Battery Pack anybody?

Some modern digital cameras have very small batteries…these were fine for the DSLR type of camera, but a mirrorless camera uses a lot more power and as a consequence, tends to empty batteries faster than before.

It obviously helps to reduce the amount you use the rear screen, but the viewfinder also uses a lot of power, and it’s quite useful to be able to see what you’re aiming at…(although it’s fairly obvious to me that some people are pretty much incapable of even doing that…)

Nikon, in their great wisdom, have decided to provide us with horrendously expensive add-on battery packs for the full-frame Z series (Z6ll,7ll and 8) – these are essentially the same body, same battery tray, but different top plate to accommodate the different body formats (between the 6/7 and 8)

This is the MB-N11 for the Z6ll/7ll

This is the MB-N12 for the Z8

So can you spot the difference? Yes, the top plate on the lower model is very slightly wider…wouldn’t it be easier just to make a single model, but with add-on top plates? Of course it would, but they’d make 50% less cash on sales…

Anyway, Nikon have included a crafty battery tray which holds two EN-EL15 batteries (the EN-EL15c can be charged within the grip just plug in a charger with a USB-C cable and off you go.) The crafty bit is that when the tray is slid into position, the battery nearest the door can still be removed from the grip – which means that if you’re in a high battery use situation, when the camera automatically switches over to the second battery (keeping the camera power still on) the first battery can be replaced with a charged-up version without having to turn the camera off etc.

The first and by far the most contentious (IMHO) thing you spot is that Nikon have decided to go backwards (think D7000) and instead of a series of contacts on the bottom plate of the camera for connecting to accessories/battery packs such as this, there is now a stalk with the electrical connections on top.

I’m sure there are all sorts of great marketing ploys to justify this (kept dry, protects the delicate contacts etc.) but it makes the battery pack unwieldy and you can’t just slide it into a pocket, or your bag, as we did with previous (think D850) battery packs.

Oh, and it’s about three times the price of the older units !

UPDATE : NIKON have just released the MB-N14 battery pack for the newly released Z6lll – same old, same old – just the top plate changes to accommodate the slightly deeper body.