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04-18-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
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I need to get a grip - or do I?

My wife tells me occasionally that I need to get a grip. I don't think she realizes what one costs. Hmm, perhaps she's NOT thinking about camera accessories....

Kidding aside, what's the point of the grip, or "battery grip" as the K10D owner's manual calls it? I never used one myself in the past, but I understand that, once upon a time, the add-on under the camera contained a special servo mechanism that let you take a bunch of shots in a hurry. These days, all you need to do that is a Nikon dSLR. ;-)

I can see that the "battery grip" holds a second battery. Great, I have a second battery, and I've purchased some pants with pockets so I have somewhere to put it. I guess having it in the grip would mean I wouldn't have to change batteries in the middle of a big shoot. On the other hand, it might also mean that when I'm out of battery power, I'm really out. Now, when the battery dies, I pop the fresh battery in, put the depleted one in a pocket and make sure that I charge it as soon as I get home. So the battery argument seems a weak reason to buy the grip. Is it possible simply to STORE the second battery in the grip, without having it get used automatically? And if so, doesn't that bring me back to the subject of pants pockets (or the battery pocket in my camera bag)?

Then there's the "grip" part of the "battery grip." Some people complain that the K10D is just too darned heavy for them. Other people talk about how having the grip really makes the camera feel more solid and easier to hold. Is that what the grip is really about - more camera to grab hold of? Should we look for a future model that has big handles on both sides?

Forgive me, I know I'm being a bit jocular, but I really am curious what those who have and like the grip for the K10D think about it. Why do you like it? Do you consider the grip a must-have item? Is it more or less important than, say, buying a decent flash attachment?

Or is it mainly that the grip makes the camera look bigger and badder (you know, in the good sense)? I can understand that, if that's it. I just want to know.

Will

04-18-2007, 09:38 PM   #2
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I bought the grip for my K10 largely out of habit, having had one for my *istD, my MZ-S, and my ME Super. (The PZ-1P is the only Pentax SLR that I didn't have a grip for.) The K10D is easily large enough to accommodate most large hands without the added grip so it is not necessary for simply handling the camera.

That said, there are some benefits to the grip (that is to say, benefits to some, not to all)....

For a portrait shooter having the vertical shutter release is quite handy (pun intended) in that having the camera hang down from your hand, which can cause a bit of pain in the wrist after a while.

Although I do wear pants, most of the time at least, and do have pockets I certainly don't need to have the IR remote and SD card storage compartments in the grip. However, since they are there I never have to worry about them being "in my other pants".

So, there is some convenience and for some of us there is familiarity with having the convenience. Certainly doesn't change the camera or it's function.
04-18-2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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It another toy!

Extra battery, online and alternating with the one in camera.
Space for the little remote-the IR version
Space for an extra SD card.

Elimination of that hand over the top vertical position and the cramp that comes with. There is a second power(grip-only)-trigger/preview button/switch, second e-wheels and an exposure/focus lock button too. Also the obligatory tripod nut.

And yes, then the part about bigger and badder. And dare I say--it makes it look like a 'pro' camera (just).

Oh, forgot about the pants-I don't wear any.
04-18-2007, 10:14 PM   #4
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For me it is technical reasons, for why i have the grip, shooting with my DS, i can hand hold a 50mm lens at about 1/60th, and get constantly sharp shots, whootign hand over in portrait, that shutter speed increases to 1/125th and half the shots are unsharp. With the K10d with SR off, i can still hand hold the 50 at a 1/60th in landscape, but with the grip i can now hand hold at 1/60th in portrait. That has gained me an extra stop, and it means that my shooting style and skill isn't compromised depending on how i hold the camera. Coupled with SR i can shoot down to a 1/15th

Also it helps, as i have a knack for loosing small items, memory cards and wireless remotes, the fact that i can store them with the camera means they are always with me.

04-18-2007, 10:25 PM   #5
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I think that it's for all of the reasons above, but mainly it just looks good. The camera can rest on a table whithout the lens in the way. I use a leather grip instead of camera strap and the additional height that the battery grip gives makes holding the camera safely with one hand very easy and comfortable. If you do professional assignments such as weddings, etc. Uncle bob will be there with his digital camera or point-and-shoot following you and getting in the way. Having a camera that is impressive looking will let everyone know that you are the professional photographer there.
04-18-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
Uncle bob will be there with his digital camera or point-and-shoot following you and getting in the way. Having a camera that is impressive looking will let everyone know that you are the professional photographer there.
But what about cousin Charles, stockbroker, who keeps a top Canikon with a battery of lenses, large and small, in full public view on the back seat of the Porsche and has yet to produce an even vaguely passable 'snap'?
04-19-2007, 12:37 AM   #7
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"You will know a tree by it's fruit."
I know people who produce pics with p&s that'll leave me scratching my head wondering how did I not see that scene and wishing I would have an eye like them. Besides, it's always better to disappoint others with equipment and impress with pics later on than vice versa
04-19-2007, 05:45 AM   #8
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I found that it became uncomfortable to hold the camera in the vertical position for any length of time. If I was doing a lot of shooting, I would end up not taking verticals (esp. if shooting quickly) and then cropping later; not the results that I wanted. The grip makes vertical shooting easier and more comfortable, even with the increased weight.
I view the extra battery and storage as an extra plus and the additional weight as a negative. All in all, it's been worthwhile for me, as I take a fair number of pictures in the vertical format.

