Sony A7s Powered By Canon 5D Mark II LP-E6 DIY Modded Battery Grip

Any owner of the Sony A7s will immediately tell you that battery life sucks big time. Some guys may opt in for the $300 Dollar Sony VGC1EM Battery Grip (found here), which allows you to run (2) Sony batteries at the same time.

OEM sony battery grip a7s a7 a7r
find-price-button OEM Sony VGC1EM Battery Grip for A7/A7r/A7s

$300 Dollars is a bit expensive, and there are Generic VGC1EM Battery Grips for $65 Dollars (found here), but because of the poor life of each Sony OEM battery, even two most likely still wont be enough for a solid day of production.

generic VGC1EM Sony A7 A7s Battery Grip
find-price-button Generic VGC1EM Battery Grip Sony A7/A7r/A7s

Recently I posted up a short little article about how to make your own Sony A7s external power source using cheap battery trays (here). Since both the Canon LP-E6 batteries and the Sony NPF style batteries run similar voltage, you can use either one to power up your Sony A7s for cheap and not to mention several times longer than the A7s battery.

An external power source has been very handy, but this means always having to mount the external battery with the camera at all times. You can see how SatoStudios has been mounting one to either a cage or shoulder rig (below).

After testing out the Canon LP-E6 batteries (which I have more than a few dozen of), I thought about modifying a generic Canon Battery Grip I had laying around.

SONY A7S BATTERY GRIP canon lp-e6 diy mod hack

This would mount under the camera, clean up any loose wiring, and still be able to tripod mount my Sony A7s. So I basically gutted the generic Canon Battery grip, rewired the battery terminals inside directly to a Sony Dummy Battery adapter.

Sony AC-PW20 Dummy Battery for Sony A7s Camera DIY Battery
find-price-button Sony AC Power Dummy Battery

Now because the grip isn't smart enough to switch over once a battery is depleted, and it may not be wise to run these batteries in Parallel, I decided to add a simple toggle switch. The good thing is that the Sony A7s seems to read the battery levels fine, and the toggle switch allows me to use either Battery A(1) or Battery B(2).

Sony A7s dummy battery grip

Although she doesn't look pretty, I didn't have to spend any extra money outside of a $13 dollar Sony Dummy Battery (found here), and EACH Canon LP-E6 battery runs several times longer than the Sony A7s. I haven't put any run times tests together but theoretically it might do 4-5 hours.

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 3

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 5

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 7

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 cheesycam

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E64

While it may not be a worthwhile project just anyone should tackle, it's a neat way to recycle my old gear. Not to mention improve shooting times on the Sony A7s by several times over while keeping cords and mounting to a minimum. It's a nice way to balance out the small body when using larger lenses too.

I don't suggest just anyone tackle this project unless you have a bit of electrical know-how. Of course it's fairly easy if you understand basic electrical wiring. I have another spare grip from a Canon T2i, and now attempting to build a battery grip for my BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I believe I can fit a 3s Li-on RC Battery into the slide out tray.



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20 thoughts on “Sony A7s Powered By Canon 5D Mark II LP-E6 DIY Modded Battery Grip

  1. charles

    @emm Regarding the issue with the cage, im jumping from Canon and want to keep my cage so size doesn't matter. Could you give us more details about the wires and how complicated was to mount the switch. I reckon lot of people would like to use this as it would make the camera bigger with a better bottom grip. I've check many option but this one's my favourite so a bit more of help would be much appreciated. love your work.

  2. John

    how do you mount your camera on a tripod, after you put on a battery grip? does the camera/vibrate with heavier lens?

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - Yes it's possible to mount the grip under the cage, I have done that also, but it doesn't look very clean.

  4. Dan

    @Emm - I have the Movcam cage on mine currently. I was wondering if I could just throw the grip on the bottom of that cage.

    Thanks for what you do.

  5. Dan

    Emm, how has your build lasted? Would you have done it differently if you did it again?

  6. Dan

    Great idea. Why hasn't this been kickstarted yet? Emm, do you have any more photos of the build?

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Michelike - If you have to ask that question, then you haven't been following how Canon lacks a decent DSLR camera in the last few years...

  8. John

    Definitely want to see the Canon T2i battery grip for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
    Maybe a how-to gut and wire video too?

    Very technical and not sure if it is possible, but would it be possible to extend the wire on the VG-C1EM Battery Grip to make it an actual grip similar to the sony Fs7?
    mspaint: http://i.imgur.com/652TIAW.jpg

    That way you could control certain menus while the camera is on your shoulder?

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Howard - Yes hard wired to the 'Switch' and then to the Sony Dummy Battery. The switch i'm using is a double throw double pole (I think). Basically in one position both negative and positive from one battery runs to the Sony Dummy. Then toggle to the second position, and then BOTH negative and positive from the second battery are now running to the Sony Dummy (disconnecting the first battery). Because the voltage on the LP-E6 is similar it's easy to do. If you want to do this with other batteries you'll need a step up/down converter.

    Yes i'm using the Metabones, and YES still having problems randomly with it. Every so often you have to shut camera down, yank off adapter, and start over again. We had three Sony A7s cameras out on a shoot each one with a Metabones adapter and each camera had it's little issues.

  10. Howard

    Emm,

    Nice work, very clean, another signature Emm DIY.

    Did you remove the circuit board altogether and hard wire the battery tray to the switch and then to the Sony dummy battery?

    Also I noticed that you are using a Metabones adapter. During your previous tests you were having problems with it randomly changing settings and turning off by itself. What did you have to do to get it to work with the A7s?

    Howard

  11. LJ

    Hi, what's that lens adapter? Sony's or Metabones?
    Any issues, you can adjust shutter and iris
    just as you normally would? Thanks very much.

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