Recently purchased the Canon BG-E14 battery grip to replace a third party battery grip for my new EOS 70D. The reason for replacing the third party grip with the more expensive Canon grip was a problem with using AA batteries with the third party product. At the time, I thought the reason the AA batteries were not working was because the grip was not a Canon product.
Turns out the Canon BG-E14 battery grip also does not work with AA batteries, but I not sure now if it's the grip or the camera causing the issue. I need to use AA batteries because of camping for long periods of time (no access to electricity) in remote areas. The battery indicator will show “Full” for about five minutes, then quickly go down to empty. The camera will shut down after about 6 minutes and if you keep turning the camera back on then you can continue shooting a few more pictures. I have use other Canon battery grips in the past with AA batteries with no issues, so again maybe the issue is with the new EOS 70D.
Does anyone have any knowledge on what could cause this issue of the AA batteries not working with the EOS 70D battery grip BG-E14? AND how is Canon fixing this issue (since this is an expensive Canon product that is not working as designed)?
Were these either "general use" cheapo batteries, or alkaline batteries? The former may not work at all, and the latter won't give you many shots.
Read the instruction manual for the grip. I think you probably need MiMH batteries.
I mentioned in my post that I have used AA batteries with Canon battery grips in the past with no issues and that the BG-E14 does not work with AA batteries because the camera shuts down after about 6 minutes. I have tried Energizer MAX, Duracell Ultra and Rayovac Advanced, all with various resources. My Powerex 2700 NIMH rechargeable batteries don’t work at all in the BG-E14 grip. I used the AlphaPower model BC700 battery charger to test and refresh several sets of my Powerex batteries, but the BG-E14 with the 70D does not recognize the batteries (no power). The EOS 70D English “Basic Instruction Manual” page 32 states “With size AA/LR6 alkaline batteries at room temperature approx. 490 shots with no flash” when referring to the BG-E14 battery grip. This number seems reasonable, but the battery level indicator on the camera will show 100% down to 49% within a few minutes with fresh batteries than down to 20% after about six minutes. A fully charged set of Powerex will immediately display between “10% to no battery level” on the indicator when these batteries are placed in the camera. I have tried several sets of Powerex with the same results. I need to use AA batteries because of camping for long periods of time (no access to electricity) in remote areas, as an example over 10 nights I might have one night to access an electrical outlet. Do you know if there is any software reasons why the 70D/BG E14 doesn’t recognize certain battery brands (like Energizer and Powerex), but seems to have half power with brands like Rayovac and Duracell?
Canon's rechargeables are Lithium Ion batteries. If you were to plot a graph of the power output from the battery as it is drained, you'd find that it provides a fairly steady voltage and then only drops at the very end when the battery is basically dead.
Non-rechargeable alkaline batteries don't behave like this. The voltage slowly drops as the battery drains and this may be fooling the camera into thinking it's got a dead battery (because the voltage doesn't normally drop on rechargeables until the very end.)
I use Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables and, if you're planning to take a huge pile of AA batteries camping, then I'd highly suggest that you specifically get the Eneloop brand. The Eneloops are "low self discharge". Most rechargeable batteries loose an astonishing amount of their charge within just 24 hours of being charged up -- simply through "self discharge". Eneloops are designed to not self-discharge. Sanyo claims that a charged Eneloops will still hold 90% of it's charge even after sitting on a shelf for 1 year after being charged.
I use Eneloops in all my speedlites. I normally just use the Canon batteries in my 5D III battery grip... but I through 6 Eneloops into the AA battery tray just as a test. I'll let you know how long it lasts (so far I've shot dozens of shots in the last 10 minutes and the battery power indicator still shows full as I would expect).
One other question... is the WiFi enabled on your 70D?
I've been using the AA battery tray in my battery grip -- initially just to see if the power would drain down on it's own -- but then took about 50 shots and left it in over night, and took more shots. My camera is doing fine -- no issues with drain.
I am using those Eneloop batteries and haven't tested with alkaline batteries.
You might try the Eneloops in your AA battery tray for your grip and see how they do and make sure you're not enabling the radio (that will naturally cause things to drain more quickly.)
Here's a helpful video: