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Old Jun 11, 2008, 11:34 AM   #1
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I was just pricing out some Nikon accessories. The Nikon MB-D10 battery grip ($259.99 at Aden Camera in Toronto), EN-EN4a battery ($149.99, Henry's), MH-22 battery charger ($224.99, Henry's) and the BL-3 battery grip cover ($39.99, Henry's).

Can some one recommend some good EN-EN4a/EN-EL3e alternative brands at MUCH better prices?

Though, I did see the Nikon EN-EL3e at www.amazon.com for $36.81 USD. Not bad. It's roughly 50% less than what it would cost in Canada.

And if any one knows where to buy the other above mentioned accessories for less (in Canada or US) please chime in.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 9:17 AM   #2
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I don't know that you'll find any place that's reputable that will be significantly cheaper than the prices you're listing. They are all in high demand, and are similiar to the camera bodies in having fairly standard pricing across the board. Reputable companies are all going to be priced in the same ballpark, give or take a few bucks. Batteries and grips are made by some 3rd party vendors, and these items can be alot cheaper than the Nikon made versions. However, their quality is dubious at best, especially when you're talking about batteries. 3rd party grips tend to feel cheap and plasiticky and may be missing other features found on the Nikon grip. I just don't believe in skimping on batteries...the D300 is a $1700 (USD) camera...why buy something that may not be completely functional, (or may even cause damage in the case of batteries to save $20. That being said, I did use a 3rd party battery in my D50 for a awhile with no problems. I don't remember the manufacturer, but I purchased it from Best Buy.
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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Hello RJ,

Well, regardng batteries I did find the EN-EL3e selling for 50% less at www.amazon.com(compared to what I'd pay locally here in Toronto). As I mentioned.

Just looked on Samys Camera's website and did see some of the listed Nikon accessories for slightly less. The MB-D10 grip for $10.00 less (I know it's only $10 but still...), the EN-EN4a for almost $50.00 less...the other two items (MH-22 charger and BL-3 cover) were slightly more expensive by a few dollars. So I suppose if I look...I should be able to get a better deal in the US (while I'm living in the US...after July 8th).

If I bought those items locally it would have cost me $674.96 CAD. Just for 8fps and a rated 3000 shots per charge using the EN-EL4a battery. Hmmm.... That and it adds roughly another pound of weight to your camera. Not crazy about that. Maybe I'll just order another EN-EL3e from Amazon.com. Will have to see...
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 12:22 PM   #4
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Just for 8fps and a rated 3000 shots per charge using the EN-EL4a battery. Hmmm.... That and it adds roughly another pound of weight to your camera. Not crazy about that. Maybe I'll just order another EN-EL3e from Amazon.com. Will have to see...
FYI - http://steen.lykking.dk/?p=42
-> This is free and no weight added!
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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NHL wrote:
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Just for 8fps and a rated 3000 shots per charge using the EN-EL4a battery. Hmmm.... That and it adds roughly another pound of weight to your camera. Not crazy about that. Maybe I'll just order another EN-EL3e from Amazon.com. Will have to see...
FYI - http://steen.lykking.dk/?p=42
-> This is free and no weight added!
Have you tried it?

Honestly I haven't even used the CH feature on the camera yet. And really what's the difference between getting 6 or 8 fps? I don't think having an extra 2 fps will make much if any difference for most of us.At least for the hobbyist.

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Old Jun 12, 2008, 1:04 PM   #6
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Honestly I haven't even used the CH feature on the camera yet. And really what's the difference between getting 6 or 8 fps? I don't think having an extra 2 fps will make much if any difference for most of us. The only reason I can see for a hobbyist to buy the MB-D10/EN-EL4a would be if you knew you would easily be shooting more than 1000 shots at a time. For me that isn't likely. Not at this point.

It depends on what you're shooting. Sports/action shooters appreciate the extra speed (there is a big difference between 6 and 8) and the grip imroves usability for those who shoot in portrait mode. You also get the ability to use AA's in a pinch (which also gives you the 8fps). Alot folks just like having a bigger camera. I agree it's pricey, (especially when compared to other grips, like the D80's), but the added features are worth it for alot of people who use this camera.
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 2:06 PM   #7
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rjseeney wrote:
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Honestly I haven't even used the CH feature on the camera yet. And really what's the difference between getting 6 or 8 fps? I don't think having an extra 2 fps will make much if any difference for most of us. The only reason I can see for a hobbyist to buy the MB-D10/EN-EL4a would be if you knew you would easily be shooting more than 1000 shots at a time. For me that isn't likely. Not at this point.

It depends on what you're shooting. Sports/action shooters appreciate the extra speed (there is a big difference between 6 and 8) and the grip imroves usability for those who shoot in portrait mode. You also get the ability to use AA's in a pinch (which also gives you the 8fps). Alot folks just like having a bigger camera. I agree it's pricey, (especially when compared to other grips, like the D80's), but the added features are worth it for alot of people who use this camera.
As I said, I haven't even shot in CH mode, so I can't really comment on the advantage of an extra 2 fps. Just doesn't seem like that much extra. I mean if you were comparing a camera with 3 fps vs a 9 fps sure. Guess I might see what you're saying when I've been shooting in CH mode for a while.

