Canon 5D Mark II Battery Grips: BG-E6 vs. Third-Party Grips

Canon 5D Mark II Battery Grip

The Canon BG-E6 battery grip serves a couple of different purposes for the 5D Mark II.  As the name implies, it holds batteries – either two LP-E6 lithium-ion batteries or 6 AA batteries in the included battery holder.  Likewise, the BG-E6 serves as a grip for handling the camera in portrait orientation, featuring controls for the shutter release, scroll wheel, and focus point adjustments, among others.

Canon 5D Mark II Battery Grips

The BG-E6 is a nice accessory to have; however, it runs $250.  For some, that’s a little steep for a battery grip.  Third party grips are much more affordable at less than $100, but are they worth the compromise? This question comes up on forums quite a bit and finds its way in my inbox now and then.

In this little exercise, we are going to take a look at the Canon BG-E6 grip and see how a couple of third party grips from Vivitar and Zeikos stack up against it.

[UPDATE:  I've supplemented this review with a review of the Vello BG-C2 and BG-C4 grips for the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.]

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13,000 Vivitar Cameras for Sale

If you’re in the market for a new point & shoot camera (or 10 of them), then the liquidation of Vivitar UK’s stock might interest you – particularly, if you’re in the UK.  King Sturge, a European property consultant, will be conducting an online auction October 14-16 as a result of the sale of the Vivitar brand to Sakar International. The auction will consist of 999 lots (many of which contain 10 new/boxed cameras) of Vivitar UK’s remaining assets.

If you’re outside the UK and want by a camera or 10 of them, consider that the cameras packed with rechargeable batteries have UK pronged chargers.

Kodak SLR Brings Film Back Into the Picture

In a report from Amateur Photographer, we learned that Vivitar and Kodak are joining forces to bring a new Kodak-branded 35mm SLR back to the market and attempt to create a now-niche foothold for film users.

‘Vivitar has plans to develop a Kodak SLR camera similar to the Vivitar V3000s,’ said Vivitar UK CEO Abbas Bhanji who added: ‘The planned KV100 is, at the moment, at the development stages and once released will be aimed at educational institutes who specialise in traditional photography.’

I, for one, welcome this development with fond memories of my Ricoh KR Super II. Best wishes to Kodak and Vivitar in this endeavor. Maybe Kodak will bring back HIE-135 as well?