After shooting with Sony cameras for several years both professionally and for pleasure, I thought it was about time I put together a post on the best Sony accessories for photographers.
Sony mirrorless cameras and lenses have had a huge surge in popularity of late, with Sony dominating the annual EISA Awards for its technological advancements.
There are so many useful Sony accessories available here in 2018, both Sony branded goods as well as many great third-party options.
Let’s have a closer look at the gizmos and gadgets you can use to make your E-mount or FE-mount Sony camera even better.
Best Sony Accessories
I’ve tried to include information about why I think they’re so useful, and how they can help make your Sony camera more efficient and fun to use.
|Jackery Bolt 6000||View Price →|
|Newmowa Dual USB Charger||View Price →|
|Gariz Leather Half-Case||View Price →|
|Peak Design 5L Sling||View Price →|
|Peak Design Clutch||View Price →|
|Sony 24mm f/1.8||View Price →|
|Sony 35mm f/1.4||View Price →|
|Godox TT350S||View Price →|
|Godox X1T-S TTL||View Price →|
|GorillaPod Hybrid||View Price →|
|SanDisk Extreme U3||View Price →|
|Sony SF-G UHS-II||View Price →|
|Expert Shield Crystal||View Price →|
|Rode VideoMicro||View Price →|
|Zhiyun Crane 2||View Price →|
|Feelworld FW-760||View Price →|
Recommended Batteries & Chargers for Sony Cameras
A big advantage of Sony cameras is the ability to charge them over micro-USB.
There are plenty of portable power packs (chargers) available – you may already have one to charge your smartphone, but my recommendation is the excellent Jackery Bolt 6000.
It’s fast, powerful and lightweight, and I love the inclusion of a built-in lightning cable and micro-USB cord, meaning I never have to remember to bring separate cables.
If you need a little more power and don’t mind packing cables, I hear great things about the Anker PowerCore 20100, which has almost double the charging capacity.
Most Sony cameras come with a dedicated battery charger, but the Sony a7 III does not. If you get annoyed with the rather fiddly micro-USB cable, I highly recommend the Newmowa Dual USB Charger (pictured above) for Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras.
At less than 15 bucks (latest price here), it’s the most affordable and efficient way to charge two batteries at the same time for cameras like the Sony a7 III. Two LED lights tell you when each battery is charged to full capacity, and the whole thing weighs next to nothing, so is easy to pack for travel.
If you need a battery charger with circuit protection, the more expensive RAVPower NP-FW50 is your best bet.
Since the Sony battery chargers operate via USB, you can plug them into a portable power pack for a completely portable set up.
As for the batteries themselves, while there are numerous third party options available, I always recommend buying Sony branded batteries like these, to maximise both the longevity of your battery charge and the life of your camera.
If you’re into time-lapse photography and need a way to ‘hot-swap’ external battery packs mid-shot, you’ll need the Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System – if you already have a couple of portable battery packs or want to use wall power, you can save a little money by buying the Case Relay System separately.
For my the flashes and any other double-AA battery powered gadget I use with my Sony cameras, I like the tried and tested Eneloop batteries, most notably for their uncanny ability to hold a charge for years without discharging significantly.
I keep Eneloops inside my backup flash, and don’t need to worry about them still having any remaining charge if I ever come to use them.
Recommended Camera Grips, Cases & Straps for Sony Cameras
I’m not a fan of the slippery metallic body and sharp edges of Sony cameras, so the first Sony accessories I buy are things to improve how they feel in my hands.
The Sony Vertical Grip allows you to double the battery life of Sony FE-mount (full frame) cameras, and also offers useful portrait orientation buttons/dials.
The Sony Grip Extension is a simple (albeit overpriced!) way to increase the grippable area of the camera body, giving a little extra space on which to rest your lower two fingers. It’s decent, but uses the screw socket at the base of the camera, so needs to be removed when using a tripod or some camera straps.
I ended up selling the Sony Vertical Grip since it made my camera too bulky for my bag (and I was too lazy to remove it each time!)
Incidentally, a far more affordable alternative vertical grip is the Powerextra VG-C1EM, which gets great reviews and is currently 1/4 the price of the Sony branded model.
I’m also currently experimenting with a Gariz Leather Half-Case, and must say I’m impressed with its design and the way it gives my a7 III a little extra grip on the lower-half of the body. It also makes the camera more comfortable to use for longer periods.
I usually go strap-less with my camera bodies while doing professional work, but choose to attach one while traveling or for personal stuff. I own several camera straps, but I’m currently experimenting with the Peak Design Cuff with my Sony a7 III.