As for portrait mode...how hard is it to be supporting the camera with your left hand with your right hand on the grip? That and if you're using a tripod you could use a L-bracket and a quick release on the ball head. You could quickly change from landscape and portrait.

Using AA batteries? I suppose. But I'd assume that is if you manage to drain the EN-EL3e (rated 1000 shots) and also drain the power from an EN-EL4a (rated 3000 shots). That's a heck of a lot of shooting. Though, I suppose there could be days where you might forget to charge your EN-EL4a and are out in the field. In which case AA are easy to get a hold of.

People liking big cameras? Yep. I've seen people like that. I was at a multicultural festival in 2006. Saw some guy with two pro bodies hanging from his neck. I was thinking "God, his neck must be hurting something awful!!". And what also got me was...he didn't look like a "pro". It was like he borrowed the two pro bodies to walk around with to look cool.

Heck I was considering the D3. Umm not because it is a pro body. More for what it could do but soon realized how for me as a hobbyist it would be overkill. That and you would have a portrait grip permanently afixed to the body. Don't like that. If you can loose some weight from your camera body...that much better!

Will I still end up buying the said items? Not at the moment. Hopefully these parts will still be available in 2-3 years.
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 2:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
As for portrait mode...how hard is it to be supporting the camera with your left hand with your right hand on the grip? That and if you're using a tripod you could use a L-bracket and a quick release on the ball head. You could quickly change from landscape and portrait.
I always said the same thing....until I used a grip on a camera for the first time. It's much more comfortable for extended periods of shooting and much easier to adjust controls with the grip. It's something you don't think about until you actually use it. No, it's not difficult or impossible to use the camera in portrait without the grip, but if you do alot of shooting this way, it's worth the money. I'm glad it's an option on the D300...you can use it when you want (or need to), and take it off when you want to go lighter.
I don't understand folks who want a grip for their d40's or D60's. The main advantage of these cam's is their small size and portability. Throwing a big grip on them, kinda defeats that purpose. I think there is a small group of photographers that like to play the "my camera is bigger than your camera" game.
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 5:45 PM   #9
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rjseeney wrote:
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As for portrait mode...how hard is it to be supporting the camera with your left hand with your right hand on the grip? That and if you're using a tripod you could use a L-bracket and a quick release on the ball head. You could quickly change from landscape and portrait.
I always said the same thing....until I used a grip on a camera for the first time. It's much more comfortable for extended periods of shooting and much easier to adjust controls with the grip. It's something you don't think about until you actually use it. No, it's not difficult or impossible to use the camera in portrait without the grip, but if you do alot of shooting this way, it's worth the money. I'm glad it's an option on the D300...you can use it when you want (or need to), and take it off when you want to go lighter.
I don't understand folks who want a grip for their d40's or D60's. The main advantage of these cam's is their small size and portability. Throwing a big grip on them, kinda defeats that purpose. I think there is a small group of photographers that like to play the "my camera is bigger than your camera" game.
Good point. I might change my mind about the portrait grip too. And yes I do like having the choice of using it or going light. It would have been great for the D3 if you could have done the same. As I said I was considering it but wegiht is very important to me. Being forced to carry around a 3 pound camera body just doesn't sit well. Actually I think the only reason one should buy a D3 is if you are a working photographer and "require" the abilities of D3. Otherwise I'd say the D300 is a more "practical" camera.

Regarding the D40's and D60's...I agree. It would be funny seeing some dope trying to "look the part" with a D40 or D60 and a portrait grip. Eventually they would stop using it as people buying those cameras usually aren't into lugging around a lot of gear. There will always be posers.

Maybe, I'll pick up the gear one of these days (shrug). Onto other topics...
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 10:55 PM   #10
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Being forced to carry around a 3 pound camera body just doesn't sit well. Actually I think the only reason one should buy a D3 is if you are a working photographer and "require" the abilities of D3. Otherwise I'd say the D300 is a more "practical" camera.
I tend to agree...

-> My other camera is a 1DMrkII - Like the D3 this is already a big and heavy camera as most dSLR of this caliber are with the portrait grip permanently built right in for the larger battery which I seldomly use. IMO it's much quicker to flip your camera 90 degree with your elbow for portrait than rotating the camera and reposition your grip... (and then rotate back for landscape) with your index finger temporary off the shutter release (both times)!
If you do shoot in the portrait mode all day then I tend to agree that it's more comfortable, but I shoot mostly landscape and the portrait mode is rather an exception than the rule.

I like to keep my D300 small and light as an alternative. It's single battery can already last all day filling an entire 8G card and more more so I don't see the point in adding a grip... If I have to carry more weight I rather put it in a faster or longer lens! :?
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