Canon's Grip, and Photographers' Gripe
When Canon first released the official BG-E11 vertical battery grip for the 5D Mark III at $349, many photographers balked at the price and chose to wait for the knock-offs to hit the street. The first to arrive was the Vertax BG-E11 by Pixel; a Chinese manufacturer with a reputation for making some decent third party products. When the Vertax version of the BG-E11 launched at $85 with free shipping from Hong Kong, I jumped on it. At almost one quarter the cost of the Canon grip, I could get the same functionality, albeit in a more fragile plastic assembly. But seeing as I don't abuse my gear, I wasn't too worried about a plastic grip. And heck - even if I did crack or break it, I could replace it two times over before coming close to the cost of the Canon version.
A Sloppy Copy
Soon after receiving the Vertax grip I quickly stumbled upon a big problem: batteries left inside the grip suffered gradual power drain, even with both the grip and the 5D3 powered off. It was bad enough that two batteries would be almost completely drained after 7-8 days in storage. This almost cost me a job when I showed up for a gig and found my camera batteries dead. Luckily my 7D backup was...Read More