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Nikon MB-D10 Battery Grip
Reviews Views Date of last review
4 12800 Sun August 5, 2012
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
75% of reviewers 192.00 8.0
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Description: Nikon MB-D10 Grip is an ergonomically designed battery grip for Nikon D300 DSLR for extended stability and potential for vertical shooting. The Nikon MB-D10 grip is supplied with a Nikon cradle (MS-D10EN) for an additional Nikon EN-EL3e battery use, and (MS-D10) for 8x AA batteries use. Alternative shutter-release button, multi-selector and AF start buttons for use when holding the camera in the vertical shooting position, as well as secondary main- and sub command dials.

With any option the grip gives extended shooting time and easier handling when taking portraits.

With The Nikon D300 you can get 8fps (Frames per second) but for that you need to use either of these combinations

Nikon MB-D10 Grip + BL-3 (sold separately) battery chamber cover + Nikon EN-EL4a battery.
If you are going to use EN-EL4A you then need to buy Nikon MH-21 battery charger
Nikon MB-D10 + 8x AA batteries (MS-D10 supplied with MB-D10 for use with 8 AA batteries)

In both the solution you will save money and get the best result from your Nikon D300 Camera.

Kit content
Nikon MB-D10 battery Grip
Nikon MS-D10 for AA Batteries
Nikon MS-D10EN for EN-EL3E
Nikon soft Case for MD-D10
Nikon plastic cover for MB-D10 Connectors
Instruction manual
Keywords: Nikon MB-D10 Grip


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JMitchell
Loves the place

Registered: January 2007
Location: Berlin
Posts: 4945
Review Date: Fri March 7, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: 219.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Portrait shooting a godsend, same button config as landscape orientation: 2 command dials etc. useful, allows faster shooting and use of AAs when desperate, balances weight well
Cons: Makes the camera heavey, expensive, have to buy extra attachment to use En-EL4a batteries

There's not much to say about this, it's a grip. However, I think it's probably one of the best grips. It is very well made indeed, the rubber on the handle seems more grippy than that of the camera grip-part itself.

The button config is usefully identical, and having the two command dials is even more useful. The "AF-On" button can also be set to have the same function as the user-configurable button on the front of the body itself, which is quite a nice touch.

It allows for the 8 fps shooting with either AAs or the En-EL4a Nikon Professional battery, which is great fun, but Nikon being Nikon, you have to buy another accessory for the battery compartment to use the En-EL4a.

One thing that was slightly difficult to get used to at first is the fact that the portrait shutter release is more sensitive than the main camera one. If you've just focused, you might accidentally be shooting straight afterwards! Not really an issue, and sometimes deals with my indecisiveness .

Uses a clever 'gear-tightening' system to lock to the body to prevent loosening, and prevent over-tightening. This means that the tightening wheel always feels loose, whereas in fact it's not. I
It does add a fair amount of weight to the already bulky feel, but counters that with added stability when shooting.

I think it's a worthwhile addition to the kit, and the added shooting speed might be enough for some people to opt for teh D300 over the D3 for sports if the budget's tight, plus the APS-C sensor might be appealing for use with tele lenses.
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VinnyP
Forum Regular

Registered: February 2006
Location: Surbiton Surrey
Posts: 1147
Review Date: Sat March 8, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: 160.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well made adds 8 FPS useful controls works with EN-EL4
Cons: Needs different door for EN-EL4 battery

This goes back to the days of the old Nikon F4. It takes the D300 and effectively makes it into a D300s. This is why the D300 is the DX replacement for both the D200 and the D2x.

It's ergonomically well thought out, attaching quickly and very securely with storage for the bodies rubber terminal cover. It feels like it is part of the body and I am sure like the legendary F4s many togs will leave it attached all the time. The controls fall easily to hand and the addition of a multi selector in the vertical format adds a lot of functionality.

