I bought this battery grip for my D90 a while ago, and I decided to do a review on it. In addition, I could enhance my lighting skills by shooting the product shots
First off, what is a battery grip?
A battery grip (also known as a portrait/vertical grip), is an extension to the camera, which can contain 2 batteries, or 6 AA batteries. It provides a better balance with a heavy lens attached, more battery life, and better grip.
For an off-market battery grip, The Hahnel matches the D90 well. It may lack the fake leather finish, but it still has the "sparkle plastic". It looks like a natural complement to the camera, albeit bulky.
....Better than expected. It's not really squeeky, and feels relatively solid in your hands. The locking screw works well and locks tightly. The buttons are located well, and the vertical grip feels good (a bit blockier though and can't match the nikon "hook" grip).
A feature I like is that you can store the body's battery compartiment hatch inside the battery grip, so you don't lose it.
It also comes with a tray to load 6 AA batteries, but you will have to keep that seperately in your bag.
The grip features 2 buttons (autofocus/shutter, AF-ON), a on/off switch (for horizontal-only work I guess), 2 dials (which don't respond very well sadly), and a twist-lock for the battery compartiment.
I'm pleased to report the shutter button works well. It does not "click" like the nikon body shutter button, but it still works very well.
The battery grip came with a wireless remote, which...just works. One button, anbd bulb mode requires one press to open the shutter, and a second to close it again. Nothing special here, just a very nice bonus.
This thing cost me around 70 euros. That's 60 euros cheaper than the official nikon grip. Whilst the Hahnel has it's flaws, I cannot justify paying 60 more just to overcome those minor details. For me, it's 70 euros well spent, and a recommendation to anyone who'd like more battery power, vertical shots, or just has big hands like I do.
This thing being a battery grip, I also bought an extra battery. I asked a couple of photographers and employees, and they all told me the same: Nikon does not manufacture their own batteries, but imports them from Hahnel! So I took the plunge and..ooh...got an off-brand battery.
And guess what: it looks pretty much identical to the Nikon battery, and it performs exactly the same.