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?
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.
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.
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
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.