Whether you’re a professional photographer or a novice, chances are you’re not immune to the lure of new camera gadgets. They can make the photo-taking process a little bit easier and your photos turn out just that much better. But the good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get those improved results. We’ve rounded up a few gadgets—all under $80—that you’ll want to put on your wish list right away.
1. Scarf Camera Strap
Scarves are always a trend (or even a necessity) when the cool weather of fall sets in, so why not dress up your camera with one this season? The standard black camera straps everyone has are functional—but that’s about it. Replace yours with one of many options from Capturing Couture that are both functional and pretty. With patterns like leopard print, tie-dye, or stripes, you can even purchase multiples to match different outfits or moods. The scarf-straps are made of a soft rayon blend fabric with no stretch, measuring 14 inches wide and 27 inches long with an adjustability on each side up to 14 inches. Purchase for $39.99.
2. Bubble Level Camera Cube
If you take a lot of landscape photography, you know that getting a level image isn’t always just as easy placing your camera on a tripod. Level your horizons with this bubble level that slides into the hot shoe or flash mount of most standard DSLR or SLR cameras. Like a level you would use for home improvement projects, make sure the bubbles are lined up and you’re ready to shoot! The 3 axis means you get a precise reading that’s easier to see than a level on the tripod itself. Buy the Polaroid Hot Shoe Three Axis Triple Bubble Spirit Level for Canon and Nikon digital and film cameras for $10.99 here.
3. Padded Bag Insert
When you want to tote your camera along with you on a day trip or vacation, isn’t it always a hassle to deal with not only your personal items, but the bag holding your camera equipment as well? With this foam padded insert, you can convert any bag you already own—a backpack, purse, tote bag, etc.—into a safe place to transport and store your camera and lenses. This simple item eliminates the need for you to carry multiple bags on your outing and can make transporting and storing everything once you get home easy as well. The water resistant fabric and 1/2-inch foam padding protect your expensive camera and lenses from anything else you toss along with it. Purchase from Etsy store Darby Mack for $39.
4. Cotton Carrier Strap Shot
How many times have you been on a hike, at your child’s sporting game, or at an event and missed a great photo opportunity because you had to first remove your backpack before even getting access to your camera? This backpack add-on keeps your camera at the ready, but securely locked as well. The Velcro flaps secure around your backpack strap to keep your camera at the front of your body, making it easy to access with instant release so that you never have to miss that shot again. The only way to have easier access to your camera is to carry it in your hand! Buy it here for $79.
5. Gorrillapod Magnetic
As the name implies, this tripod has magnetic feet, which allows you to position it on any metal surface. You can even attach it to curved surfaces! You’re limited to using this with compact digital cameras, small video cameras, or your iPhone, but with 30 rotating leg joints, this tripod is pretty special. The specs include a length of 6 inches and a weight of 11.5 ounces. It can support up to seven times its own weight. Toss it in your equipment bag and you’ll never even know it’s there—that is, until you want to attach it a metal fence or your car. Purchase it from Joby for $24.95.