Review Canon BG-E3 Battery Gip for EOS350D Review

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#1
Introduction



The Canon BG-E3 Battery Grip is designed specially for the EOS 350D Digital ('Rebel XT' in USA, 'Kiss' in Japan) camera. The BG-E3 holds up to two NB-2LH batteries or six AA size batteries to offer double-length shooting time. The vertical shutter release makes shooting with the camera in a vertical position just as comfortable as shooting horizontally. The grip provides additional controls for easier vertical shooting including shutter release, AE lock/FE lock, index/reduce button, main dial, AF-frame-select button, and the aperture/exposure compensation button plus an on/off switch to prevent accidental activation of on-grip controls when shooting horizontally.

The BG-E3 also adds much needed size and weight to the camera especially with longer lenses.

The BG-E3 can be used with just one NB-2LH battery in either slot.

The additional Handstrap E-1 can be added for a more secure grip.





 

dod

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#2
Nice review Bachs :)
 

Matt

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#3
Its a fantastic review Bachs, very well written and thought out. I think thanks to you for doing it in the first place!

I had to make it all one page, i would have loved to leave as it was, its a fine piece of work.
 
S

Steve

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#4
Thanks Bachs for allowing us to use your excellent review on the site. :thumb:

I am sure many will find it extreamly informative and helpful. :)
 
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Bachs
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#5
Cheers!

The reason I wrote it in the first place was out of frustration of the complete lack of images online of the grip attached to the camera and the same small Amazon customer reviews that get circulated around the rest of the sites.

If the truth be known, 350d owners are attracted to the grip for the extra size and weight more than anything else so the 20d and 1d owners stood at the side of them don't howl in laughter and come out with the 'where's your keyring' jokes :flipoff:
 

Matt

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#6
lol! that gives me an idea....
 
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Steve

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#7
Bachs said:
Cheers!

350d owners are attracted to the grip for the extra size and weight more than anything else so the 20d and 1d owners stood at the side of them don't howl in laughter
It's not the size, it's how you use it :p

Gets my coat. :whistling
 

Matt

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#13
i like that one...nice
 
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#14
Excellent review, indeed Today I went to see the 350D (Rebel XT here) and the only thing I didn't like was the size and weight, and reading this gives me a better idea how to improve that feeling. I have now the money to buy it but I was thinking if it worth to wait a few months for the 20d...
 
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Bachs
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#15
Thank you Pablo!

If you have a choice between the 350d and the 20d, I know which I would go for! The XT is a great camera but like anything else in life, I'd go for the best I can afford. I would have loved the 20d but it would have been a long while before I could have afforded anything else to go with it so I made the decision that fitted my shallow pocket.

I'm certainly not dissapointed with it though and the battery grip bulks it up nicely. Consider the price of the grip and the price gap between the 2 cameras and realise the money for the grip could be put towards the 20d.
 
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#16
Thanks Bachs, I know that may be i can afford now the XT, but I really want the 20D. You are right, let me consider the price of the XT+grip vs 20D.

Another thing is that actually I have 2 cameras, a Film Rebel Xs with a few lenses that fit perfectly both xt and 20d. And a Canon Powershot S70, wich uses the same battery than the XT and I have 2 batteries now, if I get the XT and the grip, I don't need to spend more in batteries, with the 20d, I will have to spend in batteries and charger too...

...oh god, its a difficult desition hehe. I've read a lot of reviews, comments, etc. Don't intend to make this thread another 20d vs Xt discussion, I think that my pocket will decide over my feelings, I know I will be very very happy with anyone.

Cheers
 
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Steve

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#17
I bought two high power batteries for my 20D (they obviously fit the 20D battery grip as well) for £18 delivered and err well the 20D in the UK is supplied with the battery charger at no extra charge.

That maybe different in Mexico though??
 
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#18
ohh Steve, I was refering to the bateries as I were to buy extra ones, hehe. Actually my 20d or Xt, I will buy in US at beachcamera.com that's the best price I found. Here in Mexico are very, very expensive.
Rebel 350D/XT is almost 16000 Mexican Pesos, wich is 1484 USD or £826, as you can see, here I can get the XT for the price of the 20D! Thats why it's so difficult for me to get one.
 
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#19
I decided to go for the grip sooner rather than later due to your great review Bachs :thumb:

Well it arrived today and all I can say is "excellent". It really has transformed to feel of my camera, the extra weight actually helps the stability while holding, and the extra size makes it easier to hold and control, especially when taking portraits where the extra buttons on the grip really come into their own.

Very happy indeed, thanks again Bachs.
 
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#20
great review, im still unsure about it though, i have no issues with size in my hands (dont even go there :D ) of camera, or battery life, so it would be bought for aesthetics which is quite expensive.
 
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#21
it's about more than aesthetics, dont forget this is a vertical grip, so you have a shutter release button and more controls as shown here:





Great for taking shots portrait style without having to twist your wrist to get to the controls.
 

Matt

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#22
i bought the grip for the 300d, and its balances the camera so much better, i really cant recommend it enough for the 300d, if it makes that much difference to the 350d then its got to be worth it
 
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#23
I was thinking of getting another lens but after reading this and if truth be known I've been using my 300D more than my 350D just coz the 300D had a better feel.
So I'll be getting one later this year. Thanks to Bachs right up, mmm now just need to fit a bit of overtime!!!
 
