B-Grip Camera Holster Review - Digital Photography School

B-Grip Camera Holster Review

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The B-Grip (short for “belt grip”) is a way to carry your camera on a belt, rather than around your neck. The camera is carried around in the holster with a quick release plate that’s easily accessed when you’re ready to shoot. It’s best paired with the hand strap also available, and it is this pair which I was sent for review by a local reseller. I tested this grip out on the busy weekend of an anime convention which I attend every year and usually take about 1000 photos a day for each of the two days. For Saturday I used the B-Grip. For Sunday I switched back to my preferred strap, a Sun Sniper strap. This way I was able to get a good comparison of the two.

Pros

  • It looks damn sexy! I posted the product photo to my facebook page when I got the holster for review and the most common comment was how cool/badass/sexy it looked. For a photographer who needs to look cool, this will not harm your image one bit.
  • This will save your neck and shoulders, as the weight of the camera and lens is moved to your hips, which can carry that weight far more easily. The advertising says “carry your camera comfortably”, and it is comfortable!
  • When holstered, the camera is very secure. I was concerned at first but after putting it all together I could see there was no way the camera would come loose. It’s probably more secure than a standard strap, since it doesn’t swing about.
  • The experience of going hands-free without worrying where a dangling camera might go if you bend over or turn around is a liberating one.

Cons

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  • The major problem I faced with the holster is the necessity for a strap you slip your hand into before you can remove it from the holster. The alternative is no strap which means your own hand’s grip is the only thing stopping the camera from hitting the ground. I think that’s too risky, especially when trying to holster/unholster your camera.
  • The strap is a thick, flexible, slightly grippy rubber. It’s a little tricky to adjust to the right size, and can be quite difficult to put your hand into when you’re even a little bit sweaty.
  • The event I was shooting had me stopping to take photos every couple of minutes, so I was constantly holstering/unholstering my camera. I started leaving my hand in the grip all the time, and then I just stopped holstering it altogether, so I ended up always holding the camera in my hand and as a result my arm became tired.
  • Not only did this make my arm tired, but it also meant my hand wasn’t free. It took a few seconds to lift my shirt (which naturally fell over the holster), holster the camera and take my hand out of the grip in order to get my hand free. Long enough to be awkward when offered a hand to shake.
  • There’s an optional extra attachment for the grip on the camera that allows you to mate the plate for the holster onto a tripod mount. This is a solution for photographers who want to swap between handheld and tripod, but the adapter is plastic and I prefer metal for tripod plates.
  • Also, the grip is not compatible with my panorama head. This may not be a problem for many photographers (although stills/video shooters may have a similar issue), but the attachment is slow and fiddly enough – with some small plastic nuts used which could easily be dropped and lost – that I’d rather never have to remove the B-Grip from my camera.
  • Every time I wanted to sit down I had to slide the camera and belt around to my side, which then got in the way a bit.

Thoughts

  • I really like the concept of the holster mount, and the benefits are very nice indeed, however for the types of photography I do and the relatively burdensome process of adding and removing the B-Grip from the camera, I don’t think it’s suited to me.
  • I can imagine this being a great tool for a street photographer for example. You could walk around for hours, the camera securely stashed out of the way and not swinging about, then slip your hand in the grip when you come across a photo opportunity. Once you’re done, holster the camera again and go on your way.
  • It’s very true that you need the right tool for the right job, and there are many jobs which demand many different tools. The B-Grip is not a tool for the jobs I do however.

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Conclusion

  • I find it hard to do a fair review of this holster, as I feel that it simply wasn’t a tool that benefited me, yet for another photographer it could be exactly what they need.
  • There are some annoyances, such as the finicky wrist strap and a slower process to add/remove the camera attachment than I’d rather.
  • The parts that did work for me – the weight of the camera being supported on my hips, being completely hands free and not worrying about a camera swinging around on a strap – were truly a liberating feeling.
  • For the right photographer, this could be a dream come true. But not for me. I’ll be sticking with my Sun Sniper.
  • To keep all of my reviews consistent I’ll still give the B-Grip a score, but please interpret it in the context of what I said above: 6/10

If you regularly find yourself in a situation where you carry your camera with you and stop for occasional shots, or have to have your camera secure without the possibility of it swinging around, the B-grip is a great solution. You can pick one up at Protog.

If you’d like to see early impressions and photos from other camera gear that I’m reviewing, pop over to Facebook and like my page. I post that kind of thing regularly!

Summary
Reviewer
Neil Creek
Review Date
Reviewed Item
B-Grip Camera Holster
Author Rating
3

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Neil Creek is a professional photographer from Melbourne, Australia. He has been shooting with a DSLR since 2004, and blogging about his experiences since 2006. Neil has authored five ebooks and a video training course, all designed to help others improve their photography. View Neil's folio at his home page. Learn about his publications here.

  • william lax

    Go to http://photipherals.com

    and look at the Pho reel shoulder strap solution

  • http://www.davidandkara.com David + Kara Wedding Imagery

    Alternatively, you could check out the Spider Holster. I love mine! http://www.spiderholster.com

  • GradyPhilpott

    Personally, BlackRapid is the only thing anyone needs to know about camera straps.

  • Nate

    I second the Spider holster. This b-holster looks a lot like the cotton carrier system. Biggest down side is that you don’t dare us a flash with this. Other downside is that it seems rather large on the leg. You just put your all metal spider holster on your belt, and nobody knows it’s there.

  • Mike

    Check out the Capture clip(no affiliation): https://peakdesignltd.com/

  • Cheezman

    I’m interested in the experience of others using the Procapture clip from Peak design. I’m desperate to liberate myself from the hanging strap and all of the options listed here have potential. The Peak design model though seems to have the most positive and enthusiastic reviews with the fewest negatives.

