Today’s Post by Joe Farace
Camera manufacturers may spend time designing a DSLR’s ergonomics but not every camera shape is perfect for everybody’s hands. And it’s not just ergonomics, it’s also the kind of work a photographer typically shoots and that extends to both the type of subjects they shoot and the way they work. Take the time to ask yourself a few questions
Do you shoot motorsports where lots of images are made in continuous mode and you need the power to shoot what you want when you want?
Do you shoot portraits? Most portraits—even some small groups— are made in, big surprise here, portrait mode. And lets face it, few DSLRs are comfortable to shoot when held in a vertical position.
Do you shoot events, where taking the time to switch batteries might come at an awkward time, such as just when the bride is walking down the aisle with her father. You can’t miss that shot.
If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions chances are you need a battery grip. Most camera manufactures* offer an optional battery grip that provides three functions that drive the practical need for a battery grip.
First, the grip holds and extra battery doubling the capacity of the single battery in the camera body. This is something important whether you’re shooting a wedding or runway fashion.
Second, if you shoot portraits having a vertical shutter release and controls is easier to use than the release on the camera body and instead of the “elbow waving in the air position” gives you more control over cropping in camera. Another advantage is that there’s usually a control wheel to let you change camera functions fast and easy using data displayed in the DSLR’s viewfinder.
And thirdly, battery grips are simply more comfortable to use than most camera bodies, especially is you have medium to large sized hands.
*Third-party battery grips can save you money. You can read my take on them here.