Aside from being very-well designed products (typical of Peak Design), I love the ability to quickly remove their straps from the camera body using innovative ‘Anchors’.
If you need a way to attach your Sony camera to your backpack or messenger bag strap, the Peak Design Capture Pro is a great product too.
Rotating between hand straps, the half-case and the occasional camera shoulder strap makes camera use more interesting and fun for me.
In addition, using traditional leather camera straps and grips helps to give a bit more ‘soul’ to the distinctly computer-like feel of the Sony mirrorless cameras. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the MoneyMaker Solo for review soon.
Recommended Camera Bags for Sony Cameras
On the topic of how to carry your Sony mirrorless camera, there are lots of different camera bag options available in 2018.
I’ve already written generic posts on the best camera bags, camera backpacks, womens camera bags and camera sling bags, so will include some of my current favourites specific to smaller camera gear set ups below.
If you’ve come from a DSLR background like me, I’m assuming you’ve significantly down-sized your camera gear collection. (See how I shoot weddings minimally here.)
It’s refreshing to shoot with less equipment, and you can take advantage of much smaller, more ergonomic camera bags too.
When traveling, I use an F-Stop Medium ICU in conjunction with whatever regular travel bag I’ve packed.
For all the smaller bits and pieces like batteries, memory cards and cables, I like the Peak Design Field Pouch for its numerous useful organisation pockets and slim-line design.
There’s no specific camera bags for Sony cameras as such, but anything that encourages you to really take advantage of the smaller, lighter camera system by packing less, is a good thing.
Recommended Lenses for Sony Cameras
I recommend that every camera user own a prime lens, and no more is this the case than with small-bodied mirrorless cameras like the Sonys.
I appreciate the practicality of a zoom lens and still encourage their use for the right situation, but to really take advantage of the size of a Sony mirrorless camera body, you should own at least one prime (fixed lens).
Now, that’s not to say that all Sony prime lenses are small and light! I use a Sony 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss lens for my wedding photography work, and it’s a bit of a beast…
However, compared to something like the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master zoom, it’s still petite ;-)
On the topic of which Sony lens to buy first, well in my opinion everything should start at the classic focal length of 35mm – many a career has been built off a 35mm lens, including my own.
This will give you that coveted 35mm field of view, and the f/1.8 aperture will allow you to shoot in lower light without unnecessarily raising your ISO, and allow you to blur the out of focus areas (‘bokeh’) beautifully.
On a Sony FE-mount body like the Sony a9 and a7 series, I can whole-heartedly recommend the incredible Sony 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss. I shot with the Nikon equivalent for several years and loved that lens, but I have to say the Sony is actually sharper.
If you need something smaller as a walk-around lens, and don’t mind cranking up the ISO on your camera in low light, the Sony 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss is another excellent option.
At only 119g (4.23oz), it’s the perfect complement to the compact Sony bodies, and makes your whole set-up feel like a point and shoot camera! I know several photographers using the Sony 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss for pro work, and they swear by it.
Another prime lens focal length I recommend is 50mm. The nifty-fifty can produce a flattering portrait, and the narrower field of view and increased ability to blur the background (when compared to 35mm) can help isolate your subject.
Sony crop sensor owners can take advantage of the affordable, lightweight and optically impressive Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens, which translates to approximately 50mm in full frame terms.
For Sony full frame cameras, there’s the Sony 50mm f/1.8 at the affordable end, and at twice the price, the Sony 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss. Are those extra dollars worth it? Definitely. The 55mm is an incredible lens – probably the sharpest in the Sony line up, and optically superb.
As an added benefit of using a Sony full frame mirrorless camera, you have one click access to an APS-C crop mode. This means that if I’m using a 55mm lens, in one button press I can convert it to an 82.5mm lens. This is super useful when shooting a one-lens set up, which is what I aim to do as often as possible.
In February 2018, Sigma announced 9 brand new native Sony E-Mount Art series lenses, meaning Sony shooters can now take advantage of Sony’s high speed continuous AF (AF-C) and Eye AF with these third-party options.
Pricing for the Sigma Sony E Mount lenses is similar to their Nikon, Canon and Sigma mount counterparts, but still remains competitive when compared to Sony own-brand lenses (see most recent pricing here).
I haven’t had a chance to properly test out these new lenses, but if Sigma’s previous ART lenses are anything to go by, they’ll be on par, if not better, than their Sony equivalents.
Recommended Flashes & Triggers for Sony Cameras
There are several flashes available for the Sony mirrorless camera system, both Sony-branded and third-party.
