I’ve been meaning to put together a guide on cheap camera gear for some time now. I wanted to show you how there’s a whole range of cheap photography gear that can perform very well, even if it isn’t often talked about on sites such as this.
For those just getting started with photography, or perhaps those on a tighter budget, it can be rather depressing browsing a site like Shotkit! There are a lot of great photographers (mostly professionals) who use a variety of camera gear which is often very expensive.
However, this doesn’t mean that the same photos can’t be achieved by using budget camera gear.
If you’re a professional photographer, it’s wise to invest in the best quality gear that you can afford, and this usually means shelling out a bit more money for better reliability and overall performance.
If you’re a beginner photographer, or simply one with a small budget, use this roundup of the best cheap camera gear to guide your purchasing decisions – as long as you choose wisely, you can grab some great bargains.
The Best Cheap Camera Gear
Here are the categories of cheap camera gear that I’ll be introducing in this guide. If you’ve got no time to read the whole article, I’ve listed the actual products below too.
#1 | Cheap DSLR cameras
#2 | Cheap camera lenses
#3 | Cheap flashes
#4 | Cheap Camera Bags
#5 | Cheap Camera Straps
#6 | Cheap Tripods
A Guide to Buying Cheap Camera Gear
I did hesitate when using the word ‘cheap’ next to ‘camera gear’. ‘Cheap’ is often associated with poor quality, and this is certainly not ideal for photography equipment.
However, in this list you’ll find a range of affordable photography gear that won’t break the bank, but will provide excellent performance.
For those who want to take up photography as a hobby, or perhaps those who are testing the waters before coming pro, I’d always recommend investing in either a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. For the sake of simplicity, I’ve concentrated on DSLRs here.
Every couple of years there’s a new budget DSLR camera option released by Nikon, Canon, or another smaller manufacturer. These ‘entry-level’ models are usually excellent options, offering some of the features of the more expensive models in the range, whilst still remaining small, light and reasonably priced.
Whilst I wouldn’t be able to call these budget DSLR cameras cheap, when compared to the other DSLRs in the range, they’re certainly very well priced.
DSLRs usually come with everything you need to start shooting, except for a memory card. Fortunately, memory cards aren’t expensive, so check out my guide on what memory card to buy for your camera for more info.
Weight: 15.7 oz (445 g)
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 stars
Price: Approx. $430 – Click here to find the latest price
Let’s open this guide to cheap camera gear with a real cracker of a camera – the Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. I included this budget DSLR in a recent post on the best camera for teens, but really, this camera is perfect for any newcomer to photography.
For around $430 (click here for the most recent price), you’re getting a lot of camera for your money. The 24.2 mega pixel CMOS sensor combined with EXPEED 4 image processor delivers image quality that’s very impressive for a camera of this price.
The ISO can be comfortably raised high enough to take low-light shots without having to resort to the built in flash, which will mean more natural, candid photos in most situations.
Holding down the shutter button will fire off 5 shots per second, meaning your sports photography needs are covered, and full HD 1080p recording at 60 fps will satisfy the video shooters out there too.
Kit lenses (i.e. lenses that come bundled with camera bodies) used to be a bit of a joke, but this isn’t the case with the Nikon 18-55mm /3.5-5.6G VR lens that comes with the Nikon D3400. It’s small, light, and impressively sharp, and shooting the camera at 55mm delivers good subject separation too with nice looking bokeh.
Perhaps the best thing about the Nikon D3400 is its size and weight. Weighing only 445g with lens attached, it’s compact and lightweight enough to have in your bag all day unnoticed, or even around your neck on a camera strap.
You can transfer images via Bluetooth from the Nikon D3400 to your mobile phone or tablet, making it the perfect budget DSLR for fans of social media. The SnapBridge technology creates a constant connection between camera and device, meaning pictures are automatically transferred as you shoot.
All in all, the Nikon D3400 is the best budget DSLR of the year and highly recommended as a starting place for your introduction to photography.
