The most useless piece of Photography equipment I have ever owned

When I was just starting out with Digital Photography I had a tendency to want to buy everything under the sun to make my images better. I really had no clue until I started to shoot more and educate myself about equipment and what I would need to do my work. I started out with a kit package on Amazon with a Canon Digital Rebel XTI that came with two lenses and other various items. (Please note: Don’t ever buy these kits…Just a warning. They are cheap for a reason because a lot of the extras you get are just that…cheap and not necessary. Better to figure out what you will need, get exactly that and grow your gear with quality stuff and not quantity.) I really did learn a lot in that camera as it was great to learn the basics, But I have since graduated to a better model. One of the “extras” in the kit was a third-party extra battery not made by Canon.

Yes, My vote for most useless piece of equipment goes to the third-party battery. This battery was so craptastic that it lasted about 5 months before it went the way of the dodo and just gave up its charge. Having never really held a full charge to begin with I can tell you that I was not sad at all to see this “wonder of modern engineering” go. It really never passed muster, Losing charge after about thirty shots or so. I use this as a lesson because when it comes to camera gear cheaper isn’t always better. I am on a limited budget but if I buy cheap things like batteries then the work will eventually suffer. Think of it this way…I could buy two to three cheap batteries a year at about $30 bucks a piece or buy one $70 dollar battery By Canon and use it for years instead of months. In the long run I’m saving money and not becoming frustrated when I am out in the middle of nowhere in the cold and the batts die a slow death.

My question to the readers is What is or has been your most useless piece of equipment? What’s out there that you think gives no value for the cost? I look at lots of catalogues and web sites with tons and tons of camera gear. It seems like the list of gear that you can buy just grows by the second and not all of it is really necessary. I’m interested to know what everyone thinks.


8 thoughts on “The most useless piece of Photography equipment I have ever owned

  1. I dunno man, I’ve had 2 Opteka batteries that cost $12 each and they are awesome. Never had them die on me, they seem to last just as long as the Canon at a fraction of the cost.

    • Thanks for the comment Mike! This Battery I had was really no good..It never held a charge even when it was new. The batteries for the Canon 7d are 70 dollars a piece and i do agree that this is quite high and good deals can be had elsewhere. I have two of these and rotate them so I am not using the same one all the time and they are exceptional. I was trying to look at in this way…That the batteries are the lifeblood of what we do in the field and without them we cant work. However I wouldnt be against trying another third party batt for performance issues..I mean heck even one batttery will take a few hundred images, more than enough when im out hiking.

    • There are workarounds to really expensive equipment and the third party stuff is one way to go. For instance I had a tamron wide angle lens which soon after purchase was full of dust. It led me to a Canon l series lens for its superior auto focus and weather/dust sealing. Who wants to deal with dust removal after the capture in software?

  2. Cool blog post! I can name a few but I have one fisheye adapter for my 50mm lens. I used it 2x’s in 2.5years. Some things I don’t remember I have until I take invetory for a particular project. Its very true about kits. They usually have the low quality lenses and rob the buyer.

    • Thanks so much for the comment Dani…Im not against off name brand gear but when i am out in the wilderness and its really cold or doing a paid Photography job, I want reliable gear for that. I suppose it depends on what kind of gear it is and how much im willing to spend.

  3. I’ve had good luck with my third party Pearstone battery. I can’t tell the difference compared to my Nikon battery. It wasn’t one of those ultra cheap brands though, only about 30% cheaper. But your advice is still sage because you need to be able to trust your gear. I bought I cheap tripod initially and it lived a short life before I upgraded.

    • I know Eric…I also got a really cheap tripod with that “kit” and lets just say it did not last six months either. It just couldn’t stand up to the long hikes I do. I do like tamron and sigma lenses but they too are not as sealed as an L series Canon lens…I really dont like doing dust removal in the computer…what a pain.

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