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What is a Handgrip on a Camera?

The handgrip is a protrusion on the right-hand side of a camera that is ergonomically shaped to be comfortable when held in the hand. This is almost always the primary contact point between the photographer and their camera, so it is sized to make it large enough to grip and hold the weight of the camera. As such, the size of a camera’s handgrip is highly dependant on the weight of the camera. Larger cameras tend to have larger handgrips to make them easier to hold.

The camera’s handgrip

Small point and shoot cameras barely have a handgrip at all, in fact, sometimes it is no more than some textured rubber padding, whereas pro-sized DSLRs have huge handgrips that often house the camera’s battery and are covered in control dials and function switches.

In some cases, the design ethos of a particular camera company will also have an effect on the size of the handgrip. For example, Sony mirrorless cameras have relatively small grips, whereas Canon’s EOS R mirrorless cameras and Nikon Z mirrorless cameras tend to have much larger grips.

If you find that the handgrip on your camera is too small, you can usually buy a battery grip that both improves the ergonomics of the camera and increases the battery life.