Weight: 17.1 oz (485 g)
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 stars
Price: Approx. $600 – Click here to find the latest price
At just under 600 bucks, we’re pushing the boundaries a little in our search for the best budget DSLR cameras. Finding cheap camera gear isn’t always possible when you start with a camera body, especially if you’re looking to invest in good quality that will last.
Having said that, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is still a bargain DSLR when compared to the rest of the Canon DSLR camera line up.
Canon cameras are typically slightly more expensive than their Nikon counterparts, but the Canon lenses are usually slightly cheaper (and more abundant).
As for the features of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, the 18 megapixel sensor with DIGIC 5 processor delivers impressive results, far better than any mobile phone camera.
If you’re after a budget DSLR for video, this Canon pips the aforementioned Nikon in a couple of notable areas. First off, the ‘STM’ lens means that the auto-focus noise is less noticeable during video – something that’s usually very annoying when filming with DSLRs.
Then there’s the tilting LCD display, which makes shooting video at low or high angles a breeze. For those YouTubers out there who like to talk to the camera, having a 180 degree articulating LCD screen which allows you to see yourself as you film is incredibly useful.
The tilting screen is actually my favourite feature of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, and I really wish the Nikon D3400 had one too!
Another area that the Canon is superior to the Nikon is the intuitive menu system, which is more user-friendly for a newcomer to photography.
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i can shoot relatively clear images even at higher ISOs, which means you won’t need to resort to using the built-in flash when the sun begins to set.
If you like to shoot sports, the 5 frames-per-second combined with the fast tracking AI Servo mode and 9-point AF system will mean more shots in focus.
If you decide that Canon is the brand for you, this budget DSLR should be at the top of your list. It packs a lot of features into a small, lightweight body which makes an excellent starting place for any photography newcomer.
If you’re on a tighter budget, there’s always the option of grabbing a bargain on a refurbished budget DSLR camera.
On Amazon, just look for the words ‘Certified Refurbished’ after the name of the camera, which usually appears on older models that have been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Certified Refurbished means that Amazon has run a full diagnostic test of the product, replacing any defective parts necessary, and thoroughly cleaned the unit. Best of all, all Certified Refurbished goods come with a new product box, so can be even used as a gift for a photographer friend.
You can read more about Certified Refurbished products here, or click the button below to see all the latest bargain DSLRs that have been Certified Refurbished by Amazon today.
#2 | Cheap Camera Lenses
A camera is only as good as its lens. Even if you’re only investing in a budget DSLR, it’s important to get some good ‘glass’ to ensure you’re getting the best out of your camera.
As I mentioned before, the ‘kit lenses’ that come bundled with entry-level DSLR camera bodies have come a long way, and are a great option for those just starting out with photography.
However, investing in a good lens will really show what your camera is capable of. Fortunately for us, there are several cheap camera lens options available which provide quality good enough even for professionals.
Since the cheap DSLR cameras mentioned above come with adequate zoom lenses, I’ll be focusing here on prime (fixed focal length) lenses.
Compatible Format: DX
Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 2.8 in. (70 mm) x 2.1 in. (52.5 mm)
Weight: 7 oz. (200 g)
Price: Approx. $200 – Click here for the latest price
This little gem of a lens is the cheapest Nikon prime lens in the line up and delivers incredible sharpness and image quality, especially for its bargain price. It certainly deserves its place in my roundup of the best Nikon lenses.
The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX was the first lens I ever bought for my budget Nikon D40. Being a fixed focal length, I believe it helped me improve my photography composition much faster than if I had chosen a zoom lens.
Every photographer needs a 35mm prime in their camera bag – 35mm is a versatile focal length that is great for a whole range of subjects. I use a 35mm 99% of the time for my professional and personal work.
The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX can be used on both full frame (FX) and cropped sensor (DX) Nikon DSLRs. Since we’re talking about cheap camera gear here, I’ll assume you’ll be using it on a DX body, in which case the focal length will be around 50mm – still great for all applications.
