Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meike battery grip for Nikon D5100 D-SLR camera review

I purchased a Meike battery grip for my Nikon D5100 D-SLR camera a few weeks ago and received it recently so I thought that I would write a review on the product.

Since the Nikon D5100 D-SLR is considered to be a mid-level entry camera, Nikon hasn't released a battery grip for this camera and probably won't so some companies have decided to fill in the void by creating their own battery grip for the Nikon D5100 camera.

I purchased my battery grip mainly because I heard/read that the battery grip will allow photographers to use non-Nikon OEM EN-EL14 batteries for their Nikon D5100 camera. As mentioned in my mini-review on the Nikon D5100 D-SLR camera, the D5100 detects a computer chip on authentic Nikon EN-EL14 batteries and will give an error message as well as not work when non-Nikon batteries are used. Even though I have 2 authentic Nikon batteries and I always like to carry 2 sets of batteries whenever I take pictures, I felt that because of the high price of the authentic Nikon EN-EL14 battery compared to the OEM EN-EL14 battery, one day I might decide to get OEM batteries and having the battery grip would be useful.

The first thing about the battery grip is that the colour matches the camera relatively well. You would have to look very closely to notice the difference in colour between the D5100 body and the battery grip. That being said, the battery grip is light and the plastic feels cheap when compared to the plastic on the D5100 camera body itself. The fit of the battery grip and the D5100 body is almost perfect. There is very little empty space between the camera body and the battery grip once the battery grip is secured in place using the screw that fits into the tripod hole on the bottom of the camera. The battery cover clip/lever on the battery grip is flimsy but it gets the job done by locking the battery grip's battery cover in place one the EN-EL batteries are inserted.

People should be aware that some people have modified the Meike battery grip for Nikon D3100 cameras by cutting/sanding one side of the battery grip. The side of the battery grip is the only difference between the Meike battery grip for Nikon D3100 cameras and the Meike battery grip for Nikon D5100 cameras. Personally the box that I purchased indicated that the battery grip was specifically for the Nikon D5100 camera.

In order to use the battery grip, you must first remove the battery cover from the D5100 body. To do this, you just angle the battery cover at roughly 45 degrees and pull firmly and the battery cover will pop off the bottom of the D5100. There is a holder space for the battery cover on the Meike battery grip so that people don't misplace/lose it.

Once the battery grip is attached to the D5100 body, it gives the camera a "better" look (in my opinion). For me, I find that the added weight makes it a little easier for me to take pictures.

The battery grip has a shutter release button (to take pictures). This makes it easier to take pictures while holding the battery grip (holding camera vertically). However in order to use the battery grip's shutter release button, you must use the included cable which connects the battery grip to the camera via the port on the left side of the camera.

I was going to test OEM EN-EL14 batteries in my Meike battery grip but I was pleasantly surprised that the OEM generic/non-Nikon EN-EL14 batteries that I purchased actually worked in my Nikon D5100 camera.

Based on some of the other reviews that I've seen, in order to use generic/non-Nikon EN-EL14 batteries in the battery grip, you first have to insert the authentic Nikon EN-EL14 battery into the battery grip (on the right side). After the authentic Nikon battery is inserted on the right side of the battery grip, you would then power up the Nikon D5100 camera and it will power on. After doing this, you turn off the Nikon D5100 camera and insert the OEM EN-EL14 on the left side of the battery grip. With this configuration/set-up, the D5100 will still power-up. After doing this, you can replace the authentic Nikon EN-EL14 battery on the right side with an OEM EN-EL14 battery so that there are two OEM EN-EL14 batteries in the battery grip and the Nikon D5100 will still power-up. Once this is done, as long as there is always 1 battery in the battery grip, you can swap out the other battery without any issues and the camera will still work. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint), I wasn't able to test this (but I've seen videos showing this) since my OEM EN-EL14 batteries actually work in my D5100 camera.

I think that this battery grip is a useful accessory but since it is very easy to swap batteries in the Nikon D5100, I don't really see a point to the longer shooting time offered by the battery grip except if the person takes a lot of videos (or takes very long videos). In terms of whether I recommend the product or not, I think that it depends on whether the person plans on purchasing OEM EN-EL14 batteries in the future which may or may not work directly with the Nikon D5100 camera. For me, the OEM EN-EL14 batteries that I purchased surprisingly worked directly with my Nikon D5100 camera.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains a URL hyperlink (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.


  1. Just a follow up note that when I upgraded my Nikon D5100 camera to a Nikon D5300, I used the same Meike battery grip in my Nikon D5300 and it worked without any issues.

  2. Hi and thanks for this helpful review. On a video review for this grip I saw that it does not provide the D5100 with extra power, as it actually works as a storage room for your extra batteries. And since I am intrested in that extra power that will give me some extra shots(I am intrested in timelapse photography) I wonder if this grip will be of any help.

    1. Thank you Gus P for reading and taking the time to write your comment.

      I believe that the video review that you were referring to was posted *HERE*. If this is the video you are referring to, although I'm not in any way affiliated with Meike, I believe that he purchased a defective unit. With the Meike battery grip that I purchased, I can have only 1 fully charged battery on either side of battery grip and my old Nikon D5100 would still power up and show that it was fully charged. The same thing happens with my new Nikon D5300. The only thing that I noticed was that it required either the original Nikon battery or a EN-EL14 battery that was decoded to work.

      Although I'm not affiliated with any of the videos nor am I affiliated in any way with Meike, the experience that I have with my Meike battery grip is similar to what is shown *HERE* (shows using after market non-coded batteries) and *HERE* (showing a detailed review) on both my old Nikon D5100 and my new Nikon D5300.