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8 Best Photography Accessories Under $1000

by Alec Druggan on Jun 1, 2021

In this article, you will see the best camera accessories under $1000. This is part of a series where we provide advice as to what photography gear you can purchase for yourself or for a photographer as a gift. Each article will offer equipment we believe best fits the price level.

Why you should trust us

We are photographers and photography enthusiasts with decades of experience using various photography software and hardware for all types of photography scenarios.

Who this is for

Beginner photographers or professionals looking for the latest essentials under $1000.

Before purchasing, consider your needs and do further research to ensure the product is an ideal choice for your situation.

How we picked

Each item in this article comes from our past experience, and each could be useful in various situations.

Photography Accessories Under $1000

There are many cool tools, budget options, and camera accessories for photographers beneath or right at the sweet $1000 price point. Some of these are great options that let you dip your toes in the water; whether it’s your first time experiencing a specific genre, stylization, or creative effect. Other options on the list might be temporary solutions while you save up for that high-quality piece of gear, and the rest of the possibilities cater to other problems, ideas, solutions, or are just plain fun to have.

Gitzo Lightweight Series 1

1. Gitzo Lightweight Series 1

Carbon Fiber | Ball head | 3.2 lbs | Holds 22 lbs

When you start looking at high-end tripods it is important that you know what feature set you are looking for. At this price point, you can choose from much heavier and robust studio tripods or high-quality lightweight carbon fiber tripods like this Gitzo Traveller option. 

Of course, the build quality of this tripod is exceptional; it is the main reason why the tripod is on the higher end. This tripod is astoundingly lightweight and small when collapsed. That makes it the dream tripod for someone who needs a tripod they can take with them to travel. In both cases, if you are someone who uses a tripod in a stationary environment or needs a tripod to bring with you, this tripod is perfect. A studio tripod doesn’t need to be made of fancy materials, and an older steel model that just sits in the studio with a modern head works. When it comes to travel, though, you want a light tripod that still provides you with great stability for longer exposures, which is why this lightweight option is so great. 

Leofoto LN-404C

2. Leofoto LN-404C

78″ Tall | 40mm legs | Flat Plate and Bowl Adapter

If you already have your perfect tripod head or have one you dream of, then these Leofoto tripod legs are my recommendation for the best legs around this price point. If they are missing a feature you want or a different option, rest assured that Leofoto makes tonnes of different options targeted at those wanting one or some minor differences between them.

Taking a look at this set of legs, you can see that once again, like the Gitzo tripod, great materials and high-quality construction call for a relatively high price. You also get the added bowl head functionality, which, for those used to more traditional tripod legs, is a great feature. This adds another adjustment layer and makes it much easier to set up a level head on top of the legs, regardless of the terrain on which you might have to place your tripod. This is accompanied by a hefty locking mechanism so that you don’t have to worry about the security or de-leveling of your gear while working on these legs.



400Ws | LED Modeling Lamp | TTL

When it comes to lighting, the under $1,000 price point still doesn’t bring us to the top-of-the-line equipment that some photographers and studios use, but it does allow for high-quality wireless lights. Of the variety of single strobes in this price point that you could purchase, the Godox AD400 Pro stands out to us as the best value.

The AD400 Pro comes equipped with all the features that you might expect from a wired high-end strobe, and then also allows you to use the Godox 2.4 GHz wireless system. This is one of the best systems for triggering flashes, and I heavily recommend that if you are just starting to move away from speedlights or into artificial light/flash photography, you build out a Godox system.

If you don’t need as much light as the AD400 Pro will provide, you can choose to invest in the smaller sibling, the AD200 Pro. You can even set multiple AD200 Pros together to mimic the 400, and their small size and portability make them a great alternative for the more mobile or travel-focused flash photographer.

On the other hand, if you’re doing anything in a studio space, or are willing to carry heavier gear for the quality of light and how well these lights work with high-end modifiers, the AD400 Pro is where you need to point your wallet. 

ViewSonic VP2785-4K

4. ViewSonic VP2785-4K 

Hardware Calibratino | 4K | HDR | 60Hz

Close to $1,000 is when you are able to purchase monitors that begin to hit the ranges of color and brightness to utilize alongside high-quality printers. This ViewSonic model is one of the best in the price range. It is tailored for the Adobe RGB color space, which is one of the widest used in commercial printing. It comes factory calibrated for you, which means that your own tailored calibrations have a fantastic starting point and won’t need to be massive out of the box. 

To power this monitor, make sure that you have either a desktop computer that can run your photo editing programs in 4K or a laptop that meets those needs and has the proper outputs as well. You don’t want to invest in an incredible screen like this if your hardware can’t support it – if that is the case, a new computer and a slightly less (but still great) quality monitor might be in the cards for you, instead.