Weighing in at only 200g, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX can be carried around all day unnoticed in a jacket pocket, and feels great on any DSLR body. Auto-focus is lightning fast, and manual focus can be achieved by a switch on the side of the lens.
If you’re looking for a budget camera lens for your Nikon DSLR that still offers professional level quality and performance, look no further than this.
Compatible Format: EF, EF-S
Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 2.7 in. (69mm) x 1.5 in. (39mm)
Weight: 0.35 lbs. (158 g)
Price: Approx. $110 – Click here for the latest price
On the Canon side of the fence, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM sits in the budget lens category whilst still delivering stellar performance.
Attached to a cropped sensor (EF-S) format Canon DSLR, the focal length of this lens will be more like 80mm – great for flattering portraits of people. You’ll just have to step back a bit if you want to include more in the frame.
The Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is an ultra-light, ultra-compact prime lens that’s Canon’s best selling lens. I even included it at the top of my own best Canon lenses roundup. It’s cheap, offers decent build quality, delivers sharp, contrasty images, and is simply a joy to use on any camera body.
The ‘STM’ in the name refers to Canon’s Stepper Motor technology, which provides a quieter and smoother focus system. Whilst it’s nice to have virtually silent operation for stills-photography, STM is more beneficial for video recording.
Typically, the lower the f-stop number of a lens (correlating to the larger the maximum aperture), the more expensive the lens. There are some anomolies though, and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is definitely one of them!
The fast f/1.8 aperture allows enough light into the camera for low-light photography without flash. If you’re investing in a budget DSLR like one of the ones mentioned above, high ISO performance will be lacking, so having a fast lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is essential.
The size of the aperture isn’t just about low light though, of course – larger apertures can also produce more exaggerated bokeh.
At this price point, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is the perfect walk-around lens and rightly deserves its place among the other well-performing cheap camera gear here.
Other Budget DSLR Lenses
Rather than go into detail about every budget lens out there, here’s a quick summary of some other lenses for your DSLR which offer great quality at bargain prices.
If you’re after a cheap tele-photo lens to get a bit more reach than the kit-lens of your budget DSLR, check out the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G or the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM. Both lenses work on cropped sensor cameras, and deliver approximately a 125mm focal length.
If you’re on a budget, the 18mm of the kit lens that comes with most entry-level DSLRs will be sufficient for wide angle shots. If, for whatever reason, your DSLR didn’t come with a lens, get the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II or the Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II for flexible all-purpose lenses that are lightweight and offer decent performance.
However, if you need even wider (and an altogether better performance wide angle lens), look no further than the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM – a cropped-sensor-camera only lens that’s made of metal for a much more solid construction and has good performance. It’ll work on Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sony cameras – just make sure you select the correct option.
If you’re after a cheap-ish macro lens, the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP is priced around the $300 mark and offers good performance for the price. There’s a Canon, Nikon, Konica and Pentax option, so make sure you select the right one from here.
#3 | Cheap Flashes
Whilst most entry-level DSLR cameras come with built-in flashes, you’ll soon notice the limitations of this set up. With a small, harsh light source located so close to the lens (and from the same angle), any images you take with the built-in flash will have that horrible ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look.
If you shoot in low light often and need a flash to freeze the moment, or simply want to experiment with using flash mixed with ambient daylight, you’ll need to invest in a dedicated flash unit for your camera.
Fortunately, there are a few good budget flashes for DSLRs available today. Whilst they may not offer the first-rate reliability and fast recycle times of their more expensive counterparts, they are perfect for beginners or those who don’t plan to use flashes often enough to guarantee the higher prices.
Size: 2.16 x 2.95 x 7.48 in (54 x 74 x 189mm)
Weight: 311 grams (11 ounces)
Price: Approx. $30 – Click here for the latest price
Who’da thought Amazon makes a flash for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras?! I haven’t actually used one myself, but know friends who use them as backup flashes for their professional wedding work since they’re so damn cheap!
