Rambo Estrada's Photography Picks


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My favorite hobby used to be photography, but when that transitioned into my full time job my new favorite hobby became trawling the internet for handy camera gadgets. I know that staying up until 3am down the rabbit hole of AliExpress isn’t what most people do for fun so I’ve made you a list of 20 camera gadgets for under $20. All items have free international shipping!

1. Universal Camera Straps

These straps are the perfect way to customise your camera. If you own multiple camera bodies of the same or similar models having a unique strap on each is an easy way to quickly identify which camera is which.    

2. 5 in 1 Collapsible Reflector

Nothing makes you look more like you are a pro photographer more than using a reflector. Well, it’s not so much the reflector, more the fact that you have an assistant to hold the reflector. The silver or gold sides are a great way to fill in shadows for portraits. You can use the translucent white to diffuse light or the black to block light.

3. Sensor Cleaning Dust Blower

If you change lenses on your camera from time to time then it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with dust on your sensor. This will show up as dark spots in your images, the higher the aperture you shoot, the more noticeable the dust spots. DSLR’s have the mirror in front of the sensor as the first line of dust defense, but with mirrorless cameras the sensor is totally exposed so they are even more prone to dust spots. Often a quick blast of air can move off sensor dust and save you hours of post processing clean-up time. Every photographer should have one of these dust blowers in their camera bag.  

4. Camera Sensor Cleaning Swabs

If you end up with some really stubborn dust spots on your sensor that you can’t remove with the dust blower then you’ll need to get in there with a sensor cleaning swab. Try the swab dry first, most of the time that’ll remove any dust, but if there’s something that just won’t budge squirt a little of the lens cleaning solution on the swab and that’ll get your sensor squeaky clean. Just do some research on your particular sensor first, some sensors may not react well to a wet swab.  

5. Lens Coffee Mug

This is a cruel gift for a photographer. It’ll take them a second to realise that you haven’t actually bought them a $1000 lens, but once the disappointment wears off, the’ll enjoy the novelty factor of this coffee mug.
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LED Video Light

6. LED Video Light

This LED light is great for shooting video or stills when the sun goes down. Also handy as an extremely bright torch you can mount on your tripod when camping, plus it has a dimmer for setting the mood.
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7. Neoprene Lens Pouch

These pouches come in a variety of sizes to suit a bunch of different lenses and are great to add an extra layer of protection. They are also a nice tidy way to store your remotes, chargers and cables.  

8. Waterproof CF & SD Card Case

I love these card cases. You can fit either 8 x SD cards or 4 x CF cards in there and it’ll keep those precious little guys super safe. Here’s a tip, once you’ve filled a card, put it back in the case upside down so then it’s easy to work out which cards are empty and which are good to go.  
Variable ND Filter

9. Variable ND Filter

An ND filter is like a pair of shades for your lens. It’s job is to cut down the amount of light that enters your camera. You’ll be able to keep your shutter open longer to give waterfalls that dreamy smooth look or you can use it to help take low aperture images with shallow depth of field in full sunlight.  
Tripod Ball Head

10. Tripod Ball Head

Traditional tripod heads can be bulky and awkward to travel with. Screw that thing off and replace it with a ball head. This one can handle 12kgs or weight, which is far more camera and lens than you’ll ever find me hauling around.

11. Precision Screwdriver

Cameras and lenses have stupidly small screws holding them together. Over time these little screws can work their way loose, and when they do, it’s precision screwdriver to the rescue! Also handy for fixing sunglasses and cellphones.  

12. Universal Speedlight Flash Diffuser

This diffuser takes the harsh directional light of your on camera flash and distributes it in all directions so it can bounce off nearby walls and roofs to create more flattering even lighting. Perfect for event photography. Not only will your photos look better, but you’ll have endless hilarious conversations with people asking why you have a tupperware container on your flash.  

13. Camera Ball Head Clamp

You can mount your camera with this clamp and use a remote to get a unique angle, or mount an off camera flash without having to use an intrusive stand.
Camera Rain Cover

14.Camera Rain Cover

I’ve seen photographers at wet events using plastic bags to try keep their cameras dry. Peasants! This rain cover will not only keep your camera dry, but your hands dry too.

15. Universal Lens Caps

My camera bag is like The Bermuda Triangle for lens caps. I always keep a couple of spares with me. Also never underestimate the goodwill or gifting another photographer a lens cap when they’ve lost theres.

16. Umbrella Speedlight Softbox

This soft-box will transform your speed-light flash from a small harsh light source to a large nicely diffused light source providing nice even lighting. It collapses like an umbrella so it’s easy to set up and transport.
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17. Wireless Flash Trigger Remote

I’ve had a set of these remotes forever and they are so useful. Their main function is to fire of a speed-light flash remotely. Put one remote on your cameras hot-shoe and the other on your flash. You can also use the cable to plug into your camera’s remote socket and use the other as a camera shutter remote to take those selfies to the next level.  

18. Dual Camera Harness

If you’re shooting an event it can be handy to have 2 camera bodies on the go with different focal lengths. Juggling 2 cameras is a nightmare but this Dual Camera Harness makes it a breeze. You can even go totally hands free and let both cameras hang by your sides while you stuff your face with food, as everyone knows events always have the best snacks.
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19. Panning Time Lapse head

This little gadget will take your time lapse to the next level by adding some panning. It has either a GoPro mount or 1/4” screw to mount any camera that has a tripod mount, which is pretty much any camera. Probably better suited to point and shoot or mirrorless cameras though, it may struggle with the weight of a DSLR.

20. Speedlight Magnetic Colour Gels & Honeycomb Grid

Adding colour gels to your speed-light flash can give your images interesting colour-tones straight out of the camera. You can also do nifty tricks like creating a sunset portrait when there is no sunset. Just use a blue gel on a cloudy day and pump up the colour temperature on your camera (or in post if you shoot RAW), this will give all the clouds a golden yellow tone, but the blue gel will neutralise the colour temp on your portrait’s skin tones. The honeycomb grid is handy to minimise any light spill and create more of a precision beam.
Camera Backpack

21. Bonus! Camera Backpack

Now that you’ve bought way too many camera gadgets you need someway to cart them all around. This compact backpack will fit a DSLR, a few lenses and a flash. The inner compartment is customisable and it has a rain cover. Plus plenty of zip pockets for spare batteries, cards and scroggin. You’re not an adventure photographer if you don’t carry scroggin.