Review: The Meike MK-DR750 Battery Grip for the D750 Is Fantastic, and It's Not Even Because of the Grip

Review: The Meike MK-DR750 Battery Grip for the D750 Is Fantastic, and It's Not Even Because of the Grip

I haven't had the Meike MK-DR750 Battery Grip and Wireless Remote for long, but I can already tell I'm definitely keeping it. Not only does it fit well enough and do everything as promised, but it also comes with a wireless 2.4GHz (not infrared) remote control that can trigger the Nikon D750 to which it's attached. Meanwhile, Nikon's grip costs upwards of $350, and their wired remote cable release timer clears the $150 mark. Naturally, there have to be a few caveats for a grip and remote package to come in at an astoundingly low $80, but I was hard pressed to find any at all.

Battery Grip Build Quality

Upon opening the package and taking the grip out of its plastic bag, I was admittedly worried about how it would perform. The plastic quality of the grip isn't the best, needless to say. And the shutter release button was lacking in a nice, smooth, and natural feel we're used to when pressing harder from the focusing position to release the shutter. Determined to see how it performed, however, I attached the grip to my camera and began shooting.

Attached, the grip is a completely different experience. The shutter button is the same cheap, plastic button, of course. Nothing changed just because I screwed it onto the body. A veteran Nikon battery grip user, I was a bit skeptical of the button. But it turns out that it's the feel of the shutter in the camera going off itself that sends that oh-so-satisfying, juicy, crisp, shutter-cocking double slap through your right hand. I didn't miss the built-in shutter release at all when using the grip in the vertical shooting orientation. As an added bonus, holding the camera from the D750's grip in the normal shooting orientation is markedly improved thanks to the grip's added surface area for my pinky and ring fingers — something that I'm used to from my D4 and happy to have back.

Furthermore, while the grip's plastic housing lightly crackles ever so slightly when I really try to squeeze it hard to test durability, the way a cheap car's interior trim might make a small creaking noise, it still feels incredibly solid attached to the underside of the D750.

In all, the grip performs very much as expected. There were no issues whatsoever with communication between the grip and the body. The AE-L/AF-L button was great, the thumb pad joystick felt the most like its OEM counterpart when selecting focus points through the viewfinder or changing menu settings, and the shutter and aperture dials — though also made of cheap plastic — work flawlessly and feel even slightly better than "good enough."

The grip itself works with or without the battery inserted (you only need one battery between the camera or the grip, but you can also use two, of course). In addition to the EN-EL15 battery holder that ships inside the grip, a second AA battery holder lets you use eight AA batteries in a pinch (or in a foreign country with unreliable power).

Wireless Triggering and Remote Function

And only now do we approach the best part. Unlike previous Meike battery grips, this one comes with wireless triggering functionality. When first reading about this, it was easy to be skeptical of performance and programming capabilities. Thankfully, Meike completely knocked it out of the park. Is it cheap? Yes. Is it small, plastic, and a little on the lightweight/flimsy side? Of course. Does it come with a few weird quirks that always come with Chinese "knock-off" brands? Indeed, it does. But does it work? You bet.

Putting in two AA batteries (not included) turns the unit on (no off switch apparently, but that's not unlike even Nikon's aforementioned multi-function cable releases). Immediately a clock begins counting up in seconds, starting at 12:00:00 p.m. That's odd, sure... While it's nice that the remote has a clock, I'm not sure how useful that is, especially when you need to set it every time you replace the batteries and when the camera takes care of time-keeping for your metadata anyway. But if you want it, it's there nevertheless.

The remote can almost be figured out without the directions. I was able to change just about everything I wanted to, from the exposure time to the delay and interval times, etc., without cracking that manual open. It even has a nifty white backlight and locking feature. There was just one tiny problem: I couldn't get the thing to fire the camera. Fear not: it's a simple fix, and our second "quirk" after the discovery of the 24-hour clock. The unit ships programmed to "Channel 99." You can set the unit to channels 00-99, but it's channel 00 that is the universal channel, as the directions will point out. Don't ask me why it can't just be shipped programmed to Channel 00. But that's the way it goes. And that also happens to be where the real magic begins.

Setting the remote timer to the Bulb setting is easy. After making sure the camera itself is set to Bulb, of course, simply press and hold the shutter release button on the remote for three seconds. A "B" then appears in the bottom left corner, and a new timer cleverly (if not obviously) begins counting from three seconds. Let go, and you have until you touch the shutter release button again to expose the image. Unfortunately, even just slightly tapping it to the autofocusing/metering position (a half-press) is enough to end your long exposure. I do wish it could have been programmed to end the exposure upon a full press of the shutter release button for added "safety," but that's not the biggest deal. For now, just remember to treat it like a bomb trigger once you set it correctly; Put it down and out of the way of anything that could set it off.

