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Gear Reviews

Vello BG-C8 Canon 6D Battery Grip Review

By Anthony Thurston on April 17th 2014

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.

Vello BG-C8 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.

Vello BG-C8 Battery Grip on Canon 6D

Handling

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.

Vello BG-C8 Canon 6D battery Grip Dial

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.

Vello BG-C8 Canon 6D battery Grip Buttons

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

20140417-IMG_3898

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Buttons don’t feel as nice as camera buttons
  • Dial not as quiet or smooth as camera dial
  • Not weather sealed

Final Conclusions

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.

SLRL_Review_4_Stars

Purchase Information

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.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jason

    I bought an Xit brand grip for my 6D. It is awesome. Dials and buttons work like the bodie’s. Have never had issues with it (unwantingly) coming off. And with it being baseball season, I’m rocking my 70-200 everyday. It hasn’t come off since I bought it.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00ASRASJ8

    You spend a considerable amount more for a car… Are you going back to the dealer for tires?

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  2. James

    Maybe its just me but I couldn’t see myself spending thousands of dollars on a body and then buying a 3rd party grip just to save a few bucks. I much prefer to spend a couple hundred dollars and buy the grip that was specifically made for my camera by the same company. I’m not knocking those that buy 3rd party stuff like this, it’s just that I have seen 1st hand people have failures with their gear that was related to things such as 3rd party grips.

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  3. John McClelland

    This is off the current subject, but now that you’ve had the 6D for a while are you still liking it. I am looking to make the same kind of leap and wonder if I should be looking at a new 6D or used 5D. I too am on a tight budget and the 5D would probasbly have to be a MKII.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      No problem. Yeah, I am still very happy with my 6D. Really the only thing that I miss from the 7D is the FPS when I am shooting sports and wildlife. But otherwise the 6D is everything I could want.

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  4. Ryan

    Any ideas how this one compare to the Meike brand?

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I haven’t used the Meike branded grip for the 6D, but in the past I have used a Mieke grip (for the D7000 I think), and while it did work ok, the styling didn’t match camera quite right and the build quality was not even as good as this Vello is (in my opinion). That was a couple years ago though, so it is possible they have upped their quality since then.

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    • Ji Hoon Heo

      I use the Meike brand and its worked real well so far. The same con though. The dial isnt as smooth as the original dials and the buttons feel a little bit cheaper but its not bad at all. You get used to it. As for the rubber and all, it feels great and somewhat consistent enough. It does look great and feels great so far. Ive also used Watson batteries and canon batteries with it and no problem at all. Havent tried even cheaper batteries. I reckon for less than 30 bucks on amazon, you cant go wrong with these though. If they fail, kind of sucks if it was during a event but i would buy another one in a heartbeat rather than spending 180 on one canon.

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  5. Grey

    Did you use the grip with a heavier lens like the 70-200mm f/2.8? I used that lens on the vello grip for the Canon 7D and had some issues with the grip disconnecting due to the weight of the lens.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Yeah. I have hand held the 400mm F/2.8 (which is a monster) with this battery grip attached and had no issues.

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    • Alex Tan

      It is weird to have an issue like this. When you are shooting with a heavy lens. support should be on the lens. That way very little chance of a flex with the camera body.

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