Most helpful positive review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Good product - good value
on July 27, 2011
While I have only seen pictures of the very expensive Canon brand battery grip, this battery grip (made in China) seems identical and sells for a fraction of the cost of the Canon brand. Be aware that there are more and more of these type of camera products (like intervalometers, Lithium battery pacs, etc.) that seem to be identical twins of the brand name products, at a fraction of the price. Only you can decide if you want to pay over the top prices for Canon brand accessories when these alternative products are available. Particularly when it does not affect photo quality, I'll go for the cheap knock off product every time and I am very pleased with this product. To my mind the only difference between the Canon and this knock off is the HUGE price difference - period. Having made you aware of these eye popping price differences between identical looking products, here is my review of the generic battery grip for Canon Rebel cameras.
I bought this for my Canon Rebel XSi. The battery grip holds two Canon Lithium battery pacs or will allow you to run your camera with 6 standard AA batteries. You will find that the battery door on the Canon removes very easily and is stored right inside the battery grip so you won't lose it. The grip then inserts into the battery slot and is securely attached to the camera body using the 1/4" tripod mounting hole. The battery pac has it's own tripod screw hole on the bottom so you don't lose the tripod functionality. While the battery grip accepts two of the Canon type lithium batteries to effectively double your battery life, it will also work with just ONE lithium battery pac if you don't have a second lithium battery on hand.
Somebody once said that you can tell an amateur photographer because they only take landscape oriented photos. Well, get ready to run with the big dogs because this battery grip does nothing less than convert your Canon into a portrait camera. The grip allows you to turn the camera on it's side while holding on to a very hefty hand grip with a duplicate set of right hand controls at your fingertips. I kept getting the feeling that I had an entirely new camera and that isn't far from the truth. Taking portrait oriented photos now feels natural and relaxed. As a matter of fact, with the battery grip installed the default orientation and most comfortable position in your hand now seems to have become... portrait!
In the interest of trying to provide an unbiased, helpful review, I should mention the downside of these units too. First, the very heft and larger size camera that is in some ways appealing means it is also bigger and heavier and that is not always a good thing. No surprise there, huh? Also, even though it provides alternate strap loops, there seems no good way to use a camera strap with it and it really no longer has a "top" or "bottom" when setting it down a table.
While not a problem with the battery grip per se, when taking portrait photos the in-finder exposure details are sideways as is the menus and photo review on the LCD screen. Maybe it goes without saying but I didn't want to ignore an obvious drawback with the portrait orientation.
OPTIONAL READING - It may or may not be as rugged and roadworthy as it's American made cousin, but I can buy four of these and I would still be money ahead over buying the very expensive, identical looking Canon brand battery grip. To my mind there is only one reason for such a huge price difference and that reason is gouging!
Along a similar line, I found the Chinese "Canon compatible" intervalometer to look and operate identically to it's Canon brand counterpart - at one quarter of the price! Canon is clearly working a HUGE margin on these after market accessories and putting it right to the consumer. In view of this gouging mentality where Canon views me as nothing but a chicken to be plucked naked, I wonder why anyone would find competition and consumer choices to be a bad thing? Bad for who, that is the question. If we agree that Canon's job is to place maximized profits above everything including patriotism, ethics and even customer goodwill, might we also agree that I am entitled to maximize my buying power without guilt or silly flag waving? My suggestion would be to buy this Chinese battery pack instead of the Canon brand and treat yourself and a guest to a very expensive dinner with the money you have saved. Cheers!