The Canon E1 – Hand strap is designed to help prevent camera drops and provide additional support and stabilization. It also provides additional security for those that prefer not to use neck straps.

Similarly, the Canon BG-E2N Battery Grip for Canon 20D, 30D, 40D & 50Ds provides a shutter trigger for portrait shots, increased stability and a tighter grip. It also provides additional battery life, and makes prosumer cameras look and feel like professional cameras.

For these reasons we decided to try both of these products. We purchased the hand strap primarily to alleviatethe aches and pains of our right hands after a long day of shooting. We were hoping that the hand strap would allow us to loosen up our grips and therefore give our hands a break.

However, after using it for a while, we felt that it actually increased the work of the right hand because of the additional work needed to fight the tight grip to make any adjustments, even after loosening the strap. For example, adjusting aperture, or any settings using the thumb wheel, was significantly more difficult with the hand strap than without. At the end of the day, our hands still ached, just in different places.

Furthermore, the Canon Hand Strap E1 requires a 1-Series body or a battery grip such as the one previously mentioned(theCanon BG-E2N Battery Grips)in order to attach the hand strap. This leads us to why we decided not to use the battery grips. Using these grips with our backup cameras (the Canon 40D) improved our grip and gave our cameras a sturdier feel. However, 1) the increased battery life was not very useful because our fully charged batteries already lasted very long; and 2) in the case that we needed additional battery, swapping out for a spare was quick and easy.

Furthermore, we started using our Quantum Battery Packs in order to have consistent and reliable flash (see our review of Quantum Battery Packs). Though we should mention, we did love the additional shutter button on the battery grip for portrait shots. However, with the additional weight of the Quantum Battery Packs and heavier L Lenses, we couldn’t afford the additional weight of the battery packs.

Therefore, after a week of experimenting, we decided to return both the hand straps and the battery grips. To lessen the work of the right hand, we’ve learned to use more of my left hand on the lens to support more of the weight. Feel free to comment if you’ve had other experiences with these products.