Got this baby delivered today. The MB-D12 Vertical Grip for my Nikon D800. At a premium £300 these are NOT cheap for an accessory but it’s a near enough essential one if you’re using your camera to make money.
It provides a few more benefits than just being able to hold the camera firmly in a portrait orientaion. It’s an additional battery holder, extending the lifetime before having to replace them. It can hold a D4 battery or AA batteries too in the included adaptor. This is mighty useful if you’re out in the field without an electricity supply to power your normal charger. Other controls on the grip are additional shutter release, main control dials and an AF multi-selector. It also boosts the standard 4 fps continuous shooting to 6. It’s very solidly constructed, being mainly magnesium alloy, the same as the camera.
So, the negatives! Well, for a start, as you can see from above, it will make the footprint of your D800 quite a bit larger and heavier. This will be quite a burden on your shoulders if carrying it for any length of time without a good comfortable strap. It’s debatable whether the additional battery capacity is a significant benefit. It’s pretty easy just to carry a spare around and slip it in when the installed battery runs out of charge.
Is it worth the money when there are cheaper 3rd party alternatives? Only you can answer that one but, for me, yes – just about. It’s not going to be beaten for quality and should easily last you the lifetime of the camera without any issues. I find the multi-selector easier to use than the one on the camera and that’s a big plus for me. It balances the camera out nicely with larger lenses too.