10 Innovative Photographic Accessories for Your Favorite Image Maker


Almost every fashionista out there knows about the power and importance of accessories. Photographers, fashionistas, or not, also know that accessories are not only niceties, they are downright mandatory for all photographers in the digital age. Let us look at some innovative accessories that have hit B&H Photo over the past couple of years.

1. Gnarbox

There are portable backup devices for digital images, and then there is the Gnarbox. The biggest difference between the Gnarbox and a regular boring external hard drive is that the Gnarbox lets you organize and edit your images and videos with your mobile device—even raw files! Now you can leave your heavy laptop at home and use your phone as if it were your editing suite. Pretty cool! Check out our hands-on review here.

GNARBOX 128GB Portable Backup & Editing System

2. Canon SELPHY Printer

The proof of the picture is in the printing, but printers are not generally portable, so turning your digital images into prints is usually a process that happens well after capture. You can use instant film and an instant camera, but, if you are shooting digital images and you want to share 4 x 6 prints almost instantly, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Compact Printer is your most innovative option. It’s perfect for events and parties. When was the last time you shared a print?

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Compact Photo Printer

Check out our other mobile printers here.

3. Angler ParaSail Parabolic Umbrella

The photo umbrella has been ubiquitous in the light-shaping world since the early days of artificial lighting for photos. I remember dad using silver umbrellas to pose us for family portraits when I was a kid. Angler has changed the umbrella by changing the traditional shape, making it much more versatile, with the ParaSail Parabolic Umbrella. Not only can you adjust the reflective surface to meet your needs, but the shape of the ParaSail allows you to use it in places where a traditional umbrella would never fit.

Angler ParaSail Parabolic Umbrella

4. Luxli Viola On-Camera LED Light

Artificial lighting for your camera allows unlimited creative illuminating possibilities. Unfortunately, most lighting systems are virtual one-trick-ponies unless you add accessories. The Luxli Viola On-Camera LED light is an accessory with creative accessories built in. Luxli produced a video demonstrating the versatility of the lighting system, using a handful of Violas, and we took a behind-the-scenes look at how the company did it. Check it out and imagine the creative images you can capture with the Viola or its bigger 10" brother, the Luxli Cello.

Luxli Viola 5" On-Camera RGB LED Light

5. Angler Collapsible LED Softbox

LED light panels are revolutionizing the photographic light market. Lightweight, powerful, cool to the touch—LEDs have been steadily gaining in popularity for years. But the light can be a bit harsh. Fret not—Angler has invented the Collapsible Softbox for your 12x12" LED or 6x12" LED panel lights. It comes with an optional grid for directing the light, does not require a speed ring or other attachment system, and collapses into a small storage bag so that your LED panel setup stays super portable.

Angler Collapsible Softbox for 12x12" LED Lights

6. miggo Splat

Tripods are essential for many types of photography. However, even with travel tripods and tabletop tripods, the single largest discourager for carrying them with you 24/7 is the size and bulk of the kit. Enter the miggo Splat Pro Flexible Mini Tripod. The largest Splat can support 5.3 pounds—plenty of support for many camera/lens combinations when you want to stabilize your rig for that impromptu night landscape shot. Two smaller versions are designed for lighter loads, and the flexible device allows you to wrap it around poles and other structures.

miggo Splat Pro Flexible Mini Tripod

Check out our other tabletop and mini tripods, as well as this roundup of alternative supports.

7. Palette Aluminum Starter Control Surface Kit

Do you remember tuning analog AM/FM stereos in your car or home? You used dials to change the channel, right? Well, these days, we use a computer mouse to move sliders on a computer screen. What happened to the awesome interface of the dial? Palette gives you that tactile control again with its customizable USB systems that let you program post-processing controls into a physical setup of dials, buttons, and levers. If you are doing heavy editing work, these devices might speed your workflow while also being fun to use!

Palette Aluminum Starter Control Surface Kit

8. Wacom Intuos

The Wacom Intuos Pro Pen Tablet may fall under the category of the accessory you did not know you needed. We all learned how to write before we learned to type. And most of us, I think, learned how to draw before we learned how to take photographs. The computer mouse is better than ever—ergonomic, precise, familiar. But, holding a pen is something even more natural and comfortable for most of us. Combine that with the flexibility and pressure-sensitive precision of the Wacom, and those who spend lots of time post-processing their images experience a game-changer.

Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet

9. Xcellon USB 3.0 Type-C Mini Docking Station

I am going to resist jumping on a soapbox about the banishment of USB ports, card readers, and headphone jacks from a certain company’s products. You are welcome. But, I feel your pain and you feel mine. Thankfully, we have accessories like the Xcellon USB 3.0 Type-C Mini Docking Station to let us plug our stuff into our new(er) things.

Xcellon USB 3.0 Type-C Mini Docking Station

10. Lumu Power Color and Light Meter

Like tripods, light meters are very useful, but not always carried around, because many of us try to travel light whenever we can. Continuing a popular theme that owes itself to the power of the smartphone, the Lumu Power Color & Light Meter is a light meter that attaches to your Lightning-port-compatible iPhone or iPad. It also reads color temperature, a rare feature usually only found on high-end color and light meters.

Lumu Power Color & Light Meter Attachment for iOS Devices

What innovative accessories have changed the way you pursue your photographic passions? What can you not live without, and what do you wish you had? Let us know, below!