Outfitting My New Hobby


TPF Noob!
Jan 16, 2012
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I'm a newbie, but I'm loving all that I'm seeing here. :)

I recently took the plunge into the SLR world and bought a Canon Rebel T3, low on the totem pole, but I love it! Great piece of equipment to learn on. I attached a few pics that I've taken, the detail it grabs is amazing.

I bought the kit, so I have the 18-55mm lens with it and also bundled in the 75-300mm lens. I wanted the 250mm lens, but it was sold out.

But, here's my question: What must have extras would you recommend for a beginners setup? Tripod? Monopod? External Flash? Marco extension tube? Etc. I'm open to any and all opinions!!
EDIT: I currently plan to use my camera mainly to photograph animals and wildlife.






Now go out and get a tripod and don't be too lazy to use it!
Remember, you get what you pay for, so don't be shocked at the prices, but you will never regret it.
Maybe get a nice bag that you can carry everything in. Function over form -

Don't think your camera is the bottom of the totem pole, it's a better camera than my old rebel XTI and some of my best selling images were shot using that very camera.
Buy the things you feel limited by not owning.

If you don't know what you need, you most likely don't need anything.

Outgrow your equipment, then by new stuff.

Learn the basics, then the more advanced things.
Off camera flash and tripods both open up worlds of possibilities, depends on what you like to shoot.

Have a read over at Strobist, he blogs about cheap off camera flash, great explanations.
Here is what I would recommend, 1) a bag. 2) an extra battery. 3) an extra card if you find your are filling yours up quickly. When funds allow and assuming your still shooting away, then tripod, monopod, flash (430exII would be a good start) and glass. Though I numbered them, really there is no particular order.

You will quickly know find out were you are wanting. This stuff gets expensive and really is a "you get what you pay for" venture.

And I'd skip the marco tubes. LOL
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Welcome! The T3 is a great camera. You can achieve amazing photos if you use it correctly. As for your next purchases, I would highly recommend a flash. If you can afford it, grab a used 430ex. If not you can get any cheapo bounce flash. It'll change your pictures completely. After that get a 50mm. It's too cheap not to have in your bag (you do have a bag right?)
A flash will come in handy if he catches the "animals and wildlife" he currently plans to shoot and poses them for portraits!

I know you guys were just mentioning it....
Resist the urge keep buying more and more stuff. Gear acquisition syndrome GAS will cost you a bunch and usually doesn't help much. The camera you have right is infinitely better than the ones used to take some of the worlds greatest pictures
Animals are easy to photograph if they allow you to approach them. "Wildlife" OTOH, can be difficult without a pretty long lens, and the ability to stalk or set up in blind or "hide" as the Brits call it, is helpful too. I would try learning to use what you have for a few more months, after which length of time you will have some first-hand experience with what types of situations are difficult for you, with your current equipment. Make haste slowly!!!
I think that adding additional bits and pieces to your photographic kit is a bit like renovating a house. After 30 years in the real estate business, I always advise a potential renovator to live in the house for six months before they start tearing walls down! You have some good kit there, so learn to live with it for six months before you start splashing your wallet around and buy stuff that, in hindsight, you could have done without.
Welcome, I am also a newbie with a T3. From what I have read, a tripod and camera bag would be good accessories to buy first.
Depends on your budget, the 50mm f1.8 for about $120 is a great lens, and I would definitely suggest a tripod and a flash.
Wow! I thank you all for the advice!!

I do have a camera bag or lock box rather. It's a Vaultz Hard case with a combination lock. The camera, lenses, battery and charger all fit in nice and it has enough room and padding to keep everything from getting dinged up. I also have a small fanny type bag that I use when I'm walking around with my camera.

I have spare SD cards! I heard the video portion eats them up very fast.

analog.universe I appreciate the link to the blog! I'm reading it over and it seems to have lots of good pointers! :)

So a good Tripod and a Flash would be helpful add ons. I'll definitely be scouting those out, the tripods especially, because I am getting some shaky shots when I use the telephoto lens.

Derrel and favfern, I like that way of thinking. Learn to use what I have for an amount of time and then decide what could help me improve. :)

What about Filters? I've read a ton about them, but I'm still getting confused over all the types offered.

I'm a hunter. I know how to get close to wildlife. The camera is a little loud when taking pics, but we'll see how it goes. I'm a freelance writer as well, so having some good high quality pics to go along with my articles is a bonus.

If you're looking at tripods this is the article that gets thrown around to talk you out of a cheap one: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

You don't need to spend as much as he does, but his points about what you need a tripod to do and how to tell if it's doing it are valid.

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