04-19-2007, 09:06 AM   #9
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go to a store and try it out,... your hands will do the talking,....
if you don't end up shooting for hours in vertical,.... you don't need it
for me a must ,grip,batterie and all, just used to it.
workaround, hold camera vertical, use left hand for trigger,...
do like the grip better, did add some rubber strips, since I'am used to beefier ones,
cheers, Rob
04-19-2007, 09:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by robsphoto Quote
if you don't end up shooting for hours in vertical,.... you don't need it
for me a must ,grip,batterie and all, just used to it.
workaround, hold camera vertical, use left hand for trigger,...
I sometimes shoot for an hour or two at a time, but I don't find myself shooting more than one shot in five in vertical orientation. When I turn the camera sideways, I do not find it very difficult to hold the camera with my right hand, support it below with my left, and use my right index finger to press the shutter.

There is a Wolf Camera near me that, I think, has the grip. Perhaps I'll go over and give it a try. But at the moment, it looks as if an external flash attachment should have a higher priority on my acquisitions list than the grip.

One question I don't think anybody answered: If you have the grip, is it possible simply to STORE the second battery without having it somehow get used automatically? Does the K10D draw from both batteries at the same time, or first one, then the other? I forget about the batteries until they run out and I do not want that to happen when BOTH batteries are depleted.

Will
04-19-2007, 10:16 AM   #11
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You can use the batteries in sequence (set in camera). I have it set to use the one in the grip first because it is easier to get at that one to recharge.
04-19-2007, 10:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeterAM Quote
You can use the batteries in sequence (set in camera). I have it set to use the one in the grip first because it is easier to get at that one to recharge.
Thanks, Peter. THis makes sense and it's useful for me to know.

Followup questions:

When the battery in the grip is depleted, does the camera automatically switch to its internal battery so you can keep shooting? Or do you have to flip a switch manually to switch batteries?

Oh, one more: when one battery is depleted, do you get some sort of warning or alert? Battery management seems to me a serious problem. I want to deplete batteries fully before recharging, and I want to recharge as soon as they're depleted. This is not difficult to do when you've got just one battery to worry about: when it's drained, it's drained, and you recharge it. But I'm not sure what happens when you have two power sources in play at the same time. I'm easily confused. ;-)

Will
04-19-2007, 10:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I want to deplete batteries fully before recharging
You should not. Lithium-Ion batteries do not "like" to be discharged fully. It is apparently better to top them off frequently:

Lithium-ion battery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
How to prolong lithium-based batteries

Last edited by RBellavance; 04-19-2007 at 10:41 AM.
04-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
When the battery in the grip is depleted, does the camera automatically switch to its internal battery so you can keep shooting? Or do you have to flip a switch manually to switch batteries?

Oh, one more: when one battery is depleted, do you get some sort of warning or alert?
No, no warning. The camera simply starts using the second battery automatically. Like Peter, I've got mine set to deplete the grip before the body.
04-19-2007, 11:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn Quote
I bought the grip for my K10 largely out of habit, having had one for my *istD, my MZ-S, and my ME Super. (The PZ-1P is the only Pentax SLR that I didn't have a grip for.) The K10D is easily large enough to accommodate most large hands without the added grip so it is not necessary for simply handling the camera.

I don't know if it was so much habit for my choice. I do have a grip/drive for my 2 Super Programs, my PZ-1P, and my K10D. I do not have one for my SF1 or my DS. I know if there was a Pentax one for the DS I'd have it. I just find them to make the way I handle/hold my cameras to be mucho more comfortable/convenient. I found the PZ-1P grip to be my favourite for comfort, especially with the built-in wrist strap, but I also find it to be way over priced, and does nothing for me in portrait. The comfort and function on the K10D is great. It's battery management, and all the functions you can easily use in portrait great too, the card and remote storage or a bonus. The cost of it is great too. It cost less than the PZ-1P grip that has no functions, battery or storage. It makes the K10D bigger, and heavier, but for me I feel more stable/balanced with it on with a telephoto on the front. If I had a pancake on the front I might be tempted to take it off if I knew it wasn't going to be used in portrait. The only thing I have found to be a downside is the tripod mount is off centre of the ccd. That is only a nuisance if you are doing panos, and my pano head is not so strong that I want to leave the extra weight on the camera anyhow.

By all means try to find some place you can feel a camera, lens, and grip together. For some it might not feel 'right', I personally can not understand that, and for some it might take a tiny bit of use to feel and appreciate the benefits. For the rest of us it's an instant appreciation for that grip to complete the body. My hands are not large but I have consistently found over the years that a grip on any camera I use is an asset.
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