Battery Grip for Canon EOS – Review
I’ve been paranoid about running out of battery charge in my SLR camera for a while now. Carrying an extra battery would be easy, but I liked the look of the battery grips that allows you to put two batteries in them. Not only do they allow you to add an extra battery, but they improve the grip of your camera, especially for portrait (vertical) shooting. Also, it makes your camera look bigger and more expensive!
The ‘proper’ Canon battery grip for my camera is usually over £100. Quite a lot of money, especially seeing as I wanted a remote release as well so that I could do some night photography with long exposures using the bulb setting. I couldn’t afford both, but after looking around for a while I found one on eBay made by another manufacturer (Ownuser) that was a battery grip and an infra-red remote control with bulb setting, and only £62 as well.
With a little trepidation I ordered it and it arrived yesterday. I haven’t used it in earnest yet, but I have played around with it. It all seems pretty good to me. It attached to my camera easily and fits snugly so there isn’t any movement between the camera itself and the battery grip. It has two shutter release buttons for use with the camera in a vertical orientation. These allow for both right and left handed use and mean you can hold the camera more comfortably (and with less shake) when shooting with the camera on its side. It also has a few switches / buttons on the back that allow you to adjust Exposure compensation, AE Lock, AF Selection point and the Aperture / Shutter speed whilst holding the camera in this orientation. These buttons are a little ‘plasticy’ in feel but I doubt I’ll use them much anyway and at this price you have to expect there to be some short-cuts taken.
As well as the grip itself, the pack came with an external AA battery pack that you can attach to the battery grip via a DC adaptor, allowing you to run the camera from AA batteries. Again, I hope not to use this but I guess it could get you out of a fix if you run out of battery power on a trip and have no way of charging your Lithium Ion batteries.
In addition it comes with a little remote control that controls the camera via infra-red from two infra-red sensors on the battery grip. The remote control allow you to focus, shoot, set the self timer and also control a shot on bulb setting. Perfect for long exposures where you ant to release the shutter without touching the camera in order to minimise camera shake.
The grip has attachment points for a strap and a trip mounting. The only thing that is a little clunky is the little clip that operates the door to the battery compartment. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it could be a little smoother and easier to use.
Overall, it seems pretty good. It works, it has more features than the Canon grip and is almost half the price. It’ll take me a while to get used to handling it, but I’ll report back once I’ve used it a little more.