April 23rd, 2024

SmallRig X-T5 Grip (and the Nikon Zf, kind of)

SmallRig X-T5 grip (and the free shutter button)
SmallRig X-T5 grip (and the free shutter button)

I got the SmallRig grip for my X-T5. I didn't realize they'd toss in a little red shutter button, but they did and it's a fine replacement for the one I had.

The grip itself is nice! It's got a good rubbery texture, installs easily, doesn't interfere with the card or battery openings, and provides a way to add an Arca plate. It doesn't really disrupt the fundamental look of the camera in exchange for surer carry and better feel in the hand.

I learned about it when I was, er, reading about the Nikon Zf, which is their full-frame Z-series repackaging of the Z6ii into a "more manual control" form-factor.  I don't need a Zf, but found it intriguing.

DPReview helped me shake off the delirium

We're a little less convinced when it comes to the camera's handling. Even compared with the cameras it's modeled on, the Zf can become uncomfortable to hold after a while, and we found it hard to shake the perception that Nikon's engineers hadn't really thought-through the full implications of having dedicated dials when they copied over most behaviors from their other cameras.


So, while the Nikon offers a distinct image quality benefit over the likes of Fujifilm's X-T series, the Fujifilm cameras have size, weight and a wide choice of small lenses with aperture rings on their side. This and a higher level of operational consistency has the unfortunate effect of showing how this concept can be delivered more successfully.

I did some reading on Nikon forums about how people were taking to the Zf and even the enthusiasts said it can get confusing and awkward for some combinations of menu and physical controls.  Bad enough that I was discouraged from adding one to my collection, which is seriously for the best.