9 Essential Accessories for the Nikon D5500

I've shot Nikon for many years and I've reviewed hundreds of accessories for Nikon cameras, so I want to write this article to help you make the best choices on accessories for your brand spankin' new Nikon D5500.  It's an excellent camera, so it's worth customizing it to your liking.

As you look through the options below, the three accessories that I'd encourage you to buy first would be (1) extra batteries and charger, (2) a screen protector, and (3) a quality, professional-grade tripod.

battery-for-nikon-d5500#1 Get this awesome battery for your Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5500 doesn't have the world's best battery life, especially if you shoot by looking at the LCD screen rather than the viewfinder.  Powering the LCD screen on the back of the camera uses a lot of battery power as you compose photos and review the pictures you've taken.

If you buy two extra batteries and an extra charger from Nikon, you'll pay about over $130!  That's absurd.  Fortunately, there is a company called Wasabi that makes after-market batteries for Nikon cameras.  From them, you can get two extra batteries and a charger for just $35 on their Amazon listing.

I've purchased dozens and dozens of Wasabi batteries for my Nikon batteries for several years and have never once been disappointed.  They have always been very reliable.  The other thing I like about the Wasabi batteries BETTER than the Nikon stuff is that they are 1500mAh, whereas the Nikon brand batteries are only 1250mAh.  That gives you about 10% more battery life for 1/5 the cost!

I know this is starting to sound like a Wasabi ad (It's not.  They don't pay me and I have never even communicated with anyone at the company), but the other thing I like is that they include a car charger cigarette lighter adapter for their chargers so that you can charge your batteries in the car while traveling.  Beautiful!

Here is the link to buy the Wasabi batteries for the Nikon D5500 on Amazon.

expertShield#2 Expert Shield Screen Protector

Getting Nikon to repair a broken or cracked LCD screen on a camera costs about $300.  Yes, I know that from sad personal experience 🙁   But the Nikon D5500 has a touch screen, so it would likely be even more costly to fix.  So you're spending $20 on an accessory that makes it much much less likely that you'll have to pay for a $300 repair.

Even worse, the Nikon D5500 does not have an accessory screen protector like the higher-end Nikon cameras.

So the very first thing I'd buy for this camera would be a screen protector.  You can get the little cheap ones that really feel just like a piece of transparent tape, but I'd highly recommend getting the Expert Shield screen protector instead.  It's an incredibly thin piece of glass that adheres to your LCD screen.

You put the Expert Shield on your camera very similar to how you'd put on the screen protector on a cell phone, but it's much more protective than the tape style.  You can get it on Amazon.com.  (It will say D5300.  It's the same size as D5500).

You do NOT need to use the cord on the battery grip normally–only if you want to use the remote control.

#3 Neewer Battery Grip

A battery grip is an extension that goes on the bottom of the camera and gives you a few nice features: (1) It makes the camera more comfortable to hold when shooting portrait orientation (turn the camera sideways so it's up-and-down) because it gives you a grip on the bottom of the camera.  It also gives you a shutter button on the side of the camera so you don't have to reach around to press it.  That's REALLY handy!

(2) A battery grip gives you an extra battery.  You can now put a battery in the camera like normal, and also one in the battery grip so you can shoot for twice as long before you need to change.

(3) I have an average size hand, and my pink still floats under the D5500.  With a battery grip, it extends the normal grip so that you have something more substantial to hold onto.

So a battery grip is a handy accessory.  Definitely worth considering for your new D5500.  Nikon makes one that is extremely expensive, but I like this one from Neewer which is way less money and just as good.  Buy it on Amazon.

camera-strap#4 Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap

The camera straps that Nikon gives out are HORRIBLE!  Pathetic!  They have sharp edges, are thin and unpadded, and they don't stay on the shoulder very well because of the cheap fake leather material.

Black Rapid knows how to make a good camera strap!  It's soft, stays on the shoulder, connects to the tripod socket for better stability, and can easily swing out of the way when you need to use your hands.

When I use a camera strap, it's ALWAYS the Black Rapid.  Buy it on Amazon.

#5 A Good Quality Tripod

There is no way I could do my landscape photography without a good quality tripod.  After the camera and a lens, it'd be the first thing I buy.

There are tons of cheapo $100 tripods on Amazon or at Walmart.  They look like a good deal, but they ALWAYS break and they won't hold the camera steady enough to get crisp photos, and that's the whole reason you are buying a quality camera, right?

I have reviewed dozens and dozens of tripods, and compiled my top picks on the best tripods under $200 here.  If you want to spend more to get the ultimate tripod, then read the review of my favorite tripod.

triggertrap-for-nikon-d5500#6 Cable Release Better than a Cable Release!