Nanuk 960

5. Nanuk 960

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Traveling with large amounts of photography equipment is stressful. Even if traveling with just a carry-on, the worry of having it stolen or bumped and broken hangs heavily on the shoulders of photographers. 

This Nanuk case is one of the end-game-worthy solutions to the transport of your photography gear. With a customizable interior, options of either felt-lined dividers or cubed foam, high endurance plastic and metal construction, ease of transportation, and high clamping force, you can rest a little bit easier on those flights where you aren’t allowed to carry on 100+ lb.s of electronics. 

Still, make sure to insure your gear and try your hardest not to abuse the case. It can take a lot, and should never break, but don’t push the limits that you don’t have to. 

Loupedeck CT

6. Loupedeck CT

Native Integrations | Natural Controls | Made for Pros | Digital and Tactile

When looking at options under $500, the Loupedeck+ was a suggestion for an analog UI interactive experience for photo editing. Just outside of that price bracket exists the best version of the Loupedeck: the Loupedeck Creative Tool. 

The original Loupedeck was intended as a photographer’s tool, hence the name. The Loupedeck Creative Tool is useful for those pursuing basically all digital media creation endeavors but is still great for the photographer.

Instead of having more dials and buttons with preassigned options, the Loupedeck Creative Tool allows for insane levels of customization. One large reason I prefer it to the Loupedeck+ is that, instead of being a complete replacement to your keyboard and mouse, the Loupedeck Creative Tool actually works fantastically alongside your other desktop accessories. 

That being said, it is possible to customize it anywhere in the spectrum if being the sole way you interact with Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop, and many other programs, or being something you use alongside your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad in a specific way. It lets you build your workflow in the way most efficient for you. 

TerraMaster F5-422

7. TerraMaster F5-422

5 Bays | RAID Setup | 1GbE | 4GB RAM | 3.5″ or 2.5″ Drives

File storage is something that a lot of us photographers have to deal with. In a perfect world, we would have all probably kept a lot more RAW files than we have. That’s where a good NAS (Network Attached Storage) comes in. Off-site storage is expensive, and additional copies on your own hardware have gotten more expensive, particularly as Megapixel counts have added more to the size of the files we work on, and many computers today don’t allow expandable storage (especially when it comes to laptops).

This NAS is a great first NAS, as it is rather easy to get working, and offers RAID functionality. Where this is superior to something like the pile of Lacie hard drives in my desk is that expanding the storage in the NAS doesn’t mean that you now have to track down where specific files, projects, and revisions might be when one hard drive has filled up. Instead, with a NAS, you can have all your files in one place. You can even import your photographs directly to the NAS, and not have the problem of having to read off of a slower hard drive by using a wired connection.

While it is still incredibly important to make sure you have multiple copies of your work and you are saving both on and off-site, a NAS is the first step in moving away from the horde of expandable storage drives that you don’t want to have to deal with. It takes time and money, but good storage is a worthy investment. 

Prime Lens

8. Prime Lens

Fixed Focal Length | Fast Aperture | Lightweight | Compact | Sharp

If you’re typically a Zoom lens shooter, then I highly suggest a prime lens. First off, these lenses are a great option for the photographer that might not have explored moving to take and frame photographs as much. Being forced into a particular focal length for all your photos means that the burden is on you to recompose, to take the time, and to create work that you are proud of. 

Now, prime lenses aren’t just great because they can help make you a better, more creative, photographer. Prime lenses are fantastic because of their massive widest apertures, and their incredible sharpness and overall image quality. 

Because prime lenses only need to focus light onto your camera’s sensor at a particular focal length, they can be designed to much higher quality for significantly less money than a zoom lens of the same roundabout focal length. And, because the aperture doesn’t have to shift to make this happen, you can have a much, much, wider maximum aperture without the weight or expense that would occur if you were to attempt such an aperture on a zoom lens.

Here are some different options for prime lenses for different camera mounts and manufacturers that I would personally recommend:

At the end of the day, almost all camera manufacturers are going to sell a variety of prime lenses, like the 35mm and 85mm variants listed above. Some of the best prime lenses are going to be in the normal range or the telephoto portrait range. Additionally, prime lenses in the ultra-wide focal length, like <20mm, with large maximum apertures are all you really need to start capturing photos of the milky way – if you can get the timing, light pollution, and all of that right. 

Prime lenses are also what you can use to create the portrait effect that inspired modern smartphone’s different versions of portrait mode. The smooth creamy bokeh and crazy blur is an effect of distance to subject, aperture, and focal length, and can be achieved very easily with a telephoto prime lens.

We hope that you walked away with some ideas as camera gifts under $1000, or some new camera accessories under $1000 to take your photography career to new heights.

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