Now that you've finally taken the plunge and purchased a digital camera, it's time to examine the possibility of purchasing two accessories that can help you get the most out of your camera. These days, it's not uncommon for digital cameras to be available in combo packs that include various accessories. That kind of package deal has both positive and negative aspects to it. On the one hand, you can often save some money by purchasing the combo pack versus purchasing each item separately. On the other hand, you often have no real control over which accessories come in the combo pack, so you might end up paying for something that you have no real use for.
That's why if you're relatively new to digital photography, I recommend purchasing accessories one by one. When you do it this way, you not only have complete control over which items you buy, you also don't have to shell out a large sum of money at one time. You have more flexibility in terms of saving up for the more expensive accessories and/or deferring the purchase indefinitely. So let's take a quick look at what I think are the two most important accessories for your digital camera.
The first accessory you should buy is a case. This almost goes without saying, and yet I've said it anyway because I can't even begin to tell you how many people either don't have or don't use their camera cases. Digital cameras are very expensive, and most of them are pretty delicate. They won't stand up to too many jarring shocks caused by dropping them on the ground, and their lenses scratch very easily. You can prevent a lot of accidents by storing and carrying your camera in a protective case when not in use. The actual case that you buy doesn't really matter. As long as it offers real protection and is to your liking as far as looks, size, and price go, you'll be ok no matter which one you get.
The second accessory you should purchase is a large-capacity memory card. Most digital cameras these days come with a memory card that hand hold 32MB of data. That's not very many pictures, especially if you take all of your shots on the highest-quality setting. So go ahead and spend the extra money on a 512MB or even a 1GB memory card. It will save you lots of hassles in the long run, such as when you're on extended vacations. With a larger memory card, you won't have to travel with your laptop and upload pictures every night back at the hotel room. Because the memory cards are so small and portable, you'll be able to carry the standard 32MB card in your camera case as a backup for emergency situations.
These two accessories should get you started on the right track as you explore the wonderful world of digital photography. As you become a more seasoned photographer or as your needs change, there are a myriad of other accessories available as well. Happy shooting!