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04-24-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
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The need for a battery grip

Hi!

Often when a newbie is getting his first gear he asks for advice and quite often he is told that he "must have this and that".
Among others a battery grip seems compulsory.

I got a spare battery with my K-30, so far I have never had to change it (or charge it) while shooting. Same goes with the K-x, 4xEneloops last for ages when fully charged.
My humble question is: is the battery grip a relic from the film days that just looks cool (and makes the Pentax cameras CaNikon sized) or do anyone actually need it?

Without the on board flash (I use it rarely) you can shoot at least 500+ images. I don't think I have shot that many in one day.

Seb

04-24-2014, 12:12 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
Hi!

Often when a newbie is getting his first gear he asks for advice and quite often he is told that he "must have this and that".
Among others a battery grip seems compulsory.

I got a spare battery with my K-30, so far I have never had to change it (or charge it) while shooting. Same goes with the K-x, 4xEneloops last for ages when fully charged.
My humble question is: is the battery grip a relic from the film days that just looks cool (and makes the Pentax cameras CaNikon sized) or do anyone actually need it?

Without the on board flash (I use it rarely) you can shoot at least 500+ images. I don't think I have shot that many in one day.

Seb
Having extra power from the grip is just a bonus. The main advantage is that grips make the camera easier to hold vertically, and it makes heavy lenses feel better-balanced.

Adam
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04-24-2014, 12:13 AM   #3
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Well, It is nice to have the option to have a bigger grip and the option for a shutter release button and controls in portrait orientation and even heavier camera with longer lenses. I bought a generic grip and I couldnīt be happier. I seldom use it but it serves it purpose. I have even used it at museums with DA15 to achieve 1/4 to 1 second exposures hand holding the camera!
So I guess, redundantly, the grip gives you a lot of grip options and the best part is that it is deatachable. And regarding the name, yes it comes from the film era when the battery pack provided sufficient energy to wind the film fast enough to achive 1, 2 or 3 fps without deppleting the smaller battery in the camera.
04-24-2014, 12:33 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
Hi!

Often when a newbie is getting his first gear he asks for advice and quite often he is told that he "must have this and that".
Among others a battery grip seems compulsory.

I got a spare battery with my K-30, so far I have never had to change it (or charge it) while shooting. Same goes with the K-x, 4xEneloops last for ages when fully charged.
My humble question is: is the battery grip a relic from the film days that just looks cool (and makes the Pentax cameras CaNikon sized) or do anyone actually need it?

Without the on board flash (I use it rarely) you can shoot at least 500+ images. I don't think I have shot that many in one day.

Seb
A battery grip is out of the question as far as I am concerned, because it makes the camera too bulky. And yes, many people add a grip in order to look pro or cool. I keep a couple of extra batteries in my pocket; no need for a grip.

04-24-2014, 01:04 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I bought a battery grip for my K-7 for one reason: to be able to use standard AA batteries instead of the proprietary Li-Ion. It may be a somewhat irrational fear I have of being unable to use my camera due to a dead battery (or a misplaced charger). With the grip, I can pick up a set of AA's just about anywhere. I will be doing the same thing when I order the K-3.
04-24-2014, 01:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DominicVII Quote
A battery grip is out of the question as far as I am concerned, because it makes the camera too bulky. And yes, many people add a grip in order to look pro or cool. I keep a couple of extra batteries in my pocket; no need for a grip.
This simple fact is the only think keeping me from buying a grip.
All I'd really want it for is vertical shooting, but the negative aspects you've highlighted out way my desire for a more comfortable vertical grip.
04-24-2014, 02:30 AM   #7
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what I like about the Pentax K5 and K3:
Without a battery grip they are handy (especially with limiteds) but if I attach a batterygrip I get a great balance for heavier Lenses like 70-200 2.8 or an 50-500. It's so cool to see such a transformation


I'm trying to adapt a batterygrip for K30 because of:
- better balance with my 135-400 and evtl. 28-75 2.8
- vertical Shutter shooting

I don't really need the "battery" in it, but it's a "nice to have".
04-24-2014, 02:46 AM   #8
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Keep in mind that Pentax even offered a grip looking like a "battery" grip for the Z1 / Z1p.
It contained just empty space, but made balance better with heavy and long lenses.

And it probably gave a more professional look.

EDIT:
There was a thread somewhere in this forum about turning this grip to a real battery grip (not a very simple task, as far as I remember).
But nowadays it is difficult to find one.

