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10-04-2009, 04:10 AM   #1
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Opinion: Is the K-7 Battery Grip important?

Hi Everyone....

I'm new. I'm so new, that my camera hasn't even arrived yet. I purchased a K-7 with 3 lenses, one a Macro-a good quality flash and a Diffuser. On the prodding of several people I know, I'm changing careers and turning a hobby (Previous film SLR) into a business.

I'm debating purchasing the battery grip, because I plan to do weddings at some point and I'm paranoid about running out of battery! I've also heard that it actually has some useful buttons on it-

Can anyone tell me if my concern warrants this purchase, if they think it's worth it-and if so, what other features/buttons it offers?

Thanks so much! I'm so excited to have found this forum! I'll be here a lot asking questions....and eventually helping to answer them I hope!

With joy,
Marcie

10-04-2009, 09:21 AM   #2
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Two things...
1. Cant have enough memory cards
2. Can't have enough batteries.

One thing I do not like about the K10D grip is that the extra battery does not function until the first is drained and you must switch the camera off then on to get it working. And since powering down creates a spike in the original battery power, you may need to go through several cycles of turning your camera off then on before the fresh battery actually takes over.

Dunno if the K20 or K7 got any smarted in that regard. It might be less of a hassle to just change the battery and be done with it.

I do love the grip for balance, easier holding in my big clumsy hands and the extra buttons for portrait mode shooting. I probably find that slightly more useful than the extra battery.

The K10D also had the benefit of holding an extra memory card (not active, but still convenient) and the remote. Sadly, I think the K7 has no extra compartments. I find the downgrading of this feature irritating! (Just adds to the list of reasons I still do not want to upgrade from my K10D. What is Pentax doing?)
10-04-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Two things...
1. Cant have enough memory cards
2. Can't have enough batteries.

One thing I do not like about the K10D grip is that the extra battery does not function until the first is drained and you must switch the camera off then on to get it working. And since powering down creates a spike in the original battery power, you may need to go through several cycles of turning your camera off then on before the fresh battery actually takes over.

Dunno if the K20 or K7 got any smarted in that regard. It might be less of a hassle to just change the battery and be done with it.

I do love the grip for balance, easier holding in my big clumsy hands and the extra buttons for portrait mode shooting. I probably find that slightly more useful than the extra battery.

The K10D also had the benefit of holding an extra memory card (not active, but still convenient) and the remote. Sadly, I think the K7 has no extra compartments. I find the downgrading of this feature irritating! (Just adds to the list of reasons I still do not want to upgrade from my K10D. What is Pentax doing?)
Hi in the menu on the K10 you can specify how it uses the batts.1 then the other, both together or auto.That should fix your on then off again problem.
10-04-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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Hmmm, does that balance the two? I thought I had tried that once and it has some sort of issues as the batteries wore down. But that was two years ago and I cannot recall exactly..

I hate taking the grip off to replace batteries so I set it up to prefer the grip. That way I can swap that one battery out easily and eventually fall back to the camera when I have no other batteries left. :-)

Maybe the auto mode would work better to start. I may give that another whirl next time I'm out.

10-04-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Whether the grip is useful or not, is really up to your personal preferences. People who appreciate K7s small size may not be that enthusiastic about it. I have several heavy lenses, and often use outdoors on the field. Handling the combo is easier with the grip, and the additional weight of the grip is pretty irrelevant.
With K7 you can set the order the batteries are used, just like with the K10. The K7 grip also has a spare memory card holder. The K7 grip can also take AA batteries, which to me is a nice fallback alternative.
10-04-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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Grips are more of a preference but if you want to make an impression with clients, a camera with a grip looks more professional.
..but between us, we all know that its just an additional battery with a vertical orientation shutter button.
It's like adding bling to your camera.
10-04-2009, 04:10 PM   #7
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the battery that comes with your K-7 would be enough for normal shooting and even burst shooting mode for the entire day. but using video, HDR, shooting under LV mode, flashes and other features that are battery power hog can shorten it considerably. a battery grip would be more of a back-up and useful during travels and covering events that go for longer periods where the chance of recharging your battery is difficult. other use it for balance and better handling and others mainly for looks.

