Photography 101 – Battery Grip
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
I recently purchased an Opteka Battery Pack Grip / Vertical Shutter Release for my Canon Digital Rebel. The addition of this device greatly extends the battery life of the camera. It also has a vertical shutter release, which means when I am shooting in portrait mode I can hold the camera normally (i.e. with my hands on either side of the camera, instead of top/bottom).
This is my first time working with a battery grip, so I thought I would share with you all the mechanics of this device. Since I am taking pictures of my primary camera, I’m using my little Sony Cybershot for the purposes of this article. And, in the interest of full disclosure, it turned out that I purchased the wrong grip for my camera. The one I bought, pictured here, fits a Digital Rebel XS, XSi and T1i. The one I NEED is this one for a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi & Rebel XT. Ah well, live and learn.
At any rate, this is what comes in the kit – an LPE5 battery pack, a AA battery pack, the grip, and two LPE5 batteries. Note that the battery charger is not included.
The batteries fit into the slider, like so:
Then the slider fits into the battery grip, like so:
In order to install the battery grip onto the camera, first you have to remove the camera’s battery:
Then remove the battery chamber door by sliding the tiny screw I’m pointing at over to the left, then lifting the door off:
This is the part where I had to find some photos to demonstrate the rest, as my new grip isn’t here yet. The grip assembly slides into the camera’s battery chamber and locks into place. It adds a couple of extra inches to the profile of the camera, and of course adds some weight as well. It has a tripod mount on the bottom, the shutter release button, and buttons for AE lock, AF point selector, aperture value, shutter, plus a dial.
This is what it looks like with the grip attached and ready to go:
You can see in this shot how the Vertical Shutter Release works for portrait-oriented shots:
With the addition of a battery pack you can enjoy a much greater extension of shooting life between charges. This is helpful if you’re using a lens with stabilization, or internal/external flash combinations, both of which use up a lot of battery life. Just, well, be sure you’re buying the right one for your camera! Sigh.
Photo credits (in order of appearance):
- First six battery grip assembly shots – Tiffany Joyce.
- “1Ds vs 40D / BG-E2N” by spacemunkie on Flickr Creative Commons.
- “Canon EOS 350D and me” by Rudolf Schuba on Flickr Creative Commons.
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