At less than 30 bucks, it’s hard to go past the AmazonBasic Flash if you want to experiment with lighting. The Canon and Nikon entry level flashes are over 10x the price, and you’ll never be able to see the difference in the quality of light produced.
The AmazonBasic Flash offers 3 flash modes: manual, slave mode 1 and slave mode 2. There’s no TTL metering mode, so you’ll have to adjust the power output based on the situation, with the 8 levels of flash-brightness control from 1/128 to 1/1.
The slave modes allow the flash to be triggered remotely via your camera’s built-in flash. This means you can experiment with off-camera lighting, used to bring another creative element to your photography.
Arguably the most important feature of dedicated flash units is the ability to swivel the head – this allows you to ‘bounce’ the light off ceilings and walls, turning the small light source into a far bigger one. The bigger the light source, the softer the light. For portraits especially, the softer the light the better.
The AmazonBasic Flash comes with a simple stand with a tripod mount which helps with off-camera set ups. For the price, it really can’t be beaten, and deserves a spot in every photographer’s bag.
Includes: Altura Photo Speedlite Flash + Wireless Camera Flash Trigger Set (1 Transmitter + 1 Receiver) + Protective Pouch + Hard Flash Diffuser + MagicFiber Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth
Price: Approx. $80 – Click here for the latest price (for CANON) | (for NIKON)
This is the kind of thing that I wish was available when I started out with off-camera flash photography. Instead of messing around researching separate wireless triggers and flash units, I could have bought this all-in-one kit from Altura!
N.B. There are two versions available of this flash kit – one for Canon here and one for Nikon here. For the rest of this section, I’ll be linking to the Canon version, so please make sure before you order that you’re getting the right one for your brand of camera.
The Altura Photo Professional Flash Kit is a fantastic way to get started with off-camera flash. I’m amazed a product like this is available for this price, offering transceiver, receiver and a flash that’s capable of E-TTL.
Also bundled with the kit is a protective pouch, flash diffuser and lens cleaning cloth.
It’s rare for a cheap camera flash unit to provide E-TTL (basically means the flash unit automatically decides the correct power output for you), which will make flash photography a cinch in all situations. The transceiver/receiver allows you to trigger the Altura Photo Professional Flash from up to 100ft away.
You can even use the transceiver/receiver as a wireless remote control for your camera, making it the perfect gadget to trigger your camera remotely to photograph animals from a distance, or simply shoot a group shot with you in it.
The head of the Altura Photo Professional Flash swivels 180° and can be zoomed to 105mm, allowing additional flexibility with bounced flash photography.
Cheap camera gear often comes at the expense of quality, but judging by the 1,000+ positive reviews on Amazon for the Altura Photo Professional Flash Kit, there’s little issue here. It’s nice to know that there’s also a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty too.
Dimensions: 5.55 x 2.4 x 5.9 inches (141 x 62 x 150 mm)
Weight: 8.5 ounces (242 grams)
Price: Approx. $33 – Click here for the latest price
This recommendation isn’t a cheap camera flash as such, but it’s such a great option for both amateur and professional photographers who need a cheap lighting solution that I just had to include it here.
There’s often confusion as to when to use a flash and when to use an LED panel such as this one – there are several differences, but the easiest way to think about it is that an LED panel gives you a WYSIWYG lighting solution, most commonly used in low light or darkness.
With a flash, you need to fire the flash, then check your camera’s screen to check the effect it has had. With a continuous light source like this Neewer Ultra High Power LED Light, you just point it at your subject and take a look at the effect it’s having on the shot before you even take it (using Live View is the simplest way to do this).
I’ll use flashes in my wedding photography work on the dance-floor, or anywhere when movement is involved, to ‘freeze’ the action. Then I’ll break out my Neewer LED Light for night portraits where the subject is stationary. For a more in depth explanation about the process I follow for these shots, take a look at this article on wedding photography lighting techniques.
