Common Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip Problems & Their Fixes
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Common Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip Problems & Their Fixes

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Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip Problems

The Canon 5D Mark III is one of their flagship cameras available on the market. This particular model came with both stock auto and manual focus modes which the 5D Mark IV lacked.

This made the camera very popular back when it was released. As a flagship camera, it performs incredibly well and is a professional-grade camera. But it eats through its battery like a monster.

Using a battery grip can help reduce this burden to allow for longer sessions. But this camera has issues connecting or recognizing a camera grip, especially third-party ones.

In this article, I will try to answer ‘why does Canon 5D Mark III battery grip not working’ and provide some simple solutions to using it flawlessly.

Features & Specifications of Canon 5D Mark III:

  • 22MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • 6fps Continuous Shooting
  • 61-point AF System
  • 100% Viewfinder Coverage
  • 01080p30 Video Recording
  • For CF and SD, dual card slots
  • ISO 100-25600(s); 50-102.800(ex)
  • 948g
  • Price: $2780

Here is the official compatible model of the battery grip for the Canon 5D Mark III.

Common Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip Problems

Unable To Communicate With BatteryGet a replacement Battery Grip if it’s from Canon.
Grip Capture Button Not WorkingDissemble the grip and clean the contacts under the button.
Issues With Third-party GripUse the same type of batteries and grip from the camera company itself.
Camera Buttons Not Working With The Grip OnTighten the connection between the grip and the camera.
The Camera Doesn’t Wake Up After Changing Batteries In GripReset the camera and send it back to Canon for inspection.

1. Unable To Communicate With Battery

This is an issue with the BG-11 grip for the Canon 5D Mark III. Canon 5D and 7D both have this issue.

The grip works fine with the battery that comes bundled with it. After switching them out with new batteries the camera shows an error message that says ‘Unable to communicate with Battery 2’.

This is also the result of the influx of non-genuine 7-digit copy batteries that amazon sold and called back after numerous complaints.

The Fix:

The most basic fix is to check if the battery grip is working fine. Try to insert some genuine Canon batteries and take a look. If the grip is not working properly then send it back to RMA for replacement.

If it works fine with known genuine batteries then the new batteries are most likely not genuine. Take a look at the batteries and then compare them to genuine ones.

2. Grip Capture Button Not Working

The grip screws into the body and communicates to the camera via the battery. The grip itself has identical buttons that work the same as the ones on the main body.

The quality of the buttons on the grip is not on par with the actual main body buttons of the camera. They seem hollow and sometimes carbon residue builds up between the contacts.

The Fix:

This is not a serious issue. Doing a thorough cleaning of the contacts between the camera and the grip should fix the issue.

Clean the contacts for the shutter system off with an alcohol pad. If the button is misbehaving, dissemble the grip and clean under it and the issue should be resolved.

3. Issues With Third-party Grip

Another common issue with third-party grips is that it is unable to handle a mixture of batteries. It can only operate flawlessly on the 5D Mark III with a pair of the same batteries.

Another issue is that the AA converter included with these does not work at all. The camera doesn’t even turn on.

The Fix:

Most third-party accessories and gear will not be completely compatible with Canon or Nikon due to reverse engineering. Refrain from using these third-party grips and accessories.

Also, refrain from relying on the AA module as those are mostly worthless apart from tested models of a known brand.

4. Camera Buttons Not Working With Grip On

When the grip is plugged in, the camera sometimes does this weird thing where it doesn’t recognize inputs from the buttons on its main body. Even worse, it doesn’t work as intended and settings keep changing randomly.

The power is on but the dials, shutter buttons, mode selection wheel and even the capture button on the camera do nothing when pressed. Only the buttons on the grip work.

The Fix:

This is most likely due to a loose connection of the grip or the buttons on the grip malfunctioning. It occurs when the grip is halfway between clicks and it causes the other buttons and dials on the body to quit responding.

The only fix to this is to take the grip off the camera and use it as is. Also, check if the connection is loose and tighten it up.

5. The Camera Doesn’t Wake Up After Changing Batteries In Grip

Most battery grips only hold a maximum of two to three extra batteries. Since the camera can be operated until both the batteries are drained, extra batteries need to be put in.

That’s when the camera doesn’t wake up at all. A very good reason for this issue is that the circuit board to the power supply has failed.

Other causes include a bad grip and dead spare batteries.

The Fix:

A full reset can get rid of problems like this. This video shows how to reset Canon 5D cameras. After resetting, remove the clock button battery with the main battery and keep it unplugged for over 30 minutes.

If this doesn’t fix the issue then there’s a high chance the circuit board to the power supply has failed. Send it back to Canon for a full inspection and they will fix and send it back to you.

Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip Problems

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn on the battery grip?

Attach and lock the battery grip. Turn the release dial to lock the battery grip into the camera after inserting it.

Do professionals use battery grips?

Yes. A lot of photographers who are enthusiasts and professionals, prefer to use a battery grip to shoot portraits or during a long day of photo shooting.

Is it worth getting a battery grip?

The increased size and grip make taking portraits a lot easier, and additional battery life is always a bonus. But the main advantage of a battery grip is that you can take it off any time you need a slimmer kit.

Are Canon battery grips interchangeable?

No.  Each grip is made for a specific camera model and they are generally not interchangeable between one camera and the other.


I have tried to answer queries on ‘why does Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip not working?’.

Specific models require specific battery grips from the camera manufacturer. So make sure to buy a grip that is 100% compatible and stray away from third-party grips that are not reputable.

I hope this article helps understand why your battery grip is not working and how to get it working again.