04-24-2014, 02:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Having extra power from the grip is just a bonus. The main advantage is that grips make the camera easier to hold vertically, and it makes heavy lenses feel better-balanced.
Agree 100 percent
04-24-2014, 03:44 AM   #10
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Having just moved from the K100D to the K3, I miss AA battery power. For remote travel the battery grip looks mandatory.
04-24-2014, 03:58 AM   #11
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Why use a battery grip.

Advantages:

1. Extra power especially useful when on long trips away from home for several days. Also useful when a battery fails to have another waiting to take its place. You know where the battery is, and don't have to rummage through bags to find a fresh battery.

2. My off-brand grip for my K-5II has an extra tray for AA batteries, convenient when regular batteries fail and you away from the electric grid.

3. Comfort. I don't need a grip for K-10, K-20 cameras, but the K-7, K-5II cameras are small for my big hands, and grip makes them easy for me to hold.

4. Extra space for memory card. This is minor, but it is kind of nice to know you have an extra memory card stored with the camera.

5. Excellent for taking vertical photos, the extra controls, I mean, so using the camera sideways becomes more of a normal feeling experience.

Some of these points may be important to some people, not to others. To me the comfort factor in using the smaller K-7, K-5II cameras is probably the most important aspect.
04-24-2014, 04:25 AM   #12
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Good points all, I accept the vertical shooting advantage.

I actually like my handhold K30 front heavy with a big lens, this is a matter of preference.
I have no heavy long zoom, my Sigma macro 180 is the heaviest but you often shoot macro with a tripod anyway.

But so far no REALLY valid reason to go out and buy a battery grip along with your 1st DSLR. I guess a pack of SD cards, a flash and a prime comes first, right?

Seb
04-24-2014, 04:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
But so far no REALLY valid reason to go out and buy a battery grip along with your 1st DSLR. I guess a pack of SD cards, a flash and a prime comes first, right?
In your own words:
QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
this is a matter of preference.
04-24-2014, 04:54 AM - 4 Likes   #14
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Why Not?

Hello Seb,
First off, I've never seen or heard any responsible photographer tell a newbie they 'must have' a grip. Bad advice, considering everything else they usually need, like tripods, flash, polarizer, blower brush.
Second, it's often called a 'battery grip', or BG, but the proper description is 'Vertical Grip'. As in, shooting vertical format, like for portraits, tall, narrow subjects i.e. buildings, stage performers, full-length candids, etc. Just try the right-hand wrap-around/over for a few shots (much less a whole photo session) to reach the shutter release. Not fun, is it?
(3) The BG also duplicates the exposure comp, ISO, on/off/DoF preview buttons; plus both thumb wheels (if the camera has two), AE-L, Green button and AF button. Even without an extra battery, having these controls available in vertical format make the camera much more useable.
Unless you never shoot vertical and never intend to, that is.
(4) Carrying a spare Lithium battery in a pocket, hoping the little plastic cover doesn't come off and the metal coins in the same pocket don't short it out? How is that more comfortable than storing it in a grip, where it's already connected to the camera, safe from shorting out, doesn't need to be swapped, can't lose it?
(5) Same for a spare SD card. Try finding one of those in a camera bag when you need it.
(6) Maybe you never shoot more than 500 shots in a session, but many here have, myself included. Car shows, air shows, musical events, fairs, carnivals, festivals, parades, fireworks, astro photography, any large-scale or long-duration event.
(7) Having two batteries and rotating their use extends the life of each battery.
(8) Situations like camping, travelling and long trips, often mean you don't have easy access to a charger or power outlet. Oh, right, you've got an extra battery in your pocket. See # 4.
(8) Not only do you not 'have to' have one, if you do, you don't have to use it every time you go out. Takes about a minute to remove and replace rubber gasket. So, you have choices, which you don't have without the grip available.
They're not for everyone, I agree. But your anti-grip stance isn't for everyone, either. And honestly, I believe the 'pretentious' or 'wannabe like a pro' factor is the most bothersome to many here. You could easily say the same about lens hoods, right? Do I look like a wannabe when I put my CPL on? Who cares? We can't control what others think or feel. I'm trying to capture the best photos possible and the grip helps when I need it.
JMO,
Ron
04-24-2014, 05:04 AM   #15
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I have grips for my K-5 and K-3, but I never use them for portrait orientation. I find twisting my hands like in the olden days a much more natural thing to do (but that's just me). I haven't brought the grips on my latest trip, to save weight, but I accept the point that they do make the balance better for longer lenses.
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