For me its a must for batt grip, makes my camera looks gd..dont believe u try,,look like
1D.hehe, and also it helps on your vertical handling like u doing potrait. all batt grip..have a shutter press so u can press ur shutter either at ur camera body or the batt grip. very convenient and useful. U can get the 3rd party like phottix. Quite cheap. half the price of the original BG-E5. But, there is pro and cons k.
Hood, i no idea leh..by right it helps during heavy light. by left, hehe.. i think good to have. For my case, i and chakka bought a collapsable hood(HOYA Brand) for our 50mm prime lens.
The main reason i get it..because or the red lining..make my 50mm looks like "L" lense..hahaha.
Hmm, Black rapid ah..RS4 is a new model..i believe i never saw any of us in the club using it..but i do read alot of review abt it. think its good. I ever saw it at cathay photo. cost more ard 80. Hmm..not too sure abt rs4 usage till they are so expensive. For my case i like a comfy neckstrap..and i have a "industry disgrace by crumpler"..very comfy. and also..chakka have the Optech..cost more than my crumpler ..but cheap then black rapid..also very comfy.
But if u thinkin of getting the RS$..just get it..hehehe..should be better.