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03-12-2019, 03:52 AM   #1
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Interested in hearing whether the KP battery grip improves handling in portrait mode

I'm contemplating whether to buy a battery grip for my KP, not so much for the increased battery capacity (I have several spare batteries) but more for the potential to improve the camera's handling in portrait mode. Can anyone comment on whether they have found that the battery grip makes a worthwhile improvement in how the KP handles when they are shooting in portrait mode, or do you find that it doesn't make enough difference to justify the investment.

03-12-2019, 04:44 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Yes. Battery grips always help balance the camera body and makes vertical shooting much more comfortable, no matter what body you buy it for.
03-12-2019, 06:30 AM   #3
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03-12-2019, 08:33 AM   #4
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Not having a KP with grip at hand, I am not in the position to comment directly. My observation is that whether a grip works well depends quite a bit on the photographer and their style of shooting. I bought my K-3 with the BG5 grip and was quite excited by the prospect of having an enhanced grip for vertical hold. My excitement lasted for about 20 minutes of actual use and despite my best efforts, the grip was listed the same day on the Pentax Forums Marketplace.

The grip was well-made and well-designed, but simply did not match my hand size and finger length (large and long). The grip's dials and shutter release did not fall to hand.

The bottom line is that, conventional wisdom aside, you won't know if you like having a grip until it is mounted to your camera.


03-12-2019, 02:45 PM   #5
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I have battery grips for my Samsung GX-10, K-3, Hasselblad HV (Sony A99) and Sony A7 MkII. I don't use them all the time, because of the extra weight. For me, the biggest benefit is longer shooting time without having to swap out batteries. After that, it's the way the camera handles when in landscape orientation... I have reasonably big hands, so the grip is friendly on my pinky finger, and I have a better grip on the camera. Right at the bottom of my list of benefits is having a duplicated set of controls for vertical orientation. I do use them occasionally, but since I rarely stay in one orientation for any shoot, I tend to just use the native camera controls whether I'm shooting landscape or portrait. Plus, the controls on most battery grips aren't laid out exactly the same as on the camera. Muscle memory makes it easier for me to use the camera's own controls most of the time...
03-12-2019, 04:06 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Depends on how much vertical work you do, just for some occasional shots, might not be worth it.
Lot of portrait work, yes.
Plus there is the large battery, better handling with large lenses, extra memory card storage and a place to rest the ring and pinky fingers if one has large hands.
03-12-2019, 04:18 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Depends on how much vertical work you do, just for some occasional shots, might not be worth it.
Also depends on how you hold camera for vertical work. Five years ago I had one for my Canon Rebel, but I had stopped using it by the time I purchased my Pentax K-30 three years and ten months ago. For me, I discovered that I am much more comfortable rotating the camera clockwise, so the body's shutter button is at the bottom right of the camera, and that package was much more comfortable in my hands than the enlarged Rebel was.
03-12-2019, 04:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Also depends on how you hold camera for vertical work.
For just few shots, I rotate the camera counter-clockwise, my wrist thanks me every time.

03-14-2019, 09:05 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Without the grip, I'll shoot vertical format flipped either direction. I go one way or another, depending on the moment, without thinking about it. I've noticed this more since using the grip as it encourages counterclockwise rotation, and I sometimes stop and think "Oh yes, grip!"
04-17-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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I just purchased a second hand but lightly used KP. I notice that one reviewer here mentioned he keeps the battery grip attached UNLESS shooting with a Limited lens. Why would that be? I'll be using my KP primarily for portraits and paired with Limiteds.
04-17-2019, 01:43 PM   #11

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I don't have a KP, but I use the K-3ii, one of which came with a battery grip. The grip was one of the attractions of the deal, mainly due to the battery capacity rather than use in portrait mode. I agree with the previous comments about the usefulness being dependent upon how you hold your camera and the size of your hands. I find that the grip does help when used in portrait mode, but since we rarely use a camera in one orientation for a great length of time, it must suit how you handle the camera in both landscape and portrait orientation. I find that when used in landscape orientation I have to switch off the grip on/off switch, otherwise the "cheek" of my hand sometimes presses on the shutter button with unintended results.

Without the grip, I normally rotate the camera anti-clockwise despite always doing the reverse with film cameras and my early digital cameras. Very occasionally, when the need arises, I'm quite comfortable rotating the camera clockwise and using my thumb to release the shutter.
04-17-2019, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #12

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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
I notice that one reviewer here mentioned he keeps the battery grip attached UNLESS shooting with a Limited lens. Why would that be?
For those of us who purchased the grip solely for use with large and heavy lenses (for better balance), we obviously aren't going to be using it for lenses as small and light as the limiteds. It's not hard to shoot the KP in portrait orientation with small and light lenses. Put a lens weighing three pounds or more, and suddenly it's a little trickier to hold.

Generally speaking, the grip does make the camera easier to hold (especially if you have big hands), but it does make the camera bigger and heavier (which goes against the basic concept of the camera). So it makes sense that most people will not use the grip to improve handling if they are shooting with small, light weight lenses. I use the grip (mostly) when I'm shooting my Tamron 70-200 and DA* 300. With smaller lenses I don't feel the grip is needed (although the grips ability to use the larger size battery can be helpful as well).

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