I always have a battery grip on my DSLR. I like the added ability to shoot vertically and not have to have my hand and arms in awkward positions. I also like being able to have two batteries in the body at once so I don’t have to worry about switching batteries mid-shoot.
I have not had a battery grip on my camera for the last several months, because when I purchased my 6D, I could not afford the added cost of the Canon battery grip.
While searching for other alternatives, one of the brands that came up was Vello. I searched a bit more and found that they did indeed have a grip compatible with the my Canon 6D, and so I decided to give it a shot. Here are my thoughts on it after giving it a good run through.
[REWIND: Why I Upgraded to the 6D from the 7D]
Vello BG-C8 Battery Grip Review
From the moment I opened the box, I was impressed with the quality of the build. Unlike other third party battery grips I had tried in the past, this one looked and felt solid, very well built. Also, it matched my Canon 6D body perfectly, which is a huge plus for me because other grips that I have tried in the past didn’t match the body quite right.
After giving this battery grip a good amount of use, I am happy with how it performs. Though there are some things to note that some of you may not be so happy with.
First, the dial, while solid and built well, does feel different from the one on your camera. In addition to feeling slightly different when turning, it also suffers from a somewhat loud *click* noise. The noise from the dial on the camera is a bit more muffled, while the one on the grip isn’t. Not a huge deal to me, but I know some of you would find this annoying.
Second, buttons on the back of the grip are not quite as “smooth” when you push them as the ones on your camera. I would describe the ones on the back of the 6D as a soft push, where the ones on the back of the grip or more of a hard push and click. Again, not a big deal to me, but for some of you, this may be a problem.
Besides those two things I am very happy with the performance of this grip and will be keeping it for use with my Canon 6D for the foreseeable future.
One thing to note is that this grip is also not weather sealed. So if you do a lot of work outdoors in the elements, you may want to invest in some inexpensive rain covers. For what it is worth, I do not believe that the Canon version is weather sealed either.
Pros and Cons
Let’s do a quick Pros and Cons overview of this grip. I know this can be a bit easier to digest than paragraphs of text.
- Matches Camera Styling Perfectly
- Good Build Quality
- Cheap Alternative to Official Canon Grip (saves you $100)
- Fits on Camera Firmly
- Metal 1/4 20 thread for mounting to quick release plates
- Buttons don’t feel as nice as camera buttons
- Dial not as quiet or smooth as camera dial
- Not weather sealed
Overall, this grip certainly has some shortfalls when compared to the quality that you get from the official Canon grip, but nothing so far off that I would call it a bad option. As I noted above, I was impressed by the quality of its build and how well it matched the camera styling.
If you are ok with a slightly louder dial and *clicky* buttons, then this would be a great option for you on your Canon 6D. With that in mind, I am confident in being able to give this grip a solid 4/5 stars.
If you like what you saw and you would like to give this battery grip a try, go ahead and head on over to B&H where you can grab this Vello BG-C8 grip for only $74.95. If you are interested in Vello grips for other DSLRs you can also find them here.