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Do you think that using a battery grip as a backup battery is a good idea? I just bought a used 50d and I need another source of power. Battery grips and normal batteries are similar in price (within $10). I like the possibility of using AA batteries, and the extra shutter release is also a definite plus. Are there any drawbacks to using a battery grip for this purpose?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I never take my battery grip off my 5D mark iii. The extra battery life that it gives is wonderful. That said, I use it with the official batteries and I have a total of 4 regular batteries for it.

I do still have a loaded and ready to go AA tray in-case of emergency, but AA's don't really work well as a battery option because they still provide less power than the normal batteries do and the drive speed of the camera can be significantly reduced while using them.

That said, I still highly recommend the battery grip. The vertical shooting handle and controls is very nice to have and with Canon batteries in the grip, I can generally shoot for a typical day without having to change batteries, and if I do need to change batteries, it's a quick swap.

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Battery grips are heavy and take space. I have a nikon D80 with the original battery and a battery grip, and I end up using the original battery much more often.

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none, if you like the larger grip. If not just buy some spare batteries.

Me, I like the grip for the better ergonomics, the extra battery and option of AA's is a bonus (but I've needed to resort to AA though !) but they are not for everyone.

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Battery grips takes up a huge space like 1.5x bigger camera and adds on weight just the same. If you carry it for a few hours in your hand your arms may hurt.

If you're shooting in the streets battery grips are scary just as big zooms are. People will be more shy in front of your camera. So in street photography smaller is better.

The only benefit of a grip is it increases your frames per second. I cant see any reason to justify a battery grip. Spare batteries are more useful. Also AA batteries must be rechargable or it'll turn out to be expensive anyway.

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1  
+1 for mentioning the intimidating camera size in street photography. –  Esa Paulasto May 5 '13 at 13:04
    
I hardly see the extra bulk as a downside to a battery grip. It is something to note, but that's honestly a big part of the selling point. A good grip shouldn't add much weight at all, only bulk and that bulk gives you something to hold on to. I guess on smaller DSLRs it's a bigger portion of the weight, but a good camera strap should take care of most of that. For street photography I can see why it wouldn't be good though since there small matters more than handling. –  AJ Henderson May 5 '13 at 19:06

AA batteries will hardly replace regular battery. Either you spend lot of money in buying often high capacity so they last longer then cheaper AA or you get rechargeable that will not last so long and need to be charged often.

I recently bought battery grip so I do not have to worry about charging when going on long trip. Yes, it does make camera bigger and heavier (couldn't fir it in one of the bags I used previously), but with strap like Blackrapid Sport it is not so noticeable like with strap around your neck. I'm not yet 100% sold on battery grip, but I do find it more convenient for hiking and wildlife photography where at the end of the day battery change can cost me that "magical" shot I was waiting for

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AAs aren't intended as primary batteries. They're for those times when you've exhausted your primary batteries, aren't able to charge them and have to keep shooting. AAs are easy to find and will power your camera right now. –  Blrfl May 5 '13 at 12:13
    
Nevertheless why to buy expensive battery grip when you will put simple AA in, regular camera battery will last longer then these. Having 2 batteries in grip will always better then have one proper battery and battery grip loaded with AA batteries –  peter_budo May 5 '13 at 15:58
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I bought mine for the vertical shutter release. Being able to run a second camera battery or AAs is gravy. –  Blrfl May 5 '13 at 17:45
    
Definitely agree with the AA drive issues. I actually ended up buying a second set of canon batteries in addition to my high power Powermax rechargeables specifically because of the drive issues. Having that emergency emergency backup is nice though and I need the AAs for flashes and such anyway. –  AJ Henderson May 5 '13 at 19:04

I use a generic PICO brand battery grip in my 70D which I got for 1/3 the price of original Canon product. I am happy with the grip aspect, it surely adds convenience while holding during wildlife shoots. I also love the part that I can use multiple Canon batteries in the grip. However I was largely disappointing that AA batteries drain out just too quickly (and I'm talking about the premium heavy duty AA ones) and the biggest drawback is that my frame per second drops to 2fps from 8fps when using AA.

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