Best accessories for your DSLR

Great camera kit to help you take the best photographs

Godox Propac PB-820 Power Pack - £160 (about $250)

Essential camera accessories

Available in a sober all-black and a more brazen lime green, the Propac PB-820 is a lightweight, waist-mounted power pack that can be used with Canon, Nikon, Sony and Godox flashguns. It attaches to your waist using a strong metal clip, while the ring of bright LEDs on the top plate makes it easy to quickly check status and charge. It works well and the cord is just long enough for standard use, although sadly the cord itself needs to be purchased separately for an additional £20.

Hahnel HN-D7000 Battery Grip - £100/$130

Essential camera accessories

Cheaper than Nikon's MB-D11, this rubberised grip is finished to match the D7000. The joystick and AE-L/AF-L buttons are well positioned, but the shutter-release button feels a bit loose.

Hahnel HGB-EL15a Battery Pack - £75 (about $115)

Essential camera accessories

An alternative to the AA tray that ships with the HN-D7000 grip, this battery pack can be charged through the mains and used in its place. It's powerful and priced well for its capacity.

Samsung 32GB Essential SDHC card - £39/$40

Essential camera accessories

This card is said to be water, shock and magnet proof. Testing verifies the card's max 24Mb/s read speed, although the maximum write speed of 13MB/s couldn't be achieved in testing.

Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB - £89.99/$119.99

Best external hard drive for photographers  6 tested

Like the Passport, Western Digital's My Book offerings have developed a wide following. This 1TB version features a vertical design with plenty of air vents and the ultra-fast USB 3.0 interface.

Performance, however, was somewhat disappointing using USB 2.0, since it managed to write at an average of only 18.1 MB/s, although this was partly redeemed by its read performance of 30.1 MB/s. Western Digital's proprietary backup software is included on the drive and works well, as does the no-nonsense plug-and-play installation. A reasonable, budget-friendly choice.

Western Digital My Book Live 1TB - £119/$122

Essential camera accessories

This network-attached storage (NAS) drive connects wirelessly with multiple devices. On the inside, software preloaded onto the drive allows for wireless data back-up, while its smart external design is treated in a charcoal-grey finish. the drive is near silent in operation (and lets off any heat through its slatted sides), while transfer rates compare well with standard UsB 2.0 devices. It's not the cheapest 1TB drive available, but for its NAS functionality it's worth the premium.

Read our full Western Digital My Book Live review

Western Digital My Passport 1TB - £129.90/$139.99

Best external hard drive for photographers  6 tested

This latest revision of the highly popular Western Digital Passport range is a diminutive portable hard drive and can be distinguished from its predecessors by its fresh pattern design on the facia. The enclosure is available in a range of colours and is an all-plastic affair, but one that still feels like a quality product and keeps the Passport's weight below 200 grams.

Connectivity is through a single USB 3.0 port, which gave lighting-quick read and write speeds close to 100MB/s. It is also backward-compatible with USB 2.0, through which it read at a more sedate 30.1MB/s and wrote at a slightly underwhelming 18.4MB/s. The included backup software is simple and effective.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite 500GB - £130/$199.99

Best external hard drive for photographers  6 tested

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While the Seagate GoFlex Satellite drive offers 500GB of portable storage space, its party piece is the ability to wirelessly stream images, music and video to most wireless devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. In practice this worked very well. Just turn on the drive and in under a minute it automatically broadcasts its own wireless network signal, which was easily connected to by our Windows 7 notebook and Android smartphone.

The addition of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes the drive entirely wire-free and further adds to its ease of use. USB 2.0 read and write performance trailed the other drives, but not significantly. A great buy, if cable-free storage is your priority.

Read our full Seagate GoFlex Satellite review

G-Drive Professional External Hard Drive 2TB - £180/$229.99

Best external hard drive for photographers  6 tested

Designed (and pre-formatted) for Mac computers, the G-Drive design is faithful to Apple's aesthetic. Plastic is banished in favour of a beautifully crafted, all-aluminium casing that bears a striking resemblance to Apple's own products. An abundance of ventilation holes, combined with an integrated heat sink, should also keep this drive as cool as it looks.

USB 2.0, FireWire 800 and eSATA are present for optimum compatibility. Over FireWire 800, read speeds averaged 46.1MB/s, while writing performance was even quicker, at 52.2MB/s. Switching to USB 2.0 provided decent read and write rates of 32.4MB/s and 26.8MB/s, respectively.

Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB - £230/$240

Best external hard drive for photographers  6 tested

The huge 4TB storage capacity makes the Seagate GoFlex Desk a fantastic value hard drive in terms of price-per-gigabyte. Set up couldn't be simpler, with full drive capacity accessible straight after plugging in. Included is a basic backup software package that is easy to use but lacking in features. An upgrade is available, but only at extra expense.

Read and write performance was about average when connected to our USB 2.0 PC, achieving 29.4 MB/s to read from and 19.5 MB/s to write to the drive. The smart casing and quiet operation further serve to make this hard drive a great choice.

Read our full Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB review