Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review: Meike MK-D5200 Battery Grip For The Nikon D5200

*Before I get into my post, please note, there will be pictures of the grip as soon as I get them sorted. I had some on my iPad, which I am posting this from, however, it doesn't seem to want me to show you them. I've spent quite some time arguing with my iPad about this, sadly however the pictures are still a no go, but I'm winning the I've turned Siri off.*

I've never used a battery grip before, if I'm honest I never really saw the benefit of them. If I wanted my camera in portrait mode, I'd reach that extra couple of inch to the shutter release. If one battery ran out of juice, I'd switch it out. That said, when I saw the Meike MK-D5200 on Amazon for £24, I thought I'd give it a go...and oh how my views have changed.

Nikon don't make an official battery grip for the D5200, I'm not sure why, but after a quick Google search it appears that Nikon brand battery grips generally start at around £150. I think it's relatively safe to say that if Nikon made a D5200 battery grip, you'd be saving well over a hundred quid with the Meike grip, which is nice, especially considering it works so well.

Build quality on the MK-D5200 is very good, it feels very similar to the build of the D5200. I know with some Meike grips people have mentioned their disappointment that the build is all plastic, however, considering the D5200 is a fully plastic construction, I don't find this to be an issue. Unlike some of the other cheaper grips on the market the MK-D5200 has rubber sections. These sections provide more secure handling, as well as making the grip appear like part of the camera instead of a totally separate piece just stuck on...and helps provides the 'pro' look that is expected of us.

The MK-D5200 attaches to the camera snugly, held in place by a screw that threads into the cameras tripod mount (which is replaced by one on the bottom of the grip). I find with the grip attached it's easier, and safer for me to hold my camera. I can be somewhat of a klutz at times, especially holding smaller items, the added surfice area alleviates this issue for me, so far anyway...I hope I haven't just jinxed myself! The grip features two battery slots, giving the life of two batteries without the need to swap them out. Despite the two battery compartments, it does work with just one battery inserted. With the grip attached and battery inserted the camera is powered, however, if you want to use the built in shutter release you need to attach the supplied cable. The cable for the shutter release fits comfortably from camera to grip without much excessive overhang, which is good if like me you find long wires a hazard to your health, and the health of your electronics. The shutter release has all the bells and whistles the camera's built in release has...half press to focus, fully press to take your shot. Whilst the release feels a little cheaper and not quite as smooth as the camera's, it's certainly smooth enough and works well.

Overall the MK-D5200 is a great piece of kit. It's cheap, looks the part, doubles shooting time eliminating the need to disrupt the flow of a shoot, makes shooting in portrait mode a little easier, and most importantly for me, lowers the risk of my clumsiness destroying my camera. As Nikon don't make an official grip for the D5200, and I've never used a battery grip before, I've nothing to make a final comparison with. What I can tell you though is, of all the third party grips I looked at before making my purchase, this was hands down the most loved...and I love it too.


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