Newbie Question: Alternative brand Battery Pack to Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack?

Started Sep 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
gisle
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In reply to plevyadophy, Sep 14, 2012

plevyadophy wrote:

I was looking into buying the CANON CP-E4 COMPACT BATTERY PACK (preferrably with the optional CPM-E4 RAPID CHANGE BATTERY MAGAZINE).

This is the new Battery Pack which is weather sealed to match the 1D bodies and latest EX 580 and 600 flash guns.

Anyway, the price is absurd. Approx £160 for the Battery Pack, which is nothing more than a hollow plastic case into which one inserts one's own AA batteries and there may be a small circuit board in there too to regulate current. The Magazine, well, don't even ask how Canon can justify charging a whopping £46 for that!!

There are more than one way to design an external battery pack - for a summary, see http://dpanswers.com/content/equip_batteries.php#pack

For instance, the Canon CP-4 is an inverter pack . It contains circuits that uses an inverter to “pump up” the voltage from those AA batteries to 325 volts. This significantly reduces recycling times, but it also makes it expensive.

However, I am loathe to pay those obscene prices.
So does anyone know of a good alternative make?

IMHO, no (at least not cheaper).

I have seen similar stuff on eBay, some taking 6 batteries and others taking 8 and some even having the spare magazine bundled as part of the price.

Ther cheap eBay packs are probably not inverter packs. They are simple low voltage packs that is just an alternative to your camera bag as a compartment for carrying spare batteries. They gain you nothing in recycling times. IMHO, the only difference between carrying spare batteries in such a pack, instead of in your camera bag, is that having them in the pack saves you from pausing shooting to load fresh batteries into the flash's own battery compartment when you run low.

YYMV, but personally, I dont think that is worth USD 30.

I am curious as to whether Canon's Battery Pack has some circuitry that makes it more reliable than many of these eBay clones? And even if it does, I don't think the price is justified so I am hoping that some third-party manufacturer makes something as relieable, well built and at a sensible price.

I am sorry to disappoint you.

There are cheaper third-party inverter packs that is supposed to be clones of CP-4 from e.g. YongNuo, but they all seem to have issues. I do not recommend getting them.
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