Amazon's annual "Prime Day " sale begins on July 16, and avid Amazon shoppers like myself are chomping at the bit. Even though the last few years didn't live up to the hype, I still find myself looking forward to the sale. Novice photographers spend a lot of time looking for deals on camera gear when they're getting started, and Prime Day just may be the chance to grab quality gear at a discounted price. Here are three pieces of photography gear I think beginning photographers should seek out on Prime Day.
1. A quality tripod
In most cases, when aspiring photographers get their first "nice" camera, a tripod is usually omitted. Having a tripod is so useful for multiple types of photography, but absolutely crucial when trying to minimize image blur. Be sure to pick up a tripod that will be tall enough for your comfort and sturdy enough to hold steady during high winds. Also, look for a tripod that can take a beating during transport and travel. Several tripods above $200 are available, but if you're trying find a more affordable model, I wouldn't spend any less than $70. If it's a $20 tripod, more than likely the materials are subpar and will break easily. Manfrotto and Benro are popular brands with outstanding quality, but these companies also offer affordable products. I suggest searching for this travel tripod kit from Benro on Prime Day. If it's not available at a Prime Day discount, that's okay. The current pricing is solid at $139.
SEE: Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best deals for mobile shoppers on Android and iPhone (Download.com)
2. A mini tripod
Speaking of tripods, the mini tripod is an underrated piece of gear for your photography bag. Having a mini tripod allows you to create awesome low angle shots. If you're hardcore with your photography, you may lie on the ground. I don't do that often, though; I'd rather just set up a mini tripod. Get great long exposures from lower angles to create some super dynamic compositions. The first Joby GorillaPod I ever owned was purchased on Prime Day. The 5K model is super sturdy, allowing it hold heavier cameras and lens configurations. You can also grab a ball head with it, as I did with mine. If the Joby is out of your budget, try the Manfrotto mini tripod. It's not as robust but still allows for low-angle shots.
3. A prime lens
Prime lenses (no pun intended) will help you grow as a photographer. You'll be forced to think of your framing and composition because you won't be able to zoom in or out before you shoot. Even though you're denied the ability change focal lengths, you can take advantage of a more wide open aperture. In most cases, you can get prime lenses with aperture ratings of f2.8 or better. These super fast lenses allow for beautiful shallow depth of field and bokeh. The Canon 50mm is my favorite prime at this time. I enjoy the flexibility that comes with this focal length, as it's just wide enough and plenty tight enough for a lot of different compositions. Seek out deals for a 50mm, 40mm, or a 24mm.
SEE: Amazon Prime Day 2018: The top US deals in tech (ZDNet)
I've been a fan of the photography gear offered by Peak Design. I love the Everyday 30L backpack, but the company recently sent me its Lens Kit to try. This device enables you to quickly access your other lenses while on a shoot or photo walk. I've used it during my hikes with ease. I can connect up to two lenses to it, which allows me to switch lenses quickly without having to open my backpack. The Lens Kit integrates seamlessly with the Peak Design anchor system, so I can wear it on a Capture Kit or a camera strap designed by Peak Design.
When Prime Day arrives, make sure your mouse batteries are charged up and your network connectivity has low latency. This is a great time to invest in your craft with nice discounts. If some of the previously mentioned items don't show up on the "discount" list during Prime Day, it's okay. These items are all reasonably priced and offer a great bang for your buck.
- Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best early deals in tech so far (ZDNet)
- 3 things to look for in the Amazon Prime Day 2018 results (ZDNet)
- How to become an Alexa developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- The best Prime Day sales not happening at Amazon: Deals at eBay, GameStop, Newegg, Lowe's and more (CNET)
Your wish list
Are you looking for anything in particular on Prime Day? Share your comments with fellow TechRepublic members or tag me on Twitter.
Ant Pruitt is an IT Support Professional with a passion for showing the non-geek how great technology can be. He writes for a variety of tech publications and hosts his own podcast. Ant is also an avid photographer and weight lifter.