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Thread: The b-grip line: a camera support system

  1. #1
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default The b-grip line: a camera support system

    Recently I was passed an entire set of camera support from the b-grip line, from Italy, to do a review. It is a brand I've never heard of, but from the moment I saw it, I was pretty impressed with the system. But with every products, there were pros and cons as well as things I personally liked and things that I felt could have been made differently. The entire system has a tool-less approach with the only "tool" you'll ever require is a coin for tightning. I required a ruler to remove silicon stoppers because I do not have long enough fingernails.

    The entire product lineup


    The entire product lineup is mostly compatible with each other and the lineup includes:

    • UNO - a compact attaching system for mirrorless, bridge and compact sized camera
    • BH - essentially a larger version of the UNO for carrying DSLRs on your waist, includes a belt
    • b-glider - A cross body type of sling strap
    • HS+ - A universal handstrap that is compatible with most cameras, there is a HS version for those who have a B-Grip belt holder, you can use the same plate
    • TA - their own quick release plate that can be attached to any tripod or monopod
    • TK - an additional accessory that allows the BH to be attached to the strap of your bag.
    • QRP - their own quick release plate


    Over the next few posts, I'll go through in detail the products.


    UNO



    The UNO is a small and compact attaching system built specifically for mirrorless, bridge or compact size cameras. Bridge cameras referring to cameras like the P900 from Nikon and compact size cameras such as any compact camera that costs $299 or even higher end and pricier cameras such as the Panasonic LX100.

    Out of the box, the main part of the body is made of Durethen which is one of the best high tech polymers. The metal bits that hold the UNO to the bag or belt straps are made of steel.



    Looking at this product, the immediate competitor to this is the Capture Clip and CapturePRO clip from Peak Design. And I think the UNO is a pretty good alternative. While the Peak Design seems very easy to slip in, the UNO requires a 2 handed operation in putting on and releasing the camera by first moving a release lever and sliding the plate in. While it seems that the Capture and Capture PRO would have the advantage, I personally like that extra step into ensuring that it's securely in. There's a safety lock lever that ensures it'll never fall off.

    While the UNO may seem slower to operate, I believe with practice, it'll be fast and easy to remove. And for it's intended purpose, I do not believe it's purpose is for speed, more of convenience. The UNO is designed with an elongated base that rests evenly on the shoulder strap, therefore keeping it steady. I do not own a Capture or CapturePRO, but I believe it's not as stable.



    The UNO is rated for guaranteed safe carrying of up to 5KG, which even with the biggest mirrorless lens I have, it doesn't cross the maximum weight.

    Although I didn't try with a sling bag, I've seen pictures of it being used on the strap of sling bags which I find is a better placement than attaching it to my bag which is the photos I saw of the Capture and CapturePRO though not pictured, I believe it's capable of holding onto the strap too. One of the things that I really like about the UNO is that the plate is Arca Swiss compatible.

    While I believe it's capable of supporting cameras using a vertical grip, I prefer not to as I feel it puts strain on the tripod socket, but I have no proof of this, I just like to play safe. I used an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II for the photos and I felt that it was a perfect match.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: The b-grip line: a camera support system

    BH



    The BH is basically a larger version of the UNO, made to carry DSLRs and rated to carry loads of up to 8KG. The BH is part of a family of accessories to fit practically every situation, unlike it's smaller brother the UNO.

    [img]https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1470/24327131942_4f806d62ea_b.jpg[img]

    Like the UNO, it's made longer to help keep the camera balanced vertically facing down as opposed to bouncing up and down when talking with it. In the first picture, the boxes include the actual BH and a waist strap ,TK accessory is sold seperatedly and it allows the user to put the camera on the strap of a bag instead of the belt. The strap fits my waist of 48" with about 2-4 inches left over, so it'll fit most people.

    In the pictures of the gallery on the B Grip side, most, if not all of the cameras are cameras without a vertical grip which makes sense as it puts less strain on the tripod mount and bag strap or belt. It also allows for better balance. But it is possible to use it with cameras with the optional vertical grip or those with built in ones, such at my Olympus E-1 and Nikon D3 though it's not very comfortable as it is rather heavy and big. Below pictured with the belt.



    With the optional TK accessory, it can be converted to be attached to the strap of a backpack, which is useful for when one is doing more active activities such as cycling, hiking etc as opposed to the belt strap which would be ideal for walking on the streets or simply in the studio. Below pictured attached to the backpack.

    One nice thing I thought that the company did was to include a little waterproof cover for the camera, included with the TK accessory which will protect your gear from the elements. Just as some bags feature a all-weather cover.

    Like the UNO, it features a safety lock in addition to having a lever to be pushed to release the camera. While it isn't convenient, it is safe from just falling out. And with practice and the right setup, I'm sure it'll be fast and easy to unlock and lock the camera onto the BH.



    The closest competitor that comes to mind would still be the peak design capture and capturePRO. But I would rather something bigger for a bigger camera. Generally the camera would be placed with the lens mount facing down, but it is possible to reverse it to help with changing the lens.
    Last edited by spidey89; 20th January 2016 at 10:00 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Default Re: The b-grip line: a camera support system

    The BH comes with it's own QRP (Quick Release Plate) that is compatible with its other products which will come in other parts of this review. The quick release plate has a piece of rubber to reduce slip when attached to the camera. The bottom of the quick release plate requires a coin to tighten it to the camera body and has a rubber stopper which will prevent it from being loosen and potential causing your precious camera to drop onto the ground.