There are many LED lights available for photographers, but this one from Neewer gives the best bang for your buck out of any of them. I’ve owned mine for over a year and use it professionally almost every weekend, and know many other photographers who do the same.
Sometimes even cheap camera gear is good enough to be used professionally, and this is one good example! It’s super bright, easy to use, and very dependable.
The Neewer LED Light features 160 bright LED lights which provide a nice, even spread of light. The light intensity can be adjusted via a wheel-switch on the side, and the colour temperature can be changed via the 2 included filters. I choose never to use the filters since I can easily alter the colour temperature in post in a few seconds.
The battery life is excellent, and the LED indicators on the back of the unit are useful to show roughly how much juice you have left. I find myself charging it every 6 weddings or so, but I could probably leave it even longer. You can power the Neewer LED Light with 4 AA batteries (I recommend these), or use a Neewer Li-ion battery which I find makes the unit much lighter.
If you’re wondering whether to invest in a cheap flash or a cheap LED light like this one, I’d actually recommend getting both – you’ll quickly discover that the different situations you use flash vs continuous light most effectively, and you’ll increase creative options by experimenting with both.
#4 | Cheap Camera Bags
Now we’re getting into one of my passions – camera bags! Finding the perfect camera bag has been somewhat of a never-ending quest for me…
There are a few top camera bag manufacturers that dominate sales in the professional and serious hobbyist market. This means that most people don’t even know that there are some great, cheap camera bags available that perform well and even look pretty good too.
One thing’s for sure – make sure you pick a cheap camera bag with good reviews to back it up. There’s nothing worse than having a camera bag full of gear break on you when you’re out on a shoot.
All the cheap camera bags here satisfy my criteria of being good quality, durable and functional. As for their looks, it’s a rather subjective topic, but I’ve included some that I feel would still be considered trendy enough for most!
AmazonBasics Camera Bag Range
Types: messenger, pouch, shoulder, sling, holster, hard case
Prices: $6~$140 – (Click here to see all the latest prices)
I decided to lump together all the AmazonBasics camera bags into one section, simply because there’d be too much here to recommend. I’m really quite amazed with what’s on offer at such bargain prices…
If you’re after a cheap camera bag in black, then there’s really no need to look further than the AmazonBasics Range. There’s a style to suit all tastes, from simple shoulder bags to rugged hard cases.
You’ll notice that every bag has a host of positive reviews, often topping the thousands. Whilst I haven’t handled them all, I have tested the AmazonBasics Backpack for DSLR Cameras and found it very well made, especially for the sub-$30 price!!
Another thing I like about these cheap camera bags by Amazon is the complete lack of branding – something the bigger bag mannufacturers often get wrong. In plain black most of them resemble regular work bags, allowing you to pass unnoticed in public.
Another stand out in the range is the AmazonBasics Medium DSLR Shoulder Bag, which I have to admit is very similar to my Bilingham Hadley Pro… which costs over 15x more! At less than $20, it really is a steal, however expensive the kit inside you’re carrying.
Check out the entire range of AmazonBasics cheap camera bags here and see just how much money you can save if you shop wisely – money that can be spent elsewhere on your photography hobby!
External Dimensions: 17 x 11.8 x 6.69 inch (420 x 300 x 170 mm)
Price: Approx. $50 – Click here to see the latest price
Canvas is a great material for a camera bag – strong, flexibile, lightweight, goodlooking and ages well. I have a bit of a soft spot for canvas camera bags but unfortunately they’re usually rather over-priced. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the G-raphy Camera Backpack.
Priced under $50, this is one cheap camera bag that certainly doesn’t look cheap. It actually looks very fashionable – the kind of bag that will definitely attract compliments. Perhaps more importantly, the G-raphy Camera Backpack doesn’t look like a camera bag, so it won’t attract the wrong kind of attention.
One neat feature is the removable customizable padded internal divider which allows you to hold 2DSLRs with 2-5 lenses – when you don’t want to use the G-raphy Camera Backpack for carrying your camera gear, you can remove it completely and use it as a regular backpack.
