Thursday, February 7, 2008

YXTM C40DS Grip (Canon BG-E2 equivalent) and Phottix BP-511A Battery Review

Having had my Canon 40D for several months now I decided to buy a battery grip.

The grip gives photographer a vertical/portrait grip with its associated controls and shutter release. And it gives you room for two BP-511 batteriess.

I don't feel comfortable paying well over hundred Euro for a piece of plastic so I decided to give it a try with a 3rd-party device instead of genuine Canon BG-E2 (or BG-E2N).

Searching on eBay I found a few options and finally selected one offered by HK Supplies (Hong-Kong eBay vendor, with eBay username etefore. I bought some accessories from that vendor in the past and was quite satisfied with the quality, price and speedy delivery). Their offer also included 2 Phottix bateries (Canon BP-511A equivalent).

My order arrived in about 1 week and my first note is that it was nicely packed.

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The grip appeared to be not a completely no-name but an Asian local company named YXTM. Their model name for this grip is C40DS (which is equivalent to Canon BG-E2)

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You can see the content of the box on the picture above. I took one of the batteries out of it's little red box; and the grip is still in the larger box.

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Besides the grip itself there are 2 battery containers - one for 2x BP511 and another for 6x AA-size batteries. Comparing this grip with the photos of genuine BG-E2 they appear virtually identical. The C40DS grip is made quite well - no cheap feeling, strong, attached without any problems to my camera, and the buttons feel good. The tripod socket also feels sturdy. No flimsy parts, good solid feeling.

Talking about batteries I should note that I used some no-name ones in the past and never got any problems. I had one battery out of 4 suddenly died after 1.5 years of use but with the price under 10 Euro per battery I believe it's much better deal than the brand-name batteries.

The new Phottix batteries that arrived with the grip are marked as 1600mAh, slightly more than the Canons 1390mAh so they should perform better (at least on paper). I don't have time or desire to do any formal testing/measure, but my feeling is that the batteries aren't any worse than the original ones. They look well made from outside, they fit without any problems to camera, charger and to the grip; and camera works just fine. Again, I didn't measure the number of shots I can make with substitute battery but it feels quite similar to the original.

I would definitely recommend both the C40DS grip and Phottix batteries to anyone thinking of increasing their shooting capacity.

Remark: Please note that there are other battery grips on the market that are marked "BG-E2 equivalent". Some of them don't have the index and focus point buttons; and some reviews suggest that some of the grips are flimsy - so be careful which one you select!



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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review - I think I might do the same to save money - how much did you pay for the C40DS?

MikLav said...

I paid about 64 Eur (which included the grip, 2 batteries and shipment to Belgium)

Anonymous said...

That's really good - I will do the same. I was only worried that it might affect the camera but it seems that it will do an equally good job!

MikLav said...

I had a chance to compare it with the original Canon grip, and it really looks very very similar. The only difference is how battery container is inserted.

ANDREW said...

I was going to purchase the BG-E2N from amazon for £103 (and that is the best price at the present time) until stumbling upon your excellent, clear presentation of your YXTM purchase. Entirely based on your findings I have just identified and purchased the same kit on ebay from HK supplies. A massive thank you for your superbly presented review. Best regards, ANDREW.

MikLav said...

I am glad my review was useful for you.

almo said...

I wish i could say your review helped me, but I already own one of these awesome grips from HK supplies. I paid about $85us for mine on Ebay. Looks like you got an even better deal than I did... :p

I would just like to second the authors recommendation. Great 3rd party kit here.

Anonymous said...

hehe,I recommend for a website supplier www.hkjenis.com. you can purchased from the website direclty by paypal

Guilherme T said...

MikLav

Much thanks for your review.
Now that it's been almost a year later whats your review on the grip?
is it still solid? no bad contacts, random turnoffs, flimsy buttons?

I hear a lot of complain that these grips work wonders for a coupla months then they start to degrade and fail.

Whats your output?

I really apreciate your opinions, thanks in advance.

Guilherme

MikLav said...

Frankly I don't see any difference comparing with 1 year ago.