#7 Filters

You really only need two filters for your camera, and you only need them if you'll be doing serious landscape photography work.  If you won't be, then skip them for now.

The first is a polarizing filter, which cuts some reflections in water.  The second is a neutral density filter which allows you to cut out a lot of light when shooting daytime landscapes.  If you're brand new to landscape photography, I wouldn't worry about either of these for a while.  The tripod and other items on this list should come first.

rain-sleeve#8 Rain Cover

Similar to the screen protector, a rain cover is a tiny cost now that can save you the cost of repair or replacing the entire camera later.  I once destroyed a $3,200 Nikon D810 full-frame camera by getting just a TINY amount of water on it, and that's a weather sealed body!

I highly recommend this cheap rain cover that you can easily stick in your camera bag and then bring out to put on the camera any time it starts raining.

Some photographers stop taking pictures in the rain because they don't have a cover, but pictures in the rain is one of the BEST times to take photos!

This is the disposable rain cover that I use.

pec-pads#9 Pec Pads

Pec Pads are GREAT for cleaning your camera!  You can get those “lint free” microfiber cloths for cleaning cameras and lenses, but they never seem to work.  Why?  Because even if the cloth itself is lint free, if you use it multiple times, it'll get the lint on it from the lens.

A much better option is a one-time use lint-free cloth so that after you use it you just toss it and get another one.  I use these to clean my sensor, the lens, the viewfinder, the LCD screen–everything.  They're great!

Get Pec Pads on Amazon.


11 thoughts on “9 Essential Accessories for the Nikon D5500”

  1. Recently I had purchase Nikon D500, Can I use that to take photos of My 1 Year kid with Flash ON.

    Would there be any accessories to take Kids PhotoGraphs?

    1. Saurabh Shankar Srivastava

      Dear RajShekhar,
      Never do that. Flash lights should be avoided on kids as they can cause irreparable damage to the young eyes as the subject’s movements are unpredictable. Try natural light or the white one for better pics.

  2. I bought three Neewer Battery Grips for my three Nikons (D40, D3000, D3100) and they drained the batteries overnight. I originally bought the Battery Grips because my after market batteries did not easily eject from the battery compartment without a lot of shaking and generally inflicting mayhem upon the camera. I’ve overcome that problem with the D3000 and D3100.

    I had to take the batteries out of the grip after I used them in order to keep them charged. I lost a number of good photos of hawks because I had to put the batteries into the grip and that took time (not much, but just enough for the hawk to get bored with me and fly away). I would try to disconnect the grips from the camera by loosening the attachment screw, but the batteries still drained overnight.

    Finding a way to easily eject the batteries from the compartments (I removed the labels!), I now have fresh batteries whenever I take these cameras out. This problem is not unique to me, there are a number of posts/complaints on the Ugly Hedge Hog about the same problem.

    1. Battery grips come with an on/off button; are you turning them off when you are not taking pictures? Sorry if that’s too obvious but you didn’t mention it so just in case.

  3. I purchased the Polaroid Battery Grip for my Nikon D3100 and NEVER had a problem with any battery drains. Price was $89.99 when bought it 2 years ago.

  4. I recently purchased a Nikon D5500 and a preowned D3100 (still in the box). There are so many sites of information, IMPROVE Photography as one, that have guided me through purchasing accessories and achieving the best standards of photography, with the best quality of instructional material, I’m overwhelmed and quite thankful. I stumbled across your list of 10 essentials and the only one which remains on my wish list is the Triggertrap kit. I just wanted to say thank you for being what you are and what you mean to photography. I consider myself a professional hobbiest or professional amateur.

  5. Hi ,
    Just came across this page.wonderfully pointing out the options to buy- i just love it. I was looking a bit of guidance for my d5300 and i have all other stuff from this list but not the sensor cleaner. I ordered one now from amazon. Thank you so much for guidance.

  6. Thanks for the info but please put some model numbers of the products because the links don’t seem to work from Canada – they keep popping up on Amazon.ca and they don’t have the same products.

  7. Thanks for always keeping up with helpful tips I have a Nikon d53000 with a 18-55mm kit lenses but I still feel reluctant taking professional pictures because I haven’t saved up enough to buy the speedlights. Or larger lenses but I recently began to understand the usefulness of tripods…now I just need an advice on the first most important accessory I need to consider first. Thanks

  8. Sir, use aperture priority mode at night, its far better than photos taken using flash, 18-55mm lens the basic lens or the zoom lens at night or low light areas or when its too sunny “Aperture priority mode” is the best . I use it a lot during house functions . If u are so much obsessed of using flash then u can change ur flash compensation to negative as it will help in avoid glares on people’s eyes.
    Well this is what i do with my Nikon D5500.

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