  • Mike

    I have had v1 of the Capture Clip from Peak for about a year, which appears to be the same function of the Pro v2. It has worked flawlessly and the quality is excellent. It is extremely liberating to be freed from a strap, and to be able to kneel down without worrying about the camera hitting the ground. The ability to go straight from belt clip to tripod works great as well.

  • http://www.annbaldwin.com Ann Baldwin

    I, too, tried out the holster for about a week before returning it. I found the process of removing it from the belt cumbersome. The holster was comfortable when standing, but not when sitting or squatting. I also found that, with my longest lens (100-300mm) the lens poked into my hip.

  • http://www.sonofthemorninglight.wordpress.com David Blacker

    Mr Creek, have you tried the Think Tank Digital Holster http://www.thinktankphoto.com/categories/digital-holsters/digital-holsters.aspx (I have one), and if so, how does it compare to the B-Grip and the Sniper Strap?

  • Brian

    I’ve used the B-Grip for a while now (5 months). Mine did not come with a hand strap, and I wouldn’t have used it if it did, I just don’t like having to constantly fit my hand into it and out.
    I really like the B-Grip for two reasons. 1st: it allows me to carry a second camera and lens out of the way of the primary camera. I swivel it around to my back and it is completely out of the way, while my primary camera is on a sling harness. I have a double sling harness but what I quickly hated about it was if I was bending over to get something out of a bag the two cameras would want to swing in front and could bang into each other. Anytime you aren’t standing straight up, the camera wants to swing around which means it could hit something. The B-Grip solved that issue.
    I prefer a sling if I’m constantly having to grab the camera and shoot but the B-Grip is my go to if I’m not and if I want to be completely free to move around.
    2nd reason I preferred the B-Grip: when shooting quinceanera photos at an Arboretum, because I had 2 light stands and a medium Ape case bag. I found very quickly that carrying those items and having to worry about the camera swinging into a light stand or if I was bending over to pick up/put down something was a hassle. Gravity wants what it wants ;). The B-Grip eliminated that issue. I was free to walk to a location, set up stands and speedlights, shoot, and then pack up and move to the next location without having to worry about the camera swinging around as I moved around. I had both hands and arms completely free. That area under your arm is valuable real estate when you’re lugging things! That’s where it really shines, worry free movement of your body where your camera would otherwise just swing into your arm, chest, or leg when you’re moving around.
    I looked at the Capture Clip but went with the BGrip because it is designed with that “lens guard extension” part that solves the problem of a longer lens bumping into your thigh if you kneel down.
    I have not purchased the tripod adapter so I have no experience. The sling is better suited to some situations and the B-Grip is better suited to others just as you stated. Overall I’m very pleased with it and recommend it for exactly the two reasons I’ve mentioned: carrying a second body, or when you need to carry gear by yourself and want complete use of both hands and arms.

  • Billbob

    This thing is useless if you use a battery grip… the camera sticks out too far from your body to offer any safety to it…

    The whole thing feels cheap… I returned mine within an hour of receiving it, then ordered the Eggsnow belt holster (exactly like the spider but a quarter of the cost).

    Should have ordered the Eggsnow first… perfect holster mechanism, doesn’t matter if you use a battery grip, and with the camera hanging as it would with a speed strap, it is protected more the B-Grip.

    Avoid the B-Grip.

  • Deborah Hughes

    I use the Cotton Carrier and like that it takes the pressure off my neck and is very stable when climbing around in desert canyons. The holster is not as comfortable and safe for climbing around.

  • Kiltedbear

    Peak Designs Slide, Clutch and Capture Clip Pro with Propad all the way.

Some older comments

  • David Blacker

    August 28, 2013 06:22 pm

    Mr Creek, have you tried the Think Tank Digital Holster http://www.thinktankphoto.com/categories/digital-holsters/digital-holsters.aspx (I have one), and if so, how does it compare to the B-Grip and the Sniper Strap?

  • Ann Baldwin

    August 23, 2013 11:52 am

    I, too, tried out the holster for about a week before returning it. I found the process of removing it from the belt cumbersome. The holster was comfortable when standing, but not when sitting or squatting. I also found that, with my longest lens (100-300mm) the lens poked into my hip.

  • Mike

    August 20, 2013 10:05 pm

    I have had v1 of the Capture Clip from Peak for about a year, which appears to be the same function of the Pro v2. It has worked flawlessly and the quality is excellent. It is extremely liberating to be freed from a strap, and to be able to kneel down without worrying about the camera hitting the ground. The ability to go straight from belt clip to tripod works great as well.

  • Cheezman

    August 20, 2013 06:04 pm

    I'm interested in the experience of others using the Procapture clip from Peak design. I'm desperate to liberate myself from the hanging strap and all of the options listed here have potential. The Peak design model though seems to have the most positive and enthusiastic reviews with the fewest negatives.

  • Mike

    August 20, 2013 02:24 am

    Check out the Capture clip(no affiliation): https://peakdesignltd.com/

  • Nate

    August 19, 2013 12:56 pm

    I second the Spider holster. This b-holster looks a lot like the cotton carrier system. Biggest down side is that you don't dare us a flash with this. Other downside is that it seems rather large on the leg. You just put your all metal spider holster on your belt, and nobody knows it's there.

  • GradyPhilpott

    August 19, 2013 02:52 am

    Personally, BlackRapid is the only thing anyone needs to know about camera straps.

  • David + Kara Wedding Imagery

    August 18, 2013 01:07 pm

    Alternatively, you could check out the Spider Holster. I love mine! http://www.spiderholster.com

  • william lax

    August 18, 2013 12:15 pm

    Go to http://photipherals.com

    and look at the Pho reel shoulder strap solution

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