Paris

by Jon

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Recently I heard that a battery grip can enhance the feel of the camera in my hands especially if it's an entry DSLR, and besides, some people claim that it enhances the stability of the camera if you are trying to put it on a table or something.

So I started to look for a battery grip for my Canon 600D and found the Canon's one to be almost $150. So is it worth it to spend this money on the battery grip? I'm not interested in buying an extra battery because I don't find myself with the problem of empty battery.

What would be the advantages or disadvantages of the brand grip versus third party grips should I ultimately desire to get additional batteries?

share|improve this question

6 Answers 6

up vote 16 down vote accepted

About 6 months after buying my 7D, I got the associated battery grip for it, and my feelings on it are mixed...

As others have said, at times, the duplicated buttons for portrait orientation can come in extremely handy. Not only do they allow you to operate the camera in portrait mode without craning an arm over to reach the normal buttons, but because of this, you will maintain a much much steadier grip for stability.

Another positive aspect is that the additional 'bulk' of it, really balances out any larger lenses that you may use. This is especially noticable with telephoto lenses such as the 100-400L, or any 200mm+ primes.

Having room for 2 batteries is also fantastic - I know you said you didn't have this problem, but for me, if I'm at an airshow for example, I know and have confidence that I can shoot all day, and fill my memory cards well before I have any issues with batteries dying. Also, if caught in a pinch, the battery grip allows you to use AA batteries to power your camera too.

So, the pros are that it allows easier, steadier camera use in portrait orientation, balances the camera well, and gives you longer shooting time with an additional battery.

However...

Most of the time, in normal every day shooting, where I just want to head out with the camera, I will take the grip off. I'll take my 24mm and 50mm lenses only, and camera with no grip, and "go light". After any amount of time using the 7D with grip which is a fairly weightly bit of kit; to take it off and have only the basic body with one prime lens (especially the 50!) is so refreshing and almost empowering. It encourages me to take it out when sometimes if it had the grip on, I may not.

So... there are pros and cons. I'd say to summarise that it's DEFINITELY worth having one, even if you only find yourself using it occasionally.

share|improve this answer
    
At the point when you start taking photo trips especially for outdoor photography with time lapse or bracketed exposures, it is easy to shoot 1000s of exposures a day. You would need the batteries for that, I learned the hard way. –  Mike Oryszak Jun 24 at 14:10

1) There are cheaper (non-Canon) battery grips available that do the same thing, sometimes even more, like intervalometer stuff. The only concern there is that they can be "cheap" in the other sense, as in cheaply made, and sometimes don't fit exactly right.

2) Hard to determine whether it is "worth it", as that's highly personal, but I can tell you that after using a 1D with a built-in grip, I find the duplicate buttons for portrait orientation to be absolutely indispensable. Most add-on grips for the X0D and X00D series provide these buttons. It seems like a small thing but once you get used to them it's hard to go back :-)

share|improve this answer

I always though I needed one so I finally got one. After reading many reviews I decided to save money and get an aftermarket brand.

The look and feel of the grip was great and matched my camera nicely but I soon noticed that the grip was draining my batteries even when the camera was in the off position. In 24 hours my batteries were completely drained whether I was using the camera or not. In comparison, a single battery usually lasts me a month.

I since found at least one more review with respect to my grip and the battery draining issue where the buyer had an experience similar to mine. I've also come across some comments where people said that battery draining is one of the common flaws typical of aftermarket grips. I have not been able to find any negative information concerning genuine Nikon/Canon grips and battery draining.

In terms of ergonomics I found the grip to be comfortable but... I mostly wanted a grip because I have really big hands but it was maybe a bit too much. I have a 60D body so its already a full size body unlike the smaller Rebels and I found it too bulky. True it was a little more comfortable to hold the camera in certain positions (not in all positions) but it also made the body a LOT bulkier. Bulkier then expected.

Balance - I found most reviewers were raving about the nice balance the camera had with the grip. I din't find it so. The balance was very bottom heavy with 2 batteries in the grip and I was having a hard time getting used to it; I didn't find the balance well distributed when using the camera... Just felt odd, perhaps I would get used to it over time but i certainly did not love it right away as many other folks have.

