When cameras become too heavy and uncomfortable to hold

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Chris Malcolm
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When cameras become too heavy and uncomfortable to hold
9 months ago

I'm old enough and an enthusiastic enough user of cameras that I more often buy a new camera because the old one has died of its injuries than because I'd become unhappy with it. But that has always been a good excuse to buy the newer better camera I'd been fancying Which has always been a bigger heavier camera.

An added complication at my age is that progressive arthritis is making my hands less dexterous and weaker. My current camera is ergonomically and optically the best I've ever owned. But it's too heavy to carry around in one hand for long, and becomes painfully uncomfortable held up to my face for more than a minute. I tried a hand strap which helped a bit, but not enough.

So I got a handle for it in the form of a monopod. The monopod's cushioned tubular hand grip is so easy to hold I can carry it around in either hand quite comfortably for miles, even though it roughly doubles the weight of the camera. Even when folded up and unsupported it gives me a sufficiently more comfortable two handed grip that I can easily hold it up to my face for minutes. And of course if I need more stability or to give my hands a rest I can simply extend the monopod and stand its foot (and the weight) on something. Incidentally it's also more stable, less camera shake.

I see a lot of posts from aging photographers who downsize when their cameras become too heavy or uncomfortable. It's somewhat counter intuitive to add weight to a camera which has become too heavy. But if your problem is in hands or wrists then it may permit you to shift the bulk of the burden to much bigger and stronger joints and muscles.

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Chris Malcolm

 Chris Malcolm's gear list:Chris Malcolm's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Sony SLT-A77 Sony 50mm F1.4 Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Sony 500mm F8 Reflex +7 more
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