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Thread started 30 Apr 2009 (Thursday) 16:03
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Meike Battery Grip for 5d Mark II - My Review

 
RyanB
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
     
Apr 30, 2009 16:03 |  #1

I began shooting Canon on a gripped 40D, and have rather big hands so I loved the way the grip added to the... er... gripability of the camera. I got my 5d Mk II in November and sold the 40D, and immediately missed the feeling of fullness the grip gave the camera. For me, holding any non 1 series canon cameras just feels like the bottom is missing, and is awkward. I was looking forward to getting the BG-E6, however I was laid off in December so put off the purchase for awhile.

I've been shooting a lot more recently, and decided I had to have a grip. I couldn't fork out the $250+ for the Canon grip, so I decided to take a shot with one of the Chinese brand grips. I ordered it off eBay for about $100 shipped - not bad for less than half the cost of the Canon. Shipping took about 2.5 weeks from china, and I just got it today. Here are my initial impressions.

Upon opening the box, you find simply the grip in Styrofoam packaging, some multi-language instructions (who needs this anyways, the grips are pretty straightforward :)), and a warranty card.

As for the grip itself... Unfortunately, I haven't held my 40D and grip in about 6 months, so my memory might be a bit sketchy as to it's overall feel. Also, I have never seen the BG-E6 in person so I can't comment on it's overall build quality.

It looks nice and of course matches the camera perfectly - everything about it is an exact visual replica of the Canon brand, minus the label. Buttons are in the same place, same size, etc. However, upon close inpsection it is evident that the build quality is not quite up to par with the 40D Canon grip, and most likely the BG-E6. It feels a bit more plasticy and light than I remember. This is not a totally bad thing - it still feels solid and like it can get the job done. For the price point, I'm not complaining.

Some nitpicky things. The 40D shutter button, and 5D mark II shutter button, as most of you know, have totally different actions. The 5d has a welcoming softness to it as you depress it, whereas the 40D was much more of a "clicky" button. You could hear and feel more structured resistance as you depressed it, which some may like. This is how the Meike grip button is. You lightly press it down, and you can feel it stop halfway to focus, and then you continue on to another stop to take the picture. I'm not sure if the BG-E6 button is like the 5d or the 40D with regards to this - I'm sure someone could answer that, though. I don't mind it, however it's something to think about. It is definitely a noticeable difference going from the normal to vertical shooting on the grip.

Everything works perfectly - all 3 buttons on the reverse work great, it screws in assuringly, and the battery door release button slides nicely. On my model, the wheel that screws the grip into the camera is very movable up and down, however not side to side, so it won't accidentally unscrew or anything. You would never notice this in normal shooting - just trying to be thorough.

My biggest dislike (though minor) with the grip is the action of the wheel behind the shutter button. On the camera itself, it is very reassuring and each tick of the wheel is hard, loud, and evident. The wheel on the grip is a bit more recessed and not QUITE as loud and firm when each notch ticks. Again, nitpicky but noticable.

The front has a nice rubber texturized grip, though the battery door doesn't have this. I think on the BG-E6 (From pictures), the door is texturized but I could be wrong - maybe someone could fill in the comparisons later on between the two.

The electronics work perfectly, and the battery info is relayed to the camera. There is also a slot to store your battery door just like the Canon models. It also comes with a battery card/clip/whatever.

Overall, though it does have a more plasticky and light feeling than the body, a grip was a necessity for me and I"m more than happy with saving $150 dollars over the Canon grip - hell, if it breaks I can buy one - almost two- more. I've heard good things about them though, so I'm expecting perfect functionality. If anything happens, I'll update! But for now, if you want a grip and don't want to splurge on the Canon one I wouldn't hesitate to order one off of eBay for $100 or so. If you guys want some pictures lemme know, but it looks just as advertised!


5d Mk II + Meike Grip l Canon 24-105mm f4L l Canon 85mm f1.8 l Contax Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 Planar T* l Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG |Sennheiser MKE-300 Microphone l Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 ZE l
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Burnaby
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May 15, 2009 22:05 |  #2

I'm waiting for the same grip you are referring to. The company I dealt with is Linkdelight, out of Shenzen, China. A friend who owns a 40D has expressed satisfaction with this company's product. I ordered a similar grip for my XSi, and was satisfied with it, at least considering what I paid ($65). The only gripe I had was the build quality, which I hazard to guess would about 95% comparable - and that says a lot.

The most glaring discrepancy I found was the slider switch that transfers the signal to the vertical controls to the grip. The switch was dinky, and it didn't have that perfect Canon feel. Fortunately, this switch may not be used too often if left on, so who knows if this is an isolated peculiarity, or symptomatic of the overall build quality. Nevertheless, at that price, it's a safe bet, and should it break down, buying the genuine article would not incur that great a loss.



  
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phokingood
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May 16, 2009 02:14 as a reply to  @ Burnaby's post |  #3

Ordered mine from Adorama (SKU: ICABGE6AP). $90 with free shipping at time of purchase. They advertise it as a Flashpoint but pictures and actual product sent is Meike. I'm happy with it so far as it looks and works just like the Canon grip. Like the OP said, it does feel a little plasticky but that's something I can live with for the price.




  
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psxindo
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May 16, 2009 02:52 |  #4

How safe is a 3rd party grip?
will it damage the camera?
People are saying not to buy 3rd party battery because it could damage the camera.


