Review Phottix Battery Grip for Nikon D40X, D40, D60

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#1
Quick Review of D40X Phottix Battery Grip

I'm writing this concise review as there didn't seem to be one about when I was looking for recommendations on buying one. So hopefully this will help others considering one. Admittedly I haven't tried other battery grips for the Nikon D40X (Also same for D60, D40 etc) so I can only comment on the one I have bought.

The main reasons I bought the grip was for the better ergonomics (as my hands are too big for the D40X), the additional battery life from the 2 EN-EL9 batteries and the vertical shutter release button (bonus feature).

First Impressions

I did quite a bit of homework before buying this grip so had a fair idea of what to expect. I bought the Phottix battery grip for the Nikon D40X with the vertical shutter release and 2 rechargeable batteries. The grip is made in China and the batteries are made in Japan.

The grip comes well packaged with good instructions on how to use the grip and how to remove the battery door on the D40X (something I didn't know). My first impressions of the grip was that its quite well made. The seamlines seem to be constructed to good tolerances although I would have prefered a slightly neater cowling surround for the base of the camera. It does seem quite solid and the quality of the plastic appears to be good. The grip is light in weight but with the 2 additional batteries the extra weight on the camera is noticeable.

Ergonomics are also good which I expected allowing me to grip the D40X properly for the first time as my hands are a little too big for the D40X. The vertical grip is also good and feels natural to hold despite the added weight.


Quality and Design

As said earlier, I'm generally pleased with the construction of the grip and the features work well. The texture on the plastic is an immitation of that on the D40X with a slight grainy effect on the plastic to match that on the camera. Once secured to the camera, the camera becomes fairly bulky - looking like cameras several times its price tag!

The male battery terminal has a small compartment to store the D40X battery door which is a nice feature. I would have also liked to see an additional compartment to store my original Nikon battery which now acts as a back up battery.


Performance

The features on the grip work well, I have not yet used the supplied batteries fully so am not able to comment on the battery life but at a claimed 1200mAh each they should provide a decent number of shots before having to recharge again.

The Grip also comes with a 6 x AA battery holder which is good when you have no access to a power socket. With rechargeable AA batteries providing over 2500mAh each these days this seems like a very good idea.

As the D40X was not designed to accept a battery grip, it does not have a dedicated shutter release control connection unlike other cameras in the range such as the D80. Therfore the vertical shutter release button works via an infra-red (IR) connection, effectively treating the shutter release as a remote control. This can be annoying as the IR emitter is housed inside the grip and will only work when extended proud of the grip. I found this a little fiddly but isn't excessively bad.

In addition to this, the camera needs to be set to "remote" shutter release everytime you wish to use the vertical grip shutter button to activate the IR receiver. Whilst this may be annoying when shooting quickly, it is possible to set the "FUNCTION" (FN) button on the side of the D40X to switch between the shutter controls by holding down the FN and rotating the dial.

The Vertical shutter button is a simple one stage click button with no "focus" feature unlike conventional shutter buttons.


Conclusion

Having only used it briefly since its arrival earlier this week I cannot comment on the durability of the grip but initial impressions have been fairly good. I would like to see the grip designed in such a way that you don't need to extend the IR emitter to use the vertical shutter release and would like to see an additional compartment for the spare battery.

I am quite happy with the grip as it fulfills my main needs; ergonomics and the extra battery life. The vertical shutter release button is really a bonus feature which I can live without. I would say that whilst the vertical shutter button works, it is not straight forward and if you are looking to get the grip for this reason alone, I would recommend against it.

I will add a few photos of my own if requested but here are some from the seller's advert.





 
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#2
I've used this battery grip on my D40 for almost 8 months and it has never faultered once. I use 2 EN-EL9 batteries which gives me over 600 shots, probably a lot more but I don't let the battery drain that far.
I bought purely for comfort reasons and for that reasons alone it was worth every penny.
 
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#5
I've used this battery grip on my D40 for almost 8 months and it has never faultered once. I use 2 EN-EL9 batteries which gives me over 600 shots, probably a lot more but I don't let the battery drain that far.
I bought purely for comfort reasons and for that reasons alone it was worth every penny.
:agree:

Completely. :D

Had one of these on my D60 since I got it (well, a couple of weeks later)

Can`t fault it either. It makes the camera feel a lot better when hand holding too...

:)
 
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#7
I got a similar one for the D200 and it has increased the battery life and fps its more like 7.5fps now ...on par with the d2h nearly
 
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#11
Nobody's heard of any camera failures from this particular grip? I've heard of it happening with other aftermarket grips

One person on the Ebay sellers feedback said very, very slow delivery. Does anyone know of a UK seller doing these?
I bought a Phottix grip for my 30D from HKsupplies, delivery was less than a week & I'd give it 10/10 for quality :)
 
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#12
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John
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#15
excellent review...............2 small 'heads-up'

1...be careful/gentle inserting AA batteries into the carrier, I snapped off a connecting lug
fortunately got a new one from the manufacturer for £9 posted

2....read here on TP
"do not tighten the thumb-wheel too much. It seized and a hacksaw through the grip was the only way to remove grip from camera"
 
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