If you’re a heavy flash user, and rely on them professionally to be built to last, and fire and recycle as quickly as possible, the Sony branded flashes such as the powerful and reliable Sony HVLF60M are the best option.
However, if you’re like me and only use flash as a last resort, (usually on the dance-floor at a wedding), you can save a lot of money by investing in the growing number of third-party options out there.
The Godox series of flashes (rebranded sometimes as Cheetah, Flashpoint, etc.) are a popular option, both for full frame and crop sensor Sony cameras.
It supports TTL, high-speed-sync, and even has a built-in receiver! At less than $90 (see latest price here), and weighing in at a measly 200g (7oz) without batteries, it’s a no-brainer to buy a couple of these bad boys whether you intend to trigger them together or not.
I can’t get over the fact that 2 flashes and 1 wireless trigger now takes up the same amount of room in my camera bag as one of my old Nikon camera bodies!
If you need something a little more powerful for on-camera flash use, the Godox V860II is a great choice, with up to 650 pops on full power and a fast 1.5s recycle time. You can get it bundled with the same X1t-S wireless transceiver and some other gizmos here.
For those transitioning to Sony from other systems, remember too of course that you can still use your own-brand flashes on the Sony camera bodies, albeit in manual mode.
As for flash modifiers, you can’t go wrong with the MagMod system. I own pretty much all of their modifiers, but mainly use the MagGrid and MagSphere (available together in the MagMod Starter Flash Kit) during the wedding reception.
I also experiment with the Manfrotto Lumimuse 8 LED light on the hot shoe of my Sony cameras, and love its tiny size/weight combined with a surprisingly powerful beam. Off-camera, it can be easily palmed by an assistant or passerby, to be used to create a quick rim-light behind the subject.
Recommended Tripods for Sony Cameras
I’ve written extensively on the best tripods in the past, so won’t go into too much detail here. Also, it goes without saying that any tripod can be used with any camera, so recommending tripods for Sony cameras seems a little unnecessary.
Having said that, here are the tripods I use with my Sony a7 III to really take advantage of the smaller gear set up.
First off, there’s no getting away with the versatility of a Gorillpod. With so many cheap knock-offs on the market, I still recommend investing in the real thing – my first choice being the GorillaPod Hybrid.
I tend to use my GorillaPod as a way to grip the camera at arm’s length when filming (a la Casey Neistat!), and also own and recommend the Manfrotto B-PIXI mini-tripod for traveling and as a tripod for iPhones too.
Getting the legs of the GorillaPod exactly straight for ground use is annoying, so in these situations I prefer the simplicity of the B-PIXI to grab a quick stabilized shot. You can also get it here with a neat mobile phone attachment, for filming B-Roll or taking a quick timed-selfie :-)
As for taller DSLR tripods, there are many great ones available, but I recommend the Rangers 57″ Lightweight Tripod which packs up small, doubles as a monopod, and costs less than 70 bucks! Even though you’ve probably never heard of Rangers, the tripod is backed up with plenty of 5 star reviews (see here).
As for triggering the Sony camera when attached to a tripod, the CamKix Wireless Bluetooth remote is affordable and handy, helping you keep your camera completely still when taking a long exposure, or allowing you to get a quick selfie without having to resort to the Play Memories app.
Recommended Memory Cards for Sony Cameras
Memory cards are another necessary purchase that are obviously not uniquely Sony accessories. That said, there are some memory cards that will help you make the most of your Sony camera’s high speed shooting capabilities.
There’s also the question of recording video to memory cards. In order to be able to record in the high-bitrate that XAVC S uses, you’ll need a Class 6, 10 (or higher) card which is at least 64GB in size..
In general, I recommend investing in the biggest capacity memory card that you can, since running out of space while shooting sucks. Also, it’s in the actual switching in and out of memory cards that increases the likelihood of corruption, or other issues resulting from dust and dirt entering the camera. If you have larger capacity SD cards, you’ll not need to swap cards.
With the money you save by getting a SanDisk ‘Extreme’ card (rather than the Plus or Pro versions which aren’t really necessary at this level), I recommend you get the largest capacity 256GB card (currently on sale here), to ensure you never run out of space when filming at 4k.
If you own the Sony a9 or Sony a7 series of camera, a fast USS-II memory card is highly recommended especially if you shoot 4k.
As for stills photography, the faster write speed of the UHS-II format allows the camera to clear its buffer faster between burst shots. The faster read speed also makes the file transfer process quicker when you’re back at your computer.
Again, if you plan to shoot video, stick with SD cards that are over 64GB in capacity.