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argyle
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May 16, 2009 07:17 |  #5

psxindo wrote in post #7931370 (external link)
How safe is a 3rd party grip?
will it damage the camera?
People are saying not to buy 3rd party battery because it could damage the camera.

There's a risk in buying anything from a third party dealer. Something has to give in order for the item to be sold at a much cheaper price...overall build quality, cheaper materials, working life, etc. It just depends on what you buy. Depending on the item, some third party devices work just fine. On one hand, I limit my third-party stuff to non-critical items such as electronic releases, etc. OTOH, I'm not about to put several thousand dollars worth of gear on a knockoff tripod either and expect everything to be okay over the long haul.


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Wilt
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May 16, 2009 08:08 |  #6

You might want to comment about the mounting screw, and how it might seem to be more (or less) prone to breaking off in the base of the camera, like the early Canon BG often did.


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Rey
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May 16, 2009 13:39 |  #7

The button on the BG-E6 is similar to the 5D II itself - soft, not "clicky." Compared to the BG-E2, the E6 seems to have improved slightly in build quality. One of the things I like is that the E6 fits the contours of the 5D2 better than the E2 does the XXD series and that is more attributed to the fact that the E2 has to fit more bodies than the E6. The door on the E6 is textured where it is not on the E2. IMHO, the build quality alone of the Canon grip is worth the price of admission.

It's great that there are less expensive alternatives for those on a budget but personally I would stick with original Canon equipment for my usage and go over my budget ;)


Canon 5D MKII • BG-E6 • Canon EOS-M • Canon 85mm F1.2L II USM • Canon 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM • Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II USM • Canon 24-70mm F2.8L USM • Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM • Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART • Canon Speedlight 600 EX-RT • Canon Speedlite 580EX II • Canon Speedlite 430EX II • Gitzo 3530 • Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR

  
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robogobo
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May 26, 2009 10:50 as a reply to  @ Rey's post |  #8

I posted a review of the Meike grip back in April https://photography-on-the.net …php?p=7990716#p​ost7990716 and then a follow up last week. To sum up, build quality, and consistency between copies is not as good as Canon, but all in all there are no problems, and I seriously doubt any damage could be done to the camera since it's all just duplicating existing connections. Canon was pretty greedy when they priced the BG-E6, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a great many people going for the knock offs.




  
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Burnaby
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May 26, 2009 20:34 |  #9

Received another grip (also Meike), this one for my 50D, and the build quality is as good if not better than the previous one I ordered for my XSi. The switch I commented about previously is set up differently for this unit, as it is on the Canon original. Cost for the grip including two BP-511A Li-ion 7.4V 1500mAh batteries was $78.50. I like this grip's arrangement better. Can't go wrong with these knockoffs.



  
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RMelick
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May 28, 2009 12:45 |  #10

Figured I would add in my 2 cents on these grips on my XS body.

I just received my Meike grip for my XS and am quite pleased. I knew I needed a grip with my big meat-paws and was able to play around with my friend's Canon gripped XSi for a while. Overall, I actually like the Meike more than the Canon. I did not purchase the one with the batteries as I have stuck with OEM for warranty purposes. The overall fit almost seems a little tighter than with the Canon grip. My friend has had his grip for about 4 months and it has never been real tight against the body. Button feel is almost dead on with the grips being a tad recessed, but not enough to impede on shooting. Feel is great on the plastic with a slightly noticable texture feel. Overall though, I am quite pleased with my purchase.


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RyanB
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May 30, 2009 20:31 |  #11

Just wanted to give a quick update. The mounting screw seems solid enough, and I don't foresee it breaking off in the mount :). I've been using the grip almost every day for a month now, and it has worked flawlessly. Not a single issue has come up, so I wouldn't hesitate to get this grip if you're interested!


5d Mk II + Meike Grip l Canon 24-105mm f4L l Canon 85mm f1.8 l Contax Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 Planar T* l Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG |Sennheiser MKE-300 Microphone l Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 ZE l
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RobertZ
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Jul 06, 2009 14:26 |  #12
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I'm also very happy with this grip (from Adorama). I had forgotten it was not the Canon grip. I was not too concerned about the generic grip though I don't think I'll buy a generic battery until Sterlingtek comes out with replicas that have been thoroughly tested by 5DII owners.


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robogobo
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Aug 19, 2009 12:51 as a reply to  @ RobertZ's post |  #13

anybody else having problems with battery communication after the firmware upgrade?




  
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RobertZ
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Aug 19, 2009 13:10 |  #14
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I have the firmware upgraded and no communication problem here.


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marvelet
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Aug 20, 2009 22:38 as a reply to  @ RobertZ's post |  #15

@robogobo : i've just bought meike grip for 5dmarkII couple days ago, first it was running fine, it can read the original LP-E6 perfectly, trouble comes when I put a 3rd party LP-E6 on the grip (the original is being recharged). It shows capacity status on above lcd (no information on battery info display) but, when I put again the original one suddenly it can't read battery info anymore, it behave like I put a 3rd party battery on the grip . I re-insert the original again, first it can read battery info fine, but after I reset my camera, It can't read anymore until now. Luckily when I dismount my meike grip, and insert the original without grip, It can still read the battery information. Anybody here have the same problem with me?

I'm using firmware 1.1.0 , since a month ago.

ps : I'm a newbie here on the forum, sorry for my bad english, i'm from Indonesia, nice to meet you all




  
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Meike Battery Grip for 5d Mark II - My Review
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