Vello Gear Battery Grips for DSLR Cameras
Most of the time when travelling to cons or festivals, slimming down my gear profile is a top priority. Not enough gear, and you might miss a shot, too much, and you spend your day trudging around the con like a pack mule. There one is one area where I recently had to bulk up, and that’s with the form-factor of my Nikon D600, a camera body that I love, love, love to shoot with…
Just before Comic-Con I aqcuired a slightly used, but pristine, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens. A medium-range zoom that is used by a lot of pro wedding photographers—It’s a great piece of glass. Perfect for shooting cons and street fairs/festivals, this lens gives you a wide range of framing and perspective choices for body-length to head shots, is very fast, and has Nikon’s Nano-coating technology, and the images are spectacular. On the downside it also weighs relatively-whopping 2 lbs., and tends to make the form-factor of the compact D600 body a little bit unwieldy. Also, I tend to shoot a lot of verticals when shooting cosplayers, or doing portraits, and there are a lot of times when using the standard, top-of-the-camera-body controls isn’t convenient.
The answer too all this is pretty simple, add a battery grip, but after picking up the new glass, I really wasn’t looking to fork out another $300 for Nikon’s OEM battery grip—Remember the rules: Spend as little as possible on camera bodies that will drop like a rock in value, and save the cash for the good glass, because that’s what makes your photos.
Thank the Elder Gods for Vello Gear, a company that makes great battery grips for Nikon and Canon cameras at less than a third of the cost of the OEM versions.
After reading a bunch of reviews, I picked up a Vello BG-N10 through my favorite online camera shop, for about $80 before shipping. It’s an unbelievably great value.
The BG-N10, like all Vello battery grip units, comes with an adapter for my camera’s OEM Batteries (Nikon EN-EL15), as well as an adapter for using 4 AAA batteries. This model requires one battery in the grip, and one in the camera, adding a boost to capacity, but the added height that it gives to the camera body offsets the the awkwardness of the heavy 24-70mm lens, and gives my hands a better purchase on the camera. It also provides an additional set of controls, including shutter release, front-and-rear control wheels, and a thumb-switch for use when shooting vertically…All of which work beautifully, and add a great deal of comfort and overall improved ergonomics to shooting. All for $80!
Vello Gear makes battery grips for most popular Nikon and Canon DSLRs, including the Canon 5D Mk II and Mk III, The Nikon D7000, Canon 7D, Canon 60D, and others. They are all available through amazon.com.
Great value, great price…Highly recommended.