The 2 fps Tax

If you want 9 fps on the D850, then you'll need a few extra items from Nikon:

  • MB-B18 vertical grip US$399
  • EN-EL18 battery US$135
  • MH-26a charger US$370
  • BL-5 battery chamber cover US$25

Those are current B&H prices. And that adds up to US$929, or basically US$465 a frame per second. 

But wait, this is Nikon, so there's more...

From the UK: "I've been in contact with Nikon UK today and they tell me that both the BL-5 and MH-26a are 'discontinued' and suggested I might like to try the second hand market(!)." Sure enough, Nikon UK doesn't list the battery and charger as a D850 accessory on their site, and a quick browse of a few Nikon UK dealers isn't showing those mentioned items for sale at the moment, either. Really? Am I totally missing something? I sure hope so. 

Meanwhile, that US$929 2 fps tax is just insane. 

Here in the US you can get a DSTE EN-EL18A clone (with charger) for US$39 from Amazon [affiliate link], which reduces the tax to US$363. But we don't know if that combo works yet (it does with the D500 and its grip, so we're keeping our fingers crossed). 

Still, this seems wrong. Nikon accessories have always seemed wrong. They're overpriced for what they do, and they often are out of stock when you need them, plus sometimes don't even work all that well. 

I've written this before, but it really seems true: the camera design group at Nikon doesn't seem to talk to the lens group or the accessories group and plan things together. It really seems like three random groups that have no clear, connected view of the customer and what they'll tolerate. 

So let's see, you need the grip kit (US$1000), the WR-R10/T10 radio kit (US$200), an SB-5000 (US$600), and maybe you have a whole camera that delivers everything it promises. Oh, and don't forget some XQD cards. 

I sure hope this isn't what Nikon thought I meant by "modular"... 

Update: earlier version of this article said 3 fps change. Doh! Was thinking of the wrong spec, it's a change from 7 fps to 9 fps using the grip, which is 2 fps.

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