My Favorite Things Under $200

I wanted to share some of my favorite products, most of which I acquired or discovered this year!  They are not all photography-related.  It’s just a fun list I wanted to share; no one is paying me to endorse their products.

Alright, so this is purely personal.  So don’t judge!  Like my friend, Cheryl, used to always say in a ghetto-fab way, “Love!  Don’t hate!”  :)

Morning Mug

I have to start my list with this product because this mug is how I start each day!

This heavyweight ceramic mug was designed with oodles of love by my 3 monkeys on Mother’s Day!  The side you see here is written and drawn by my son, Ian, who was 4 years old at the time.  “You make me happy.  You’re the best mom ever.  You cheer me up when I’m crying.  I love you.”  <3

[It is a logo-free mug from Starbucks and only costs $15.  I’d buy 10 of these, but that would dilute the importance of this one.  So this will be the only one of these mugs I own.]

Faster Memory Cards

It could be any brand, though I prefer SanDisk, but the point here is that it’s worth spending a little more to get faster cards:  Class 10 and a minimum of 45MB/s.

In previous years, I didn’t think it mattered THAT much since I don’t shoot video, so I had been buying the Ultra line, which has speeds like 30MB/seconds.  Having 45MB/seconds recording time means I no longer get a lag when I check the LCD screen on the back of my camera after shooting a burst of images.  It is a significant difference.

I have SanDisk Extreme in both SD and CF cards.  I’ll never again go back to memory cards that are less than 45MB/s.

[I paid about $180 since I bought mine earlier, but today, a 64GB 45MB/s SanDisk Extreme SD card is only $68!  A CF card that is 32GB and 60MB/s is $94.  It used to be $170!  That’s just cray-cray.]

High-End Filters

In past years, I’ve been sort of a cheapo when it comes to buying lens filters.  I figured I didn’t need anything fancy since I only needed them to protect my lenses, rather than filters that had other “jobs”, like make the clouds pop out or make the sunlight look like a big star.  So why get a high-end filter, right?

Wrong.

This year, I traded up and purchased Nikon filters.  I figured Nikon must make high quality filters since it makes awesome lenses…and they’d need to know how to make filters that keep the quality integrity of their lenses, am I right?!!

At first, I didn’t find much of a difference between this filter and a low-end filter.  After I used it in various lighting conditions, I noticed less chromatic aberration!  This saves me time in post processing.  Booyah!

[Just for comparison sake, a 77mm UV filter can range from $9.49 to hundreds of dollars.  The Nikon Neutral Color filter, shown here, is currently $100.]

Black Rapid DR-2 Straps

I use this strap on every client shoot and would never leave home without it.  ‘Nuff said.

[This BlackRapid DR-2 double strap retails for about $130 and is worth every penny.  To compare the two double straps, here is my review.]

Fun Pens

I can’t help it.  I love using fun pens.  When I saw this big fuzzy Keroppi frog pen at the store, I was all over that!  Brought it straight to the counter to pay for it.  (It was the last one, and I couldn’t chance someone taking it!]

My Keroppi pen makes filling out forms and writing checks fun.  Well, maybe not as much the latter one.

The Bossi Bag by THEIT

If I am going out and need my camera, this is the camera bag I’ll take with me.

If I am going out and don’t need my camera, chances are, I would still choose to take this bag.  Yup, that’s how much I love it.  With purses, I’m not as much of a cheapo budget-minded shopper.  I have big brand snazzy handbags, but The Bossi Bag is lighter and more functional than a lot of my expensive ones.  And let’s be honest, it’s cute!

[The Bossi Bag retails for $159.]

Here’s what it looks like on the inside.  It fits a full frame DSLR body with 2 lenses, iPad, iPhone, wallet, keys and lipstick.  Pretty much everything, but the kitchen sink…and that’s only because kitchen sinks are way too heavy.  And most likely full of dishes.

If you’re curious, here is my full review on this product.

A Necessity

I have two of these:  one in my lens bag and one in my rolling camera bag.  It’s a complete necessity and I use it before every single shoot I do!  It’s the best $8 I’ve ever spent.

On one end, it’s a tip to get rid of smudges, like fingerprints.  The other end is a retractable brush to remove dust and hair and whatever crazy thing that gets blown onto it.  It’s like a Superman of camera accessory products:  it looks innocent (Clark Kent), but it can do pretty heroic things!

[I don’t think there is much of a difference in brands, and there are many.  This Nikon one goes for $8 on Amazon.]

Happy shopping this holiday season… and let me know if you stumble upon any cute and fuzzy pens!

xo,

annie

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