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Battery decision already paying off

Ned_L

Philadelphia, US
8049 posts

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter Member
Fri 04-Oct-13 12:09 PM

I recently added a D800 to my arsenal. Traveling as I do, from pole to pole, continent to continent, I have run into many locations which have no facilities to quickly repair photographic equipment. Heck, on many trips I don't ever see any facilities of any kind, except when going to and from airports, for much of anything, save some food and other living essentials. Therefore, traveling with backup equipment is essential.

My primary camera is a D4. On a recent trip to the Arctic region I had a D700, a former primary camera as my second camera and backup. A third of the way through the trip the D700 died. That was a great excuse to get a D800. That helps in two ways. I have a new backup, and I have new capability. While the D800 is no substitute for the D4, it complements it, and isn't a bad substitute for it, in a pinch. (I've picked up another D4 (used) while I was at it. The seller, who primarily does portraits and landscapes, was going to a D800 instead, he told me. The price was too good to pass up, it had few actuations, and it's great for a second camera for events for an assistant, but I digress from the post.)

The problem I ran into was similar to the problem I had with the D700 backup, too much extra equipment with which to travel.

I've always purchased all my DSLR's with vertical grips. The grips provide the heft and extra size I prefer for handholding my DSLR, as well as providing ergonomic controls when in portrait orientation, and much more battery power to keep the camera going long after a gripless camera's power would give out.

The problem was that with the D700, and the standard battery of the D800 (Nikon EN-EL15) I needed another charger and multiple battery types.

Fortunately, with the Nikon MB-D12 vertical grip for the D800, there is an option to use the larger and more powerful, Nikon EN-EL18, by purchasing the Nikon BL-5 Battery Chamber Cover for MB-D12.

I now need to travel only with Nikon EN-EL18 batteries for all of my DSLR's and need to bring along only a single charger the Nikon MH-26. That reduces the equipment I need to pack, and gives me more shots per charge for the D800. It's a win-win situation.

I suggest, for all who use both the D4 and the D800 to consider this change. It really makes sense. The MH-26 comes with the D4, and handles 2 EN-EL18 batteries, though it doesn't charge them simultaneously, but charges one, then when done, automatically switches to charge the other, so you don't have to swap them yourself. Especially if you travel with both cameras, or even if you don't, the change is a positive one if you own both the D4 and D800.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

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