Sunday, February 17, 2019

Get A Grip- Canon's 50D

Get A Grip- Canon's 50D
February 2019, Carl Garrard

The very first metric I use to determine whether or not I'll like camera or not, is how it feels in the hand. Every single camera but one in my "Magnificent Seven" article feels wonderful in my hands. Although the Canon 50D didn't make my top seven, it undoubtedly holds the title for best grip of any DSLR I've ever held. Although my 6D feels great, and so do many of my other DSLR's, none have nailed the perfect feel of the 50D. In my 50D review I mentioned just how much I like it's grip, but words just cannot do justice to the perfect ergonomic shape or feel it has in hand. It's a grip so reassuring, I'd voluntarily hang from it with one hand over the Grand Canyon  if my life depended on it.  

There's such a confidence inspiring, perfectly comfortable/sculpted feel about it's grip, which is mixed with a body that has uncompromising stiffness and solidity. It's matched to the type of camera it is, a durable workhorse that was designed to handle huge and heavy lenses, to be carried all day long if needed. There isn't a Canon lens designed that I wouldn't hesitate to use on it, and you'd  be surprised at how few camera's give me that kind of confidence.

But why am I taking the time to write an article raving about a camera grip? Quite frankly it's needed because I hardly ever see any articles out there that address how feel and ergonomics are such a huge part of the bond between a photographer and a camera. Sure they are mentioned, but not emphasized as a priority as they should be. And if you've been out on a full days shoot, you know what I'm talking about. 

Wet weather, heavy lens, it doesn't matter. My 50D is rock solid and comfortable in any circumstance.
An uncomfortable camera can literally ruin a job or take the fun out of photography completely. Luckily, there are plenty of really good cameras to choose from out there, but I must emphasize how important it is for photographers to hold one in hand for a while before you purchase. Specifications and capabilities are useless unless you like to hold your camera and shoot with it. And a camera you hate to use that is gathering dust on a shelf  as a result, might as well not exist at all. Since 2006, all digital cameras have plenty good enough image quality, so get your priorities straight and buy one that is comfortable for you to hold and operate.

Don't fall into the technology trap. It's a trap that can hold you  back from enjoying photography. A good pair of shoes, comfortable jeans, favorite shirt, and a comfortable camera will give you more enjoyment making pictures than you can ever imagine. I always make sure my clothing and my equipment are comfortable before heading out for an all day photograph trip. 

It's why I make such a big deal about those stupid post style camera strap lugs on EVERY review I write! Notice the 50D's are flush to the body?

Sculpted perfection. A great grip makes you want to pick up a camera. Picking it up means you'll make images. Simple. In addition, Canon were wise to put all the controls in places my fingers can easily reach too. Icing on a cake that I can have and eat too.

So whether it be a Sony, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Hassleblad, Fujifilm, Nikon, Ricoh, Phase One, or a Leica, just make sure you like holding it all day before you buy it, and if you don't, don't make the mistake of keeping it just because everyone says it's the best camera out there. The best camera is the one that you actually enjoy using, obsessing about features or micro-increments in image quality will never bring you the kind of joy a great comfortable companion could ever bring. 

So get a grip, prioritize the things that really matter. Like a good camera grip. Brag about that specification, and watch people look at you like you are weird. And so what.

Stay Focused,

Carl Garrard

Get a grip, on your priorities.

*All images made with the Olympus OMD-EM1 MK II (another example of a grip that a manufacturer got right).

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