As technology blurs the lines between mobile photography and mainstream professional photography, the tools that photographers need have evolved as well. That means new tools for today’s various blends of digital photography. We’re covering 5 of the best tools that a photographer must absolutely have in 2020, and we’re keeping in mind different areas where tools might be required, such as data transfer tools, photo editing utilities, recovery software, and even some very cool accessories.
If you’re a purebreed professional who hasn’t transitioned to the amazing world of mobile photography yet, don’t worry. Some of these tools are absolute essentials even for photographers who prefer DSLR photography. Without any more delay, let’s get moving.
Photo enthusiasts typically look for two types of external storage devices: one for their backups, and one for the road. The portable one needs to be light enough, yet sturdy enough to withstand the average photographers scuffs and scrapes. One of the best in this category is the Western Digital WD My Passport 2TB hard drive. It is very reasonably priced, compliant with the USB 3.0 standard but retains backward compatibility, transfer rate of 1Mbps, and only weighs 231 grams. It’s got a high user review score for its reliability and usability, and it comes with its own software that does automatic backups.
Price: Around $80
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux – needs to be reformatted for Mac.
For photography that involves controlled lighting, a definite must-have is an LED panel. The best we’ve seen is the Canvas Bendable Panel, which is made of fabric and can be configured to your specific lighting needs. It’s highly flexible, and offers a dual-color adjustable option for different light temperatures. Once you set it up, you won’t have to worry about operating it because there’s an app for it. Just set it up on your iOS or Android device, and you’re good to go. No fussing around with settings or adjustments after you get the lighting “just right” for that perfect shot.
Price: Around $430
Uses: Indoor photography in a light-controlled environment
Mobile Photo Editor
A robust photo editor for mobile devices, such as Snapseed, is a vital part of your photography toolbox. Snapseed comes highly recommended for its ability to edit images shot in the RAW format. How good it looks depends on your device, screen size, resolution, and other factors, but Snapseed has performed admirably on both iOS and Android smartphones. Possibly the best part about the app is that it is free, courtesy its developer – none other than Google. You might not be able to do intricate editing, which will require a much larger monitor, but this is probably the best tool for on-the-go touch-ups that you can do while travelling or commuting.
Platform: Android and iOS
Photo Recovery Software:
Since most of your photos are eventually backed up to a hard drive, it’s definitely worth investing in a photo recovery software like TunesBro DiskGeeker. It comes in Windows and Mac flavors, and can rapidly scan and recover media and other files from an impressive range of storage mediums. No matter whether it’s a system crash, virus attack, physical damage, or complete hardware failure, DiskGeeker will seek out and make all your lost files available to you in their original form. This is a must-have photo recovery software if you own a large photo archive on hard drives, but it will retrieve nearly all kinds of other data as well and helps you recover lost files.
Price: Free Trial / $39.95
Platforms: Windows and macOS (Mac OS X)
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Cloud-hosted Storage and Editing
Adobe Lightroom is possibly one of the best ideas Adobe had for providing a cloud-friendly photo storage and editing environment for photography enthusiasts. The key feature is the convenience of the cross-platform experience. Since the data itself is stored on the cloud, all you need is a device-side app to handle the editing part, and what you have is a very robust solution and best online storage for travel photographers, news photographers, and any professional who is on the road a lot. Organizing your photos is simple: just add tags to your images, and you can group them anyway you want to create custom albums. You get about 1TB of free storage, after which they offer tiered plans as part of the Creative Cloud offering.
Price: 20GB Photography Plan starts at $9.99, with choice of Photoshop or an upgrade to 1TB of storage.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS (Mac OS X)
Post-Production – PixelPhant
PixelPhant is possibly one of the best product photo editing service provider that speeds-up your post-production. The company makes the photos look perfect from pixel to pixel. Product images play an important role in an online buying decision. They don’t just describe product functions, looks but encourage buyers to buy it, if presented in a good manner. Here comes the requirement of post-production service. Background removal, clipping path, skin retouching, drop shadow, invisible mannequin image editing are some of the popular services offered at the economical prices. Try their services to get your 3 product images edited free.
Price – Starting from $0.80
The tools listed above are considered essential by most professional photographers, but you may have specific needs. For example, if you’re working on time-sensitive projects, a cloud-based solution might be crucial; if you have important archives, a photo recovery tool could be a lifesaver; and, if you do mostly indoor shots, lighting is a key consideration. Nevertheless, we hope that our wide selection of the best tools for photographers appeals to you.