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K-7 Battery Grip (non-Pentax)
Posted By: cfugle, 01-16-2013, 02:39 PM

Hello Pentaxians,
Having recently succumbed to the Pentax fever here on the forum, my used K-7 finally arrived from Taiwan (eBay), a marvellous 16-45mm SMC Pentax Zoom, 18-55mm WR (new) kit lens for travelling but I am always frustrated by not having the ability to shoot all day without the hassle of extra batteries, chargers, car chargers and so on when travelling. My camera bag seems to warrant full checking every time and the more I bring the more I seem to have to demonstrate , holding everyone up at security checking. So with my previous Sony A33, I found a third party battery grip that allows my little Sony to hold 3 batteries at a time (although each barely squeezes out 300 shots realistically at a time). It was very plastic'icky' construction and not terribly well made. As the camera was never designed for a grip, they came up with a concoction of cables to wire the grip to the camera's A/C jack instead. It worked well enough but in my earlier posts keep away from humidity or water of any sort. My last trip to Barbados was a photographer's joy but the grip dies in use with salt spray/humidity killing it off.

So today with my Pentax K-7 in hand I started my search for a clone grip for the K-7. eBay had literally hundreds to choose from but they seemed to fall into really cheap to decently built but higher costs. I decided to try the higher cost unit and today it arrived and I ran it through my personal testing. Here are the photos unboxing and my humble opinions with the shots .

(I apologise in advance for not knowing how to embed the photos properly with the text)

IMG-6578.jpg - The shipping box was sturdy, recyclable and no usual language errors, no damage shipping halfway across the world! - My rating 4 out of 5 stars
IMG-6581.jpg - The battery cartridges are solid and well made for AA and the rechargeable Pentax lithium ones. The recharge cartridge has the same SD card slot as the Pentax unit and I had no issues snapping a card in.
IMG-6584.jpg - Inside the battery grip. Clean contacts, no humidity damage and cartridges cleanly slide into place with a nice click sound. No jamming after many attempts.
IMG-6588.jpg - Tested all the buttons and dials and they function well and promised online. All are solid engagements, none were mushy feeling.
IMG-6591.jpg - As I only have one battery so far (awaiting 3 more to be delivered), I figured the camera would not work if the only battery was in the battery grip opposed to the camera. It worked perfectly, with nary a peep or complaint.

I cannot believe how wonderful the camera with grip feels. It is as if the grip is a perfect mate to the camera. Like a long lost love reunited again. The grip's feel is solid, well covered with a similar textured finish (not perfect but close) and I look forward to giving it a decent workout on vacation. They claim it matched Pentax unit by being dust proof and moisture resistant (I will certainly test this out on vacation). And all for $42.75 CAN dollars compared to the over $250 for the original. Yes I may be disappointed with the unit after a long test but I will drop the forum a line after my vacation is over. (Purchased on ebay: Battery grip pack for Pentax K-7 K7 DSLR D-BG4 Camera | eBay)
Regards
Chris Fugle

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01-16-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Thanks for the review, I've been thinking about one of these for a while.
01-17-2013, 05:55 AM   #3
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Forgot to mention that the manual claims "buttons, body joints, and retractable parts are dust-proof and water-resistant."
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01-18-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for the review. Do all your functions work properly with this grip? I ask because I bought another clone and found that the e-dials only worked one way, they didn't reverse meaning you had to go back to the original e-dial to change f-stop, etc., and even though I changed the settings to look to use the battery grip batteries first or automatically the camera couldn't see on the LCD screen that there was another battery source.

Shooting vertically worked and that's the only thing that did.

Just wondered if you encountered any of the above problems.

Thanks,
Richard

01-20-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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I hope this person is not connected to the shop that is selling the grip on ebay?
01-24-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardwong Quote
Thanks for the review. Do all your functions work properly with this grip? I ask because I bought another clone and found that the e-dials only worked one way, they didn't reverse meaning you had to go back to the original e-dial to change f-stop, etc., and even though I changed the settings to look to use the battery grip batteries first or automatically the camera couldn't see on the LCD screen that there was another battery source.

