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Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E4

J. Harrington USA (Massachusetts) , Jun 07, 2009; 07:13 p.m.

I'm considering purchasing this battery pack. I presume it comes with or is an actual battery.

Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E4

The description of it at B&H explains how it will accept a magazine which holds 8 AA batteries.

I presume it comes with a sealed single battery? Can someone clarify this?


Steve Crist , Jun 07, 2009; 07:29 p.m.

It holds 8 individual AA size batteries.

Erik Ingvoldstad , Jun 07, 2009; 07:40 p.m.

No batteries are included. Most users (I have the CP-E3) will put 8 rechargeable Ni-MH batteries in it – although it of course works fine with regular AA's as well.

J. Harrington USA (Massachusetts) , Jun 07, 2009; 08:03 p.m.

Thanks for the info. Based on the price, I thought it was a battery. Based on the price and the lack of a battery, I'll pass!

Ed K (North Carolina) , Jun 07, 2009; 08:26 p.m.

Don't dismiss the CP-E3 so quickly. For the price it is one of the best values out there. You will pay a lot more for an external battery solution t\for the 550/580 Speedlites. For the price you get a real high voltage recycle that is guaranteed not to blow up your flash.
I use a CP-E3 and a 580EX to shoot indoor sports (High School and College Wrestling) and I regularly shoot 800 - 1000 photos on a single set of batteries. I also have a spare battery tray with another set of batteries which I rarely use on the same day. I roate the battery trays (take out the used one and insert the spare, then recharge the used one, which becomes my spare and so on).
8 AA NiMH will run about $10.00 at Wal-Mart, try replacing a any other external battery for that.
There is one problem though; the case doesn't have a belt clip (it has a belt loop which I find to be awkward) so I put one on for an old cell phone case.

Steve Crist , Jun 07, 2009; 09:14 p.m.

I agree with Ed - it's a great device. I get faster recycle and more flashes per charge with the battery pack. I have a pair of packs and Canon 580 flashes that I use for portrait work (main/fill lighting scenario). I can just fire away with no concern for recycle time. Just keep a second battery tray loaded and you can keep shooting forever. I purchased the Domke shoulder strap that has the non-slip rubber woven into the strap. This prevents the pack from slipping off my shoulder. See photo. Steve

Larry Gindhart , Jun 07, 2009; 09:33 p.m.

I've heard that the battery packs on eBay from China are good? There are several models. Some sport space for 6 AAs, while others have space for 8. Anyone have any experience with them? Heres a link to one item: (link)
And, here's another link to a list of them: (link)

Chad Hoelzel , Jun 12, 2009; 07:43 a.m.

I second the CP-E3/4. Both are really good packs. Very fast recycle even at full power. They are pretty much a must for any wedding/portrait shoot. I don't even look at the light on my flash anymore. Just focus and fire picture after picture.

Kosta K , Sep 27, 2011; 01:10 a.m.

While this thread has been idle for a while. Here is a dumb question. I assume the battery pack supplements the batteries inside the flash. I'm not able to find anything that spells that out.

Willie Dones , Dec 02, 2011; 02:19 p.m.

@ Kosta K.
The Canon CP-E4 can be used in two modes on the 580 EXII. You can use it with the internal batteries giving you slightly faster recycle times and longer times between battery swaps or you can just use the CP-E4 for the flash and have the internal batteries power the flashes electronics. Just in case I didn't make this clear you still have to use four batteries for the flash so that's 12 batteries you need. 8 for the CP-E4 and 4 for the flash.
I have mine set to use all 12 batteries for power.
I usually shoot with the following settings on a Canon 40D and 580 EX II with Diffuser:
ISO: 800
f5.6 with Canon 24-105m 4.0L lens
bet 1/60 to 1/125 shutter (Sometimes f4.0)
ETTL for Flash
I've been using it for about three months now. I can get two back to back shots with flash then wait a second or two and then pop another two quick shots. The more back to backs you take the longer the recycle times. I've gotten used to this limitation so I've adapted my shooting style when using it. That being said I've shot over 600 photos with flash at an event without having to swap out batteries.
Hope this helps. :-D

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