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#25
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#26
Installation and Operation

The BG-E3 battery grip has full instructions provided but here is an overview.
  1. Remove the original NB-2LH battery from the camera.
  2. Detach the camera's battery compartment cover (there is a latch type mechanism on the hinge pin to aid removal)
  3. Store the detached cover in the storage area provided on the BG-E3 (this is at the base of the grips' electrical contact pillar)
  4. Remove the detacheable contacts protection cover from the battery grip and store in a safe place. (always refit this protective cover when the battery grip is removed from the camera)
  5. Insert the BG-E3's electrical contact pillar into the cameras' battery compartment.
  6. Align the attachment screw with the cameras' tripod socket then turn the attach/detach knob on the grip to secure to camera. (There is a tripod socket on the underside of the grip so you can still attach to a tripod or monopod)




  • [*]Be sure to attach the BG-E3 to the camera before loading the power supply in the BG-E3
    [*]Take out the power supply and turn the camera power to OFF before removing the BG-E3 from the camera
    [*]After removing the BG-E3 from the camera, refit the protective cover to the BG-E3 electrical contacts to ensure the contacts are not damaged.


Installing the battery packs

The BG-E3 is supplied with 2 battery magazines, the BGM-E3L which accepts up to two NB-2LH battery packs (you can run the BG-E3 on just one battery in either of the two slots) and the BGM-E3A magazine which accepts 6 x AA size batteries. The instruction sheet specifies use of Alkaline batteries but I have had no problems running the grip with rechargeable Nimh AA batteries.

  1. Press down the battery magazine lock knob, turn in the direction of the arrow then pull out the battery magazine.
  2. Remove the contact protection cover.
  3. Install one or two NB-2LH battery packs into the magazine slots all the way until they are locked in place by the lock levers.
  4. Insert the BGM-E3 magazine all the way into the grip until it is securely attached to the battery grip.
  5. Close the battery magazine lock knob.

  • [*]The camera will not work until the knob is closed.

If two NB-2LH battery packs are inserted into the BGM-E3L magazine, power is supplied simultaneously by both battery packs.

You can insert two NB-2LH batteries with different charging levels without problems.


The BGM-E3L NB-2LH battery magazine


The BGM-E3A AA size battery magazine


Fewer images can be shot when using AA size batteries, therefore useage of AA size batteries is recommended only for emergencies.

When using throwaway AA size batteries, the camera may not function when used at temperatures below 20° C or for certain brands and storage conditions.

Do not use old and new batteries together and ensure they are all the same brand.


Using the battery grip

Turn the BG-E3 operation ON/OFF switch to ON.
The rest of the buttons and dials on the BG-E3 grip function in exactly the same way as those on the camera.
When shooting in the horizontal position, it is recommended that you turn the grips' ON/OFF switch to OFF to prevent accidental operation of the BG-E3 controls.





 
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#27
Technical Data


Major Specifications

Power Sources
- Battery Pack NB-2LH
- AA Size Batteries - Alkaline, Nimh, Lithium
- AC Adapter Kit ACK-700

Power Switch
- Camera's Power Switch

Dimensions
- 128.1 (W) x 96.4 (H) x 70.7 (D) mm

Weight
- 230g/8.1oz (without battery magazine)


Battery Life (No flash / 50% Flash)

- NB-2LH : 1200/900 shots / 800/700
- AA Alkaline Batteries : 300/0 / 220/0

  • The results for number of shooting images are based on CIPA testing standards. (see note in 'Conclusions'!)
  • Useage in the following ways will reduce the number of images that can be recorded: Frequent use of the LCD monitor, holding the shutter button halfway down for a long time, and the AF without shooting.
  • The battery status can be checked on the display panel of the camera body. (see note in 'Conclusions!).
  • Figures based on operating temperatures of +20°/0°C
 
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Bachs
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#28
Conclusion

Plus points
  • If you are concerned about the small size and low weight of the EOS350D camera the BG-E3 battery grip is a 'must have' accessory.
  • The grip makes vertical shooting a breeze and adds much needed size and weight to the camera when using a longer lens, improving the overall balance of the camera/lens.
  • Purchasing an additional NB-2LH battery to fill both slots of the BGM-E3L magazine instantly doubles battery life/shooting time and you can extend shooting time even further by loading the additional BGM-3LA magazine with 6x AA size batteries.
    Using the figures quoted in the grips' documentation you can achieve a total of 1500 shots with no flash and 1020 shots with 50% flash using both fully loaded magazines. (@ min temp 20°C)
  • The optional Handstrap E-1 (purchased seperately) can be attached for a more secure grip.

Minus points
  • The magazines are quite flimsy in design and care is needed when handling them as they could be easily damaged.
  • There is an issue when using the BGM-3LA magazine loaded with AA size batteries where the camera display shows a low battery condition even with fully charged batteries. The number of shots is not affected by this false reading.
  • The AA size batteries can be difficult to insert and remove.
  • Care is need when inserting the magazines into the grip as it is possible in a rush to rotate and lock the locking knob even though the magazine is not fully pushed home.
  • When the locking knob is turned to the locking position, it is important to remember to flip the knob flush with the body of the grip as this closes an electrical contact and the camera will not power up unless this is done.
  • Slightly pricey.
  • Unique to the EOS 350D camera, not transferrable to other models (same issue as the 300D and 20D grips) as the grip matches the contours and size of the 350D
  • Additional magazines not available for purchase seperately.

Final thoughts

The Pro's far outweight the Con's...this is probably the best value adding accessory you can buy for your EOS350D camera.

- Steve Perks, 24th July 2005
 
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#29
Thanks!

Great review - I think I'm going to get the Opteka grip (half the price and identical). Perhaps later though, right now I'm still saving for more lenses.

Leo
 
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