Shooting vertically worked and that's the only thing that did.

Just wondered if you encountered any of the above problems.

Thanks,
Richard
It appears that everything works smoothly. I cannot compare the grip to any other makers or to the original Pentax unit but the dials work both ways properly with the exception of all grips dials that can become "stuck" between 2 indents preventing the camera dials from working. It appears to be a software issue opposed to a hardware issue. Pentax grips have this issue as well. A few minutes practicing seems to solve that by feel alone. No, I do not have any connection to any ebay seller other than myself. I just am on a limited budget as this Pentax system is a second one after my Sony system I acquired a few years back. I only provided the ebay link to ease comparisons to other sellers. I find ebay seller pages not well documented in general. From a previous posting on this forum, it appears there are 2 different qualities for 3rd party grips. One cheaper and less expensive than the other. Without a clear cut description or review I took a guess buying this one and so far it has been working well.
01-26-2013, 04:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfugle Quote
It appears that everything works smoothly. I cannot compare the grip to any other makers or to the original Pentax unit but the dials work both ways properly with the exception of all grips dials that can become "stuck" between 2 indents preventing the camera dials from working. It appears to be a software issue opposed to a hardware issue. Pentax grips have this issue as well. A few minutes practicing seems to solve that by feel alone. No, I do not have any connection to any ebay seller other than myself. I just am on a limited budget as this Pentax system is a second one after my Sony system I acquired a few years back. I only provided the ebay link to ease comparisons to other sellers. I find ebay seller pages not well documented in general. From a previous posting on this forum, it appears there are 2 different qualities for 3rd party grips. One cheaper and less expensive than the other. Without a clear cut description or review I took a guess buying this one and so far it has been working well.
Hi David - so you can use the extra batteries in the battery grip then as well? I ask this as I put in batteries in my clone grip and changed the menu option but the camera didn't recognize the batteries in the grip, only the camera.

Thanks!
02-15-2013, 02:19 AM   #8
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I received the grip today. All the buttons seem to work perfectly. But the grip is made of plastic, rather fragile and absolutely not as solid als the camera itself. Be careful when you want to use it!

04-23-2013, 01:12 AM   #9
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The grip presented here is known as the "type 2" knock-off. It copies the original very closely with the exception of weather-sealing and considerably worse button and wheel quality.

The "type 1" knock-off -- often sold under the "Meike" brand -- deviates from the original in a number of ways but has considerably better buttons and wheels than the "type 2" grip. I'd hence go with the "type 1" even though it has the operation of the front wheel reversed. I'd try to fix that myself as it should only require swapping two cables internally.
07-22-2013, 03:17 PM   #10
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Hello cfugle and Pentaxians, I have been using the same model as cfugle tells us about here on the form on my K7 and i am Darned pleased for the overall quality, build and functionality of my grip. My super wife hust bought me a new K5 and I just ordered the grip for it. After several months of shooting the only littlie glitch I have would be the tripod stability with heavier lenses. I give it 4 stars out of five !
07-22-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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My aftermarket grip came in the same box as shown above. Whether it's the same grip I don't know. I've never taken it out of the box since buying it last year because I managed to get a genuine grip just after ordering the clone.

(I might use it one day now that I own both a K-7 and K-5.)

I suppose I should do a side-by-side comparison and discuss it here.
11-12-2013, 07:16 AM   #12
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I've a similar knock-off and on mine there is a neoprene seal around the multiway plug so that water can get between camera and grip, but not into the camera. Veyr pleased with it - everything works as it should, it allows 4 AA battery use (the main reason I bought it - as an emergency power supply on long trips) and though the wheels aren't rubber covered as in the original they work OK. Having fun using it in the vertical plane.

Mind you makes it as big and heavy as my old TLR!
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