Most helpful positive review
282 of 301 people found the following review helpful
It's not Canon, but definitely right behind!
on March 5, 2010
Alright, I was skeptical about this after reading so many mixed reviews, but the draw of a battery grip that seemed to be well loaded and at a much cheaper price than Canon's...I couldn't resist.
Am I glad I got this? Definitely!
Okay, let's get things out and open: yes, this is NOT exactly like the Canon battery grip. Duh. It's not made by Canon and it doesn't cost $300. That said, however, this is an amazing "replica" that fits the bill just fine!
I was a little concerned when I got this because of reviews that said it was all plastic and cheap and that it would screw up my camera. My fears were quickly put to rest as soon as I opened the box.
I'm not one to dwell on packaging (if it comes in a brown paper bag but works great, who cares?) but the box for this was good, and the grip was wrapped in a bubble-wrap envelope. There's a protective cover-cap for the connector to keep the pins safe (and the cover isn't flimsy).
Taking the grip out, the first thing I was surprised to notice was that, yes, it DOES have a rubber grip. It's not as rough as the inlaid gripping Canon puts on its cameras, but it is definitely not just a textured part of the plastic. This is a great touch. There's a strap-hook/bar on the bottom, as well as a tripod mount so you can still use a tripod even with the grip installed.
According to the instructions you should always attach/detach the grip with the batteries removed, so that's what I've been doing.
Attaching the grip to the camera is easy. Just pop the battery out of your camera, and take off the battery cover door (there's a spring-clip to detach the door). The grip has a place in the handle where you can store the battery door, which is fantastic. Now you just slide the connection post into the battery slot, and spin the thumb-wheel on the grip to lock the grip into the camera's tripod mount.
The battery compartment is probably the most fragile part of this grip, but unless you go tearing through the electrical innards of your camera like a rabid moose, it's not an issue. Inside the grip is the AA-battery magazine which pops out via two retaining clips. The magazine isn't so sturdy, so some care is needed, but with batteries in it the magazine feels much more reliable. I bought my grip with a kit that came with a spare battery for my camera, and since the grip holds two camera batteries I went ahead and put both in. Close the door, turn the camera on...it's brilliant! The grip feels very sturdy on the camera and I've had no fears in holding my 7D by this grip alone.
There's a little rubber insert that you call pull out (it stays attached to the grip) that allows you to put in a wall-plug adapter into one of the battery bays and still be able to shut the door with the cord coming out. That's a great touch that I thought would be lost on a cheaper grip.
How does it function? There's a switch on the side (or top, depending on how you orient the camera) to turn the grip on or off, which keeps you from accidentally pressing buttons when not in use. Holding the grip, the shutter-release button, top-scroll-wheel, and the M-Fn button are where you'd expect them. On the back (for your thumb) are the AF-ON, exposure lock (*) and AF-point-selection button. All the buttons feel good in quality and function, comparable to the ones on the camera itself. The shutter-release button isn't the same as the camera's button...it feels a bit lighter...but it still functions well and once you've used it a couple times you won't notice it at all.
There are only two downsides to this grip (neither of which would prevent me from buying it). First, the grip is actually quite large. Fortunately I have big hands, but this grip might be a monster for anyone with smaller hands. Second, with the grip on and loaded, the camera is not only heavier but much larger. If you're using a small bag, keep in mind this grip adds about 2-inches to the bottom of the camera.
To conclude, if you are pro and have the money, certainly fork it over for the Canon piece. If you're an amateur or semi-pro photographer who wants a well-featured, well-built grip, without paying for the Canon piece, GET THIS ONE!!!