If you read this blog regularly, you know that I like using battery grips for their convenient vertical grip and shutter release. Recently I’ve been testing Canon’s EOS 80D, which uses the same the same BG-E14 battery grip ($149) as the EOS 70D, which provides improved handling and accepts two LP-E6 lithium-ion batteries that essentially doubles battery life for all-day shoot. Thrifty shoppers might consider Neewer’s version that sells for less than $35 (not a typo) on Amazon. I’ve not personally tried this specific grip but have a Neewer non-battery grip for my Olympus E-M5 Mark I and it’s quite nicely made, especially for the price.
Let’s talk about Lens hoods. These are simple devices, nowadays that are mostly made from plastic although some manufacturers will try to add some fancy name or adjective—hey, they’re plastic. The lens hood for Canons EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, to pick an example, is the EW-73D that sells for $34.95, while a Vello, sold by the same retailer is $16.95. Now there is a real possibility that the Canon version is slightly better, maybe a lot. But there’s just as likely a possibility that’s it’s not
Whenever I get an e-mail from a reader asking about what kind of gear they should buy, I always say—and I mean it—that I am not comfortable spending your money. It’s all about your photography budget and you know what that is better than me.