The 8 best photography gadgets to buy in 2021 – BBC Science Focus Magazine

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Whether you’re new to the game, or a dab hand with a camera, here’s our round up of the best photography gadgets so you can fuel your passion.
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Published: 17th October, 2021 at 04:00
Photography is an exciting hobby, and profession, to explore, but it’s even more enjoyable when you’ve got the best photography gadgets on hand to help you improve your skills. There’s a lot to think about when you’re snapping away, from lighting and angles, to kit cleaning and edits, and thankfully there’s heaps of photography tech available.
Our list of the best photography gadgets includes a mix of tree hugging tripods, editing consoles, and cleaning tools, so you can increase your creativity and enhance your love of photography.
Hungry for more tech? Check out our list of the best kitchen gadgets.
The GorillaPod from Joby is a flexible, versatile tripod that allows you to capture shots in a range of precarious positions. You can wrap it round a tree, banister or any other object you fancy, and save yourself the hassle of attempting to make a homemade tripod contraption. You can also use it in the style of a selfie stick if you’re a keen vlogger. It can stand on its own, and offers stability on bumpy terrain so you can grab a stable shot on uneven ground.
Thanks to its lightweight and compact nature, you can easily chuck it in your bag, which is particularly handy when you’re travelling and surrounded by tempting shots. You can also use it to hold your speakers and video lights, so it’s bound to come in handy. It’s worth noting, this design can hold up to one kilogram of kit and works with mirrorless cameras rather than DSLRs.
If you’re after some extra protection for all of your precious photography kit, this black bag from camera carrying specialists Lowepro is a solid investment. It features a tough armoured section as well as protective padding, so you can safely and securely pack your gear away when you’re travelling.
It also has a convenient laptop space, so you can edit your shots when you’re on the move. There’s even a built-in all-weather cover so your kit stays safe when it starts to rain. With loads of neat adaptive dividers within the backpack, you can organise all of your kit in a style that suits you.
If you fancy getting creative with your photographs, this lens ball lets you play around with different perspectives and dimensions. It’s made of crystal glass, and reflects your surrounding environment and objects, whether that’s buildings or trees, in an inverted mirror at an angle of 180 degrees. It gives you an edgy, unique photo opportunity and it’s especially suited to those interested in street and architectural photography.
It comes with a padded storage bag and microfibre cleaning cloth so you can keep your 90mm glass sphere safe and scratch-free when you’re out and about. Be careful not to drop it on our toes as it weighs a hefty 945g.
This fun photography gadget is a quirky and playful instant camera that allows you to edit your pictures with filters, frames and symbols. You can control your shots from your smartphone which makes the chaotic process of achieving that perfect group shot a lot easier.
Just take your photographs, select your preferred editing tools, perhaps a frame or a speech bubble, and print, all from the one device. You can also choose from a range of filters including black and white and sepia for an arty twist. This would make a great gift for budding young photographers as it lets them play around with their work in a silly way. The printed pictures are 8.6 x 5.4cm, so they’re ideal for wallets and pockets.
If you’re a big fan of the post-production process, and enjoy tweaking the clarity, contrast and exposure of your work, this editing console could be a fun addition to your editing suite.
The editing console acts as a keyboard specifically for photo editing purposes, thanks to its collection of intuitive buttons, sliders and dials which allow you to edit your photos with ease. It’s compatible with a range of software programs including Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X. Due to its ergonomic nature, it’s a useful tool whether you’re a beginner or a professional, and the setup should be a quick, painless process. There are also personalising and customisable options so you can edit in a manner that suits your working style. 
Fancy taking your iPhone photography skills to the next level? Well, this photography gadget could do the trick. It’s a small, portable LED flash that plugs into your phone and promises to give you a flash that’s four times brighter in comparison to the standard iPhone flash. The connector synchronises the LED flash with your phone’s rear cameras, so you can snap away with ease, and take up to 10,000 photos on a single charge. Its neat size means you can easily pop it in your bag, so you’ll never have to put up with shoddy lighting again.
It works with iPhone 12, including the mini, pro and pro max and iPhone 11, pro and pro max. It’s also compatible with the 2nd generation iPhone SE.
For more tech, check out our list of cool gadgets.
Looking after your kit is an important part of the passion, so it’s wise to have a sensor cleaning kit so you can properly care for your delicate gear. This kit from Invisible Dust includes cleaning solution and four green swabs so you can keep your sensor in pristine condition.
The formula is ideal for removing unwanted smears, stains and oils from your sensor, and it also acts as a dust repellent. The green swabs are designed to reach those tricky corner spots and aim to limit streaks and reduce fibre shedding, so you’re left with a squeaky clean sensor. The green swabs are particularly suited to sensors with a fluorine coating.
Monopods are a useful piece of kit to have and are particularly effective when you’re in a fast-paced, busy environment such as weddings and sports events. They have a mobile nature, a small footprint and provide stability. This model from Manfrotto works with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, compact cameras and smartphones, so it’s bound to remain a well-used tool even if you decide to change camera.
Thanks to a convenient wrist strap, it’s easy to carry around, and it can fold down to 43cm, which is impressive considering it can extend to 159cm. What’s great about this monopod is that it can hold up to 16kg of kit, so it’s ideal if you own a heavy zoom lens. You can use it at different heights, which gives you creative flexibility, and the set-up process has been designed with speed in mind, so you don’t miss a thing.
For more gadget inspiration:
Digital Writer
Rachel Howatson is a digital writer who works across a range of Immediate’s special interest brands. Whatever your passion, whether it’s hillwalking, cooking, gardening, running, socialising or even sleeping, she’ll likely have written about it.
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