10 Must-Have Canon Accessories for Every Canon DSLR Owner

table with canon camera accessories

Canon is one of the best known names in photography and in digital cameras. If you are buying a digital camera, what Canon accessories do you need to consider?

The advantage of purchasing a DSLR is that you can begin using it immediately. However, there’s a wide range of accessories available to help harness the camera’s potential.

These include a variety of lenses, lens filters, tripods and many more. With so much variety, where does someone who just purchased their camera start?

This guide will help get you started with a few basic additions to your collection.

Telephoto zoom lens

Many owners will need a longer lens that what the camera came with. Typically, the lens bundles you get with many Canon cameras stop at 55mm, so it makes sense to get a longer lens.

Choose something that works with APS-C-based bodies such as the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D and EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D, and a camera lens which provides a focal range of 88-400mm. That’s adaptable enough for basic portraits to zooming in on things far away.

Wide-angle zoom lens

Canon EF 17-40 Ultra Wide Zoom

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for SLR Cameras

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Particularly if you enjoy landscape and nature photography, you may discover that you aren’t able to get everything you want into the photo with just the basic kit lens. A wide-angle, or ‘fisheye’ lens is very handy in this case.

A wide angle lense with a 17-40 mm focal length is very versatile and will allow you to capture a wide variety of shots like landscapes, lake and ocean shots, and even some indoor shots. Realtors often use this lens to make a space appear much bigger than it is!


Your Canon has built-in flash, which works well for short-range lighting, but it won’t accomplish anything beyond that. It’s helpful to have a separate flashgun (or ‘Speedlite’, which is the Canon model).

A flashgun is more powerful than flashes that are built in and you can tilt and swivel the head. You can take a flashgun off mount, and fire it separately. This works when it picks up on other flashes.

It can also activate them with radio/remote trigger. Flashguns provide plenty of opportunity for creativity in your shots.

Protective filters

Photoshop and digital filtering has not replaced physical lens filters. Some of the best are the basic Skylight or UV filter, like Hoya’s HMC UV filter.

These filters are clear, and have no effect on the image, however but it offers protection for your lens from UV rays and damage. Having a filter can protect your lens from damage, resulting in a repair or replacement.

Creative filters

Making sure you balance the exposure is tricky. You can try to recreate detail in editing software after the fact, but you’ll get better results with a filter that is standard neutral density (ND).


dslr camera on a tripod

Tripods are often used by landscape photographers and those who are shooting low light images. However, they are useful for photographers taking other kinds of shots, as well.

The greatest advantage is using smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds. This way, you don’t have to rely on the steadiness of your hands.

This also means you can frame up your shots and get the settings just right. Don’t spend a lot on the tripod, but be sure to buy something of quality, which is durable and provides stability.

If you splurge on a quality tripod, make sure it’s one that is high-quality enough to last awhile. A carbon fiber or an aluminum-bodied one provides excellent stability.

Check out our roundup of tripods for heavy lenses if you frequently shoot landscapes.

Tripod head

The inexpensive tripods typically come with a built-in tripod head, or sometimes, they have the head included separately. Some photographers prefer a separate one, as there are advantages to this.

You’ll get more control out of a tripod that with a three-way pan-and-tilt head and those are great for close-ups.

Ball-head tripods are easy to use and are quick to adjust. The downside is they can be less sturdy. Good for general use with smaller lenses.

A pan head tripod provides a solid platform and allows for precise adjustment. The downside is they are more bulky than ball head tripods, and can take longer to adjust. They are good for landscape photography where stability is important.

Cleaning supplies

You need to keep your Canon DSLR clean, but it’s not something you’ll want to spend a lot of money on when you’re a new photographer. But it’s important.

A clean lens is vital for keeping your gear in good working condition. You should regularly clean your gear, to avoid damage to the lens, and having dust particles, hair, grease, and dirt appearing on your photos.

There are several low-cost cleaning kits you can get, but many have stuff you’ll never use. The basics are enough, so include things like lens cleaner, brushes, wipes, and a good cleaning cloth that won’t damage your lens in your camera bag.

Memory Card

hand holding a 128 gb flash memory card

Most cameras function on SDHC and SDXC memory cards and there’s a wide range of these available, but finding the right one can be confusing. This is especially true if you’re buying one for the first time.

Memory cards differ in capacity and are based on the number of images and videos they can store, as well as the processing speed.

All you really need is one you can rely on and that is cost effective, that will be compatible if you upgrade the camera at some point.

Camera bag

If you’ve got a small DSLR camera and a base lens like your kit DSLR, a bag may not seem important, but it’s a sensible way to protect your gear in transport, protecting it from the elements.

As your collection of lenses and Canon accessories grows, you’ll find that you need a good bag to keep it all together and be mobile. Camera backpacks are a convenient way to carry heavy gear over long distances or uneven terrain, like nature hikes.

The disadvantage is that you have to take it all the way off in order to access your gear.  If you enjoy spontaneous nature shots (think birds that take off quickly), this may not work for you.

Shoulder camera bags give easy access, but the weight is unevenly distributed to one shoulder, so it gets uncomfortable with heavy gear over long distances.

There are also ‘sling’ style bags available which combine the ease of a backpack with the expediency of a shoulder bag. Choose a camera bag that will fit your needs, based on the weight of your gear, and the type of photography you do.

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