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.
The Canon BG-E8 Vertical Battery Grip is compatible with the Canon EOS Rebel T4i, T3i, and T2i digital SLR cameras.
The very original battery grip created by Canon. It's a high-quality vertical battery grip that holds up to 2 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).
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 very subtle tactical feedback. That means it's much more difficult to count the number "clicks" as you turn the wheel. You have to really pay attention. This observation is relative to the "LCD Timer Battery Grip" below.
On the plus side, this battery grip works with the original Canon LP-E8 battery pack and the third-party battery packs that we tried, unlike the "LCD Timer Battery Grip".
This no-brand knock-off battery grip looks amazing. It has a built interval trigger in addition to functioning the same as the factory battery grip. Normally, interval triggers are not available for entry level cameras, so you'd have to hack an interval trigger for a higher model camera and use it with the Rebel. 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 wider 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 rotational wheel on this grip has excellent tactical feedback, which lets you know exactly how many "clicks" you rotated for the setting you want.
The interval meter works, but constantly loses its current time. After setting it three time and having it lose track, we stop setting it. In addition, this battery pack doesn't work with the original Canon battery pack. The electrical contact pin seems too thin. However, it works with all third-party battery packs that we've tried.
If it isn't for the interval meter to loose its time and the fact that it doesn't work with the original Canon LP-E8 battery, we actually like this battery grip better than the "Neewer Battery Grip".