Sony’s latest camera accessory gives the compact profile of its mirrorless and compact cameras a grip — and then some. Announced on Tuesday, January 14, the Sony GP-VPT2BT wireless shooting grip mixes a grip, a tripod and Bluetooth-powered controls for videographers, photographers, and vloggers.
While Sony has launched grip systems before, the latest model is cord-free. The GP-VPT2BT uses Bluetooth to connect with a compatible Sony camera, allowing the controls that rest right around where the thumb would be to control a number of different functions. Initiating a Bluetooth connection from the camera links the grip, with an indicator light to check the status of that connection.
The controls can be used to snap a photo, start recording a video, or zoom the lens. A custom button offers users one more control as a C1 button. To prevent accidentally bumping those controls, a lock is also included with the controls.
The grip also uses fold-out legs to double as a tabletop tripod. The head has a tilt for adjusting the angle in tripod mode or creating more comfortable grip positions, such as for shooting from a low angle. That same feature allows the camera to go from forward-facing to selfie without removing the camera from the grip. An adjustment wheel allows the tilt function to be adapted to cameras of different weights.
The grip can also handle a little bit of dust and moisture — though Sony warns in the fine print that a 100 percent moisture and dustproof seal isn’t guaranteed.
The grip is designed to pair with Sony’s current mirrorless cameras — the A9 II, A9, A7R IV, A7R III, A7 III, A6600, A6400, A6100 — as well as the compact RX100 VII. A firmware update is required before using the cameras with the new grip.
Grips are popular for shooting video, as well as simplifying vlogs and selfies. While gimbals offer both a grip and stabilization, Sony’s grip is designed to work specifically with Sony cameras, housing a host of wireless controls and a built-in tripod in an accessory that’s slimmer (and cheaper) than a gimbal.
The grip is expected to start shipping this month, retailing for around $140.