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Nickel-and-Dimed to death!

climb64

Chicago, US
96 posts

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climb64 Registered since 07th Oct 2006
Mon 17-Mar-08 03:22 PM

Anyone else out there need to vent about how Nikon seems to be nickel-and-diming us to death for accessories these days that should be free or inexpensive?

I have been an avid Nikon guy for 20+ years (e.g. I subscribe to this site!), but I've been getting a bit annoyed lately with Nikon--especially after buying the D300 and the MB-D10 (my 6th Nikon camera--starting way back with the FE2)

The BL-3 Battery door cover that is needed to use the En-EL4 battery in the grip should ABSOLUTELY be an included accessory! Nikon certainly knows that the vast majority of the MB-D10 purchasers are buying the grip so that they can achieve the advertised 8fps shooting rate--a much hyped advantage of the D300--which, of course, can only be done with the EN-EL4(a) (or AA--but that's not really a viable option as they last for about 2 seconds and die without any warning). So, they are selling us the grip for a hefty price (compared to others), and not even doing us the courtesy of including a simple plastic door cover that is required for the grip to become fully functional. I don't like it, but I suppose I can swallow it. . . and then I find out the they want almost $40 for this plastic "plug" door cover? are you kidding me! I truly feel as if I'm being extorted. Not to mention they haven't even managed their supply chain well, and they're very difficult to find--leaving the customer out in the cold.

Okay, now the MH-21 charger needed to charge the also overpriced ($120-$130) EN-EL4(a) batteries you'll need for your MB-D10 (or use a single EN-EL3e--what's the point?). Nikon completely dropped the ball on this one. For openers, it's not available ANYWHERE, leaving the D300 MB-D10 users completely stuck. No ship date even mentioned by Nikon to any of the major suppliers I've talked to. Extremely poor planning leading to extremely poor customer satisfaction. And when they finally do become available--$140 for a charger??? Again, are you kidding. This is truly offensive. A little bit more and I could pick up a cheap computer for the money. Please don't tell me about the "calibrate" feature or the advanced micro-processor control needed these days to charge Li-Ion--I don't buy it. Sure, a charger won't be $10, but it should be reasonable--like the Mh-18a which can be had for about $30 (or, close to $15, actually, if you buy a third party charger). Nikon is making a killing (well, if they actually ever get any out to their retailers!) on this thing, and I'm definitely not pleased.

And now the true Pièce de résistance . . . the MH-22 charger. Just bought one from Amazon since I'm leaving for a week of shooting--rock climbing-- in 6 days. I have a camera that can shoot 8fps (a huge reason why I upgraded--shooting primarily sports), but can't use it as such, since I can't charge my batteries--unless I bight the bullet and pay $250 for the MH-22 "double charger." Yes, I said $250. Absolutely ludicrous price. This is a BATTERY CHARGER! It takes AC house current, converts to DC, regulates it, and sticks it into a battery while monitoring the battery. I know Li-ion is more complicated that Ni-Cad or others, and of course I'm simplifying my description of the electronics for the purposes of this post, but come on! You're getting close to some actual CAMERA prices here. But this is the killer, the real killer . . . upon receiving, opening and reading the directions for my new MH-22, it turns out that the almost double priced MH-22 is NOT actually a double charger at all. $250 for a SINGLE battery charger! This charger does NOT charge two EN-EL4's at once. It's simply a MH-21 with an extra hunk of plastic attached to the side (a "bay") that will HOLD your second battery while it waits. It will only charge (or calibrate) ONE battery at a time, beginning the second battery when the first one inserted is completely finished. For the extra $100 to $120 to get the MH-22, you get the amazing convenience of not having to take your first battery out and stick the second one in to charge it. Wow.

I'm a guy who likes companies who make fairly priced, honestly marketed, high quality products (and I'll pay for quality and performance--e.g. D300: a fantastic camera!) WITHOUT lots of hidden or extra charges, or really unpleasant surprises. Recently, I'm having a very hard time putting Nikon into this category.

(second SHORT post will be made about the MH-22 just to let people know it's a single charger, without having to read my rant!)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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