Sony hand grip - Sony STPGB1AM Grip belt
This is a short review of the Sony STPGB1AM Grip belt but im sure users of other camera makes will also find this useful.
Why a hand grip/strap?
Ever since I have had my Sony a100 the normal neck strap that comes with most DSLR's has always annoyed me but I never felt secure using my camera with out it. I found that it got in the way when I was shooting, it tangled up and was a pain to tuck in my camera bag. I also don't like the style of wearing a camera strap round my neck as I feel it looks nerdy and makes me look like a tourist so I normally just wrapped it round my wrist.
I have been looking at a hand strap for my camera for a while and it was a tos-up between the official rather hefty ( 35) official Sony hand grip or a cheap nock-off from ebay. After some reading people highly recomended the sony grip and users of the nock-off straps didn't seem so happy with there purchase.
The Sony 'STPGB1AM Grip belt' arrived this morning from amazon with quick delivery, I have always found amazon good. The product came in a simple small box with nothing inside it apart from the hand strap and a small manual.
How does it attach?
the strap attaches to the top right strap hoop, which a normal neck strap would attach two, and on the other end of the hand grip there is a sturdy plastic 'block' which screws onto the bottom of the camera where a tripod would connect. This plastic block also has a screw hole on it so the camera can still be mounted to a tripod with the hand grip still attached to the camera:
(images taken with point & shoot camera, difficult only using one left hand!)
At first glance the hand strap seems out of place and looks a little bit odd attached to the rather small body of the Sony a100 as the grip is longer than the camera body's grip but I think it would look and fit better if a battery grip was attached or used with the bigger a700/a900 body. It looks fine however when your hand is in it and your shooting. This grip can also be used with a battery grip as the length of it can be adjusted.
Unless you shoot using your thumb on the shutter button, the strap needs to be loosened slightly so that you can swivel your hand round a bit to get your index finger on the shutter. If you keep the grip tight so there is not much room between the camera grip and the hand strap pad I find I can only get my thumb on the shutter button and not my index finger.
Once the strap is adjusted to suit, the strap fits securely and the camera feels safe and secure. I am able to keep the strap over my hand and let go of the camera so it's just being held on the strap and it still feels safe and secure.
Shooting and using the strap is no problem. I'm finding it much better and more practical with the hand grip rather than the neck strap as I no longer have any straps dangling, twisting up and getting in the way. The hand strap has allowed me to get rid of the annoying neck strap but also keeping the camera secure. The only downside to using a hand grip is that you have to have one hand holding it, you cant just hang it from your neck and keep your hands free, this is not a problem for me as if im not holding/shooting my camera I just put it in my bag anyway.
The grip also comes with a small metal hoop that allowed you to have a neck strap attached to the camera at the same time if you wish, though I took this off.
Overall im pleased with it and I no longer have to put up with the annoying neck strap! If you have any questions fire away.