Since I used to use my 5DMrkII mostly to shoot video or take architectural pictures, I did not feel like I needed to buy a battery grip. Especially since the one sold by Canon has a prohibitive price. But now that I have resumed shooting stills in a semi-serious way and most of my shots are portraits, I decided I needed one before damaging my wrist.
I used to use a Canon battery grip with all my previous cameras and I really appreciated its texture and built quality. The Palaroid grip feels pretty much the same. The finish is not as great at what you can find on a Canon grip but it is close enough for me.
The one big difference, and that is something you notice as soon as you take you first shot, is the different feel of the trigger button. It does not feel Canonish at all. You really have to press it hard to take the picture. Is this a bad thing? Not really, you get use to it after a few minutes but it could be an issue for people who put the AF and trigger on the same button (which is a bad idea anyways)
The handling is excellent. It does not feel slippery at all and the added weight really improve the balance of the camera.
As you can see in the pictures, the grip texture is very similar to the one on the camera body and it not just a textured hard plastic like some other grips.
While the grip can use 2 standard Canon batteries, you can also use an adapter to use standard AA batteries which is a great thing when you are travelling.
Canon grip only provide additional battery capacity and better handling. Polaroid grip on the other hand is going the extra mile to add value, such as…
The key feature of the grip (and the reason I picked it) is that it comes with a built-in intervalometer. It means you have one less piece of gear to put in your bag. From now on, whenever you are shooting, if you see an opportunity for a time lapse, you can do it. This is something Canon should put in all they camera bodies, like Nikon, until then I will use Polaroid grips.
When the intervalometer is not used, it shows the time.
Remote IR trigger
To top it off, Polaroid added an IR sensor on the grip and gives a remote trigger. While this is a great addition, I think they should have put the sensor somewhere else because there is not much room for it to see the emitter.
I have used the grip for around 10 hours of shooting so far and it performs great but some things could be improved:
- The documentation about how to use the intervalometer is erroneous! I am probably going to post a tutorial on this soon to save you all some time!
- The grip texture attracts more dirt than the one on the body (as you can see on my pictures). Nothing problematic but if you are a neat freak, you should be aware of this!
- I had some random issues with the back LCD/intervalometer. The screen did not lit up. The solution was easy and worked every time: pull the battery off and push them back in.
At 80$, the Polaroid grip is a steal. I know there are some cheaper grips on the market but this is the best I have found in terms of built quality and features. I can hardly see how this could be a bad purchase. Even if you dont think you need a grip, you will appreciate this one for its additional features.
Where to buy
It seems like only Amazon has these right now. And remember, by clicking the following link before making your purchase, you help support this site and help me convince my wife that I should be doing this for a living!