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Battery Grip BGS1 for the LUMIX S1 & S1R

Photo Moment - April 17, 2019

If you own the LUMIX S1 or S1R, you probably know about the BGS1 battery grip; an accessory for the S-series cameras that adds vertical grip buttons, a second battery, an extra custom function (Fn) button, and even includes a handy storage slot for the grip covers that you’d otherwise inevitably lose!

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Mounting the Battery Grip on Your LUMIX S1 or S1R

On the bottom of the camera, there’s a rubber flap you have to peel off that protects the contact points for the grip. 

Battery grip contact cover on the bottom of the LUMIX S1The rubber door protects the contacts on the camera when the grip is not attached

Then on the grip, there’s a cap to remove that protects the pins that connect to the bottom part of the camera.

Contact cover cap on the bottom of the battery grip BGS1This cap covers the contacts on the BGS1 itself

So you don’t lose them, the rubber door fits inside the cap, and then…

The rubber cover from the S1 or S1R fits inside of the plastic cap from the BGS1The rubber cover fits inside the plastic cap

…these utterly losable parts get stored in the grip itself!

Battery grip BGS1 plastic cap and rubber camera contact from S1 or S1R store together inside the BGS1The plastic cap with the rubber door inside of it store safely in the battery grip itself

How Many Batteries Can You Use? 

You can use two batteries, or just one. A battery can be either in the camera, or the grip, or both. It’s up to you!

Powering the S1 with A/C Power

If you look closely on the battery door on the bottom of the camera or the grip, you’ll see there’s a little hole that pops open so a cable can go through. Use this if you want to use a dummy battery that connects to the wall for continuous power.

The battery door on the S1 or S1R and the BGS1 both have a cable hole for an AC adapterAC cable hole found on the bottom of both the camera and the battery grip

But keep in mind you can also power the camera from the included USB-C cables.

USB Charger & Battery Priority

When you plug in the USB charger, you’ll see on the top display that it’s charging. The status of both batteries (internal & external) are shown.

Charging status display on LUMIX S1 for S1 and BGS1 when USB C power is connectedWhen charging the camera via USB-C, you’ll see the charging status of both the camera and the battery grip

You can also control which battery is going to get used first in the camera menu system. Most people will want the grip battery to be used first, so it can be swapped out once it dies without having to remove the grip. Keep in mind that to change the in-camera battery, you’ll have to remove the grip. Personally I’ve been charging my batteries with the USB-C charger, and so have never taken the grip off!

Here’s how to set battery priority. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera, and navigate to the Wrench (SETUP) settings, then to IN/OUT, and to Battery Use Priority. You can set priority to the Battery Grip (BG), or to the BODY.

Wrench (setup menu) > IN/OUT > Battery Use Priority on the LUMIX S1 and S1RThe Battery Use Priority menu is in the SETUP menu (the wrench), under IN/OUT
NOTE: Setting the use priority also sets the charge priority!

When the external battery runs out of power, it will automatically carry over to the internal battery seamlessly, or vice-versa.

Battery Information 

Just above the Battery User Priority menu is Battery Information. This will tell you the status & health of your batteries:

Battery information shows the remaining battery level and the battery health of each battery in the LUMIX S1 or S1RHere you can see the remaining level and the health of each battery in the camera

With two batteries in the camera, you can of course shoot more photos. These estimates are from Panasonic; I haven’t actually tested this myself:

  • S1R = 660 photos with two batteries
  • S1 = 720 photos with two batteries

Tripod Socket

On the bottom of the camera there’s a ¼-20 tripod socket with an anti-rotation pin — a feature I’m very happy to see!

Anti-rotation pin on the bottom of the LUMIX S1 and S1R battery grip BGS1The anti-rotation pin on the bottom of the battery grip

Button Layout on the BGS1

Most of the buttons on the grip are a repeat of what you find on the camera.

The button layout on the LUMIX BGS1Button layout on the side/top of the battery grip
  1. Power switch (Turns on or off only the grip, but not the camera)
  2. Shutter button
  3. WB (White balance)
  4. ISO
  5. +/– Exposure Compensation button
  6. Rear Command dial
  7. Front Command dial

When you flip to the other side of the grip:

Button layout on the back of the BGS1Button layout on the back/bottom of the grip
  1. Auto focus AF ON button
  2. Joystick for moving focus point
  3. Customizable Fn function button

To reprogram the Fn button, navigate to Gear menu > Operation 1 > FN Button Set, choose setting in REC mode or PLAY mode (you can program what the button does while shooting vs playing back photos independently). On the bottom of the display, you’ll see the Fn button on the battery grip (the grip must be switched ON for it to appear in the menu here):

The Fn button on the BGS1 is programmable in the Gear (Custom) > Operation 1 > FN Button Set menuProgram the Fn button in the Gear (Custom) > Operation 1 > FN Button Set menu

Wrap it up!

Overall, the LUMIX S Series S1 and S1R battery grip BGS1 features a comfortable design that allows vertical grip access to the most important camera functions, and an extra battery for extra-long shooting sessions.

Panasonic BGS1 battery grip for the LUMIX S1 and S1R

Panasonic BGS1 battery grip for the LUMIX S1 and S1R

Are you using a vertical battery grip on your camera; whatever camera type you’re shooting? Is the extra size and weight worth the convenience of vertical shooting and extra battery life? Sound off below!

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