550D / T2i Battery Grip – OEM vs. Aftermarket

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

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

25 thoughts on “550D / T2i Battery Grip – OEM vs. Aftermarket

  1. SkunkWorks

    One thing to be aware of with aftermarket grips, at least the ones that are like mine which I think is a Meike with the two different trays for about 35 bucks) is that the bottom mounting threads are only anchored into the plastic housing with no metal support behind the plastic or anything... so you get a bit of flex when your camera is mounted on something and you're using a longer lens. So you have to be careful about vibration, wind etc.

    I thought of modding mine and putting some metal inside but I don't think there's room when the battery tray is loaded.

  2. Aleksander

    I just bought a similar batary grip.
    The problem is, I can't hold the button halfway down to focus.
    Is this normal?

  3. Kranthi

    Great review!
    I can't wait to buy one of the after market battery grips.
    Can someone please post me the link with the latest price(India). And what company is the after market one exactly?
    Thank you!

  4. Ted

    The Opteka grips are around $40 from Amazon last I checked and are almost EXACTLY the same as the regular grips--weight, button orientation, and very similar material (same pattern) on the grip. The only major difference is printing, which isn't totally perfect and obviously says Opteka instead of Canon. They might actually be stamps from the same factory. Reliability perfect so far, except for the battery meter thing. Just get a few extra batts at these prices.

  5. Marc B

    Thanks for the tip, which led me to one that I found even CHEAPER. for $38! It lacks the two rear buttons and takes the T1i batteries, but still works good enough for my purposes.

  6. I bought one of these cheap aftermarket battery grips for a Canon Rebel XTi and it came with 2 batteries as well. The batteries have worked great but the grip has a problem when you turn the camera sideways for a vertical shot.

    The door holding the batteries in didn't latch shut tight enough so gravity would cause the batteries to slide down a tiny bit. The shift was enough to make them loose their connection and the camera would power off. I ended up using duct tape to keep it shut tightly. Looks really tacky now and I'm always have to add duct tape to keep it shut.

    That's the type of the little oversights that you risk running into when you go for the cheaper aftermarket copies. The grip my "look" identical to the OEM one but doesn't always perform as well.

  7. Vishal

    Is there anything on the camera (I have the T2i) that needs to be configured so it knows a grip is plugged in?

  8. Emm

    Post author

    What? You have to go to another blog to believe in Eneloops? As if I don't recommend them enough, LOL!

  9. Justin

    Lee Huang is right!

    I just tried it out, and was quite happy to find out that I could put a single batter in either slot, and the camera boots up as normal!

    Obviously it's only going to last half as long, (and the weight is a little uneven) but it's nice to know if I'm ever stuck with a single charged battery, I can just toss it in the grip, instead of pulling apart the whole unit to go back to the "stock" battery set up.

    Also, I bought mine from Amazon, and got the version with a AA tray as well. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but apparently a tray filled with Eneloop's will last about as long as the battery pack equivelent! (Gathered from Nino's review. http://ninofilm.net/blog/2010/06/27/t2i-battery-grip/ )

  10. Lee Huang

    u don't need two batteries to run with the grip, on the battery slots, there's a place for using one battery and place for two.

  11. Josh

    I'll be buying this soon thanks to your recommendation :). I dont know where to ask this but ive been looking around for Good lenses for HD video shooting, Video's inside of clubs and dark places. Also Looking for Dolly or rig for steady video shooting with a manual Focus ring attatchment. You might be able to help me :)

  12. admin

    Post author

    Looks like the same grip, i've used that seller before so they are legit.

  13. Pingback:

  14. Mihow

    Awesome video, and did rise in price... but i wish i went after market and saved myself over 100 dollars.

  15. I've been waiting for this review since I saw the first post on the aftermarket grips. This pretty much convinced me that it is worth the money. However, I was wondering if having a battery grip on my T2i will help with some of the heating issues in the T2i? Will having the batteries housed separately from my camera allow me to run it longer without running into heating issues?

  16. carlos

    tnaks for the review! they are more expensive now :( inflaction after good review?! 😀

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