It’s the season for vacations, outdoor fun and picture
taking. Here are some cool
classic and new accessories your customers
can take along on their adventures.
It’s a retailing truism that the best way of offsetting the relatively low profit margins on cameras, and combating the intense competitive pressure from big-box stores and Internet sales, is to “sell more accessories.” This happens to be one instance where the conventional wisdom is on target for two good reasons:
1. Camera specialty stores are in a much better position to demonstrate and sell accessories by leveraging their superior knowledge base and the relationships they’ve established with their customers. 2. On a percentage basis, photo accessories are almost always more profitable than cameras.
In other words, promoting items like camera bags, belt packs, travel tripods, flash units, brackets, filters and lens-cleaning kits is a great way to perk up your summertime profits. When folks drop into your store to gear up for a family vacation, fishing trip or hike in the woods, ask them about their picture-taking plans and suggest something specific that will enhance their shooting experience.
If they’re in the market for a point-and-shoot model, a longer zoom for their DSLR or a high-capacity high-speed memory card to capture sports action or HD video, add a suitable accessory to the mix. Your customers will appreciate your thoughtfulness—and they’ll be much more likely to return to purchase those coveted big-ticket items.
To give you an idea of what’s out there in accessory land this summer, we’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true items as well as some innovative ones. While the specific items covered here are definitely a good start, we hope they’ll get you thinking creatively about this entire multifaceted and varied category—because vibrant, robust accessory sales is definitely the
hallmark of a successful photo retail operation.
2011 Summer Accessory Roundup
LensPen SideKick. It’s a cool new screen-cleaning tool specifically designed to remove fingerprints from touch screens and LCDs without tissues, cloths or liquids. Each pad gives 150 cleanings. $14.95; a package of two cleaning pad replacements retails for $14.95. lenspen.com
Sunpak PF20XD Flash. This powerful compact flash unit can be used as a conventional shoe-mount flash or can be triggered via its built-in slave with cameras lacking a hot shoe. It has a guide number of 66 (in feet) and a built-in wide-angle diffuser said to cover wide angles down to 24mm. Other features: auto mode with three f/stops; manual mode with five settings; and an effective range of 2.3–23 feet. It comes with a flash bracket and is powered by two AA Alkaline, NiMH or NiCd batteries. $69.95. sunpak.com
Davis & Sanford Vista Voyager TG. This sturdy, lightweight four-section travel tripod is ideal for people on the go. It has a two-section quick-lift center post, folds to 21 inches in length with head attached for compact storage, extends to 62 inches, weighs in at only 3.8 pounds and comes with a convenient TriggerGrip ball head for quick, easy adjustments on the fly. With a load capacity of 7 pounds, it will accommodate a DSLR with a long tele-zoom. $134.95 with padded carrying bag. tiffen.com
Bron Sun Sniper Camera Straps. These high-end German-made camera straps feature an ergonomic sling design that distributes the weight evenly using a padded shoulder strap that rests diagonally on the chest. The straps are designed to reduce strain on the neck, shoulder and back, and to eliminate unwanted camera movement. Other features include: a steel ball bearing connector that allows the camera a full range of motion; nylon strap with steel-reinforced antitheft wire; and an enclosed shock absorber to eliminate jarring and camera damage while jumping, running or climbing. Sun Sniper is so confident in this product that it offers a $500 insurance policy if a thief is able to cut the strap and steal the camera. $88, Sun Sniper Pro Strap; $62, Sniper Compact Strap. bronimaging.com
Giotto’s Lens Cleaning Kit CL 1001. It comes complete with the multi-optical cleaning solution for all glass and plastic surfaces, a microfiber cloth, a retractable brush, ten 100 percent cotton swabs with paper shafts and a Small Giotto’s Rocket Air blower made from natural rubber that has a unique inlet valve design that makes it suitable for cleaning dust off of sensors. $18. giottos.com
BRNO dri+Cap System. Consisting of a dehumidifying body cap and a dehumidifying rear lens cap, each system has a pack of color-changing silica gel in a special non-shedding pouch contained in a silicon-O-ring-sealed compartment. When on the camera or lens, the silica gel pack absorbs any moisture inside the equipment to prevent fungus or damage due to excess humidity. dri+Caps are available in Nikon or Canon configuration and come with eight vacuum-sealed packs of color-changing silica gel. $44.99. hpmarketingcorp.com
Zing Medium Camera/Electronics Belt Bag. A sleek, elegantly simple pouch with belt loops, oversized Velcro-secured flap and reinforced construction, it will hold a compact point-and-shoot camera, mini binocular, cell phone and personal accessories. Dimensions: 4×6.5×1.5 inches. Weight: 2.5 ounces. $13.99. tiffen.com
Kodak Solar Charger KS100-C+2. This cool gadget lets users harness the sun to power up any USB-chargeable device, like an MP3 player, cell phone or iPad, to provide up to 33 hours of additional run time. Removable rechargeable AA cells in the power pack provide a great power alternative for any AA battery device, and it can be charged via sunlight, lamplight or USB-to-USB cable. Other features: solar and device charging indicator lights and foldout stand. $33.95. kodak.com
Tiffen Four-Filter Kits. Virtually all your customer’s filter needs are covered at once with these high-performance, screw-in optical filter kits. They include: a digital ultra clear to protect expensive lenses; a circular polarizer to eliminate reflections on water or glass, bring out clouds and enhance color saturation; an enhancing filter to make reds, oranges and earth-tone colors pop in scenic shots; and Tiffen’s exclusive 812 warming filter that adds a pleasant touch or warmth to portraits and corrects the blue cast encountered in flash shots. $119.95–$309.95 depending on filter diameter. tiffen.com
Novacon NovaFlip Flash Bracket. Designed for use with DSLRs, it’s adjustable for compact to medium-size bodies, providing a maximum off-camera height of 7-3/4 inches. The vertical arm supports a flash arm that pivots from horizontal to vertical position, keeping the flash over the lens, and the arm is placed against the camera’s grip so no other grip is required. It’s made of stainless steel and fabricated in the USA. $109. hpmarketingcorp.com
Steadicam Smoothee. This ingenious gimbaled video stabilization device is patterned on the renowned $60K Steadicam rigs used by Hollywood cinematographers, but this one is a lot more affordable and designed for the Apple iPhone 4, 3Gs and Flip MinoHD. It lets almost anyone shoot super-smooth professional-looking handheld video right out of the box, and it can be mounted on any standard tripod. Dimensions in operating configuration are 8×14.5×2.5. $179.99. tiffen.com
Novoflex SP Stativ Suction Mini Pod. This clever little sucker (pun intended) mounts on virtually any flat horizontal or vertical surface and provides a sturdy ball head for mounting almost any camera—even a large DSLR. Its rated load capacity is a whopping 10 pounds! $65.99. novoflex.com
GEPE Card Safe Extreme Memory Card Holder. Designed for optimal protection of precious memory cards during transport or for safekeeping, it has an innovative multi-card insert that accommodates a wide variety of card types efficiently. It’s also weatherproof and waterproof to 10 feet, has a reinforced lock with stainless steel pins for long life, and is constructed of super strong polycarbonate. $28.99. gepe.com
OmegaBrandess B-Grip Camera Holder. Made in Italy, this ingenious gadget provides a secure, easily accessible perch for a DSLR. The base attaches to a waist belt or to the belt provided, and the quick-release plate attaches to the camera’s tripod socket, providing instant access to the camera. A triple safety system prevents accidental release, and the camera is held firmly in place in lens-up or lens-down position. $79.95. omegabrandess.com