Weight - with the grip which is already heavier then I anticipated and 2 batteries my camera was quite heavy. Again, heavier then I anticipated and I knew what the weight of my heaviest setup will be even before I ordered it. It really adds a lot of weight especially when coupled with a telephoto lens.

Lastly, I often work with a small fast prime and the camera become so huge with the grip on that I found it a lot less comfortable to use the camera with this small lens.

I would have kept the grip if it wasn't for the battery draining problem which is a serious flaw in my books. I returned the grip and as soon it was off I found it was more comfortable to use my camera again; it just felt right. I might still consider a grip in the future if I get more serious about astrophotography and very long exposures but it will definitely be a genuine brand product.

share|improve this answer
    
What brand was it? I had a Zeikos that drained batteries, but an Opteka that did not. –  cadmium Apr 20 '12 at 19:37
    
Vello –  Jakub Apr 20 '12 at 19:53
    
My Zeikos has never drained my batteries. It stays on my 7D all the time. With the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II that is mounted most of the time, the combination is certainly not light, but it is rock solid and having the portrait orientation controls is worth it for me. On most shoots that are going to be longer than just a few minutes I usually mount the lens on a monopod so that helps with the weight issue. –  Michael Clark Apr 16 '13 at 9:03

For the 600D, I would say, yes it's worth it.

I have a 7D now and do not use a grip, as it makes the camera too heavy and bulky, but back when I started out with a 450D I had the battery grip attached to it almost permanently. I think the primary thing it did for me was make more comfortable to hold, as it was a smaller sized dslr. I also liked the extra controls for vertical shooting, and of course the extra battery life was nice.

share|improve this answer

I have a Canon 600D and I've purchased a third party (Travor) battery grip for it as well.

I think it is the best accessory I've purchased for my camera yet. I does everything that Mike said in his post "So, the pros are that it allows easier, steadier camera use in portrait orientation, balances the camera well, and gives you longer shooting time with an additional battery."

In regards to the battery grip draining the battery, I don't have that problem as the battery grip has a power switch on it, so if you turn the grip off you can still use the camera as normal only the grip won't be operational until you switch it back on.

share|improve this answer

I've got Zeikos grips for both my 5DII and 7D. They work fine. Sometimes I have to wiggle the right hand battery in the one for the 7D to get the camera to see it. Once the battery is seated, the camera sees it, and the door to the battery compartment is closed I've never had it stop being recognized until the battery is removes and reinserted. The build quality doesn't feel quite as solid as genuine Canon grips, but for the huge price difference, I can live with that.

The Zeikos grip for my 7D stays on the camera practically all the time as I normally pair that body with a telephoto lens and use it in portrait orientation a lot. I use the one for the 5DII less frequently: I usually have a wider lens mounted on it and shoot more in landscape mode but also because I can only fit one of the two bodies in my backpack with the grip attached so the 7D gets packed with the grip attached and the 5dII gets packed without the grip. If I'm shooting with the 5DII in portrait mode a lot for a session, I will attach the grip to it.

As for batteries, if you buy quality third party batteries, such as SterlingTek or MaximalPower from reputable sources you should get just as good performance as the OEM Canon batteries at a significant savings. Be aware that there are a lot of counterfeit "genuine Canon" batteries on the market, especially on eBay. The Maximal Power versions of the Canon LP-E6 I bought from amazon.com function just like the OEM batteries supplied with my cameras. They charge on the same charger, the camera reads the serial # in the battery, and displays the charge level, number of shots, recharge performance, and remembers the date and charge state the last time each battery was used in the camera. In the past I also used SterlingTek batteries for my Rebel XTi and 50D. The SterlingTek NB2LH and BP-511A were every bit as good as the Canon batteries for those cameras. The 2200mAH SterlingTek BP-511As lasted much longer per charge than the Canon 1390mAH originals. I also tried some of the really cheap generic versions for the XTi and had less than stellar results. They didn't last as long per charge and didn't last as many charge/discharge cycles before they would no longer take a full charge.

Although the following question specifies a Canon 60D instead of your T3i, the basic principles are the same. Which battery grip should I get for my Canon 60D and why?

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.