I like my SLRs with vertical grips. Every SLR I’ve had has had one except for the very first. So, when I purchased the Rebel T6, one of the first things I ordered was a vertical grip for it: the Vello BG-C7 battery grip.
First things first. I would normally order the Canon part for a Canon camera; however, Canon does not produce a vertical grip for the Rebel T6/EOS 1300D, which is unfortunate. The Vello grip does do everything it’s advertised to do. It provides extra grip area, a second shutter release, and space for two batteries. That’s about all.
Unfortunately, it’s not everything I’ve come to expect from a vertical grip attachment. This is a pretty simple item, so I’ll just cover it briefly.
First, It’s extremely lightweight, and doesn’t feel very sturdy. It’s entirely plastic, and quite simple in construction.
There -is- a slot for storing the battery cover door from the camera. This is a nice feature.
The wheel that tightens the ¼”x20 stud to the camera body has a break in it which is probably designed to prevent overtightening, but leaves the attachment feeling just a bit shaky.
The battery compartment is just a door on the back of the grip into which you can insert two batteries. Inside, there are only two contacts for each batter, and they are clearly wired in parallel, meaning that the camera operates from both batteries at once, rather than using power from one, then switching to the other when it’s discharged.
In order to use the shutter release, you have to connect a (supplied) cable with right-angle connectors between the camera grip and the camera body, which is an awkward arrangement that leaves both covers unfastened and subject to breakage. To be far, this is not really Vello’s fault. The T6 doesn’t provide any internal connection for a battery grip’s shutter release, so this is the only way to connect them.
There is no function dial on the battery grip. Again, this isn’t Vello’s fault, it’s a shortcoming of the design of the T6.
Vertical grips I’ve used in the past have always included an additional camera strap lug, and the Vello grip does, as well, though it’s in a somewhat strange place, partway down the bottom of the grip, rather than the corner, as with others. It’s okay, but not what I would prefer. In any case, given the seemingly shaky attachment of the vertical grip to the camera, I’m not sure I really trust hooking up a camera strap to it, anyway, and certainly not with any heavy or expensive glass attached to the camera.
In summary, the grip does everything it can reasonably be expected to do: grip surface, battery capacity, shutter release, strap attachment, and storing the camera’s battery compartment cover. And the price point (US$59.95 on B&H) isn’t crazy. On the down side, it’s pretty flimsy feeling in both construction and attachment, the electrical connections for the shutter release are really sub-standard, and it doesn’t offer what I’d consider standard features, mainly because it can’t include them due to the T6’s design. This is their offering for the T3 and T5, as well, so the same points apply.
My final verdict: don’t buy an EOS Rebel T6/EOS 1300D, spring for the T6s/760D or T6i/750D. They cost more but have substantially better features overall. If you do have a T6/1300D, and must have a vertical grip, then get this one, it’s better than nothing, and it’s really your only option.