Let me start off my blog with a post on my latest camera gear purchase of a battery grip for my camera.
Why the battery grip? - I didn't buy it for the looks nor it's functionality. Let me explain.
I'm not a wannabe who wanted my camera to look like a D4s or a Pro camera. The last thing I want is for heads to turn when I take out my camera. Nor am I a guy who complains "Oh my god, I have to keep my elbow up in the air leaving me vulnerable for a purple-nurple attack." I agree, it is slightly harder to take photos in the portrait position, especially in low light conditions when the shutter speed is low.
I bought it because of personal reasons. I upgraded to the Nikon D750 + Tamron 24-70 (IS/VC/VR) from a Nikon D90 with Kit lens. The weight difference is considerable, ESPECIALLY the lens. It just feels like the lens and gravity are always scheming, waiting for the moment when your fingers loosen the grip (out of tiredness) so they can yank the body out of your hand and send it crashing to the ground.
A bit more context (again). I'm not a strong guy. I have girly fingers, the Nikon D750 doesn't have a very meaty grip AND I have tennis elbow.
For me, the camera grip wasn't for the functionality of portrait position shots (although it is an advantage). It was more for balancing the lens and giving me a better ergonomic feel.
Why Meike and not MB D16?
Meike - Rs 6,500 (If purchased in India, it doesn't come with a wireless remote)
Meike - USD80 (If purchased in Amazon US, comes with a wireless remote which has superb reviews)
Nikon MB D16 - Rs 22,000 to Rs 23,500. Depends from which online retailer you're purchasing from. It could be cheaper in physical stores who buy/sell cameras in bulk.
The MB D16 is pricey because of high quality and feel. You just bought a Meike coz you're a cheapo.
I have no doubts that the MB D16 is of supreme quality but I'm not gonna pay 1/5th the price of my camera for a battery grip. The Meike will never be able to match Nikon's quality of material or the feel but it gets the job done for me.
Would you attach a strap to the bottom of Meike battery grip?
I haven't tried it, because I don't use shoulder/holster straps. I use the neck strap but wear it around my shoulder while I'm getting into vehicles, etc but otherwise I wrap the neck strap around my wrist and always hold the camera. If you're a person who let's the camera dangle by your waist using a shoulder strap, I wouldn't keep too much hope on the Meike. Check out the metal strip inside the grip (below), which is what your camera will be relying on. The decision is upto you.
- Cheap but doesn't look it until close scrutiny
- Does the job
- You can use AA batteries (6) in case you lose charge in the EN EL15
- Meike brand right under the Function (Fn) button may not be something true Nikon fans would like. Although, if you have a 24-70 or any larger lens, it'll get easily hidden when you're holding the cam.
- Not confident on its durability. You can hold the grip alone to take portrait shots, no probs there. But if you're gonna shake the camera violently holding the grip like you're the master of rain dance (not sure why anybody would do that unless they took Shia Labeouf seriously and just did it), I won't blame the Meike if it gives in. It creaks if you squeeze it hard enough, come on.
I'm neutral about the buttons on the battery grip (Shutter, AE/AF-L, Joystick and dial) because let's face it, its not a top of the line product. If you're gonna expect Mercedes/Volkswagen level of finish for the price of Tata/Mahindra/Maruti, the latter set can't be blamed.
As long as the MB D16 costs 1/5th the price of the camera, I'll buy the Meike again without hestiation. It's cheap, does the job, doesn't cause battery drain, gives me ergonomic advantage and the additional buttons are good value for money. Aaaand, if you get the US version, you get a kickass 2.4g wireless remote.
The following video helped me get a good idea of the product. Have a look.