Were this product over $200 or made by Profoto, I honestly wouldn't have been very impressed. Pleased and satisfied, sure. But not giddy as I obviously am here. However, for just $65, this little remote was an amazing inclusion. I immediately had to test the supposed 100-meter working distance of the remote. I don't live in an area where it's easy to find 100-meters of open space. But I went to every room of the house, upstairs, to the far corner of the darkest attic space, outside by the front gate... and it was only across the street to the neighbor's house (which put a final, fifth wall between myself and the camera, up from four in the previous scenario) that finally kept the signal from reaching the grip. The shutter release button on the remote features a similar two-step design for autofocus/metering, and then shutter release. And every time I was within range, both worked instantly, without delay, and without failure. If you have any experience with cheap wireless triggers, you know that's pretty darn impossible at this price point. I have little doubt this wouldn't work from the opposite end of a football field.

Final Verdict

As great of a value as this is, I'm still a stickler for things that feel nice. A magnesium-alloy construction would have given the MK-DR750 the extra edge it could use, but far from needs. Thankfully, I have high hopes a magnesium version will come out, as Meike has made premium models in the past to sell alongside the cheaper models at about a $100 premium. But until then, I won't let go of this. You just can't do better than this for $80 (and even that might come down in time, as similar grips for other cameras that have been out a little longer sell for around $40, albeit without the remote feature). And the best part: the addition of the wireless remote saved me from making a purchase of Nikon's multi-function remote that I've been long hesitant to make, but really needed to. Everything just works. And that's just how life should be.

Note: For those purchasing from Amazon, buying the Mcoplus MK-DR750 from Amazon seller Mcoplus (currently unavailable) will get you the same exact Meike product with the same badging, features, etc., with Prime shipping benefits if/when it becomes available again. There's also a non-wireless version for $65, but the difference is hardly worth it.

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47 Comments

Keith Hammond's picture

good review, i'm normally a buy everything Nikon guy but as my D750 will mostly be for video i may well give this copy model a try.
Question : can the remote start / stop video recording ?

Adam Ottke's picture

Very interesting question. I'll give it a try soon, but odds are it won't, since the remote function directly models the shutter button function on the camera...

Keith Hammond's picture

Thanks for that, iv'e got a cable remote to stop / start recording, in U1 I've set the shutter button to start recording and as my cable remote only controls the shutter button it works, then when i'm shooting stills i just go back to M where the shutter is set for photo, give it a go, might work with your remote

Adam Ottke's picture

Confirmed: you can't use the remote to start/stop video recording. Sorry.

Tina Downham's picture

Hi Everyone.

I just wanted to answer the queries within this thread regarding whether this grip extension remote control can be used for video....well yes it can:) I have one and it works just fine for stopping and starting video.

See this useful youtube review where the settings are shown and it is demonstrated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSz8od3oetw

Tasso Karpouzis's picture

Nice review.

Just wondering if this grip has the same battery drain issues as some other aftermarket grips (where the batteries continue to drain even when the camera is off)?

Adam Ottke's picture

I haven't had it long enough to see about that. I'll charge the camera battery fully tomorrow and will get back to you in the next few days.

Adam Ottke's picture

After a few more days, I can't say I've noticed any measurable battery drain from the grip. Of course, that could be a different story in various numbers of weeks. But then I also would never show up for a shoot after having charged my batteries three weeks ago and not checking them/topping them off to be sure I'm ready.

I hope that helps.

Jason Ranalli's picture

Nice review Adam. I think the remote shutter function is genius..well not genius but these very practical uses seem to elude Nikon for some reason. Same thing is happening in the speedlight/flash market....they're getting crushed by other companies put out simple yet practical features.

If Nikon would just be slightly more innovative with stuff like that they could be first to the party and keep loyal customers buy all-Nikon stuff.

Adam Ottke's picture

I agree. Some manufacturers get too comfortable being popular and don't think they have to work as hard. Unfortunately, most find out they're sorely mistaken the hard way...

Motti Bembaron's picture

Agreed! Three months ago I purchased three Godox flashes and cannot believe how good they are. I purchased 1 V860, 2 V850, three receivers, two triggers and two extra Li-on batteries. All for just over $600.

