The Best of the Best: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

It’s the time of year that the number of photo questions I receive increases dramatically. Many of them have to do with “What is the best . . . .” They usually come from someone shopping for a photographer, or photographers shopping for themselves.

So once again here is my list of “best of the best” of articles recommending the best photo gear, software, books, DVDs, calendars, online photo labs, and a whole lot more. I will revise some of these articles in November and December, but most of the advice is good as it stands. The best books on photographic composition or the best photo labs haven’t changed in the last 12 months. As I rewrite articles I will update the links below. You can check the date at the top of each article.

Originally posted Nov. 21, 2015. Updated December 11, 2015.


How To Get The Best Results From The Best Online Photo Labs

How Long Will Your Photo Lab Prints Last?


Great Deal? Don’t Get Burned!

Should You Buy “Gray Market” Photo Equipment?

Camera Choices: Using Full Size Test Images from


Best Digital Cameras – 2015 (Including 2010 – 2014)

GoPro Hero4: Amazing, Small, Inexpensive, HD Video (& Still) Camera

Basic Off-Camera Flash Equipment

Radio Controlled Speedlites: Yongnuo YN600EX-RT vs Canon 600EX-RT

Recommended Closeup Equipment

Inexpensive ($7 – $130) Gifts for Photographers

Tripod Recommendations: The Best of the Best

Tripod Head Recommendations: Some of the Best of the Best

The Best Camera Quick Release System

Best Panorama Gear: Living In Panorama Heaven

Light Modifiers (Softeners) for Speedlites

AlienBees: High Quality, Economical Studio Lights

Portable Studio in a Backpack. Everything you need to take a small, portable portrait studio on the road. And you may have some of the items already.

The Best Incident Light Meters

Keeping Your World Straight With A Double Bubble Level

Best Memory Cards for Digital Cameras

The Best Digital Photo Storage


The Messaging Devices That Can Save Your Life


The Best Image Editing Software


Beautiful 2016 Calendars for Photographers (And Anyone Else)


All Purpose Photography Books

Some of the Best All Purpose Photography Books

Lighting Book

The Best Book On Photographic Lighting

Exposure Books

Tim Grey Recommends Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies. This is my own photography book. It is one of the highest rated photography books at It is one of the most detailed and comprehensive “exposure” books on the market, and a great introduction to all things photographic with chapters on people, landscape, wildlife, flower, and sports photography.

Jennifer Blakeley Recommends Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies

Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies Receives Apogee Photo Magazine’s Highest Rating

Best Book on Professional Exposure Techniques

History of Photography

The Best Illustrated History of Photography

Composition Books

Photographic Composition: The Essential Book

Advanced Photographic Composition: The Best Books

People Photography Books

Excellent “How To Photograph People” Books

Nature Photography Books

Nature Photography Books: The Three Essentials. If you only read three nature photography books, put these on your “must read” list.

My Favorite Introduction to Landscape Photography. If you only read one book on landscape photography, this should be it. This is my favorite to recommend to new landscape photographers.

The Best “How To” Nature Photography Books

Two Excellent Nature Photography Books by Tony Sweet

Great “How To” Flower Photography Book by Tony Sweet

Jim Brandenburg: Chased by the Light. A book and video to inspire your nature photography.

Wildlife Photography

How To Find Wildlife, The Best Books

How To Photograph Wildlife, The Best Books

Astrophotography Books

Best Astrophotography Books

Ansel Adams

Books and Calendars from the Master: Ansel Adams

Digital Photography and/or Photoshop Books

The Best Digital Photography Books

Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements Books

The Best Introductions to Elements, Photoshop, and Lightroom

Lightroom & Photoshop: The Essential Books

The Best Books: The “Mastering Photoshop” Series

Mastering Photoshop & Lightroom: Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

Mastering Photoshop: Advanced Color Correction, Part One

Mastering Photoshop: Advanced Color Correction, Part Two

Mastering Photoshop: Retouching, Part One

Mastering Photoshop: Retouching, Part Two

Photography Magazines

The Best of the Best Photography Magazines

Photography DVDs

My Favorite Photography DVDs

Great Set of DVDs: Joel Sartore’s Fundamentals of Photography

Jim Brandenburg: Chased by the Light – the story, the book, and the DVD


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