10-05-2009, 05:34 AM   #8
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Camera bling!!??

QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Grips are more of a preference but if you want to make an impression with clients, a camera with a grip looks more professional.
..but between us, we all know that its just an additional battery with a vertical orientation shutter button.
It's like adding bling to your camera.
LOL That was sooo funny! Well then, what's a photographer without camera bling!?

I am now leaning toward this purchase, (and not just because it looks cool. ). I like the idea that it takes AA batteries, so in a real pinch, I could just pop a few of those in and finish the job. I am one of those:"Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance" people...(thank you Miss American 1980 ) I also like that it might balance me a bit more. I'm very petite and have super small hands-(I wear a size 5 ring!) so I liked the fact that the K-7 was small....but I do worry about balance with a couple of the lenses and the flash I bought to go with it.

I was wondering-can anyone specify a bit more what portrait options are added with this battery clip? Please don't talk in technical terms...I'm still learning the "lingo".

Thanks so much everyone for your responses! I am THRILLED to have found a community so open and helpful!
10-05-2009, 05:57 AM   #9
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Personally, I'd pick up a second (backup with SR) camera body before adding a grip plus 2 more batteries. But then I really don't like the additional bulk of the grip.
10-05-2009, 08:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by femimystic Quote
Hi Everyone....

I'm new. I'm so new, that my camera hasn't even arrived yet. I purchased a K-7 with 3 lenses, one a Macro-a good quality flash and a Diffuser. On the prodding of several people I know, I'm changing careers and turning a hobby (Previous film SLR) into a business.

I'm debating purchasing the battery grip, because I plan to do weddings at some point and I'm paranoid about running out of battery! I've also heard that it actually has some useful buttons on it-

Can anyone tell me if my concern warrants this purchase, if they think it's worth it-and if so, what other features/buttons it offers?

Thanks so much! I'm so excited to have found this forum! I'll be here a lot asking questions....and eventually helping to answer them I hope!

With joy,
Marcie
Here are a few thoughts from my perspective you may want to consider:

First of all we notice that right out of the gate, you have bought a very nice and expensive camera as well as a few lenses and a flash. Clearly you have the disposable income in your favor. However we should point out that right now the price of grips for the K-7 are probably a little high. You may want to wait a little while to see if that price is going to decline around November and December. Since you seem to easily have the funds, perhaps this is no issue at all.

Secondly, while the battery grip does add the versatility and convenience of using AA batteries, which can be found absolutely everywhere in an emergency, these cameras use a lot of power and you may find yourself recharging, what, six AA batteries often when using the grip. Though the grip will run off AA or the D-L190 style batteries.

Thirdly, the grip does add weight and size to the camera as well as your camera bag. If you like to travel light and carry a small camera bag you will then have to consider how the camera goes in and out of whatever bag you use most often and most likely, a second bag. It somewhat liberating at times to just go out with a camera and two lenses and have some fun while other times if you have the grip connected and taking along, for instance, three lenses, a flash and a bigger camera bag to accomodate more stuff and adding weight to your shoulders and bulk to your body...

Like others have said, it is a personal preference with advantages and disadvantages. You may want to just enjoy your fantastic choice in camera for some time and then revisit the idea of adding a grip to the system. The rechargable D-Ll190 batteries, if they are anything like the D-L150 batteries have enough power at every charge to get you several hundreds of shutter activations. Maybe for now, just consider carrying two of these battery packs and then decide if a grip is for you.
Once you start using a battery grip, shooting without one is a very different feeling again.

Enjoy the camera.
10-05-2009, 09:32 AM   #11
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I enjoy the grip more for the actual grip than the added battery life. That being said, it is definitely nice having that backup power supply when the original battery dies.
10-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by femimystic Quote
Hi Everyone....

I'm new. I'm so new, that my camera hasn't even arrived yet. I purchased a K-7 with 3 lenses, one a Macro-a good quality flash and a Diffuser. On the prodding of several people I know, I'm changing careers and turning a hobby (Previous film SLR) into a business.

