Monthly Archives: May 2010

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I was asked by several people to do a review on the Canon 550D / T2i aftermarket battery grips that are found on eBay. I decided it would be best to do a side by side comparison to the real deal OEM Canon BG-E8 battery grip. Here's some video footage I hope helps clear some things up. The video is a bit long, but what's 10 minutes out of your life compared to the $$$ savings if you decide you want to go aftermarket.

OEM Prices:
The Canon BG-E8 OEM retails for $160.00
LP-E8 Rechargeable OEM retails for $60.00

AfterMarket Prices:
BG-E8 Grip available from $59.00
LP-E8 Rechargeable from $10.00
(I got the grip + 2 batteries for $69.00)

Ordering normally takes several weeks from overseas. There is never an option for overnight shipping from eBay overseas, so don't expect to place an order the weekend before your next event. The buyer I received mine from on eBay (found here),shipped it to me in just 7 business days after I placed the order. Very very fast for on overseas seller. The box and packaging inside the box is impressive and everything was bubble wrapped or came with a plastic shell cover. It even comes with some very clear, descriptive, instructional manual in different languages. Looks like quality stuff.

For the most part, the aftermarket battery grips functions exactly the same. Note: The battery trays cannot be swapped out. The OEM tray only fits in the OEM grip, the aftermarket tray ONLY fits into the aftermarket grip. The batteries of course don't matter. Aftermarket and OEM mixed up always show the battery life meter. One thing I highly suggest you purchase for any Grip owner is another charger. The grip requires 2 batteries to be used, and it truly sucks to be waiting on one charger. This is a must have for any Grip owner, so that you can charge another battery without waiting. As low as $1.99 + Free Shipping.

click image to purchase this charger for as low as $1.99 + Free shipping.
LP-E8-Chargerfind-price-button Canon LP-E8 Battery Chargers

The build quality is almost exact. At first I believed these aftermarket grips were coming out of the same factory and just being rebranded (like most things), but in fact there are some differences in design. The color is a bit darker and doesn't match the T2i exactly, but you would never know the difference unless they were side by side. The texture on the grip is a bit different too, but feels the same (non slip). Weight also feels very close, and again, you'd never know unless they were side by side. If you look very very closely, you'll see the buttons are just millimeters off from the OEM, but basically in the same area and laid out just like the OEM.

As you can see, by going aftermarket you can save a ton of money. In fact you can buy almost three sets of grips + batteries compared to going OEM. If you're wondering about the longevity of these products, i've been using aftermarket Grips + Batteries on my 5D Mark II and my Canon 7D without any problems. Of course you do have to order overseas and through eBay for the best deals. Some sellers might not have the best customer service, but if you're looking to grab one from the same person I received mine, check out this link.

Next on the review is comparing the battery life from the OEM vs. Aftermarket. I can already tell you that it's probably going to be exactly the same, so why waste time and just grab them online now for as little as $7.99 US. Check out my article here: http://cheesycam.com/?p=752

550d-grip-t2i
find-price-button Canon T2i / 550D AfterMarket Battery Grip

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Sigma released a few new lenses in their lineup at the PMA 2010. One of the most exciting ones is the 85mm F/1.4 which now shows a price tag at Amazon for $899.00, but today still shows 'on pre-order'. This sits right between Canon's F/1.8 at $379.95 or Canon's F/1.2 at $1999.00. I actually own the F/1.2 which is a beast of a lens seen mounted on my camera in many of my videos, but honestly I shoot between F/4-F/5.6, so you might be smart to stick with Canon's F/1.8 or Sigma's new F/1.4. If you really really need the F/1.2, you can always rent it for around $30.00 dollars from one of my favorite places, BorrowLenses.com.

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I really enjoy Timelapse videos. I think mainly because you have to be both Photographer & Videographer to pull off something awesome. You have to prepare yourself to be in a mindset to not only take good looking pictures, but get the settings right for when you convert those images into a video. One of the hottest Timelapse videos on Vimeo, gaining steam in the last 4 days, is Attica by Alexandros Maragos. Shot with a Canon 7D & 50mm, comments on the Vimeo page state most of the shots were taken at 0.8 seconds exposure & 1 second intervals translated back into a 24fps timeline. Wow that's alot of pictures. All I gotta say is skills....much skills.

More info: alexandrosmaragos.com | twitter.com/alexmaragos

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canon-body-rear-lens-cap

I try and stay organized with the gear, and pack things pretty neat when i'm on the go. It never fails. One of the things you'll tend to lose very easily is the Canon Body cap, or even a rear lens cap. Without these you run the risk of dust or scratches. OEM caps from retailers run you about $5 to $6 dollars each coming in around $11 dollars for a pair of plastic caps. Fortunately for me, I was able to order some extra ones from eBay. You can find them as low as .99 cents a pair + Free Shipping. Yes less than 1 dollar, but I opted for a different seller because of all the reviews and paid $1.79 for each pair of caps + free shipping. You can find them following this link.

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This article is referencing my DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer found at http://cheesycam.com/?p=966

As I do different video projects, you realize there are many different tools for different purposes. This DIY that I've created was to provide additional stabilization while walking, be able to carry a few different accessories, but be very quick to setup. It won't replace a Steadicam / Glidecam setup, but then again it neither weighs as much, is as bulky, or takes time to setup. It's designed to be a grab-and-go type tool for extra stabilization. Above is an example of me using the tool. As you can see, just by seperating your hands away from the camera you can acheive some fairly nice results. Especially looking at the Horizon in the video footage it stays pretty level. There is just a bit of bounce which can be minimized with a bit of practice, but definitely something you'll want to have for a DIY price of $25.00 dollars. Read the article for information on how to build your own. http://cheesycam.com/?p=966

You might want to also reference the additional Macro Rail at http://cheesycam.com/?p=1106.

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photo 5

If you were lucky enough to grab one of these Canon L Lens Replica Coffe Mugs, then you would know how close the actual design is to the real thing. To finish my mug off aesthetically, I decided to order an aftermarket Canon 70-200 F/4  tripod ring from eBay. It fits perfectly, and adds that finished look for making it a true Replica Lens. You can find them Available here for as low as $6.99, this is the seller I purchased from.

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nikon-d3s-missing

Just kidding. I thought I would poke a little fun at Nikon's D3s that's supposedly been available since November of '09. Apparently major retailers have yet to see them in stock and instead display text comments stating Pre-Order, Coming Soon, or Temporarily Unavailable. Sorry Nikon, if you can't get them in, technology is just going to phase it out. End of life is near for that 12 megapixel camera. If Nikon wants to step up their game compared to Canon sales, they will need to start meeting supplier demands. C'mon people, it's like buying an XBOX or Playstation. Companies aren't making money from the units themselves, it's all the accessories you buy afterwards. Sometimes those 'units' are loss leaders. Once Canon is in the hands of buyers, they'll need grips, batteries, flashes, and not to mention Lenses. And we all know once you invest a certain amount of money into one brand, there's no going back.

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You've probably already caught this on many other blogs, but for those who are just tuning in, check out the slew of prizes available from Philip Bloom's celebrating 10 million visitors. http://philipbloom.net/2010/05/27/10mill/

Taken from PhilipBloom.net
10 million visitors big prizes competition!
In about 3 weeks I will reach the 10 million visitors to my website. Rather than try and award that 10 millionth visitor with prizes as it will just crash my server I have decided to create a quiz based around my blog. If you get most of them right you will be entered into a random draw where the people drawn will be awarded a prize each.