If you’re serious about your images, trust us when we say you need a monitor calibrator. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • We like the design with the lens addition
  • White matches lots of Apple’s products
  • We like the fact that it now has soft proofing and tablet preview
  • ReCalibration is incredibly fast
  • This is the fastest Spyder yet

Cons

  • Old USB style
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • It’s still mostly the same product as before
  • The software could use a serious graphical and design update

Buy now: $227.98

Loupedeck+

RAW Files

If you want to have ultimate control over Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture One, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and more, the Loupedeck+ is the tool you need to have total control over your RAW files. This keyboard-like device has buttons and dials that are mapped to the most used tools in each piece of software. No more fumbling around with key combinations and no more killing your wrist with a mouse, the Loupedeck+ will let you rule your RAW files with ease. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Improved build quality compared to the first generation Loupedeck
  • Mechanical keys provide much better tactile feedback
  • Significantly more customizable than the original

Cons

  • Lacks basic tilt adjustments
  • No wireless connectivity option and cable is non-removable

Buy now: $249

BenQ SW270C

RAW Files

There’s a lot to love about this BenQ monitor that has been designed with photographers in mind. During our review, we raved about its large color gamut, the straightforward and easy to use controls, and how easy it was to calibrate. Being able to rotate the screen to either portrait or landscape mode took this monitor over the top! This monitor will display your RAW files in all their glory, and thanks to its great performance, you’ll be able to get more from your images. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Covers a wide color gamut
  • Large screen real estate
  • Loads of input options
  • Integrated SD card reader
  • The matte anti-glare coated display and shading hood does a great job minimizing glare
  • Hotkey puck G2 allows you to make adjustments and switch between color spaces easily
  • Significantly more affordable than similarly-equipped competing offerings from Eizo

Cons

  • Included hood is only compatible with X-Rite colorimeters

Buy now: $761.98

Pro Tip: Modern image processing software is incredibly powerful, but to get the most out of it and the RAW files you are processing, you need to know your way around the program. It’s a fact that most photographers barely scratch the surface when it comes to using all of the powerful tools contained in editing software, yet we still come away with good results. Now, imagine if you knew all of the inner workings of your chosen software! Your good images could become great. There are training guides for Capture OneLightroomPhotoshopAffinityON1Luminar 4, and many more out there. Spend a little time teaching yourself about the software, and watch your images begin to shine even more.

Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet – Small

RAW Files

If you want even greater control over your RAW files, you might want to check out the Intuos Pro Creative tablet from Wacom. This small tablet is perfect for the photographer on the go, or for those with small workspaces. Despite its small size, this tablet packs a big punch. The Pro Pen makes it easy to touch up even the most difficult areas in your images, and this model won’t break the bank. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Small and lightweight makes it easy to travel with, and it doesn’t take up much desk space
  • Pleasant to use and makes editing fine details easier thank to the 8,192 levels of pressure
  • The Bluetooth connection makes setup clutter and cord-free
  • Pro Pen is incredibly comfortable to use and offers levels of control that will delight
  • Designed for both left and right-handed content creators
  • Great battery life
  • Works with all major photo editing suites such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Capture One

Cons

  • Initial setup takes a while as you need to input commands and keystroke manually
  • Overall, the software is not the most user-friendly program
  • The plastic used on the tablet is a fingerprint and grease magnet
  • The pen stand that houses the extra tips can be hard to open

Buy now: $239.99

Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD

RAW Files

Okay, so this won’t help you get more from your RAW files, but the Western Digital Wireless SSD will certainly help you protect them. The Western Digital wireless SSD allows you to back up all of your RAW files (and JPEGS) wirelessly or via an SD card while you are out in the field; you don’t even need a computer for it to work. If you’re an event photographer, a wedding photographer, or even a landscape photographer who wants the peace of mind in knowing your work has been backed up and secured, this wireless SSD is for you. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Internal Battery
  • Rugged build
  • Built-in SD reader (at USB 3.0 speeds)
  • Access wirelessly from phone or computer
  • Sync with Dropbox and other cloud services
  • Built-in encryption options
  • Based around a fast SSD
  • Can use to charge a phone or other accessories in emergency
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC out of the box

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Connecting directly to a computer (via a cable) was finicky
  • SSD Limited to SATA/USB 3.0 speeds

Buy now starting at: $199.99