Outfitting Your DSLR on the Cheap
As with most 'all-in-one' solutions, off-the-shelf DSLR kits have their limitations. Most include a body, lens, winder, and flash, which is adequate for most applications. But there comes a time when the zoom lens that came with the camera isn't wide enough, long enough, or fast enough for your needs. Your camera's built-in winder has its limitations, and the built-in flash also goes just so far. Beyond casual snapshots and party pictures, they quickly become anemic, and the dead-on blast of light that emanates in line with the lens can make casual portraits look like mug shots. Have I touched a sore spot in your photographic life?
To help you better deal with this debilitating condition - officially known in the industry as all-in-one syndrome - we offer a selection of accessories from a company named Zeikos that address these creative roadblocks painlessly and affordably. Included in the Zeikos line-up are battery grips for a variety of DSLRs from Canon and Nikon, as well as remote control units, shoe-mounted speedlites, and off-camera TTL flash cords.
The advantages of attaching battery grips to your DSLR are 2-fold. First off, Zeikos battery grips hold dual lithium-ion batteries, which double the number of images you can capture before sputtering out of juice. Depending on the model, some Zeikos grips also offer you the option of substituting AA batteries (standard or rechargeable), which means you can power-up at any convenience store and most gas stations. The other advantage of using a battery grip is the vertical shutter release, which makes your camera more comfortable to shoot with when holding the camera vertically. Battery grips also lend a better balance to the camera, especially when shooting with longer lenses. Equally important, they're cool-looking.
For Canon shooters Zeikos manufactures the ZE-680X Speedlite (TTL & E-TTL), which features a guide number of 185 @ ISO100 with 7 power levels, a zoom head that swivels and tilts upward at 30, 45, 60, and 75-degree angles. Zeikos also makes a handy Slave Flash that works with most all DSLRs, flash bracket included.
To facilitate using your flash off-camera without losing TTL functionality, Zeikos offers a selection of Off-Camera Flash cords that are compatible with Nikon, Canon, and other brand DSLRs.
Lastly, for minimizing camera shake and/or firing your camera remotely, Zeikos offers a selection of Remote Control switches that work with a variety of popular DSLRs.
And like the blog title implies, all of the above are extremely affordable.