The Canon BG-E16 is the battery grip designed for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR. All of Canon's Battery Grips are fundamentally similar to each other in design and functionality, and once again, the BG-E16 includes the basics.
DSLRs without a built-in vertical grip (all non-1-Series bodies at this time) have the advantage of being compact and light, but these bodies are not comfortable to shoot with in portrait/vertical orientation - especially for long periods of time. An accessory battery grip solves this problem by adding a vertical grip complete with shutter release and other relevant buttons. And, the grips allow a second battery to be used for double the battery life.
Being easily removable, battery grips allow the DSLR's other advantages to remain available.
To install the BG-E16, the LP-E6N Battery is removed from the 7D II and the battery door is detached. The 7D II provides a small spring-loaded latch release switch on the battery door to make its removal especially easy. The battery door then attaches to (installs into) the grip for storage (snapping into place over a small instruction diagram).
The BG-E16 slides up into the empty battery compartment and locks into place via the tripod socket screw on the BG-E16. The BG-E16 provides its own tripod adapter threads – this functionality is not lost.
The BG-E16 holds two Canon LP-E6N Batteries (backward compatible with Canon LP-E6 Batteries) that deliver double the number of shots or video time from the DSLR. Alternatively, use 6 readily available AA batteries in the included Canon BGM-E11A Battery Magazine (a small nylon bag is now provided to store the unused battery magazine in). The BG-E16 works fine with only one LP-E6N battery – a second LP-E6N battery is not required.
Don't forget to turn the grip's power switch on.
The Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip is very nicely built and, like Canon's other high end battery grips, it integrates well to the 7D II body with little flex remaining. The amount of battery grip flex is slightly more than with the integrated 1-series grips (with minor tripod use implications), but Canon did a nice job of meshing the grip to the camera.
Batteries load into the end of the BG-E16 grip and orient in line with the grip, allowing a less-squared and notably-better ergonomic design than some of Canon's previous battery grips with their rear-loading batteries. Still, the BG-E16 grip appears very similar to the Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip which is moderately bulky – bulkier than the built-in grip. With the BG-E16 attached, expect the normal grip to become even nicer with more landscape for you hand to grip the camera with.
In use, the BG-E16 will make portrait/vertical shooting much easier and more comfortable. I can feel reduced fatigue difference in my arms and shoulder after using a battery grip for even a moderately long shoot. And, I can hold a gripped camera steadier in vertical orientation - my right arm can be stabilized against my body instead of being held overhead.
New for a Canon battery grip with the BG-E11 was the inclusion of an additional Multicontroller/joystick positioned for vertical use. The new Multicontroller appears positioned just modestly less conveniently than the 7D II's built-in Multicontroller (lower in relation to the grip), but it promises to be far easier to use in vertical orientation than the 7D II's on-camera Multicontroller. This position is likely as-good-as-possible without increasing the overall size of the grip - leaving room for the thumb.
New for a Canon battery grip is the inclusion of an AF Area Selector. This selector was introduced on the 7D II, making the 7D II's battery grip a logical first choice for also including the selector.
The BG-E16's large thumb and shutter release overhangs appear to provide an especially sure handgrip. If you are active while shooting, a more-sure grip is going to be especially welcomed.
Overall, like the rest of Canon's battery grips, the BG-E16 is very useful. The Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip is definitely be a nice-to-have accessory. As usual, the price of this grip will be the most limiting factor to its acquisition.
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