This spacious camera backpack also has plenty of pouches, zippered pockets, compartments and straps to secure all your camera equipment.
In terms of carrying comfort, the adjustable waist and chest straps combined with the thick shoulder straps make the G-raphy Camera Backpack a pleasure to carry, even when fully loaded.
If you’re looking for a well-built, goodlooking and cheap camera backpack that even offers a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty, it’s hard to beat this one. The hardest decision is whether to get it in khaki or green…
External Dimensions: 11 x 15 x 7 inch (279 x 381 x 177 mm)
Price: Approx. $30 – Click here to see the latest price
It was tough choosing a cheap camera messenger bag since there are a few new ones on the market this year, but this one from Bestek caught my eye with over 700 positive reviews.
More importantly for this roundup of cheap camera gear, the Bestek Waterproof DSLR Shoulder Bag comes in at under 30 bucks, which is incredible considering the high quality of this bag.
With a removable customizable internal compartment that’s big enough to carry one DSLR camera, 2 lenses and a flash, the other compartments on the inside and outside of the bag can fit your phone, chargers, a tablet and numerous other small accessories.
The strong, durable canvas outer provides rain protection to ensure your camera gear stays dry even in the heaviest of downpours.
I’m a big fan of shoulder camera bags with their messenger style main compartment ‘flap’, which allows you to quickly close the bag without having to zip anything up. It also provides much faster access than a camera backpack or camera sling bag for example.
Available in army green or khaki, the Bestek Waterproof DSLR Shoulder Bag can go unnoticed as a bag for carrying camera gear, attracting only the right kind of compliments!
#5 | Cheap Camera Straps
It may be a bit worrying to think of a cheap camera strap – after all, its one job is to hold your camera safely, so surely you want it to be as strong as possible?!
Have no fear – I’ve tested a hell of a lot of camera straps, and only recommend ones that I’d happily use to carry my own pro gear.
Below you’ll find the best cheap camera straps for your DSLR or mirrorless camera. One thing to consider though is whether you actually need a camera strap at all – the cheap DSLRs that I recommended above are so light that you could even use a wrist strap, such as this great one from Altura, or nothing at all.
I actually find neck straps get in the way of my shooting, so prefer to use a wrist strap. Find out what’s best for you by checking out the camera straps below.
Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.25 x 2.25 in (165 x 234 x 57mm)
Colours: camo, black, red, orange, floral, blue, grey, polkadot, striped…etc!
Price: Approx. $15 – Click here for the latest price
If you’re looking for a cheap camera strap in a range of colours that performs its job of holding your camera securely very well, it’s hard to go past the TrueShot Camera Strap.
Fashioned out of neoprene, the same durable but soft material used to make wetsuits, this camera strap is one of the most comfortable I’ve tested. Most camera straps are made from nylon or leather, which may look good but isn’t comfortable for long periods. The neoprene is 4mm thick, ensuring even the heaviest camera won’t cause the strap to dig in to your skin.
The outside of the TrueShot Camera Strap features your choice of colour (there are 17 available!), and two expandable pockets – perfect for spare batteries, memory cards and business cards. It’s actually a really handy feature to have pockets on a camera strap and I wish more brands implemented this.
The inner side of the strap features a non-slip surface which keeps your camera from sliding off your shoulder – another feature that nylon or leather camera straps often lack.
I love the different colours of the TrueShot Camera Strap, with some really original striped, polkadot and multicolour designs that will set you apart. My favourite is the camouflage version, which features brown leather highlights to finish off the look.
My absolute favourite feature of this strap is the inclusion of quick-release clips where the strap connects to the camera. This allows you to attach or remove the TrueShot Camera Strap in seconds – something I find myself doing multiple times during a shoot, especially when shooting with a tripod in portrait orientation.
As far as cheap camera straps go, it’s hard to beat something that performs this well, offers so many great features, looks awesome and costs under 15 bucks!
