I'm having trouble understanding the phrase "low-profile grey and leather grip" in the description of an old model camera. Here is the sentence:

One of the most noticeable features is the low-profile grey and leather grip.

I am not sure if the only the word "grey" is associated with the adjective "low-profile" or the whole phrase "low-profile grey and leather" signifies the word "grip".

  • In itself, '… low-profile grey and leather grip' means little and more useful 'grey-and-leather' is little more help… 'grey' and 'leather' are not comparable. Does that work? It matters not whether only 'grey' or the full phrase is 'low-profile' (FYI, how could 'low-profile grey and leather signifies…' work? 'signifies' should be 'applies to.' Does that work?) Broadly, 'low profile…' means 'not outstanding…/ less noticeable…/ or ought else at thesaurus.com/browse/low-profile' Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 22:53

4 Answers 4


"Low-profile" can mean several things. It can mean avoiding drawing attention, as in "Try to keep a low profile while you're in that part of town". It can also mean an object that is physically doesn't rise above the surface very much, as in a low-profile light or fan fixture, which stays as close as possible against the surface it's installed on.

There's an additional usage in racing, where low-profile means keeping a car body close to the track to improve aerodynamics; and often the term is used in multiple senses at once, as in "low profile body armor" -- it stays flat and close to the body, which makes it less apparent that you're wearing body armor under your clothes.

In the context of a camera grip, it most likely is referring to the physical shape of the grip, saying the grip is small and close to the camera body. I'm not familiar with what kind of camera we're talking about; low-profile in this context would, I suppose, be opposed to some kind of standard camera grip that's a big handle that sticks out and might get caught on objects in the environment. However, this may simply be marketing-speak, using language that suggests the grip is slim and unobtrusive even though, in reality, it's not significantly different from any other grip.

Without more context, it's hard to tell what was meant. Are you sure you quoted it correctly? "A low-profile grey and leather grip" doesn't make sense as a phrase. I would think it should be a "low-profile grey leather grip" (the grip is covered in grey leather and constructed to be low-profile). Alternatively, there could be a word missing between "grey" and "and" -- as in, "a low-profile grey plastic and leather grip", where the phrase plastic-and-leather forms a single adjective unit to describe the material composition of the thing.


The profile of something is its visible form. A 'low profile' means that something is less visible. In the most literal sense it means by keeping low to the ground and appearing smaller, but we use it in a much broader sense to mean any effort made to make something less visible, or obvious.

I don't believe the writer is talking only about the grip. We would not describe something as being 'grey and leather' - it would be simply "grey leather". It seems they are talking about the colour of the camera and the leather grip, and that the compound adjective 'low profile' is being applied to both. This is because the writer says "one of the most noticeable features". The one feature seems to be the 'low-profile' design of the camera which includes its grey colour and the leather grip.

I would take the 'low profile' colour to mean that it is perhaps a stylish colour that blends in with what else one might be carrying. It could also suggest it is less like a traditional camera colour (they are often black) which could allow it to pass unnoticed as a camera. Likewise, the leather grip may be something more akin to what you would expect on an accessory like a bag, not a camera, meaning it may look less like a camera.

I should add that 'low profile' is often used in consumer electronics to mean something similar to 'small form factor', but I don't believe that's the case in your example as it is being applied to specific attributes rather than the whole item.

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    Could 'low profile' be designer speak for 'unobtrusive'? Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 9:14
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    Inconspicuous grey. The "and leather grip" seems to me to miss a 'the'. The prose is not great.
    – Jaime
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 10:08
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    @Jaime - indeed it isn't. My first notion of the grip, on reading the question, was the second of these (Oxford Languages) 1 avoiding attention or publicity. "a low-profile campaign" 2 (of an object) lower or slimmer than is usual for objects of its type. Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 10:13
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    If they meant the color and grip to be two separate features, they wouldn't start with "One". So I believe the grip is low-profile.
    – Barmar
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 15:57
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    @Jaime It seems to make perfect sense to me, at least grammatically. The grip is partly grey and partly leather, and it's unobtrusive. Exactly how something so unobtrusive can be "one of the most noticeable features" is a different question... Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 11:24

I'm assuming it is a grey ("low-profile grey[,] (and leather grip)") that is bland and innocuous.

Exactly as the word 'low-profile' is defined:

a deliberately inconspicuous, modest, or anonymous manner.

I can imagine this is important for certain photographers, as it allows for more candid photography.


It is a mistake. The writer probably meant to say "the low-profile grey leather grip", where "low-profile" means that the grip doesn't protrude far from the camera body. If the writer meant that the colour of the leather grip was low-profile grey (i.e. an unobtrusive grey), they should have written "the leather grip in low-profile grey". A picture or a link would be heplful here!

Mistakes like this can easily crop up during the editing process.

  • Absolutely, The grip lies flat along the camera and does not stick out,
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 19:22
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    It might well be a mistake, but "grey and leather" is a perfectly grammatical description of something that is partly an unspecified grey material and partly leather of an unspecified colour. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 11:47
  • @Especially Lime -That is only true if grey is used as a noun. For example, "The body of the camera is made principally of aluminium but the grip is made of grey." It is possible that someone has discovered a substance called "grey" but you can't just assume that and slide in the extra word "material" Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 14:19
  • @chasly-supportsMonica No, "grey" is an adjective and "leather" is an adjectival noun; both modify "grip". It's an elision of "partly grey and partly leather grip", much like one might say "black and white panda". Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 15:42
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    @EspeciallyLime: native English speakers wouldn't say "a grey and leather grip" any more than they would say "a big and red car".
    – TonyK
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 18:20

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