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Is the battery grip dead? By the looks of photographers' setups I think so....

Is the battery grip dead?
(Image credit: Canon)

After recently getting engaged to my partner of 5 years we have now begun the wedding fair exploring stage, and of course high on the list is a photographer to shoot the wedding. 

It turns out, I am a rather picky person when it comes to photography, being a photographer myself, and while out exploring what people had to offer I noticed a trend amongst all the photographers displaying their work – they all had their cameras out on show and not one had a battery grip attached, which left this old sports photographer wondering... is the battery grip dead? 

Get a grip! (Image credit: Future)
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I saw it all, like a Canon R6 with a Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 with no battery grip, making the camera look too small for the lens – and just imagine how unbalanced that must feel. But this photographer was not alone. 

I saw Sony A9 IIs and Nikon D850s, but not a battery grip in sight. I even asked one of these photographers why they don't use a battery grip and the response was, it gets in the way and adds extra weight to carry. Extra weight! They should try carrying a Nikon 200mm f/2 and a 600mm f/4 around for 6 hours straight, then they would know what weight carrying is really like, but I digress....

I couldn't believe that not one photographer used a battery grip, something which I always strapped to my Nikon cameras for the benefit of extra support, balance and longer battery life - something which I would think would be important for shooting weddings? But I am not a wedding photographer so I wouldn't know. 

Battery grips aren't just for battery life, but better grip and balance with big lenses. (Image credit: Sebastian Oakley / Digital Camera World)
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So I began to look at other setups that photographers use today, and lo and behold I look at the latest Nikon Professionals magazine to find half the photographers are not using battery grips at all, just shooting body only with their lenses. Did I miss the memo that having the extra benefit of a battery grip is no longer the "in thing" to do?

I remember the days when you wanted the battery grip to get the best from out of your camera, such as frames per second, extended battery life, better composing when in portrait orientation, rather than the awful "elbow in the air" number you see many still do today!

However, all is not lost, I have see other professionals and enthusiast support the battery grip as they understand it makes their overall setup more balanced and easier to shoot.

At the end of the day, like any art form, photography is in the eye of the beholder and one persons passion is another ones nightmare, but I still won't agree to not having a battery grip on your cameras....

Read more:

Best camera for wedding photography (opens in new tab)
Engagement shoots: how to shoot them (opens in new tab)
Best professional camera (opens in new tab)
Best lenses for event and wedding photography (opens in new tab)

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Sebastian Oakley
Sebastian Oakley

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.


He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 


He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.