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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:32 pm 
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I just received my JENIS Canon 40D LCD Grip from eBay and I got pretty satisfied with it, so I decided writing an review for you guys out there thinking about buying the BG-EN2 from Canon.

Well, first of all, let's talk about pricing and functionalities:

BG-EN2 costs around 180 USD shipped to Brazil on eBay. It gives you, obviously, a portrait grip with the following controls: New shutter button, new Main Dial, new AE Lock button and new AF Point Selection button. The AE and AF buttons still work for playback, as the ones in the 40D's body.
The grip also gives you the opportunity to use 2 BP511A batteries, doubling your shooting time and also the option to use 6 AA batteries to power your camera up, giving you more versatility when you don't have a charger or electricity near you.
An alternate "On/Off" button is present so you can turn the grip on and off, impeding you to accidentally press the buttons on it and control your camera.

JENIS costs around 95 USD shipped to Brazil on eBay too, about half of the Canon's price. It will deliver every single thing Canon's deliver (listed above), PLUS:
- Time lapse shooter: so you can take up to 99 pictures automatically between time frames, starting at a certain hour/day.
- Shooter release timer: so you can automatically take long exposure pictures at a certain pre-programmed moment, again, up to 99 pictures.
- Infra Red controller (Optional): so you can use an separately sold IR commander to shoot
- Clock/Date/Stopwatch: so you can adjust the time you want and the grip will take the shots at that time

Now, what's in the box:

- LCD Battery Grip
- An extra battery for the clock (plus one in the grip already)
- Instruction Manual
- AA batteries holder
- 40D's batteries holder

Image

Image

It will install the exact same way Canon's does, so you'll have to remove your 40D's battery and the battery tray cap. As Canon's Jenis has a place to hold the cap on the side too, so you won't lose it. After that, you put the grip in place and twist the nut in the tripod mount. It will attach without loses and get very solid. The building material is plastic and it does feel cheaper than Canon's, but still pretty good. It's not perfect, but absolutely acceptable. It is not weather sealed so rain is a big no no for this toy.
Here some pictures of the batteries holders and how they attach:

Image

Image

Once mounted in your 40D it will look like this:

Image
(and yes, I know I should clean my LCD! :roll: )

Image

On this picture you can see the detail of the building quality and the IR Receiver for the optional IR Remote control:

Image

Once you power it up, you'll have to set your watch. Put the small 3 position key for the RIGHT, press SET for 1 second and set hour, minute, seconds, day, month, year and 12/24. Put the 3 position key back to the center and you're done.

Putting the 3 position for the left, you can set the timer shooter and shutter release configurations. Set the interval for up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 99 seconds, the number of pictures you want to take (up to 99) and press the "ST/SP" (start/stop) button and you're done. The camera will start to take the pictures automatically.

Since it works like an remote timer, you gotta get your subject manual focused before start shooting. The grip WON'T auto-focus automatically for you each shot, but you do can use the grip shooter button to auto-focus yourself. Knowing this will save you time and pictures I spent :roll:

Another good thing is the stop watch that can count minutes, seconds and miliseconds. It won't shoot in this mode, but it's good for you when manually operating the camera so you can know how much time passed between two shots.

Last but not least, the LCD is backlighted by an blue light turned on and off by an small button. It's good to work on the dark but it drains power from your camera's battery. Forgetting this turned on can dry your batteries out.

VEREDICT:

For half of the price you can get a much more versatile piece of equipment. I am very satisfied with it and, besides it feels cheaper than Canon's is still a pretty good finished grip. I can't say much about durability now, but it gave my 40D the option to shoot blooming flowers without the need of a computer. I am pretty satisfied I got this and would recommend it for anyone thinking about Canon's BG-EN2 if you don't shoot on the rain or snow. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:28 am 
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Thank you for your review, Alex. Very exhaustive.

I'm planning to buy the same Janis grip for my Eos350D, but I still have a doubt I've not been able to clarify in my searchs (and I can say I've searched a lot!): you say you can program up to 99 pictures automatically, but does it have a "continuous" mode? I mean, can you program it to take photos at a certain interval indefinitely (until the memory card is full or the battery runs out... or you decide to stop manually)?

