Ah the ProDot, tied for the win as recipient of the most baffled and confused responses from photographers along side Tiffen’s confusingly expensive flashlight. Many of you laughed aloud when you saw this product hit the market, and even more after you watched the launch video. But is it possible that you might actually like the ProDot? Actually, yes.
There isn’t really much of a need to explain what the ProDot is, since it sort of explains itself, but I’ll give it a shot. The ProDot is a tiny red dot covered in ergonomic nubs that attaches to your DSLR shutter button. The sticky isn’t permanent and is reusable, though as expected if you remove the sticky from its first home, you’ll find it was never quite as sticky as it once was. The ProDot is designed to reduce fatigue and make firing your shutter easier and more accurate. Right about now is when the laughter and bewildered looks started to roll in when the product was first explained. But are you ready to be bewildered a bit more? Good, because it actually sort of works. Sort of.
I was ready to hate the ProDot. There are few photographers out there who have the kind of deep-seated hatred for unnecessary accouterments dangling off and cluttering up anything I own than me, especially when it comes to my camera. The idea of putting sticky residue on the shutter button of my camera made me nearly physically ill (this coming from the guy who needs to wash his hands a couple times an hour to keep his sanity). But, like a trooper, I bit the bullet and stuck that ProDot on there. Weeks later, the amazing occurred to me:
The ProDot is still on my camera.
I have had ample opportunity to take it off. I keep telling myself I don’t need it, that it isn’t doing anything and that it’s kind of ugly (being red and all) and yet, in what seems to be an inexplicable manner, I continue to shoot with the ProDot on my shutter. And then I realized: the ProDot actually is doing something.
So let’s answer some basic questions stemming from the claims about the product:
Does it reduce fatigue? No. I have no idea what shutter fatigue is. I’ve never had it. Even after shooting sports for hours, I’ve never experienced fatigue. Maybe I'm crazy and owner of super index fingers that never tire, but I'm convinced this was marketing fluff. But if I ever had this so-called fatigue, I'm pretty sure this would not reduce it.
Does it make firing the shutter easier? Amazingly, yes it does. Was it hard to fire the shutter to begin with? Well, no. But this does make the experience a bit more pleasant.
Does it make firing the shutter more accurate? Again, amazingly it does. Using auto focus gets easier, you have to apply what feels like less pressure (though I’m certain that it’s the same and the ProDot is just messing with my head).
If nothing else, the ProDot does make firing your shutter more comfortable. The little nubs just feel nice. I shot on a camera without the ProDot after using the ProDot on my camera for about a month, and there was a real difference. I found myself, dare I say, missing the ProDot.
What I liked:
It feels good.
What could use improvement:
I complain about the price because it can seem like a bit of an expense to drop $10 on two tiny pieces of silicon. But you know what? It’s kind of worth it and I spend more money on more stupid crap on a regular basis.You probably won't regret buying the ProDot, but you might feel a bit silly for a while until you realize it’s actually kind of useful.
You can get it in red, black and clear, which is nice because you can have the benefits of the ProDot without really broadcasting to the world that you’re using it if you opt for the black. Or you can go red like I did and who cares what other people say (ok I care a little).
So against my original beliefs and what I was certain was going to be a completely justified assumption that this product was ridiculous, I’ve got to say I recommend it. It seems silly and looks weird but I’ll be damned if I don’t actually like it. A decent use of $10. Guilty pleasure, thy name is ProDot.
Final comment: If you were to ask "Jaron, would you buy it again?" my response would be "Probably."