For the second part of our round-up of the best buys from our testing archive, we reveal our favourite photography accessories.
Billingham Hadley Pro 2020
£239 l www.billingham.co.uk
The latest model in this iconic line of British-made satchel-style bags includes some well-considered updates, such as a detachable shoulder strap. It’s impeccably constructed from premium materials to keep your kit protected, including Billingham’s signature triple-layer canvas that’s impermeable to water. It’s pricey, but will last for decades. Reviewed 5 October 2019.
Vanguard Veo Select 49
£119 l www.vanguardworld.co.uk
This cleverly designed bag comes with both a backpack harness and a shoulder strap, and can be switched between the two carrying modes quickly and easily. There’s space for one or two cameras and 3-5 extra lenses, along with a separate compartment for a 15in laptop and a tablet. Reviewed 6 Jul 2019.
Gitzo Adventury 30L
£209 l www.gitzo.com/uk-en
This sizeable backpack will hold a pro-spec DSLR with a 70-200mm lens attached and a second body plus up to 4 lenses. An expandable roll top provides plenty of space for personal items, and the bag also boasts tablet and laptop compartments. It’s comfortable to carry fully loaded and offers first-class protection. Reviewed 8 Sep 2018.
Lowepro Photostream RL150
£139 l www.lowepro.com/uk-en
This carry-on compatible roller case features an armoured exterior and a flexible interior to protect your gear. It can hold one or two DSLRs with a 70-200mm f/2.8 attached, plus up to eight additional lenses. The construction and materials are second to none, so it should survive years of use. Reviewed 12 May 2018. Reviewed 21 Mar 2020.
Cullmann Rondo 460M RB8.5
£71 l www.transcontinenta.co.uk/cullmann
If you want a fully featured tripod kit on a budget, this is a great choice. Four-section aluminium legs provide a maximum height of 160cm, while packing down to 43.5cm. It’s rated to support a 4kg load, weighs 1.46kg, and one leg can be combined with the centre column to form a monopod. Reviewed 21 Mar 2020.
Sirui Traveller T-025SK with B-00B head
£155 l www.sirui.com
This fantastic travel tripod provides impressive stability given its diminutive dimensions. It folds down to just 32cm and weighs less than 1kg yet extends to 128cm thanks to its five-section carbon fibre legs. The two-section centre column is removable to enable low-level shooting. It’ll support a surprisingly substantial load. Reviewed 17 Nov 2018.
Manfrotto 190 Go! MT190GOC4
£239 l www.manfrotto.com/uk-en
With 4-section carbon fibre legs that can each be set to four angles, this sturdy, versatile tripod achieves a maximum height of 147cm while folding down to 45cm, and weighs 1.35kg. But its party trick is a centre column that can be set horizontally for overhead or low-level shooting. Reviewed 1 Jun 2019.
£159 l www.benroeu.com
This relatively lightweight and portable geared head employs an Arca Swiss type quick release. Three large control knobs, one for each axis of movement, drive the camera directly in the corresponding direction, allowing highly accurate setting of composition. With its sturdy magnesium alloy construction, it’s rated to support a 6kg load. Reviewed 26 May 2018.
Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR
£99 l www.vanguardworld.co.uk
This unusual monopod boasts an extended height of 1630mm, a folded height of 565mm and a maximum load capacity of 6kg. Three foldable legs at the base provide a tri-stand platform, and are linked to the four-section carbon fibre leg via a ball joint that allows smooth panning and tilting motions. Reviewed 30 May 2015.
£159 l www.kenro.co.uk
A compact flashgun that’s designed for mirrorless cameras, the i40 stands out for its high specification, compact size and ease of use. Its auto-zoom head covers lenses from 24-105mm equivalent. With a powerful output that belies its size, and a built-in LED video light, it’s available for most brands of camera. Reviewed 3 May 2014.
£70 l www.hahnel.ie
This dual battery charger boasts a sturdy metal shell and interchangeable plates that each accept a pair of batteries. An LCD display shows progress, and a 2.4A USB output allows phones or tablets to be charged once the camera batteries are full. Versions are available for all the main camera brands. Reviewed 24 Feb 2018.
Datacolor SpyderX Pro
£159 l www.datacolor.com
If you like to post-process your images, you need to be sure that your monitor is showing colours accurately. Datacolor has designed the SpyderX to calibrate your display faster then ever before, with the process taking about two minutes. For most photographers the Pro package makes most sense. Reviewed 6 Apr 2019
X-Rite i1Studio / Calibrite ColorChecker Studio
£349 l www.colourconfidence.com
This kit enables photographers to adopt a completely colour-managed workflow, from capture through display to print. It allows profiling of cameras, scanners, monitors, projectors and printers, and works with both Mac and Windows computers. It’s a great tool for any photographer who likes to print at home. Reviewed 19 Jan 2019.
Hoya Ultra-Pro Circular Polariser
£47-£179 l www.intro2020.co.uk
Hoya’s premium range of circular polarisers is available in 13 sizes from 37mm to 82mm. These filters feature 16 layers of anti-reflective coatings, high transmission, and are designed to repel water and oil while being scratch and stain resistant. An ultra-thin aluminium frame prevents vignetting when used with wideangle lenses. Reviewed 3 Mar 2018.
Epson Expression Photo XP970
£229 l www.epson.co.uk
An update to the XP960, which won our coveted gold award, this impressive multifunctional unit provides A3 printing ability while retaining a compact footprint. Along with a conventional USB connection, it can print over Wi-Fi, or directly from an SD card or USB stick, controlled using the excellent colour LCD touchscreen. Other useful features include an A4 scanner and double-sided document printing. Reviewed October 2016 .Fujifilm Instax Mini Link
£110 l www.instax.co.uk
Powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, this smart little printer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and is controlled using an attractively designed and intuitive app. It’s small enough to slip into a coat pocket or bag, and most importantly, delivers gorgeous little prints with fine detail and vivid colour. Reviewed 2 Nov 2019
WD MyPassport Wireless Pro
£150-£240 l shop.westerndigital.com/en-gb
This handy device lets you back up your pictures from your camera to its internal hard disc without the need for a computer. It has a built-in SD card reader, and a USB 2.0 port that allows backup of other card types using plug-in readers. Its rechargeable battery will last for hours. Reviewed 25 Mar 2017