I'm debating purchasing the battery grip, because I plan to do weddings at some point and I'm paranoid about running out of battery! I've also heard that it actually has some useful buttons on it-

Can anyone tell me if my concern warrants this purchase, if they think it's worth it-and if so, what other features/buttons it offers?

Thanks so much! I'm so excited to have found this forum! I'll be here a lot asking questions....and eventually helping to answer them I hope!

With joy,
Marcie
My 2 cents:

I've had the K-7 for 3 months now including the battery grip.
Battery life is good for 600 - 700 shots the way I work:
- No internal flash
- DA* (HSM) lenses
- Short preview, status displays on

I've got 2 LiIon batteries, but I'm using NiMh AA's in the grip. So far I've not been able to run out of the grip AA's and the internal battery in 1 day. The second LiIon has not been out of the pocket yet.

The grip is great for holding the camera, especially with a long heavy lens.
Personally I do not like the placement of the buttons on the grip, I guess my hands are to big, fingers to long.

If you are carrying a bag with 3 lenses, a flash and a K-7, the extra weigth and size of the grip will not be that much.

Have fun with your camera, it is a great tool.

- Bert
10-05-2009, 11:30 AM   #13
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First off, congrats on your decision to go pro. Out of curiosity, what type of photography are you going into? I'm thinking of making that switch as well, it's scary but it feels like the time to try.

Anyways, I had a K10D with a grip and currently own a K-7 without one. The K10D definitely was a much better shooting experience with a grip. I just never felt that I had a firm hold on that camera and the grip definitely helped. The K-7 feels great without a grip though. I'm the type mostly to shoot with prime lenses and the largest lens I use is a DA 16-50 f2.8, the camera grip feels fine. So, I guess the first question is what type of lenses you will be using. If you are the type to run around with a 70-200 f2.8, then yes, definitely get a grip. Either way, I recommend using your camera without a grip for a while and seeing how that works for you.

You also might want to keep in mind that the prices of these will drop, especially on second hand forums. A second battery can fulfill a lot of the function of the grip until that happens.
10-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
Here are a few thoughts from my perspective you may want to consider:

First of all we notice that right out of the gate, you have bought a very nice and expensive camera as well as a few lenses and a flash. Clearly you have the disposable income in your favor. However we should point out that right now the price of grips for the K-7 are probably a little high. You may want to wait a little while to see if that price is going to decline around November and December. Since you seem to easily have the funds, perhaps this is no issue at all.

Secondly, while the battery grip does add the versatility and convenience of using AA batteries, which can be found absolutely everywhere in an emergency, these cameras use a lot of power and you may find yourself recharging, what, six AA batteries often when using the grip. Though the grip will run off AA or the D-L190 style batteries.

Thirdly, the grip does add weight and size to the camera as well as your camera bag. If you like to travel light and carry a small camera bag you will then have to consider how the camera goes in and out of whatever bag you use most often and most likely, a second bag. It somewhat liberating at times to just go out with a camera and two lenses and have some fun while other times if you have the grip connected and taking along, for instance, three lenses, a flash and a bigger camera bag to accomodate more stuff and adding weight to your shoulders and bulk to your body...

Like others have said, it is a personal preference with advantages and disadvantages. You may want to just enjoy your fantastic choice in camera for some time and then revisit the idea of adding a grip to the system. The rechargable D-Ll190 batteries, if they are anything like the D-L150 batteries have enough power at every charge to get you several hundreds of shutter activations. Maybe for now, just consider carrying two of these battery packs and then decide if a grip is for you.
Once you start using a battery grip, shooting without one is a very different feeling again.

Enjoy the camera.
Thank you for your input. Well...I figured that since I only have one shot to spend the budget we set aside to get my business started, I probably shouldn't go with something I'll have to upgrade in short order anyway. I wanted to make the purchases at a level I could keep for a good long while....I doubt I'll outgrow this baby for QUITE a while!

Thanks again!
10-05-2009, 05:41 PM   #15
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Most of my wedding photography is done with the camera in vertical orientation. For me, the grip is an absolutely indispensable accessory.
I'm also using a hammerhead style flash, the grip makes it much easier to position the flash head above the lens.
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