Dimensions: 1.7 x 2.6 x 7.3 inches (43 x 66 x 185 mm)
Includes: 4x anchor links, anchor mount, hex key, pouch, lifetime warranty
Price: Approx. $40 – Click here for the latest price
Peak Design has been dominating the camera-carry sector of the industry ever since its first KickStarter campaign a few years ago. Smart designs and useful features set their products apart from competitors, and the Peak Design Leash Camera Strap is no different.
Dubbed ‘the most versatile and quick-connecting camera strap in the world’, this is one cheap camera strap that feels like it cost a lot more!
The heart of the Peak Design Leash Camera Strap is the patent-pending Anchor system, which allows you to attach and remove the strap quickly, and even one-handed. Rather than regular clip release clips that require two-handed operation, the Anchors can be simply pressed and slid to release or attach them.
The Anchors also mean you can use Peak Design’s other straps and bags in their system, allowing for a truly multi-functional setup.
The Peak Design Leash Camera Strap is made from seatbelt-style nylon webbing which glides over your clothing, allowing you to quickly ‘whip’ the camera around your body to take a shot. The preferred carrying style of this strap is across the body rather than on one shoulder, allowing more flexibility (and safety) in movement.
Another neat feature of this strap is its ability to adjust from 33 inches (830 mm) to 57 inches (1450 mm) with a reinforced sliding adjuster. In practice, this allows you to keep your camera tight to your body while moving, then quickly extend the camera strap with one hand to allow your camera to be loose enough to shoot with it.
The Peak Design Leash Camera Strap is available in 3 sizes, but as long as you’re sticking to an entry-level DSLR or small mirrorless camera, this is the one to get.
Dimensions: 2.4 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches (60 x 167 x 30 mm)
Includes: 2x anchor links, anchor mount, lifetime warranty
Price: Approx. $30 – Click here for the latest price
Admittedly there are cheaper camera wrist straps available (also called ‘camera leashes’), but I decided to include this one from Peak Design as it really stands head and shoulders above the rest.
As I mentioned before, a camera wrist strap is my preferred method of carrying a camera, or rather, securing a camera to my body. It’s rare that you’ll use a wrist strap to actually carry the camera – it’s more there for added security and peace of mind.
The Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap features the same Anchor strap system as the aforementioned shoulder strap, meaning that many photographers actually own both, and swap from one carrying system to the other.
The ‘string’ that attaches the Anchor to your camera may seem thin and fragile, but it’s actually strong enough to hold over 90kgs (200 lbs)! At the size and weight of a penny, Anchors don’t add any extra bulk or weight to the camera, and won’t scratch it either.
Another unique feature of the Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap is the magnetic wrist loop fastener, which locks in the open position allowing comfortable camera operation, then cinches down on your wrist for added security while moving.
This is definitely not the cheapest camera strap out there, but it’s still a great price. Available in black or ash, this is one camera wrist strap that manages to look fashionable whilst still remaining practical and genuinely useful.
#6 | Cheap Tripods
I wrote a post on the best travel tripods which turned out to be one of the most popular on Shotkit – it seems that a lot of photographers like to lug a tripod around with them on their adventures!
Getting a cheap tripod is usually the first thing newcomers to photography look for. After all, when you’ve just invested in a decent camera, you probably don’t want to spend much on accessories.
I’ve bought a few cheap tripods in my time, and finally ended up spending 10x more on a big brand professional product. Funnily enough though, I keep reaching for the cheap tripod simply because it’s the easiest to use and also the lightest – having a lightweight cheap tripod isn’t good in strong wind, but on steady ground inside, it’s absolutely fine.
Dimensions: 4.52 x 4.33 x 24.21 inches (114 x 109 x 614 mm)
Weight: 2.77 pounds (1.2 kgs)
Maximum Height: 62 inches (1580 mm)
Minimum Height: 25 inches (650 mm)
Price: Approx. $20 – Click here for the latest price
This is the most popular of all the AmazonBasics cheap camera gear related products, with over 5,700 positive reviews! It’s a good quality, lightweight, cheap tripod that does its job of supporting your camera surprisingly well.
