Ever since I bought the 60D I wanted to buy a battery grip. Not that I needed or need it, but I wanted. And I was always advised and agree that it has to be original, not a generic brand one.
The first problem was the price. It’s not like very expensive, but it’s money I could use for something else. Then you get to the time you can start looking for it on ebay. Apparently in Germany prices on ebay are not much better than on the stores. I have actually already found used gear on ebay that were more expensive than the same gear new bought at a reputable store!!
Once, I found it for sale on ebay at a reasonable price. When it arrived a vital part was missing. The grip comes with two magazines, where batteries go. One for 1-2 Canon batteries, the useful one. Another for 6 AA batteries, the not so useful one. The one for Canon batteries was missing. Not really useful to have your camera only running on AA batteries … so I had to send it back, and moreover, could not try it.
Years later, just recently, I found a used one on Amazon for a reasonable price. Checked if it was complete (actually the magazine for AA batteries was missing, not a problem) and bought it.
Then questions start popping. Did I really need it? What do I really get from it?
Main use is a failure for me. I don’t have a second battery. I don’t need a second battery. My 4.5 years old Canon battery lasts for days shooting on travel. It has never been the case when I ran out of battery shooting. Neither travelling, nor shooting “assignments”. Well, IF I see I’ll be days on the road and have no chance to recharge the battery I will consider getting an additional one. So far, no need for it.
Second, but also, main use is nice. The vertical grip. It’s not a MUST be, but it’s comfortable, after you get used to it, to shoot vertical and have full control over the camera. Shutter, focus, locks (AE and AF), aperture/shutter speed knob … without having to twist your hand. A much more stable and comfortable position, that allows you to go a bit lower in shutter speed.
Third, a “side effect” is the extension of the grip for shooting horizontal.
Right after I’ve received the battery grip, me and the family where leaving for vacations, a nice opportunity to make a field test.
Packed the whole thing and already noticed that the camera + grip get’s quite larger. Looks really cool (sorry, I have to go for the “looks” part 😉 ), a bit heavier, but it doesn’t fit my top loader bag anymore! Yep! It’s too large for a Top Loader 50. I would need a Top Loader 70, which is way more expensive that the 50 …
First two days of vacations was going to a fun-park, so I decided to travel light and don’t use the grip. Never run a marathon with new shoes!!!
For the following days we visited nice cities in the area and it was a great opportunity to test the grip.
Not fitting the Top Loader made the process clumsy. I had to keep the camera either on the R-Strap or inside the backpack (when eating or carrying kids).
But the best part and probably what made me keep it was the extension of the grip for the horizontal position. That makes the camera way, but way, more comfortable for someone with big hands as me. After a long day I would get my fingers sore of holding the camera, since I could not do it with all the fingers. Now I can properly hold the camera with 3 and control it with the other two fingers.
So far I’m happy with it, while I could do without it 🙂 Before buying a new Top Loader I’m giving a try on reorganizing my photography backpack and trying to use it really as photography backpack. Let’s see if it works.