General Question

justin5824's avatar

Full Frame Vertical Grip?

Asked by justin5824 (196points) November 22nd, 2008

Why do most full frame (Canon 1ds mk III, NikonD3 etc.) DSLR’s have a “built-in” battrey/vertical grip and not other camera’s like the Cannon 5d mk III, Nikon d700)?

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7 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

The 5d mkIII doesn’t have a built in one? (I’m not familiar with the Canon line, but that surprises me)

I’ve always understood that it’s less about the full frame and more about the pro-level of the camera. The pro cameras are expected to have a vertical grip, they also need more juice to run for longer shoots (and to run some of the more advanced features—my D300 is limited to 6fps without the vertical grip (extra battery), if I have the extra battery in there, it jumps to 8fps)

bpeoples's avatar

That’s crazy!

joeysefika's avatar

Pro DSLR’s and Mid-Range – Pro DSLR’s, I suppose the D3 and 1Ds mk III are top of the range Pro SLR’s whereas the D700 or 5d are semi-pro

jtvoar16's avatar

It mainly comes down to cost. To place a portrait grip on the camera, you are essentially putting in double the components, two shutter buttons, two terminals, all the wires for the extra functions of the other buttons on the grips. You also have to consider how much more gets crammed into a “High Pro” camera like the D3. It has more CPU’s, thus needs more space for cooling and for the CPU’s themselves.
As you add all this stuff, the price just keeps jumping up and up, the resulting end a camera that cost as much as a car.
If you were looking to go pro, which would you rather buy?
a D300 and a vertical grip plus another lens for 3,000$
or just the D3 camera’s body for 5,000$? No lens included.
It also has a little to do with having pro lens too, for example, I use the 200mm f/2 and have used the 600mm f/4 Nikkor lens. Needless to say one weights 10 lbs. the other weights 17 lbs. If you tried to shoot a vertical portrait with that much weight on your hands or even your mono-pod and didn’t have the grip, your arms would explode.

tigran's avatar

I think its so they can market it to a larger group of people. The cheaper body appeals to both professionals that want a back up and amateurs that want high quality. It is that mid range so they sell it without the grip, but still offer it for those who want to upgrade.

I actually believe it is cheaper to make the body with the grip included, then to make them separately since that just increases manufacturing costs.

@jtvoar16: unless your model is in a different state, you shouldn’t need to use a 600mm lens for a portrait!

jtvoar16's avatar


Well, I usually shot portrait when I am shooting for athletes, as they want just a photo of themselves for scouts. Tell the truth I usually have the camera at ever angle but perfect vertical or perfect portrait when I am using the higher-telephotos. I have also used it a few times to get some dramatic shots of wolfs and bears. Like when they stand up.
However… I will admit, I love taking portraits of my friends with the 200mm f/2. The DoF is AMAZING on that thing, problem is, if I get to close, only their eyelashes are in focus ;)

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