    The cool part that surprised me was the little "flip out" stand that allows the camera to stand parallel to a flat surface. We've become accustomed to having our camera tilting downwards and support on the edge of the lens or the lens hood. But this little stand makes the camera stand up correctly. It's strong enough to support a Nikon D3 and Nikkor 24-70 without issues.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Default Re: The b-grip line: a camera support system

    b-glider

    The b-glider is a cross shoulder camera strap that has the exact same plate as the BH. At first glance, the first competitor that comes to mind would be the strap from BlackRapid. This is different though. While I've never own a BlackRapid, I've ever considered getting it but after playing with the b-glider, I'm glad I didn't.



    Like the BH, it's rated to carry loads of up to 8kg. But the b-glider doesn't have a safety lock which to me, is good because it removes one step, and bad because I feel it's not as safe as it's brothers but after using it, I find that the safety lock doesn't really matter as it's pretty strong!

    Like the BlackRapid strap, it has a way of shortening or lengthening the strap, simply pull the D-ring to shorten it or pull the strap to extend it. One thing that I really like is that the part that is resting on the shoulder is made of Neoprene. My first neoprene strap was the one given by Canon. It was broad, has extremely good anti-slip feature and it really reduces the feeling of heaviness on the shoulder.



    While doing the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 lens review, it was attached to the b-glider and I walked for hours at the bird park while feeling like there wasn't anything on my shoulder. For comparison, the feel of the weight of the Zuiko 300mm lens is similar to carrying my Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8G VRII lens which I feel was pretty heavy. The strap reduced it to the point I felt like I was carrying just a compact camera.



    As mentioned, it uses the same QRP which I feel is better than the BlackRapid's version because in order to use a tripod, you've gotta remove the Fastenr though I see that they now have an Acca Swiss plate to attach. But I feel insecure having my camera supported by a carabiner.

    One thing I wished the b-glider had is a built in pouch or loops to attach optional pouches to hold batteries, or SD card for some people. I think that would really add value to the strap.

    The strap includes backpack connectors which allow the user to attach the strap to the backpack instead of putting the strap on the body then carrying a backpack over it. It's a really nice feature as it can be quite a pain to practically have 3 straps on your body. It also reduces the weight so instead of carrying the weight on 1 shoulder, we can carry on 2 shoulders.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Default Re: The b-grip line: a camera support system

    HS+



    The HS+ comes in both HS and HS+ version. HS does not include the QRP while the + version does. If you have lenses that have a tripod collar, I recommend getting the + version for the extra plate. One for the lens, one for the camera.

    The strap is made of silicon which will provide slip resistance for those who perspire a lot like myself. Initially, I didn't like the silicon but I've grown to appreciate it. It features plastic screws which help to adjust sizing as well as attaching it to the camera. This allows it to be compatible with many hand sizes and the size of my hands are comparable to those of Caucasians, which considering where B-Grip products are from (Italy), it shouldn't come as a surprise that it fits me.

    The unique S curves allows the fingers to maneuver and operate the camera as per normal. Installation and adjustment is tool free. Previously when I used Olympus Four Thirds DSLRs,I used the original leather straps which after some time, became dirty and the leather fell out. The HS+ is washable (though the site didn't mention it) and because it's made of silicon, it doesn't flake like leather.

    When I moved to the Nikon D3, I used a product called Camdapter but it didn't feel right in my hands and I sent it back to the manufacturer. The HS+ is the first hand strap I've used in years and I like it very much now. Because it uses the same QRP plate, it's compatible with the BH and b-glider.



    The red accent gives a nice touch to the black strap and black camera. If you wish to use the normal neckstrap, the HS+ has a loop to attach a neck strap to it. Probably if you have some limited edition neckstrap, you'd want to do it. But I would prefer to use the b-glider in addition to this.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Default Re: The b-grip line: a camera support system

    TA



    The TA is b-grip's own tripod solution. Initially when I was briefed about this product, I didn't listen properly and I thought that this would be a crummy system because I couldn't attach a tripod to it. When I picked this package up, I didn't realize how wrong I was. Not only didn't I know there was a tripod solution prior to picky this up, I though I had to change the entire tripod mounting plate! It was only after reading in detail that I realize I could use any existing tripod head, utilizing any tripod plate and attaching this quick release clamp to it.

    I used it with my Sirui tripod by screwing the standard 1/4" screw on the Sirui's tripod plate into the socket and attached it like I would any tripod and I was done. A quick release solution for the tripod and b-grip's carrying solution.



    This allows the user to attach their camera to the tripod very quickly. It doesn't feature a safety lock though. I think the tripod adapter could have benefited from having a safety lock on it.

    This is the last piece of the b-grip system which will allow a user to customize their camera support. Below is the HS+ grip attached onto the tripod.




    Conclusion

    The whole system allows me to take my camera from its standing position on the table, attach it to the b-glider and go about shooting. Switch it up from the b-glider and attach it to my tripod and shoot without having to change plates or remove plates. Having a neck strap can sometimes be cumbersome when shooting and I'd prefer to use a handstrap, which can be permanently attached with the HS+.

    This may not appeal to everyone but for the way I shoot, I have integrated it into my workflow and I look forward to what B-Grip can do to improve their current line of excellent products as well as what could be added to the family.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  7. #7

    Default Re: The b-grip line: a camera support system

    Still wondering where to view and buy the products locally.

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