The common issue with cheap tripods is that the legs and connectors are flimsy and weak, meaning that unless the tripod is on very flat ground and there is no wind, the tripod will move while you take the shot. A tripod is usually used to take a slow shutter speed shot which means you need zero camera shake.
The way the AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod is able to provide adequate stability during shooting despite using cheaper, lightweight components is down to the bracing arms in between each leg. These are normally more common on tripods for video camera setups, which are typically much heavier.
In conjunction with a hook at the base of the centre column, which can be used to hang a small weight to further assist stability, the AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod provides a surprisingly solid base for your camera.
Another big reason for the popularity of this cheap tripod other than the bargain basement price of under $20 is just how light it is. At only 2.77 lbs (1.2kgs), it’s one of the lightest tripods you’ll find.
The AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod also features 2 handy bubble levels, one above the legs and one on the top of the camera plate to let you know when your camera is completely level.
Also included in the price is a zippered carry case, something more expensive tripods don’t even include! All in all, this cheap tripod is an absolute steal, and highly recommended if you need something lightweight and reliable.
Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 23.23 inches (119 x 119 x 590 mm)
Weight: 3.63 pounds (1.6 kgs)
Maximum Height: 70 inches (1778 mm)
Minimum Height: 21 inches (540 mm)
Price: Approx. $45 – Click here for the latest price
If you need a cheap tripod with a little more height (and one that can actually stand lower too), this one from Abott is a good choice. At just under $45, you’ll get a solid, lightweight and reliable tripod with hundreds of positive reviews.
As the name implies, the Abott 70-inch Aluminium Travel Tripod/Monopod with Bag has the ability to transform quickly into a monopod. Monopods are often rather confusing for beginner photographers, but they’re actually very useful, especially for situations when a tripod is too cumbersome or inconvenient to move with. You’ll see them in use at a lot at sporting events.
The 3-way flexible pan head with tilt and swivel motion provides smooth 360 degree rotation for perfect panoramas, and also includes a bubble level to ensure you get the right shot.
The Abott Travel Tripod can hold up to 8.8 lbs (4kgs) which is more than enough to handle a pro DSLR camera body plus zoom lens. There’s also a locking bracing bar to provide additional rigidity, and a hook to hang a weight or your camera bag to minimise small movements even further.
There are also enclosed spikes in the rubber feet, providing additional traction on wet ground or grassland.
Even though there may be cheaper tripods available, there are none that offer all these pro-grade features at this price, and also come shipped with a good quality carrying bag to complete the package. For those that prefer not to use a separate bag, the Abott Travel Tripod also features a handy built-in carry handle – something I’ve not seen on a tripod before.
If you’re looking for a cheap tripod that is built to last (read all the reviews here), offers the flexibility of being used as a monopod, and provides optimum stability even for heavier loads, this is definitely the tripod to get.
Cheap Camera Gear | Final Words
As you can see, there’s a lot of very good cheap camera gear available on the market. As long as you stick to this guide, or to other affordable products with a lot of positive real user reviews, you can pick up a bargain to help jump start your photography hobby or even career!
There’s nothing wrong with using cheap camera gear in a professional situation, as long as you’re confident that it can perform as good as, if not better than more expensive equivalents.
For all professional photography, I recommend always having backups of each item of gear, whether expensive or cheap. As you progress in your hobby or career with photography, you may find that you want to invest in the ‘big-name’ brands’, which are typically more expensive, and have some of these cheaper camera gear options as your backups.
Whatever option you choose, I hope you recognise that photography needn’t be an expensive pursuit. At the end of the day, no one will be able to tell if a photograph was taken using a cheap tripod or an expensive one, so be wise with your purchasing decisions, and happy snapping!
Cheap Camera Gear Recommended in this Guide
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post contain affiliate links which help support Shotkit.