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05/31/12 Nikon MB-D12 to grip or not to Grip

I spent sometime today at my local dealer, and got to look/feel the Nikon MB-D12 grip. Strange design IMO coming from Canon.  I just find it strange, that such a well designed grip doesn’t allow the user to have (2) EL-EN15 batteries running in the grip at the same time, instead to have (2) installed, you have to keep one in the camera and to get that battery out to charge/change everything has to come back off.


Well made, good feel. When added to the camera it gives you a very nice addition in both balance and weight. However:


1. You can only add (1) EN-EL15 within the grip. This struck me as a bit strange as the conventional design of most vertical grips is that you remove the battery from the camera body, and then double them up in the grip. (At least the Canon grips I have used in the past). Here you can leave one battery in the camera body, and then have your 2nd battery in the grip. Which means of course each time you need to charge the battery in the camera body, off comes the grip. 😡

2. Even if you don’t mind taking it off, I use an L bracket. Currently RRS is not shipping the L bracket for the D800 and has no pics gets on their site, however I am hoping that it will allow you to slide out the tray that holds the batteries. I am using an older RRS generic L bracket and the only way it mounts is to block the battery tray from opening. Long term not where I want to go.

3. If the RRS L bracket does allow for the battery tray to slide out, that only will help if you run batteries in the grip. If you want to have a battery in the camera, then you still will have to take the L bracket and grip off each time you have to charge. Not really user friendly.

4. The other solution would be to purchase the EN-EL18 which will give a much longer life. This is the standard cell apparently for the D4. Price is about $169.00 for the battery, which is OK, but to charge it, you have to purchase the $350.00 charger. I looked on Nikon’s site and can’t find any reference to a single charger. I guess they don’t sell the D4 charger separately. Long term I like the idea of the EN-EL18, but that’s all told about $600.00.

To me a much more simple design would have been to allow (2) up loading of the EN-EL15.

Great look and feel on the grip, and if have big hands, like me it’s pretty much a needed accessory.

Does anyone know if you can purchase the charger for the D4? Or does Nikon ship the same 2 port charger with the D4?

One note: you don’t have to remove the L bracket to get to the battery in the camera, the grip and L bracket will come off as one piece.

06/01/12:  After using the grip on the D800 in the field, I have found that I like the NIkon design better.  You can take the grip off the camera for storage in your bag then simply reattach it when you are ready to shoot.  With the Canon solution, once the grip is attached, you have to keep it on the camera at all times as to remove it takes a major re-configuration of the camera/grip/battery combination.  The Nikon grip is a big bulky item and it’s nice to be able to remove it quickly to place the camera in a tight place in my camera bag.