Probably the best thing about stepping up from a compact digital camera to a digital interchangeable lens camera is that you now have an entire world of digital camera accessories to choose from. Some of the accessories may be for convenience while others offer performance enhancement. How about a digital camera accessory that is both?
In my opinion, the standout camera accessory for Canon digital cameras is the vertical extension grip, sometimes called a battery grip. In fact, I've been such a big fan of this particular camera accessory that every camera I've owned since the mid-'90s has had a vertical extension grip added film and digital cameras both.
What is a Vertical Extension Grip?
I'm glad you asked! A vertical extension grip is a digital camera accessory that provides an additional hand grip and attaches to the bottom of a DSLR. That's right; it makes the camera even bigger. But that's not all because the grip can hold not one but two camera batteries so the camera is also instantly heavier. Both bigger and heavier, that's about as un-compact as a camera can get.
So who in their right mind would want this added bulk? Well, not to take anything away from your state of mind but I think you do you just don't know it yet. If you skip upward a paragraph or two you'll recall that I mentioned something about convenience and performance. A vertical extension grip really does offer enhancements to both.
Carry Two Batteries
Let's tackle performance first because that's the easy one. Two batteries loaded at the same time means twice the shots between charges, and that's the obvious upside. However, when you add a vertical grip and a second battery to a certain camera model the cameras suddenly perform faster. They leap from six image frames shot per second to 9 frames per second. Not too shabby, twice the shots at speeds 50% faster than before. You can shoot soccer games almost all day long.
What this is Important
With the grip accessory attached the photographer immediately notices that the grip provides a second shutter button. Now when the camera is shot in a vertical orientation portrait there is a shutter button placed exactly where the right forefinger falls. There isn't a need any longer to break the wrist and reach over the top of the camera to shoot in a vertical orientation. The wrist stays straight creating more stable support and with far less stress and fatigue caused by an uncomfortable hand grip.