Before today, if you wanted to record your vlog while holding your Sony mirrorless camera, you would have to get a remote commander or use the app, and either hold the camera awkwardly with your hand or get a grip handle separately. If you want to set the camera down, that grip handle might double as a tripod, but those are generally not very sturdy. If you wanted sturdy, you’re looking at carrying around a full-sized tripod. At this point, you’re looking and feeling like a pack mule. And taking all this stuff with you as you travel? Get ready to add a new bag to your check luggage! Not to mention biking around Asia becomes more difficult, with the additional gear.
Enter Sony’s new vertical remote grip. Made with the travel vlogger in mind, it’s lightweight, easy to carry, weather-sealed, comfy to hold, and a breeze to use.
The GP-VPT2BT connects via bluetooth to your Sony ILC, which limits the models that can use the device to the relatively newer ones. Don’t worry, though, as the range of compatible cameras is still pretty impressive.
The grip is 8.5″ long and relatively flat. It has a nice texture on the handle, making it easy to grip without risking it sliding around.
On the front of the grip, you have a zoom toggle, which allows you to control lenses that have that option. Optical zoom only lenses will not be able to use this toggle. Then you have a button for photo and a button for movie, which is basically just the shutter button control. There’s a C1 button that can relay whatever custom setting you’ve set up for your camera directly to the grip. This could potentially allow you to adjust things like white balance or ISO. Use the lock switch to prevent accidents.
It takes a single CR2032 battery, just under the legs of the tripod.
The head of the grip features a standard tripod mount with a nice wheel to help connect the camera. There are two buttons to adjust the positioning of the camera on your grip, which are easy to reach and lock in place to prevent mistakes that can easily ruin videos. The one closest to the head controls the x-axis, while the button below that controls the y-axis, and locks when you release the button, no matter where the camera is sitting. These are fully functional in grip and tripod mode, and allow for pretty much any shooting angle you can think of.
The buttons are a nice size, and placed in intuitive locations. They’re also in perfect reach for my thumb.
The battery is easily available. I’ve run into some devices which seem really cool but have a battery that’s either hard to find or dumb levels of expensive (or both).
The tripod is sturdier than most table-top tripods. I was able to put a good deal of pressure on the tip of the kit lens without the back legs tipping up.
I like the shape, compared to more cylindrical grips. Very easy and comfortable to hold.
It’s not really long enough for me to film myself with ease. Pretty much have to use a 10-16mm wide lens or there’s no point in the selfie-shot.
While $140 is pretty pricey for a grip, consider the savings that would be involved in other ways. You don’t have to worry about additional luggage. No worries about buying a tripod separately, either. Either it’ll be expensive for a good one or you might risk a tripod that can’t handle the weight of the camera or the environment you’re in. A good tripod will net you around $150, anyways. If you don’t need all that height, then why carry it around? The fact that it fits in the laughably tiny pocket of my female pants is a definite bonus. For something that weighs less than a pound, it’s really sturdy.
I’m definitely a fan of this little guy, and can’t wait to take it along with me to conventions!