Any photographer who has had to carry extra batteries for an all-day shoot or for taking along on a trip knows the importance of a battery grip. Unfortunately, you need to make sure that the grip you're buying is compatible with the camera model you use.
However, there could be an easier solution on the horizon with photography publication Northern Lights uncovering a Canon patent for a universal battery grip. It's an idea so simple, it's a wonder it hasn't been done yet.
The patent, available to view on the US patent office's website now, describes a battery grip that seems like the ones already available, except this one, if it sees the light of day, will be compatible with several bodies by using different adapters.
This could be a cheaper alternative to buying a complete grip assembly for those who use multiple cameras on a regular basis, or anyone keen on upgrading to a different shooter.
Whether or not the grip will be compatible with other brands' systems is anyone's guess, but given how intensely competitive the industry is, Canon may only allow it to interface with its own cameras.
That said, there seems to be some nifty ideas here that could make this battery grip quite interesting. While it has the usual tripod mount, the patent talks about a moveable one, with little gears that could reposition the tripod mount to better balance different camera bodies.
What is unclear is how the battery grip will accommodate different battery types. While the Canon LP-E6N can power a large number of bodies – including the EOS 6D Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV DSLRs, and the current flagship EOS R full-frame mirrorless – there are other batteries that Canon cameras use.
Perhaps this will become clear if and when the battery grip is actually made – after all, not all patent ideas come to fruition.