Originally Posted by StarsCASSiOPEiA
I'm curious to hear from the experts what you all consider 'the essentials'!
Hello, here are my thoughts:
The # of SD cards would depend if you are shooting RAW or JPG. More if you are shooting RAW. Maybe a 16 gb and an 8gb.
Extra camera battery, it depends on how many pictures you take a day, the manual should have how many shots are estimated for fully charged battery
I always use hood, not for flare prevention but for protection. Its easy to bump into people, walls or props at a con. You want to protect the lens as much as possible.
Filter is up to you there is a whole debate of using filters for protection vs not. Its whatever you are comfortable with.
I say you don't need a polarizer when first starting out.
Other things if you are going with a Canon T4i with a 18-135mm lens:
1. A good camera bag: You're going to storing expensive equipment while traveling or general storage. You can get the AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and Accessories-Black for about $30 and spend a lot more.
2. Flash since your lens won't be a "fast" one. You Bower, Youngnuo, Phottix to Canon. Price range $50 to $500
3. Rechargeable AA's for your flash.
4. "faster" lens 50 mm/1.8. About $100.
You can use the same equipment for a private shoot.