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Canon Battery Grip BG-ED3

Camera accessories are addictive. And there is nothing more addictive than the vertical battery grips. The Canon BG-ED3 Battery Grip is an accessory for the Canon EOS D30, D60, and 10D digital SLR cameras. It serves three purposes:

  1. Holds one extra BP-511 battery pack for extended shooting period.
  2. Adds vertical shutter release and vertical shooting controls.
  3. Make the camera body bigger.

Before I purchased the BG-ED3, I wasn't too impressed with #1 and #3. Its styling made the D30 look like a big, fat apple. But after shooting with the D30, for a while, I realized that I really need the vertical shutter release. I had been spoiled by the vertical shutter release on my Elan IIe battery grip. (See my Elan IIe review elsewhere on this web site.) Through that experience, I have learned that I shoot many more vertical pictures than I shoot horizontal ones. (I guess that is not too surprising with the way I cascade my Firefox browser windows; they are laid out vertically.)

The BG-ED3 is surprisingly big when you first hold on to it. It feels sturdy and well made. Its build is similar to the D30, making it a good companion. The BG-ED3 holds one extra battery pack for extended shooting. I wish it didn't, because it makes the camera heavier. It is also possible to use only one battery pack in either bay. But when I tried it, the camera/battery pack weight distribution feels unbalanced. It seems to balance better when the battery pack is installed in the lower bay when the camera is held vertically. Still, with both battery packs installed, the entire rig feels well balanced. Therefore, I always install two battery packs and suffer the extra weight. The extra weight has made my arm stronger though. ;-)

Unlike previous battery grips that I have used before, the BG-ED3 installation requires that the battery cover be removed entirely from the camera body. It does have a holder for the cover, so that you won't misplace it somewhere. The battery cover can be easily detached with fingernail or a small knife. To install the battery grip, simply screw it onto the tripod socket on the bottom or the camera. The battery grip replaces the original tripod socket with its own tripod socket. The new tripod socket is in a slightly different location than the original tripod socket. Therefore, it is not directly on the same axis as the lens.

Unlike the Elan IIe battery grip, the BG-ED3 also have vertical controls for the * button, the AF selection button, and the main dial. These buttons are generally unavailable on entry-level vertical battery grips. The BG-ED3 can also be considered as pricey. At slightly below two hundred dollars, its cost is comparable to an entry-level film SLR camera. Overall, despite its size, weight, and cost, the Canon BG-ED3 is a must-have accessory. I can't imagine ever using a D30 without it.

I am in the same predicament again recently, when I acquired the Digital Rebel for a project that I am currently working on. Originally, I had thought that the Digital Rebel would serve as a backup to my D30. Therefore, I thought I could live with it without a vertical shutter release. After using the Digital Rebel for two weeks (as backup), I am ready to buy the BG-E1 vertical battery grip for it.

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