Grips that fold out to small table-top tripods are very common these days, and they come in useful if you’re looking for a versatile but lightweight option to take with you on the go.
The Sony RX0 will, of course, work with just about any of these convertible grips/tripods because it uses a standard 1/4-20 tripod attachment. So there’s no reason you have to use a dedicated one. But Sony makes a small model that makes a particularly good pairing because it adds an extra trick–it has a built-in remote shutter.
Its model number is VCT-SGR1 and Sony has priced them at just under $100, which is much higher than your run-of-the-mill grip/tripod.
It works with several Sony camera models, including cameras like the a6000 or a6500, but I’ve been using it with the Sony RX0, which is about the perfect sized camera for this tiny grip and stand. Some of the larger cameras, especially with longer lenses, can become unwieldy with the very narrow center of gravity of this tiny stand.
It’s very straightforward to use. You simply plug in the attached micro-USB cable to the camera.
There are two shutter buttons, one for shooting stills and the other for starting and stopping the video recording. In addition to the convenience of a more comfortably placed shutter that is less likely to cause bumps than reaching to the top of the camera, you also get a small but useful feature that you don’t get on the camera itself. That is, if you’re going back and forward between stills and video, you don’t have to go back through the menu system every time you switch, as you do if you’re using the camera by itself. Just pushing one or other of the shutters will start that mode.
There’s also a zoom rocker in the middle, but that doesn’t do anything on the RX0 because it has a fixed prime lens.
The RX0 by itself is waterproof. But that’s not true with the doors open, which you have to do to attach the micro-USB cable. So this is not a good option in damp or dusty conditions. Technically, you could remove the cable from the camera, seal up the door, and just use it as a grip or tripod without the shutter functionality, but that’s still going to leave the micro-USB plug exposed.
What’s in the Box?
In addition to the grip/stand, it comes with a lightweight wrist strap that can be threaded through the bottom of one of the legs and a soft pouch.
The cable is attached to the stand and isn’t removable.
Unlike most other remove shutters, this one doesn’t need its own battery power, so you don’t need to pick up batteries for it.
Room for Improvement
While using it, I couldn’t think that there were ways that it could be improved. For what it’s worth, here are some ideas:
- Integrated battery. The RX0’s battery life isn’t great (understatement), but there would appear to be room to integrate a lithium battery in one or more legs of the grip. You have to connect it via the USB cable anyway. Wouldn’t it be great to have some extra battery life at the same time?
- Removable cable. The micro-USB cable is hardwired to the body of the grip and isn’t removable. Making the cable removable would be a welcome improvement. There are two reasons for this. The first is to make it compatible with future generations of cameras. The grip is designed for Sony cameras, and most of them in the current generation still use the micro-USB standard. But more will surely adopt the newer, better USB-C standard soon. It would be nice to be able to switch out the cable to work with newer models. The second is that you could swap out the cable with one that has a lower-profile L-shaped plug, so that it’s not sticking way out the back of the camera when connected.