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10-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Battery grip -- do you need it?

Years ago, I had a Nikon FM-3a with the Nikon battery winder/grip. That was a film camera; the autowinder grip made it easy to take pictures fast... which made it valuable even though it added a lot of weight.

Digital is different, though, If I can get 300 pictures off one regular battery, and then carry a backup in my shirt pocket, why on earth would I need to put up with all that extra weight?

I guess it's for the video people, so they could run out the full 25-minute recording time, swap in a few more AA batteries, and shoot that scene over again. If the Pentax HD format is close to or the same as Hollywood's 4K video standard, the K-3 would make a GREAT field camera for nasty, watery, muddy on-location filming. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

10-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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I think it is more for folks who use the camera in portrait mode a lot, such as fashion or wedding.
10-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Years ago, I had a Nikon FM-3a with the Nikon battery winder/grip. That was a film camera; the autowinder grip made it easy to take pictures fast... which made it valuable even though it added a lot of weight.

Digital is different, though, If I can get 300 pictures off one regular battery, and then carry a backup in my shirt pocket, why on earth would I need to put up with all that extra weight?

I guess it's for the video people, so they could run out the full 25-minute recording time, swap in a few more AA batteries, and shoot that scene over again. If the Pentax HD format is close to or the same as Hollywood's 4K video standard, the K-3 would make a GREAT field camera for nasty, watery, muddy on-location filming. See 4K resolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The K-3 doesn't shoot 4K videos. 1080/60i is the maximum supported framerate/resolution.

I've always kept the grip on my K-5 as it makes verticals much easier, and it basically doubles your battery life (and can be a life-saver if you forget to charge your grip battery). In addition, when using heavier lenses the grip makes your setup much easier to hold IMO, as it improves the overall weight distribution.

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10-10-2013, 11:40 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Also helpful for some people with grip strength/ pain issues due to arthritis/ age. Sometimes a larger grip area requires less force to securely hold, and slows the onset or reduces the amount of discomfort when using the camera for extended periods. I had the grip specifically for that reason. Shorter use times are not a problem. As everyone is different, this is a definite YMMV area.

10-10-2013, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I think it is more for folks who use the camera in portrait mode a lot, such as fashion or wedding.
...or for people like me with slightly larger hands. It's nice to be able to grip the camera with all fingers.

The D-BG5 will probably be made of Unobtanium the first months, at least here.
10-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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I always thought I would not need one for my K200D - specially when looking at the price tag. As I bought the body at its lowest price point, the grip would have been nearly 30% of the body!

I was thinking again when they lowered it by more than 50%, and then saw an unused one on eBay, and won it at an auction for half of that reduced price. I still wouldn't really need it, but with long and heavy lenses like the SMC-A 4.0/70-210 mounted, it feels more balanced. With only the kit lens or a prime, the grip will stay at home.

But I don't want to be without a grip with my MZ5n - that one does not only get better in handling, it also saves a lot of money for the expensive batteries the Z/ZX and MZ series need.
10-10-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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I dont use a grip, I like to carry my K-5 IIs everywhere without a bag and dont want the extra bulk.

There are days when I leave the sling off too, and just use a wrist strap off the tripod mount.

I find it easier to carry a spare battery and Memory card in my jeans pocket.

Nobody pays attention to my my IIs with a short prime, Its a nice compact setup for a day out.

Im neither small or weak but I just hate carrying more than I need.
Very much a minimalist.

Again, YMMV
10-10-2013, 12:40 PM   #8
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I have a grip on my K-5 all the time, and to save weight I don't put a battery in it. I use it because I have big hands and it gives me a better grip on the camera, and for easier shooting in portrait orientation.

10-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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I don't need the D-BG4 with my K-7, but it surely makes shooting with the 50-135 much more comfortable. I also like having other ways to hold the camera on longer walks. The extra space means I can relax my grip while maintaining control.

If I do purchase a K-3, I think I will invest in the D-BG5. Over the lifespan of the camera the cost isn't really all that much. And if the K-3 is replaced by a new model which uses the same grip the price/use drops even further.

Which means I am crossing my fingers that the D-BG4 compatible body style is not a dead line. I purchased my grip this year for my K-7 in part because I hoped the next camera would be compatible. If the line is truly dead, I can always pick up a K-5II or IIs and continue using the old grip with a superb camera.

If you purchase one and decide that it isn't your thing, the genuine article retains value really well. You won't lose all that much by deciding to sell it here on the forum.
10-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #10
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I use the grip for my K10D about 80% of the time. It makes verticals more convenient to take and has storage space for both an additional memory card and the small IR remote (F ???). I'm not sure if the later generations of grips had the same storage capabilities. One of the few times I left the grip home, I ran out of battery in the camera itself.
10-10-2013, 02:31 PM   #11
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I have my grip on my K20D 100% of the time... It'll be no different when I get my silver K-3

10-10-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
..why on earth would I need to put up with all that extra weight?
.
But you have a K-01 and a K-30, Jon. No grips for them. So you're safe
(Or are you considering a K-3 )
10-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #13
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I keep a grip on all the time. I don't keep a battery in the camera, just the grip, so weight is not unbearable. I don't have big hands or any physical reason to use the grip, I just like the way it feels and balances in the hand. The odd thing? I don't even use the grip controls when shooting in portrait mode. I don't use a neckstrap, though, just a wrist/hand strap, and I think maybe the extra length down the side of the camera when the grip is attached makes it more comfortable to hold.
10-10-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
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I've never used a grip, I think it might be useful for me taking portrait shots, but I always have a tripod quick release plate on the camera so how does the grip work with a plate? Do you have to take off the plate to put on the grip? If so, that's a deal breaker for me.
10-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I've never used a grip, I think it might be useful for me taking portrait shots, but I always have a tripod quick release plate on the camera so how does the grip work with a plate? Do you have to take off the plate to put on the grip? If so, that's a deal breaker for me.
The grip always has a tripod screw hole on the bottom.

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