I would like to use it for time lapse photography and I find 99 shots very few if I want to take movies of flowers blooming or other long processes.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:15 am 
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Unfortunately, no, it does not. At least I didn't find a way to do it like you said yet.
But I think 99 pictures is a considerable number so all you have to do is press the "Start" button again once the 99 shots are taken. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Oooh! What a pity!
My doubt appears because I've seen this grip in Ebay, but I found also another one very similar in Satechi (actually the images show it so similar that I believe they are the same... but Satechi does not specify brand name and I can not confirm my suspects). Satechi specs do state that theirs has a "continuous" mode... but the price is notably superior than in Ebay (and the images are very similar and i still believe/hope they are the same).
The limit of 99 shots is very low (at 24 images per second they supose only 4 secons). As you say I can go pressing the start button on and on, but it would be better if I could leave the camera alone for hours (or days).
I will try to decide...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:06 pm 
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...Oh, sorry, and thank you for your answer.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:14 pm 
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trencapins wrote:
Oooh! What a pity!
The limit of 99 shots is very low (at 24 images per second they supose only 4 secons).


I wonder which DSLR will give you 24 images per second. The Canon 1D Mark III gives you 10 per second.. :P
Anyway... one thing you can do is set the camera to Burst mode (on the 40D 3FPS or 6.5 FPS) and set the grip to keep the shutter button active. It will "press" the button indefinitely and you'll fill your memory card. The bad news is that you can't set the time for this, so it will take all the shots at 3fps or 6.5 fps to start to end. Maybe that is too high...

Again... I'm not sure if the Janis won't do what you want. I just could not find it... it maybe does... :wink:

And by the way.. I took a look at Satechi and I think the LCD grip is the same, but it's more expensive because it comes with the remote control, while with mine it was optional. ANd there they say "Multiple Frame Function (up to 99 frames)" too.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Quote:
I wonder which DSLR will give you 24 images per second. The Canon 1D Mark III gives you 10 per second..
Anyway... one thing you can do is set the camera to Burst mode (on the 40D 3FPS or 6.5 FPS) and set the grip to keep the shutter button active. It will "press" the button indefinitely and you'll fill your memory card. The bad news is that you can't set the time for this, so it will take all the shots at 3fps or 6.5 fps to start to end. Maybe that is too high...


Sorry, I'm afraid I didn't explain myself properly. I take the shots sequentially (ie 1 shot each 30 s, that is 99 pictures taken in 49,5 minutes) and then I link them all in a movie to be reproduced at 24 fps, so I will have only 4 seconds of movie. This technique is used to speed up slow processes (ie flower blooming or movement of clouds) to study them or simply to get interesting effects).

Quote:
And by the way.. I took a look at Satechi and I think the LCD grip is the same, but it's more expensive because it comes with the remote control, while with mine it was optional. ANd there they say "Multiple Frame Function (up to 99 frames)" too.


They say more (literally from satechi.com page):

Continuous Shooting with set interval function (1 second-100 hours), Multiple Frame Function (up to 99 frames), Single Frame long exposure function can be set between 1/8000 of a second up to 100 hours.

...And by the way, only an IR remote is not enough to explain a difference of $35 or more. You can find one by $4 only.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:52 pm 
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trencapins wrote:
Continuous Shooting with set interval function (1 second-100 hours), Multiple Frame Function (up to 99 frames), Single Frame long exposure function can be set between 1/8000 of a second up to 100 hours.


All that the Jenis will do either:

Continuous Shooting with set interval function (1 second-100 hours): That's the time between each shot. You can set it to take a new shot from 1s up to 100 hours after the last one.

Multiple Frame Function (up to 99 frames): This is the number of shots it will take before stopping. Each shot will be taken after the time set before.

Single Frame long exposure function can be set between 1/8000 of a second up to 100 hours: This will be the time it will "hold the shutter button pressed" for each shot, so for instance, you can set the grip to take up to 99 long exposure photos (like... 4 minutes), but only up to 99 frames.

:(

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:32 pm 
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OK, I understand. I believed that "continuus shooting" they meant "shooting forever" or "non-stop shooting".

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Very good review, the Jenis is definitely worth a consideration for me.
For the future that is, I first need a 40D to begin with ;)

Just wondering, but does the battery grip have a tripod mount of it's own?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Citruspers wrote:
Very good review, the Jenis is definitely worth a consideration for me.
For the future that is, I first need a 40D to begin with ;)

Just wondering, but does the battery grip have a tripod mount of it's own?


Yep. It does.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:50 pm 
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Alex_Venom wrote:
Citruspers wrote:
Very good review, the Jenis is definitely worth a consideration for me.
For the future that is, I first need a 40D to begin with ;)

Just wondering, but does the battery grip have a tripod mount of it's own?


Yep. It does.


Thanks, that was a bit unclear for me :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:38 am 
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I definately thought about picking up something like this as well. But I was able to find an original canon grip for a great price. Here in North america, kijiji.com or kijiji.ca is becoming very popular and a lot of people have original grips. I believe I paid $120 cdn for my BG-E5 grip. The quality is fantastic. The material is still plasic but not quite as good as the plastic on the Canon body itself. I guess the body is crafted from better material being made and japan and the grip was made in china.

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