Halfday

photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure – Tony Benn

Hahnel HN-D300 Review

Posted by Richard on Wed 26 August 2009

hnd300

Before I bought this I was hunting around for a review but I couldn’t  find one so I thought I’d write one for anyone else interested in this battery grip

First the disappointment the information on Hahnel’s website is completely misleading it has a picture of the battery grip having 2 batteries in a tray and through out the PDF file it talks about 1 or 2 Li-Ion batteries. This is wrong only one battery fits in the grip the other stays in the camera in the same way as the Nikon grip. The reason I went for this grip is I don’t want to keep breaking the camera in half to change batteries. It’s is half the price of Nikon grip so I’ll probably keep it anyway.

On to the review. I’m comparing this grip with the MB-D200 on the S5 as I don’t have a MB-D10 I’ll update it if I find someone who’s got one and lets me use it

Build & Design

It feels more solid then the MB-D200 and I like the way its sculptured for the fingers and thumb Although it is all plastic you can still get a good firm hold of the camera .

The battery tray latch and the tripod screw are metal so should be no problems with them wearing out or breaking. The base has a rubber coating which should stop it slipping around.

The on/off switch locks out the controls on the grip unfortunately it is at the top end of the grip and is likely to get full of water when it’s raining. Might need to get some tape to fit over this.

The joystick is actually very good and I like the textured stick should make it easier to use with gloves.

The manual

Is okay everything you need to know is covered by pictograms The battery charger is not mentioned anywhere in the manual

Extras

The grip comes with a Infra Red remote which I haven’t tried yet and a car charger the manual doesn’t mention the charger so I’ve no idea how to use it. Would be nice to know if the grip should it be disconnected from the camera or in fact do I need the to have the battery tray in the grip to charge the battery ?

Summary

The grip is solid and fits to the camera very well there is also no play in the locking wheel like there was on the MB-D200.

All the controls work as expected although the control wheels seem a little stiff I’m sure they will loosen up with use.

The IR remote may be useful to some people. I think a mains charger would be more useful then a car charger apart from the fact I normally use the bike in the summer I can’t imaging leaving the camera lying around in the car while the battery is charging.

Since the D300/D700 are weather proofed my main concern is the weather proofing of the grip I don’t think there is any and the placement of the on/off switch looks to be in the worst place for letting rain in.

Conclusion

The Hahnel grip is nearly half the price of the Nikon grip and does the same job unless you are regularly out in wet weather I would recommend it.

Update 3rd Sept

I can’t get used to this idea of “breaking” into the camera when the battery needs charging so I was going to keep the spare battery in my camera bag. Its a bit fiddly to get the battery out of is plastic cover in a hurry so I emailed Hahnel to ask if they sold a spare tray. I was a bit surprised when they said they would put a few in the post. And completely gob smacked when one actually turned up this afternoon. So its still 6/10 for documentation ( pdf file on the website still shows 2 batteries in the tray ) But 10/10 for customer service.

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3 Responses to “Hahnel HN-D300 Review”

  1. Jesse said

    Thanks for the review! I’m considering picking one of these up but I’d like to know how well the IR remote works, as this is an important feature for me. Have you had a chance to use the IR remote any yet? What do you think?

    Thanks!

    Jesse

    • Richard said

      Hi Jesse

      I have tested it. Using it as a short remote cord replacement for macro or close up work It works quite well you need to hold the trigger to the left and slightly below the camera.
      If you want to use it for taking pictures from a distance (I tested this in my living room so I’m talking a 2-3 metres here) it’s a bit more hit and miss the lens blocks the sensor if you hold the trigger above the camera

      I haven’t tried it over a longer distance but I would be very surprised if it worked.

      I only tested the IR trigger my photography doesn’t really have a need for a remote I keep the trigger in my camera bag but haven’t used it in “anger” yet

      Regards

      Richard

  2. Adam said

    Thanks for the review, glad I came across someone with experience of this, while I was deciding whether to buy or not.

    Thanks

    Ada,

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