What Is A Battery Grip?

A battery grip is an accessory that attaches to the bottom a camera and duplicates several of the primary camera buttons, while also increasing the camera’s battery life.

The grip makes it more comfortable to hold the camera in this vertical orientation, and also provides easier access to important buttons such as the shutter button, AF-ON button for back button focus technique, as well as control wheels and autofocus joysticks. In general, the battery grip for a specific camera will perfectly mimic the buttons and the button positions as they are found on the camera body.

As well as improved ergonomics, a battery grip normally allows two regular camera batteries to be placed inside the grip to power the camera for twice as long. Most camera manufacturers utilize a pair of the same batteries that power the camera that the grip is designed for. This is useful for people like sports photographers who don’t want to miss any action while changing batteries. Having a pair of batteries in the camera makes it much more likely that they will be able to last a full game, or at least opt to change batteries at a safe moment such as half time.

Battery grips are most useful for photographers who finds themselves shooting in a portrait orientation for long periods of time, or at least waiting with the camera in that orientation for something to happen. Sports and wildlife photographers particularly appreciate them for the easier placement of the autofocus controls, and that extended battery life. 

Some battery grips also come with the option of using AA batteries in the grip instead of the regular camera batteries. This in itself can be useful since AA batteries are readily available worldwide so you won’t get caught short if you forget your battery charger or run out of power in a place where you can’t easily recharge.