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Lunch » Tags » Photography » Reviews » Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip for Canon 5D Mark II Digital SLR » User review

A Necessary Accessory to the 5D Mk. II

  • Apr 1, 2009
  • by
I purchased this grip while my Canon EOS 5D Mark II was still on preorder. In fact, it arrived a week before the camera did. I did this because I fell in love with the feel of a vertical grip a long time ago, and every camera I've had since then has had one added almost immediately (including: EOS Elan IIe, D-Rebel 300D, 30D, and 40D).

The grip is a real benefit to those like me that have big hands, since all of your fingers can now rest against the camera instead of curling up underneath. It's also a great counterweight when shooting with heavy lenses such as the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. The arrangement of the vertical shutter release and related buttons on the side makes for very comfortable vertical shooting.

The grip duplicates the shutter button on the lower right corner of the camera, as well as the series of buttons (AF-ON, EL/FEL, and focus point select) that are normally under your right thumb on the camera body. So when you are shooting vertically, all of these buttons are in the standard location and you can shoot as you would horizontally, without having to reach your hand across your forehead to shoot. The grip also has an on/off switch that defeats these buttons when they're not needed, so they aren't accidentally pressed.

The grip accepts one or two LP-E6 batteries, and includes a tray for emergency use that can be loaded with 6 AA batteries. While you can get a couple hundred shots off with the AA's, that number drops off quickly with a lot of LCD use, and there's no point in even TRYING to use the AA's to shoot video. I carry the tray in my bag in the VERY unlikely event that I manage to drain both of my LP-E6's. You can find AA's anywhere in a pinch.

With the two LP-E6's installed, the 5D Mark II will register both of the batteries and list their statistics simultaneously in the Battery Info screen. The Shutter Count numbers even operate independently. For example, after a long day of shooting (over 1500 frames), the Battery Info screen told me that Battery 1 was responsible for 806 frames, while Battery 2 was responsible for 746 frames. At this point, the batteries still showed a 78% charge on each one.

[Edit 01/08/2009] I have a shoot tonight that I need to be safe for, so I'll be charging both of my batteries before I leave. But I wanted to update my battery info for those that are interested in how long two batteries will last: Battery 1: Shutter Count 1400, 60% charge remaining. Battery 2: Shutter Count 1318, 61% remaining.

Grips for lower-end and earlier cameras (such as the grip for my D-Rebel 300D, etc) were made entirely of plastic and had too much flex when attached to the body -- it almost felt like you could break it right off. That is NOT the case with this grip. It feels as solidly built as the camera itself, and there is absolutely zero flex. It is also weather sealed around the buttons, battery compartment and dummy stalk, so you won't need to worry about it being the weak point in your camera's weather sealing.

The bottom of the grip has a fluted rubber base to reduce slippage and a sturdy tripod socket. It also has a strap mount for use with Canon's hand strap (you use the one on the grip, and the right strap mount by the shutter to install the hand strap).

Finally, as is the case with the BG-E2(N) (but not earlier models), there is a spot for you to store the camera's original battery door since it won't be in use while you have the grip attached.

If you have small hands or often worry about camera weight, you may want to try this out in a local camera shop before committing to the (admittedly expensive) purchase. The weight of the grip plus an extra battery is not negligible, and for those with small hands, it may just make the camera unwieldy. Otherwise, you'll want this. Definitely.

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Jeff Kraus ()
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Member Since: Mar 31, 2009
Last Login: Apr 23, 2009 09:53 AM UTC
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The EG-E6 Battery Grip is dedicated strictly to the EOS 5D Mark II, and permits one or two LP-E6 battery packs to be installed. With two packs, the battery life is doubled, compared to using a single LP-E6 pack in-camera. Especially for extended use of the EOS 5D Mark II's movie mode or Live View, the BG-E6 is an outstanding accessory. The BG-E6 provides full vertical shooting controls, which can be independently turned on or off as the photographer desires.
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