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Nikon MB-D11 Multi Power Battery Pack Review

Nikon MB-D11 Battery Grip  


 

September, 2011

Most people refer to this as a battery grip instead of a battery pack, so that's what I'll call it for this review. The Nikon MB-D11 was announced in September of 2010 as an accessory for the D7000 DSLR camera and is currently only compatible with said camera. The grip holds one Nikon EN-EL15 battery or six AA batteries. On the grip is a shutter release button and two command dials for vertical shooting. There's also an AE-L/AF-L button and a multi selector toggle button. The grip attaches to the camera via a mounting screw which connects to the tripod mount. The grip has it's own tripod socket on the bottom so there's no need to remove it if you want to use your camera with a tripod. The grip also has a strip of Power/Signal contacts which inserts into the bottom of the camera. There's an attachment wheel which tightens the mounting screw to insure the grip is secure. Unlike previous Nikon grips there's no need to remove the camera's battery cover when attaching the MB-D11. On the down side, only one battery can be inserted in the grip, while one battery remains in the camera. In order to charge the battery in the camera you need to remove the grip. However, the D7000 has a setting to choose which battery the camera uses first. So if you use the grip's battery first you'll rarely need to charge the camera's battery.

Nikon MB-D11 Battery Grip

Although Nikon calls the MB-D11 a battery pack it serves more to improve camera handling when taking photos. The EN-EL15 battery lasts a very long time. One would be hard pressed to use up the entire battery charge with a heavy day of shooting. So to me the doubled battery capacity the grip adds, although nice to have, isn't necessary for most situations. What the grip really adds is more stability to the camera. I have small hands so I have no problem getting a firm grip on the D7000. But with the MB-D11 added my grip is more comfortable and I can access the back buttons more easily. The battery grip also helps when I use big lenses, making the camera more balanced in my hand. But to me the most important aspect of the MB-D11 is the vertical shutter button. Shooting portraits and vertical images is so much easier. Using the camera shutter release when turning the camera vertically always feels awkward to me. With the battery grip the camera is much more stable.

I highly recommend the MB-D11. It adds stability and balance when taking photos. Those of you with large hands will welcome the extra size. If you use large or heavy lenses the extra support the grip provides will help keep the camera steady. If you ever turn the camera sideways to take vertical photos or portraits then the vertical shutter release can be invaluable to you. Oh, and it also doubles the battery life of your camera.

There are a few things to consider though. If you are used to traveling light the grip will add size and weight to your camera. The MB-D11 with the EN-EL15 battery will add about 12 oz. The grip measures 5.2x2.0x2.9 in. (WxHxD), so if you have a small camera bag you might have some trouble fitting it in. Another thing to consider is the price. It retails for around $240. Not exactly cheap. There are a few different knockoffs of the MB-D11 available at much cheaper prices. I've read mixed things about them on several internet forums. Some people wrote they work fine. Others have written that they are cheaply built and the buttons break easily. I've also read that the battery didn't meter properly. And in some instances the EN-EL15 battery didn't fit in the grip correctly. So even though you may be saving a few dollars by buying a cheaper copy it may not be worth it in the long run.

For additional info visit Nikon's product page here.





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