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So when I ordered my Sony ZV-1 ( https://amzn.to/3eanfCk ), I opted to also get the “Vlogger Accessory Kit”, which basically just consists of this shooting grip, and an SD card. The SD card is a decent one (Class 10 U3), so that’s a plus, but I honestly mainly got the kit because it ended up being cheaper than buying the Bluetooth Shooting Grip alone.
The shooting grip, which goes by the totally not stupid and hard to remember or say name “GP-VPT2BT”, comes in a box along with the required coin cell CR2032 battery, instructions, and a carrying pouch.
The controls on the grip are pretty straight-forward. You get a lock switch to lock everything out, a zoom rocker, photo and movie buttons, and a C1 key. On the ZV-1, the C1 key is tied the “Background defocus” which blurs out the background for people too lazy to do it themselves via manual controls (read: me).
Out of the box, my first impressions were positive.
The grip feels good in your hands, and the buttons are right where you would want them to be.
I’ve put it in tripod mode a few times and it feels very sturdy. No wobbling or tipping.
You attach the camera to the grip, at least in the physical sense, using a standard tripod screw mount. After that you pair it by going into the camera menu and going into bluetooth settings. Then back out one and turn “Bluetooth remote control” to on. It’s pretty intuitive, and from what I can tell so far you only have to do it once.
With the camera mounted to the grip, aside from the camera control buttons, you have some options. You can press the button below the screw and pan the camera all around, with satisfying clicky stops every 90°. Basically you get front and back, side to side. You can also press a button on the “hinge” part to tilt the camera. It also works very well and comes in handy to quickly switch between shooting yourself looking into the camera and then shooting what’s in front of you. I always find the angle that I want for “selfie” shooting is not the angle that I want for shooting what’s in front of me, so it’s nice to be able to quickly switch angles.
While I still wish that the ZV-1 had a wider angle lens, or that this grip was just a bit longer, or better yet both, this grip does make a noticeable improvement in framing. It’s MUCH easier to keep myself in the frame when shooting vlog-style content than it is when I’m just holding it. Maybe my arms are shorter than most people (I am not very tall), but this grip moves keeping myself in the frame from “I have to be watching and thinking about my framing literally always” to just “I can mostly stay in the shot and just occasionally verify on the flip out screen”. It’s much nicer. So nice in fact that I don’t actually think I ever want to use this camera without the grip on.
Yeah about that…
You’re actually gonna have to take the camera off the grip. A lot. The tripod mount on this camera is RIGHT beside the battery/SD door. Like RIGHT beside. There’s no way to access the battery or the SD card with the camera mounted to anything via the tripod mount.
That’s a total bummer to me. I could probably deal with no battery access, you can always charge the battery in the camera, but I usually shoot a few things, then pull the card and check the footage on my MacBook Pro or my iPad Pro before continuing to make sure it doesn’t look terrible. You’re gonna have to take this camera off the tripod every damn time. This is more of a complaint about the ZV-1 than a complaint about the Bluetooth Shooting Grip, but still. It is sold as an accessory for this camera. On the whole though, I like this thing so much I’ll deal with this. Plus it’s not like there’s some other product that doesn’t block access, anything you attach this camera to is going to block the door. Oh well.
As I mentioned earlier, the Bluetooth grip is powered by a coin cell CR2032 battery. Battery life is unknown, and I can’t even find it quoted anywhere. I imagine it should last quite a while since it’s not really doing much other than sending the occasional bluetooth signal. On one hand I kinda wish they had just given this thing a built-in battery, but on the other hand I guess it’s nice it will never die an early death because it’s built-in battery is worn out. I just ordered a four pack of the batteries on Amazon. I figure I will throw them in my camera bag and be ready to switch it out in the event the battery dies. I’ll report back when I manage to kill the original battery that came with it.
Overall, while I do wish it was a little longer/taller in tripod mode, I really, REALLY like this thing. As I mentioned before, getting the camera just a few extra inches away makes a big difference in framing. If you are going to shoot any kind of vlog like thing, or honestly really any kind of video on the ZV-1 (and if you’re not, why the hell did you buy it?), you should probably have the Bluetooth Shooting Grip.
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