For an upcoming vacation overseas, I decided to purchase a battery grip for my DSLR. Amazon has the Opteka battery grip and two LP-E5 batteries for the Canon XSi for $65. It’s not a bad deal considering that the battery grip alone sells for $50 and the LP-E5 batteries cost $12 each. Canon’s BG-E5 battery grip for the XSi currently sells for $117 but doesn’t even come with any additional batteries.
I was a bit hesitant about buying a battery grip at first but eventually decided to give in. I’ve debated about whether to bring a DSLR on vacation at all assuming a compact camera would be fine; there are a number of reasons not to take the DSLR. I like to travel light, so carrying around a lot of camera gear while on vacation in other countries is definitely not appealing. Nonetheless, having nice photos of locations I’ll likely not return to in the near future is important to me as well. Also, I ran out of batteries one day while in Europe last year, and I don’t want that to happen again.
The battery grip obviously adds weight and bulkiness to the DSLR, but I actually found that the additional surface area makes it easier for me to hold the camera. My camera bag is big enough to accommodate for the extra size, so it’s not a big deal. Surprisingly, the added weight also feels good when holding the camera to take photos. Unfortunately, my neck and shoulders do feel more discomfort after carrying the camera and battery grip around for a while.
I am a bit concerned that a big camera will attract unwanted attention, but I can always take the battery grip off when I don’t want to lug it around. For the price, the battery grip was money well spent.