It’s worth noting that the 2nd SD memory card slot in your Sony camera doesn’t exploit the UHS-II speeds, and when you’re shooting to both slots simultaneously (for backup), the slower card will always be the bottleneck (i.e. the camera’s write speeds will be as fast as the slowest card in either slot when writing to both at the same time).
I have to admit I haven’t done any testing myself to ascertain which memory card combination works best, but there’s a useful real-world discussion here – prepare to be put to sleep with lots of data!
Either way, you should make sure to get the best UHS-II memory card for the primary slot if you want fastest performance, especially if you own the Sony a7R III (reviewed here) with its huge image files.
If you’re ready to invest in the absolute best memory card for your Sony full frame camera, the Sony SF-G UHS-II SDXC memory cards are the cream of the crop – you get the world’s fastest SD card performance – read speeds of up to 300 MB/s and write speeds of up to 299 MB/s.
Personally I prefer having a larger capacity card than the absolute fastest write rates, so I use two 256GB SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards which are cost-effective and very reliable.
Another good option are the Lexar Professional 256GB memory cards, despite Lexar as a company not existing any more.
Recommended Screen Protectors for Sony Cameras
Just like when buying a smartphone, the first thing when buying any camera with an LCD screen (particularly a touch-screen) should be a screen protector.
Screen protectors for Sony Alpha cameras range in price and quality, but I recommend the Expert Shield Crystal Clear. It’s a little fiddly to put on, but lies flat to the camera and provides good clarity.
Recommended Video Gear for Sony Cameras
Using my Sony a7 III to shoot video is a relatively recent interest of mine.
Us stills-photographers rarely touch that little red ‘record’ button on our cameras, but I think it’s time we all started experimenting a bit :-)
Being able to shoot in 4k in conjunction with fast prime lenses can give cinematic video quality, and features like in-camera image stabilisation and full AF with subject tracking really makes capturing memories in motion-picture much easier than before.
I’m definitely no video expert, but I have a few friends who are, and they all shoot with Sony. The Sony accessories they recommended to a first time videographer like me are as follows:
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable way to record quality audio from the top of your Sony camera, the Rode VideoMicro is a great start. At less than 60 bucks (latest price here), it’s a good introduction to capturing high quality audio, especially if you’re still testing the waters of being a video shooter.
I don’t own either so can’t really comment, but what I will say is that the Takstar is so cheap that it’s worth a shot first, especially if you’re not sure about whether you’ll be shooting video regularly.
The in-camera stabilization of Sony cameras is decent, but if you want really smooth, cinematic quality video footage, a gimbal is a must-have.
Gimbals are also a more comfortable and secure way to hold your camera with one-hand at a distance from your body.
There are plenty of cheap and nasty gimbals out there that are certainly tempting for first-time video shooters, but it’s definitely an area where you get what you pay for.
You don’t need to spend a fortune at this stage, but something like the Zhiyun Crane 2 is a great option for Sony cameras.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the dial on the handle of the Crane 2 to adjust the focus of your Sony camera (a feature exclusive to Canon cameras), so you need to rely on your Sony camera’s subject tracking, or your own manual focusing abilities.
If you absolutely need to follow-focus using the gimbal’s dial, Zhiyun Crane offers this Follow Focus device that fits the bill.
Recommended Field Monitor
A dedicated monitor may not be top of your list of Sony accessories, but as you become more confident with your video shooting, it’s useful if not essential.
Having a larger monitor on top of your camera allows you to compose your shot and check focus much easier than by trying to use the LCD on the back of your camera.
There’s currently no Sony mirrorless camera that has a 180 degree rotatable LCD screen, so a hot-shoe mounted monitor is a must-have if you plan to use your Sony camera for vlogging.
The Feelworld FW-760 is a popular 7″ monitor option for Sony cameras – lightweight, high contrast, full HD and affordable (latest price here). The IPS panel features a 160° degree viewing angle, and the unit feels secure when attached to your camera’s hot shoe.
A budget option to get a front-viewable screen on your Sony camera is to use the Sony Play Memories app to ‘stream’ your camera’s video Live View to a smartphone, then use this cheap CamKix adapter kit to attach the phone to your hot-shoe mount.
Recommended Sony Accessories | Final Words
With their class-leading features and competitive pricing, Sony cameras offer a lot to photographers and videographers here in 2018.
Thanks to the growing number of Sony accessories on the market, we can really take advantage of the smaller form factor and latest technology of these incredible cameras.
I’ll be adding to this list of recommended accessories for Sony cameras in the coming months when I come across great products for both Sony stills and video shooters.
If you own a Sony and have any recommendations on how to get even more out of it, be sure to leave us a comment below.
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.