Review: Polaroid Battery grip

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.

The product

After some googling, I bought the Polaroid grip on Amazon. Note that it is also available for the 7D.

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.

Trigger

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)

Handling

The handling is excellent. It does not feel slippery at all and the added weight really improve the balance of the camera.

Comfort

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.

Batteries

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.

The features

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…

Intevalometer

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.

Clock

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.

The bad

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.

Conclusion

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!

Polaroid Battery grip for Canon 5DMrkII

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...
  • http://www.marionixon.com Mario

    Ineresting I’m thinking of getting a 5D. I’ve only ever used Original Canon grips etc on my past cameras. I might strongly consider this in hopes of keeping kit costs down

  • Abel

    The user guide is every bit as bad as you stated, and worse. It says: “Note: If display is blank replace the CR1620 battery.”
    My question is, where exactly is the compartment for the button cell? The box contained a CR1620 in a small zip-lock bag, apparently it was not installed at the factory to conserve its charge.

    • admin

      Eh… I dont know! Mine came with the battery already installed and I got an extra battery.

    • blismer

      Apparently the CR1620 in the small zip-lock bag is a spare.
      There is one in place already, since the date and time still show when you remove the battery tray. You can see it if you open a cover behind the LCD display, while the battery tray is out. However, I still have no idea how to access the worn out CR1620 to replace it. Also, I am still trying to understand how to operate the INTERVALOMETER.

      • Cedric

        Hi guys, I have the Canon T4i with the Polaroid Performance Grip, and I was also looking at how to replace my coin cell for the display screen. After fiddling a bit with my grip I found the compartment :
        It’s situated inside the grip, all you have to do to access it is open your battery tray. On the inside on the right you will see a little slot, just use your thumb and push towards the opposite side to open the compartment door. Don’t be scared to break it, push hard and it will pop open… and there is the coin cell ! Then you need something to pull it out and you can replace it.
        I hope this will help !

        Cedric

  • Mex

    Hi,
    I bought this Grip. So far everything is good and interesting. BUT Do not understand fully intervalometr . – so to understand Grip fully, I hope that you will make tutorial soon, Thanks! :)

    • admin

      It is on my todo list, as is an article on my custom RigWheels slider. I just can’t find the time to finish these… If only I could get paid to work on the blog, it will quicken things out a lot! ;-)

  • Shiv

    Hello,

    The CR1620 has to be installed under the battery tray. Remove the battery tray and have a look on the lower sliding path and you have to pull the CR1620 slot/cover.

    cheers

    • blismer

      Hi Shiv,

      Could you explain more about getting the worn out CR1620 out? If I take out the battery tray, I can see a cover flap behind the LCD screen. Open the flap, I can see the CR1620, but can’t pull it out. Thank you.

      • Tom

        Working on it, blismer, will let you know about battery.

        Some quick leads on manual and setting up Intervalometer:
        Delay – Amount of time to wait before starting the entire sequence (HH:MM:SS)
        Long – Length of the shooting burst (HH:MM:SS)
        Intvl – Length of each interval (HH:MM:SS) between each shooting burst
        N – Number of intervals (maximum 999?)
        for long exposures you setup on camera: bulb, and set up long to period how much you want your shutter to stay opened.

  • Chad

    I have this grip for the Canon 7D and like other I can’t figure how to make the intervalometer work. A tutorial would be fantastic either a quick video or a step-by-step instructions. It seems I get all the settings set but pressing the “play” button does nothing. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • http://Takeyourbestshot.com James

    My grip is on a 7D and stuck on 00000 with a a lock and an N etc… Can’t reset it… HELP!

    • admin

      Did you try to remove the small battery fromt he grip? It should reset it.

      • blismer

        How do you remove the small battery?

  • http://Takeyourbestshot.com James

    Well, miracles do happen… Reached into the bag this morning during our shoot and it was displaying the time again… Who knows how or why after two days stuck on 0000. Thanks though, will pull the battery next time.

    JG

  • Jozef

    The question is what the max number of frames for the intervalometer is. I’ve seen conflicting reports, some saying 99 shots only. Does it have an “unlimited” option like the cheap wired intervalometers? in those when the frames are set to ” — ” as if you try and put a number down then you will get max of 99 frames which is useless. Please let me know, thank´s…

  • http://www.renovo-energie.de Gerry

    Hi together,

    i`ve one question. I´ve buy a polaroid grip for canon eos 5d mark 2 and i get only a english manual.Where can i get this in germany language ?
    Thanks in advance for your hlap in this matter and best regards from munich, gerry

    • Tom

      Dear Gerry, we will get into this and contact you as soon as possible with information where to get manual on German.

  • Tom

    Better to answer to all not just blismer:

    Some quick leads on manual and setting up Intervalometer:
    Delay – Amount of time to wait before starting the entire sequence (HH:MM:SS)
    Long – Length of the shooting burst (HH:MM:SS)
    Intvl – Length of each interval (HH:MM:SS) between each shooting burst
    N – Number of intervals (maximum 999?)
    for long exposures you setup on camera: bulb, and set up long to period how much you want your shutter to stay opened.

  • Marvylj

    Does the Polaroid  7D grip have a rubber gasket so the camera continues to be weather proof?

    • http://www.canon5dtips.com/ Tom K.

      Marv, it is not weatherproof. 

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