Friday, February 27, 2009

Nikon MB-D10 vs Phottix grip vs other third party grips

 My main DSLR is the Nikon D700 and to get more fps I decided to try the optional battery grip. Nikon offers the MB-D10 grip and there are numerous third party grips available. The Nikon grip is almost twice or even three times as expensive as some third party grips. I first decided to try the Phottix grip. I ordered this on ebay. I used this for several days. 

My impressions on the phottix grip.
 My usage pertains to D700. The Phottix grip was good and works as advertised though it feels cheap and you know where they cut corners.  My Nikon D700 immediately recognised the grip.
Actually it has all the features that the Nikon MB-D10 offers. There is a shutter button, AF-ON button, front and rear control wheels and the multifuntion selector. The wheels and buttons feel good and work fine. I did not try the additional remote that comes with this grip. My biggest gripe was the threading screw was not very secure and the whole grip wobbles a bit when being used. I was also worried about the electronic contacts too. And I will never mount this on a tripod since this does not feel sturdy and I am woried it is going to break (no i am not worried in fact I am sure that with a heavy lens like 24-70mm this will break).

Due to these concerns I bought the Nikon MB-D10. 
This a solid piece of gear and has a nice rubberised surface which just feels part of the camera. Most importantly the grip fit snugly to my Nikon D700. I used the AA batteries and the 8fps is sweet. The control wheels, vertical grip and shutter buttons feel so smooth compared to the third party grips that you will never feel this as an attachment but an integral part of the camera.

The camera recognizes the grip and uses the battery in the grip. (You can change this setting if you need to). You can shoot 8fps but you need 8 AA batteries. They last longer compared to EN-EL3e battery. If you use the EN-El3e though you do not get 8fps. You can use the optional EN-EL4/a battery also to get 8 fps but you need the additional BL-3 cover. Well I find this unacceptable since for the price this should have come with the grip. It does come with some nice touches though. The battery holder comes in a nice pouch. The electronic contacts in the Nikon D700 have a solid rubber cover which can be stored snugly within the battery grip without having the risk of loosing it. These some small but nice touches.

There are 2 disadvantages to the MB-D10 though. First it is very expensive (in my opinion) and second it is very heavy and the combination of D700 with MB-D10 is heavier even than a D3. 

My recommendation is to buy the Nikon MB-D10 and save yourself the trouble of having to buy a third grip and also the MB-D10 which you would end up buying anyway.  


  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I have been looking to see if anyone had an opinion. Seems most of the grips on Ebay are various third party grips and I am wary of going that route.

  2. I think the MB-D10 is heavier, is because it is made of magnesium alloy and not cheap plastic like the 3rd party grips. The MB-D10 is also weather sealed I think.