Thank you, Just Mobile for putting out the ShutterGrip! I haven’t gotten this excited over a gadget since the Nitecore USB camera battery charger for my Canon Cameras! Here’s the review if you’re interested. Like the Nitecore USB charger, I’ve been looking and longing for a better, more efficient way to do things when I’m out in the field. The convenience of using my phone instead of my DSLR’s is a bonus in situations when I don’t have the right lens on camera or in my bag (think minimum focus distance) then there’s the issue of my fingers not being able to reach the shutter button without some insane finger yoga’ing which makes my grip on the phone too precarious for my liking. The solution for me is the ShutterGrip.
First things first, I am not paid by Just Mobile for this review nor did I get the ShutterGrip for free. I saw this product on sale on the web page of one of my favorite camera stores in Singapore, I literally got on the bus to go check it out. Really! The ShutterGrip is a smart phone shutter release handle that clamps onto your phone and connects via Bluetooth. It is available in 3 different colors (black, blue and rose gold), has a threaded hole on the bottom of the main handle so you can attach it to a mini tripod (like a Gorillapod). The battery is the coin type CR2032 (one is included in the box) so pretty easy to find especially in watch stores. The portion of the handle where the button is located slides off so you can remote trigger your phone’s camera and it’s in this portion that the battery compartment is located. Also included is a thin wrist strap that attaches at the bottom of the ShutterGrip, next to the mini tripod mount. It feels like plastic, kinda cheap (but website says it’s got a copper core) and is semi rigid. I won’t be using it so don’t really care. You could attach your own wrist strap if you want to.
At the camera shop, I got a feel for the ShutterGrip, it feels sturdy and grips my phones tight! The upper and lower jaws have a ridge that prevents the phone from twisting out. I tested out the grip of the ShutterGrip on a Samsung Note 5 without a case and with a generic, thin silicone case as well as on a Samsung Note 8 without a case and with a generic thick, bulgy plastic case. The phone definitely feels more secure in the grip with the cases on. Without the cases on, the ShutterGrip slides and twists pretty easily. It won’t twist off thanks to the ridges but I guess it would be possible that your phone may slide out of the ShutterGrip if you squeezed too hard when holding it in picture taking posture. Not an issue with the cases on unless I went full Hulk on it and squeezed as hard. The plastic feels smooth but even with my oily, slightly sweaty hands, it didn’t feel slippery.
Getting the ShutterGrip onto the phone is a bit weird for me. The bottom jaw is the one that slides down to accommodate the phone so I put the bottom edge of my phone in first and press down. This leads to the shutter button portion (remote) to slide out. Same with taking the phone out, I always manage to slide the remote off. You’d really have to pay attention to how you’re holding the ShutterGrip when putting it on or taking it off, to not slide the remote up and off. Not really a big issue but kinda cumbersome, especially if I’m trying to get off a shot as quickly as possible somewhere where dropping the remote will be an issue. Maybe a button release would have been better than a sliding release. It really doesn’t take much effort to slide the remote off.
So why? Why this product? For me, I don’t like sticking things directly on my phone and I’m leery of the sticking power of products when applied to a phone case (if it’s even possible due to the case’s design). Then there’s plenty of grips that, in my opinion, don’t hold the phone tight enough or don’t alleviate my issue of being able to push the shutter release button without compromising my hold on the phone. With the ShutterGrip the button is at the top of the unit and you can maneuver it to wherever it’s comfortable for your index finger to press. Plus it’s Bluetooth (no cables to worry about) and it can function as a remote shutter release. Another bonus is the mount option on the bottom but in a pinch the ShutterGrip will stand on its own while holding a phone on a flat surface but not so well if you have the hand strap attached.
Pairing was really easy. Put the supplied battery into the ShutterGrip, press the button and a green LED flashed (it will flash each time you press the button). I then turned on Bluetooth on my phone and ‘ShutterGrip’ appeared on the list of devices, I press it and it paired, on both phones. When the camera app is not launched and active on my phone, the button on the ShutterGrip increases my media volume when pressed. Pressing the button when the phone is locked/sleep will just wake it. When the camera app is active, pressing the buttone takes a photo (there’s no 1/2 press) but if I hold the button down it’ll keep taking photos until I let go or my phones memory buffer is filled. Not sure if that’s the behavior on all phones but that’s how it behaves on both my Samsung phones. Just Mobile’s website does list some incompatible phones so you should check it out before you order one. If you go to a shop you could just test it out there. Other things to note is that it’s really light, website says it weighs 45g, battery life is stated to last 180 days if you press the button 500 times a day (even I’m not that trigger happy, lol). To save battery power the remote auto powers off and auto connects on the next button press (it’s kind of slow though). If your camera app is in video mode, ShutterGrip will start recording when you press the trigger.
Because my thumb is shaped like an inverted drumstick, if I place the ShutterGrip too close to the bottom edge of the phone, the palm portion of my thumb touches the screen or home button or something and that usually gets me out of the camera app so to alleviate that I have to slide the ShutterGrip as far as possible towards the middle of the phone while still being able to press the button with my index finger. This stretches out my hand and gets my thumb off the screen while still holding the phone securely too. Kind of hard to explain, hopefully the photos below will help.
For me, the ShutterGrip is a must buy, even after seeing the price, I still headed down to camera shop to check it out. The $40 (on sale) price tag made me pause and think about it for a minute though. Maybe I’m just too stingy? I think for that price the remote shouldn’t be so easy to slide off. Maybe I’ll just gaff tape it, lol. But you know what, in the end I still bought it knowing it’ll help me get more keeper shots because I have a better, more stable grip on the phone. If you think so too, I would suggest you try to find it in your local shop because it may be cheaper than ordering it online. Mine was the same price, after discount, in my local currency as it was on Just Mobile’s website so I saved on currency exchange as well as shipping. Have fun shooting!!
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