Unlike the grip for the D200 this is built as well as the main body from the same magnesium alloy. It also is more versatile when it comes to batteries. This adds a lot as battery performance on the D300 is very impressive. With the optional (for me almost essential as I have a good few EN EL4 batteries) cover the EN EL4 battery will last for 1000s of shots and can be changed on a tripod. The EN EL4 or AA batteries will raise the maximum frame rate to a useful and impressive 8FPS.

For me this grip is a no brainer as it makes the D300 2 bodies in one. With this MB D10 it's a real D2X replacement 8FPS at full resolution and incredible battery life. Vertical handling is really improved retaining the ability to select focus points on the fly.
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grease spot
Pixalo Crew

Registered: January 2011
Location: Westmalle, Belgium
Posts: 3336
Review Date: Tue December 27, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: 250.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Comfortable vertical grip, 8+ FPS, control layout same as horizontal
Cons: Tripod mounting weak, on/off switch disorientating, multi-switch very stiff

After a couple of months use I have in general been happy with this grip. I bought it for stability more than speed of shooting or for the extra battery capacity. In this respect it has helped to hand-hold longer lenses, especially when loaded with 8 AA batteries. The (significant) extra weight really stabilizes the whole unit for lower shutter speeds, but might be too heavy for some when used with a long lens raised for long periods.

The portrait shutter release is lighter to operate than the camera's and I like this as it seems more controllable, but can set off a shot if you accidentally brush it.

Initially I had difficulties with AA cells discharging very quickly but bought a set of 2700maH batteries and all was fine. This outfit needs good battery power, and is possibly better with the EN-EL4 (which is rated at only 2000maH). However, I found I can get the equivalent of the EN-EL3a or better from the AA cells in terms of number of shots. Although the camera shows only 7.7fps with the AA cells, over 8fps is possible. Focusing is slightly faster with both AFS and non-AFS lenses. Although video is not necessarily a prime factor for DSLR owners, with batteries in both the camera and the grip the chance of running out of power while filming is reduced.

My score for the MB-D10 grip reflects a couple of factors that I find Nikon needs to address. It is surprising that VinnyP has remarked that this grip is better than the D200 grip - I have a 30year old MD-12 fitted to a Nikon FE and that is rock solid. I would have been very disappointed with the D200 grip then. In paying Nikon's prices one expects consistent quality. Nikon may well have improved on the D200 grip but there are weaknesses in design and manufacture:
  • * When mounted on a tripod with a heavy lens that does not have its own tripod mount, the camera flexes on the tripod. I use a Manfrotto RC2 QR plate and this is not big enough to prevent movement at slow shutter speeds. When mounted on a broader base it is better but still not free of movement. I take the grip off for tripod shots with heavy lenses - what a pity. (It could be a combination of the rubber base of the grip and the QR.)
  • The separate "Controls On/Off" switch operation is reversed in respect with the camera main On/Off switch, which means that I often attempt to switch the wrong way first. I have noticed that the D7000 grip is similar. The inbuilt grip of the D3 is as per main switch as I would expect.
  • The multi-directional selector switch is stiff on my version and requires significant force to select directionally. 90deg (orthogonal) direction is reasonable, but 45deg (diagonal) selection is more or less impossible, which makes using this switch for portrait mode focus selection a serious pain (literally and metaphorically). This is no where near the quality of the selector on the camera.
  • While the contact cover from the camera can be stored in the grip, there is no storage for the contact cover of the grip, risking loss. It does have a tiny loop through which a cotton can be threaded and the latter attached to something (I wrap it around the spare battery insert/sled which is then stored in the soft pouch provided for the unused sled (there is no case for the grip itself ).

