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Canon BG-E8 Battery Grip and Its Clones

At one time in life, there would only be one vertical battery grip for one SLR camera. And that battery grip is only produced by the manufacturer of the camera. It means you have to pay an extraordinary price for it.

That's no longer true today. In recent market, each official vertical battery grip is accompanied by a number of knock-offs that you can purchase at a faction of the price. Some of these knock-offs function, look, and feel, just like the real thing. Other knock-offs introduce features that aren't available from the factory. In this article we look at the factory Canon EG-E8 Vertical Battery Grips and its knock-offs.

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The Canon BG-E8 Vertical Battery Grip is compatible with the following digital cameras:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T2i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T3i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T4i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T5i
  • Canon EOS Rebel 550D
  • Canon EOS Rebel 600D
  • Canon EOS Rebel 650D
  • Canon EOS Rebel 700D

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Canon BG-E8 Battery Grip

The Canon BG-E8 battery is the very original factory battery grip. It's a high-quality vertical battery grip that holds up to two Canon BG-E8 battery packs to double your shooting time. The grip includes a six AA battery holder so that you can find power anywhere you go. Nevertheless, a vertical shutter switch allows you to shoot vertical shots without looking like a monkey. Amazon price at this writing is $134.26 (see "Related Links" below).

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Meike MK-550DL Battery Grip with Built-In Intervalometer

This no-brand knock-off battery grip looks amazing. And it's simply titled "LCD Timer Battery Grip" on Amazon. We have only realized that it's the Meike MK-550DL after receiving it and looking at the product label on the bottom.

This battery grip has a built-in interval trigger in addition to functioning the same as the factory battery grip. Normally, interval triggers are not available for entry level cameras, like the Canon Rebel series, so you'd have to hack an interval trigger for a higher model camera and use it with the lower tier models. Not any more with this battery grip. you'll have full interval functionality right away. Now you won't have to worry about leaving your interval trigger at home or taking up room in you camera bag. Price is only $42.02 on Amazon (see "Related Links" below).

In our long-term usage test, we found that this battery grip is slightly longer toward the back than the "Neewer Battery Grip", reviewed above; meaning it's probably easier to grip if you have large hands. For smaller hands, the "Neewer Battery Grip" is probably better. The vertical rotational wheel on this grip has excellent tactical feedback, which lets you know exactly how many "clicks" you rotated for the setting you want. We actually like this battery grip better than the "Neewer Battery Grip".

The intervalometer works, but constantly loses its current time and calendar setting. After setting it three time and having it lose track, we stop setting it. I finally realized that we lose the time whenever we pull out the battery tray to replace the battery. Eventually, we figured out the problem It's because the battery grip has a backup battery slot inside the cavity for the battery packs. And there's no battery installed. The backup battery is not mentioned in the manual. The backup battery slot is toward on the back side of the battery grip close to the entrance of the battery tray bay. You can see a small intention for your fingernail to pry the door open.

The Meike MK-550DL is suppose to work with the Canon LP-E8 battery packs. But ironically, it doesn't work with the original Canon battery packs. The electrical contact pins on the battery tray seems too thin. The tray, on the other hand, works with all the third-party battery packs that we've tried. The tray fits two LP-E8 battery packs, doubling the camera run time.

Similarly to the other two battery packs, this Meike MK-550DL battery grip also comes with a tray for AA batteries. It fits 6 AA batteries, just like the other two grips. We tested it with Alkaline batteries, Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries, and Li-ion rechargeable batteries. They all work well with the battery grip; preserving the longevity of the digital camera. AA battery technology is amazing in the year 2024.

Today, I took a set of Mxpow 1.5v 3400mWh Li-Po rechargeable batteries to a field. I shot around a hour and thirty minutes of videos--12 minutes at time--straight, non-stop. By the time I packed up, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i still shows the battery symbol full of charge.

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Neewer BP-550D Battery Grip

The Neewer BP-550D Battery Grip is the most inexpensive BG-E8 knock-off we can find on Amazon, costing only $23.61 (see "Related Links" below). It looks just like the Canon BG-E8 battery pack and functions exactly the same. Perhaps, it's produced by the OEM that manufactures the factory battery grip.

In our long-term usage test, we found that the rotation wheel next to the shutter button on this grip has a more subtle tactical feedback. That meant it was much more difficult to count the number "clicks" as you turn the wheel. You had to really pay attention. Nevertheless, we still found that it was a joy to use and wouldn't leave home without it.

This BP-550D battery grip works with the original Canon LP-E8 battery pack and the third-party battery packs that we tried. The tray fits two LP-E8 battery packs, doubling the camera run time.

This battery pack also comes with a tray for AA batteries. It fits 6 AA batteries. We tested it with Alkaline batteries, Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries, and Li-ion rechargeable batteries. They all work well with the battery grip. AA Ni-Mh batteries are 1.2v each, providing a total of 7.2v. Whereas AA Alkaline and AA Li-ion are 1.5v, totalling 9v. That tells me the Canon EOS DSLR's can handle a voltage range between 7.2v and 9v. Having this AA tray is really helpful for the longevity of the camera. Even when the LP-E8 battery packs are obsoleted, you can still use the Canon EOS Rebel digital camera long into the future.

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