- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Zeikos ZE-CBG5DIII Battery Grip
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
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- Cosmetic AppealEditor: 80%
- Design & Build QualityEditor: 70%
- FeaturesEditor: 90%
- FunctionEditor: 100%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 100%
The Zeikos ZE-CBG5DIII is an aftermarket battery grip made for the Canon 5D Mark III.
Just over a month ago, I upgraded my daily shooter from a Canon T3i to the much more expensive Canon 5D Mark III. I'd been utilizing a battery grip on my T3i for a few years now and had planned to get one for my 5D Mark III as soon as possible. I wasn't surprised to find out official Canon Battery Grip costs a whopping $275. Considering I just spent around $3,500 on the Mark III alone, I wasn't looking to spend that kind of cash and knew there had to be a cheaper alternative that still was capable of getting the job done.
I previously ran into this same situation with the T3i as the official Canon grip for that model is priced at $119. I ended up going with a cheaper aftermarket model called the Zeikos ZE-CBGT2 which was a fraction of the cost of the “genuine” one yet it was felt and performed extremely solid. After doing some research, I was happy to find that Zeikos offered their own aftermarket battery grip for the 5D Mark III.
At the sub-$50 price tag, I decided to buy one with the hope that it would live up to the expectations set forth from my earlier Zeikos' product experience. The rest of this review will be based solely on my personal experience using the Zeikos ZE-CBG5DIII on a daily basis for the past month.
The ZE-CBG5DIII is rather robust and utilizes high-quality materials for such a low price-point. The grip itself does have a rubber, textured material although it isn't on the same level as the inlaid gripping found on Canon camera. Having said that, you'll often see manufacturers skimp (such as using cheap plastic instead of rubber) on important elements like this at products in this price range so the grip is beyond satisfactory in my experience. Since the build quality is hight, I don't see longevity being any issue as long as you take good care of your equipment.
If you are a perfectionist, you might be upset to find out that the black finish does not match perfectly with the Canon's factory black color however it is so close that most will probably not even notice. From a cosmetic standpoint, the ZE-CBGDIII is elegant and easily mistaken for the more expensive Canon branded grip so I gave it high marks in this category.
If you aren't familiar with the benefits of battery grip on your 5D Mark III, you'll be happy to hear there are quite a few advantages. First off, it provides the ability to utilize two LP-E6 battery packs simultaneously thus effectively doubling the battery life of your DSLR (the grip will still function with a single LP-E6 battery). It also comes with a separate battery tray that holds six standard AA batteries like the ones you'd find in a convenience or department store. This is useful for anyone who'd rather rely on disposable batteries instead of the Canon rechargeable LP-E6s although I will warn you, it will be much more expensive to operate this way as the AAs drain quickly.
The grip itself is easy to install and requires you to remove the existing battery door in order to insert the grip properly. Now with some competitors this can be a pain as the battery door is small and able to be lost easily. Fortunately, Zeikos added a battery door holder which will keep it concealed with the battery grip therefore eliminating any risk of losing it. To secure the battery grip properly, you twist the ‘lock' knob until it is fully tightened into the tripod mount located at the bottom of the 5D Mark III's body. At the bottom of the battery grip there is an additional tripod mount to allow for tripod or monopod use while the battery grip is attached.
Beyond providing additional power capabilities, the ZE-CBG5DIII offers a comfortable grip for improved camera handling when shooting vertically. To accompany this, it contains full vertical shooting controls that can be turned on and off to save battery life. These controls include a shutter button, Main Dial, multi-controller, AF point selection button, AE lock/FE lock button, AF start button, and multi-function button.
Since I had been used to a battery grip on my T3i for so long, it was a major change switching to the 5D Mark III without a battery grip. I had forgotten how uncomfortable it was to take vertical shots using just the stock camera body so the Zeikos ZE-CBG5DIII was the first accessories I bought for my new camera.
Utilizing the grip is comfortable and the added vertical controls all work as expected without any of them giving off a cheap or “sticky” feel. For such a low price, I wasn't expecting them to add the additional multi-controller on the grip and it's a nice touch that comes in handy quite often. The switch on the side of the grip allows you to enable/disable the power to the integrated buttons in order to save battery life. I don't think the power consumption is significant enough to worry about so I rarely shut the grip off, but it is still a nice feature to have especially if you're limited to only a few batteries.
The only real downfall of this grip (which is the same as any competing battery grip) is that added weight and size increase you will build some muscle lugging your hefty DSLR around. Lets face it, the 5D Mark III is not a lightweight camera on its own (33.5 oz.) so adding the battery grip can be a serious burden for some weaker individuals.
In the end, I am very happy with my purchase of the Zeikos ZE-CBG5DIII and it saved me a great deal of money in the long run. This aftermarket battery grip's performance is on par with the genuine Canon version and it is well-built for the low price tag. While I don't expect it to fail me anytime soon, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a replacement Z-CBG5DIII if I ever have any issues since the value is exceptional for the price. In short, I would highly recommend this accessory for any Canon 5D Mark III owners who don't have a large budget set aside for accessories.