What is a Battery Grip

Battery Grip for DSLR Camera

What is a battery grip?  It is an accessory for digital cameras that holds one or two of the camera's regular batteries and attaches underneath a DSLR. 

Each battery grip is made for a specific camera model and they are generally not interchangeable between one camera and the next. If you are considering one, make sure the grip is 100% compatible.

See the various Canon camera grips below. The battery grip in this photo is the BG-E14 which works with the Canon EOS 70D


WHAT IS A BATTERY GRIP USED FOR?

There are two main reasons usually talked about the most for getting and using one of these grips for your Canon DSLR, with a third benefit that may be the best benefit of all.

1.  BATTERY CAPACITY. Double the number of photos you can take without having to change or re-charge a battery. If you put two fully charged camera batteries into your grip you will have twice as much power to shoot a ton pf photos or video.

Vertical control buttons on Battery Grip

2.  VERTICAL CAMERA CONTROLS. Battery grips come with their own camera control buttons and dials.  

The various camera buttons are positioned on the end of your in such a way that makes it very convenient to use when your camera is turned sideways for photos that are vertically oriented.

3.  BALANCE. There is a third benefit that many photographers talk about when discussing why they really like using their grip. It's the feeling of balance in your hands. Particularly when you have a longer, heavier lens attached to your camera. The weight distribution is not so front loaded when you add a grip to the bottom of your camera.  

The extra weight of having the grip on your camera counteracts the added weight of having a heavier telephoto lens attached.  You'll like the balanced feel that results from this combination of grip and lens. This is more of a subjective benefit, unlike the objective power and settings controls.


CAN YOU USE A BATTERY GRIP WITH A TRIPOD?

Battery grip on tripod

Yes, you can. The lens you choose is the most important factor on whether you SHOULD use your battery grip mounted on a tripod or NOT. If you're shooting with a long lens that has a lens collar, you should ditch your battery grip and mount your camera to the tripod using the lens collar.

The 2nd factor is whether you're shooting with your hand on the trigger or you're letting your camera "settle" before you make your exposure. The extra weight and the extra connections you have when your grip is attached will affect the sturdiness of your tripod. 

A third factor is if you're shooting in a horizontal or vertical camera orientation. You can keep the weight of your grip and camera centered on top of your tripod when shooting in a vertical orientation by using an "L" bracket. This is a lot more stable than rotating your camera sideways using the tripod ball head.

Finally, you'll enough stability with your grip attached to shoot if your setup is fairly level. If you're shooting downward, as is common with macro photography, you might the downward creeping with the extra weight of using a battery grip.


HOW TO INSTALL A CANON BATTERY GRIP

Rather than give you a step by step written tutorial on how to attach a battery grip to your Canon DSLR, I grabbed this video from youtube. It's great for showing you how simple it is to attach a grip to ur camera. If you've never seen a grip before, it's a great way to get a close-up look at a Canon grip.




DISADVANTAGES OF USING A BATTERY GRIP

There are two drawbacks to getting and using  a grip like one of these for your camera.

1.  WEIGHT. For some photographers the added weight and bulk makes them tiring to hold and use for any extended period of time.  With batteries installed in a battery grip, the added weight  can add up to a pound or so.

2.  PRICE.  Of course, every accessory you buy costs money.  The  brand-name batteries made by Canon are quite a bit more pricey than the generic, 3rd party grip manufactures.

Just for fun, check out the differences between the brand names and the 3rd party makers on Amazon:

Canon vs NON-Canon Battery Grips


This web site is primarily about Canon cameras and accessories, so I've included the links to specific Canon battery grips below.  If you are not sure what battery grip fits your camera, you can use the search box at the top of this page, on the right.

CANON BATTERY GRIPS




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Have a blast shooting!

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Written by Bruce Lovelace



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