I recently ordered a Neewer Professional Vertical Battery Grip so I could double the battery life of my D3100. It was so cheap ($25) that I didn’t expect too much, but I was pleasantly surprised by it.

The grip is definitely not quite Nikon quality, but if it was by Nikon they would be charging a ton more than $25 for it. The official Nikon EN-EL14 battery I bought to go with this grip cost $40- almost twice as much as this grip! (You can get after-market batteries for much, much less, but they don’t have a Nikon chip in them. Nikon only lets you use these batteries if you first put in the EN-EL14 that came with your camera, turn your camera on, and then put in the after-market battery. To me it was worth the extra money to get a real Nikon product rather than a no-name cheapy battery.) This grip was very, very good for its price.

I love how this grip makes my camera feel! My pinky finger would always hang off the bottom of the D3100′s grip, but with the battery grip attached, my camera feels much more comfortable to hold. Even if the grip didn’t double my battery life I think it would be worth buying for ergonomics alone. Just like holding a D3100 is much more comfortable than holding a point-and-shoot camera, attaching this grip to your camera greatly increases comfort as well.

I was expecting the grip to add to the camera’s weight, but it really didn’t. The grip was almost too light actually, compared to the D3100 body! ┬áThe grip with an extra EN-El14 battery in it weighs 202 grams, which isn’t really that much, since my D3100 with a battery and a 18-55mm VR lens weigh 829 grams. The fact that the grip is so light might turn some people away, since it doesn’t quite have the same “feel” as the D3100 body, but to me it wasn’t that big of a deal. When you go on a hike you appreciate every little bit of weight that you don’t have to carry!

The only thing that I don’t like about this grip is the cable that runs from the grip to the GPS port. Since Nikon didn’t create a grip connection port in the D3100, there’s no way that the grip can communicate with the camera. It’s not that big of a deal. I keep the cable plugged in when I take pictures around the house, and unplug the cable to keep dust out of my camera when I go on a hike. When you want to tip your camera on it’s side the grip’s shutter release button really comes in handy, so you don’t have to reach one of your hands up at a weird angle to release the shutter. If they had figured out some way to replace the cable with a wireless release, I would have definitely rated this grip as a 5 star product. As is, I would still give it 4 stars.

Well that’s my thoughts on it! This battery grip won’t help you take better pictures, but it will let you take more of them, and will make taking them more pleasant ergonomically.
This grip is an excellent buy!