While shooting urban exploring photos in old houses or buildings, I end up doing a lot of shots in low light, or often, complete darkness. While muscle memory / repetition always puts my finger on the general shutter button area, I wanted something a little more defined to let me know how far I was on to the button, and also to keep from slipping when the conditions get hot and sticky. After doing the obligatory Google search, I stumbled on the ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade, by Custom SLR.
Basically, the ProDot is a two pack of rubber buttons, each with a sticky back, that gives you an extra height, and a bit of grip via some knobby areas. I was a little conflicted, 8 dollars is a bit much for two tiny pieces of rubber, but on the other hand, it’s exactly what I was looking for. I figured at the very least, I’d have an extra for backup, and $8 isn’t too much for something that in the long run, would really be helpful. I put it on my Amazon wish list, and planned to pick it up after I gave it my customary 1-2 week period of making sure it was what I needed and not just an impulse buy. Lo and behold, I was in a home improvement store one day during that time period, and while browsing, found my perfect DIY solution – a pack of brown 3/8 inch felt furniture pads. These are the type of pads that you use to keep your cabinet doors from slamming shut. Being a DIY DSLR type, my curiosity was piqued!
These can be found literally anywhere, hardware stores, Wal-Mart, or on Amazon. My pack is “Super Sliders” brand, and was a whopping $2 for – wait for it – 84 total pads. I have actually grown to like the pad, it’s brown, so it blends in pretty well (you could always Sharpie it black if you wanted), and the felt pad is easy to recognize, as well as grip on to. With the raised surface, it makes it a lot easier to “roll” your finger onto the shutter button. I threw a half a sheet into my camera bag in case any slipped off due to weak glue, or loosened by heat. I figured at the very least, the sticky part would eventually wear down with use, and I’d have 83 more replacements on deck. I’m shocked to report it’s been 6 months now, and I’m still on my first pad. Heavy users might wear one out faster, so your mileage may vary. But at approximately 2 cents a pad, you can afford to burn through a few.
If it turns out it’s not for you, pull it off, and remove any sticky residue with a paper towel soaked with WD-40. Hold against the sticky area for a few seconds, and then wipe off. This works great on store stickers on plastic as well, although you might need a bit more WD-40. In conclusion, if you need some extra grip, you can use a felt pad for your DSLR shutter button!