Gear review: MB-N11 Battery Pack

In Gear Review by Patrick

The MB-N11 Battery Pack is an accessory that Nikon released specific to their latest mirrorless cameras the Z6II and the Z7 II. At first, I held off on purchasing this, but as I utilized my Z6 II more I realized that something just did not feel right. I am used to my Nikon D6 and the way that I grip that. All the controls, function buttons and dials are familiar. With the Z6II, it felt like it was missing something and that something was the battery grip.

With the MB-N11 grip attached, the camera felt more balanced in my hand. So who can benefit from this accessory? It is ideal for the portrait shooter who needs to shoot vertically, the landscape photographer recording lengthy time-lapse sequences and the sports photographer desiring a more balanced feel while using long lenses, the MB-N11 is the ideal accessory in my humble opinion.

The grip aligns perfectly with the contours of the Z6 II and Z7 II. The benefits are that it adds the vertical shutter button, main and sub command dials, AF-ON button, sub selector and one function button extending the capabilities of the camera. Nikon claims that it increases the battery performance over an EN-EL 15c battery in the camera alone. I have found this to be true in the sense that I can shoot longer which makes sense because you have two batteries. What I have found with the batteries in general is they drain very quickly in the colder temperatures and for me, this is where having an extra battery has been helpful. The batteries are hot-swappable, meaning you won’t have to stop shooting or recording to swap batteries!

I have read online that the locking mechanism can have a tendency to become loose, but I have not found this to be the case for my grip personally. I have had no problems while carrying this on a Black Rapid strap or while taking it on/off the tripod for a portrait shoot.

Here is what I don’t like about the grip, which is minor, but something I feel Nikon should have included for the Z6 II and did not. In addition to powering the camera, the MB-N11 features a USB-C connection which means you can power the batteries from a portable charger or AC power supply, even while connected to a computer. Or you can charge the batteries within the grip via USB when you’re not using the camera They only included it with the Z7 II. Why?

In fact it states that it is supplied with the Z7 II and is available separately for the Z6 II. This is a nice option, but not one that I needed to pay for separately for my Z6 II Nikon. I should have been included for both.

Other notes about the grip are that you can even use the MB-N11 with only one battery inserted—in either chamber A or B. When the battery in chamber A is exhausted, the camera will switch to the other battery in chamber B.

One little detail thought that I think is worth mentioning for those considering the battery grip. In order for the grip to be installed, the existing battery door on the Nikon Z6II has to be removed. It can be stored in the grip itself out of sight in the battery compartment. It does require a bit of effort to remove and one must be careful not to snap the battery door tabs. Once off it worked as advertised and the battery grip functioned as noted.

Overall, I have found the grip to be a good quality build that doesn’t feel cheap and provides me the feel of a bigger camera like the D6 that I am used to. It extends the shooting life and allows for a more ergonomic feel when shooting verticals. I would recommend this battery grip.

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