* I took a look at various grips before deciding on the Nikon grip. Of those third party grips I had seen none seemed to have any strength. However, after I bought the MB-D10 I had the opportunity to look at the Phottix Premium Series Professional version which seemed in every way the same as the MB-D10, even the placing of the screws, with 2 significant differences:
  • The support plate fitted to the inside of the Phottix battery grip is wider and should be stronger than the MB-D10 when mounted on a tripod.
  • It comes with a EN-EL4 battery sled (not compatible with the MB-D10). Nikon ask around 25ukp extra for the EN-EL4 sled. However, the battery and charger still need to be bought.
    Nikon make a Power Kit that includes the MB-D10, EN-EL4, charger and sled. The price is sadly not a lot different from the items bought separately.

The Phottix can be bought for around 100ukp less than the MB-D10 and might be worth considering. I would not consider the cheaper version of the Phottix as this seems to be a re-badged JJC unit which I thought to be very flimsy, with no rubber grip.

Finally risk of fire from batteries with exposed terminals means that the MB-D10 grip will shortly no longer be available on the Japanese market although world distribution is still expected to continue. From what I can gather all new battery grips and cameras will be required to use batteries that have guarded terminals.
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dabhand16
Pixalo Crew

Registered: June 2006
Location: Dunstable Bedfordshire UK
Posts: 30261
Review Date: Sun August 5, 2012 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: 139.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Build quality, comfortable to hold
Cons: Poor focus point selector, expensive, EL-EN4 adaptor not included

I've shied away from getting battery grip for a long time. I've never had a problem with battery life and the extra bulk and weight have always put me off. Recently I've been doing a lot of studio work in portrait orientation, so in spite of not finding it awkward or difficult to use the camera in portrait orientation, the convenience of the alternative control set and relatively conventional hold on the camera was attractive.

Browsing around I clicked on the MPB link on the Community Forums page and found that they had a used MB-D10 in exl++ condition priced at 139. This was a substantial saving on the new price of around 240 so I bought it. First impressions were good. It is comfortable to hold and the main controls are replicated. But as Grease Spot highlighted in his review above, the focus point selector is stiff and it is difficult to move the focus point accurately. Maybe I'll get used to it, but as I'm only intending to use it for portrait and studio work, this might take some time.

I think that the grip is made from magnesium alloy - the same as the camera body, so the grip is strong and the controls and inserts are just as you would find on the camera. Grease Spot commented on the strength (or lack of) of the tripod thread insert. There is a full length re-enforcing strip inside the grip that the tripod thread fitting is secured to. I have no idea of how much strain it will take, but I guess we have to trust the Nikon engineers. It might well be the same as the way the thread insert is secured in the camera body, and I've never had any doubts on the strength of that. Maybe that is because you can't see it! The flex that he talks about might well be due to the rubberised base of the grip, but I would have thought that the footprint of the Manfrotto RC2 QR plate would help stability rather than have the tripod mounting directly onto the grip. Like him, I am not intending to use the grip with a tripod.

As has been said before, there is an 'L' shaped recess in the top of the grip for the rubber bung that covers the camera contacts, but nowhere to keep the cover for the grip contacts. The switch surrounding the shutter release does work the opposite way to the one on the camera, but it is not a power switch. It serves to switch off the grip controls so that if you are using the camera in landscape orientation you can't accidentally release the shutter or change settings with the thumb wheels.

The grip comes with a battery carrier for an EL-EN3e, or 8 AA batteries. The fittings for the grip to use the EL-EN4 batteries is an extra. I find this unacceptable considering the new price of around 240. There are plenty of third party grips that include this as well as offering other features too at a fraction of the price.

I've gone against the trend for recommending this grip. I think that it is of great quality, but it is very expensive and the focus point selector is difficult to use. I think that the average user will be better off with a cheaper third party grip. I have reviewed two other Battery grips for the Nikon D700/D300s/D300 here:

http://www.pixalo.com/reviews/showpr...uct/572/cat/40

http://www.pixalo.com/reviews/showpr...hp/product/573

I was very impressed with both of these grips and the cheaper one was only 26.50! Build quality of both of these grips is not as good as the Nikon, but in use I don't think that it makes any difference.
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