My SB-900 cost me $500 and after needing to fix it (it overheated) it cannot hold consistent shots at full power and overheats constantly.

I see more and more pros moving to third party companies from flashes, triggers, grips and more. And why not, there are some excellent products out there.

We work hard for our money and we should not just hand it over.

Ghalib Hasnain's picture

My question is mechanism inside the grip that mix into the camera is in metal or plastic because usually third party stuff saving cost in such things...and once its gone bad after months of use usually its start slipping when you locking it up.

Paulo Macedo's picture

Well, i've bought a Meike grip for the EOS 6D, and i find it great. Solid plastic, and has a premium feel to it. With 80€ i've bought the grip and two decoded bateries. I find them great and no errors whatsoever.

David Lara's picture

Thanks for the review. It boggles the mind as a consumer how the Big Two companies over the past 5 years seem to just layback on their laurels instead of staying innovating. In another year or two when they finally see the bottom line dollar dip significantly because people will continue to switch camera systems to sony & fuji, then we'll see some innovation.

Regarding the grip. Back in Feb 2011 i purchased an off brand (just checked doesn't even have a brand name on it anywhere) vertical grip for my D7000 and once I've put it on there it's never come off and still 100% functional. The little clicking here and there is annoying but not enough to justify spending 100 times the cost for the name brand.

One thing I found so helpful for the shutter button to make it feel a bit better is the 'Custom SLR's ProDot' - got it when it was on kickstarter. It definitely makes a difference and give it a better feel.

William Britton's picture

If Nikon could just lower the price for their grips it would all be so much simple lol , I bought the Pixel grip for the d750 and it has the battery draining issue. I like that this grib came with a remote trigger but Im unsure If i should take another chance on aftermarket grips .

I purchased a Meike grip for my D700. It worked as expected so I purchased another for my second body. A week after the one-year warranty ran out the first grip it died. And the second one became a door stop too after 18 months. So I replaced them both with Nikon's grips. Yes, the OEM grip is a lot more expensive, but I could feel the difference. Nikon's seemed more rugged -- like the difference between an economy car and a truck. And they haven't given me a single problem since.

I also went with Nikon's grip when I upgraded to the D800/D800E. They are now on my D810 bodies without a complaint.

Maybe Meike has improved it's quality in the past few years. If so, that's good for the photographers. But the two I purchased months apart failed. For me, I'll stay with brand name grips as I find them more reliable -- at least in my case.

Adam Ottke's picture

Thanks for sharing. There's no doubt the brand-name battery grips are better quality, will last longer, and that the difference can be felt. It's unfortunate they only lasted a year to year and a half for you. Hopefully that's not the case, here. But time will tell. Thanks for the input.

Motti Bembaron's picture

It's too bad you had such a bad experience. I am another example of a satisfied none-brand user, I have had a third party grip for my D300 for the past seven years and it never stopped working.

I hope my D750 Meike grip performs the same.

Stephen Strangways's picture

It's wasn't Meike, but I had nothing but trouble with a knock-off Chinese battery grip for my Olympus E-3.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpelYMUlky8

Adam Ottke's picture

To Meike's defense and to the defense of third-party accessory manufacturers, I'd say that a Chinese knock-off is a lot different than a third-party accessory company that makes parts and accessories openly under a different name. And so far, this has been quite excellent. Hopefully others have good experiences as well :-)

George Popescu's picture

I've been using Meike grips for my gear for almost 5 years now, used one for my Canon 5d mark2, then for my Canon 60D and finally for my Canon 5d mark 3 with no problems whatsoever with any of the grips so far.

Motti Bembaron's picture

And I will do it over and over again!!!!

I will never understand self righteous people like you. Nikon -and in fact all big companies- rip us off left and right and you actually think it's OK because they are not CHINESE?

You watch too much CNN propaganda. Get over it

I bet you have only MAC product. I am sure it feels good overpaying thinking it makes you exclusive.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Just received my Meike and I am very impressed. My deal included two batteries and a charger (on top of the remote trigger). The batteries work well so far. I charged them and use both in camera and grip, let's see how long they last. Even if they give me 400-500 exposures, it is a great deal.

I paid $99 (includes shipping).

The only thing that get me scratching my head is...where is the off/on button on the remote trigger? Anyone knows?

Anonymous's picture

Last week I bought one Nikon MB-D16 and one Mcoplus MK-D750 Battery Grip for my two D750's and gave both a try. I always buy Nikon rather than 3rd party but decided to give this a try.

The Nikon MB-D16 is certainly more solid AND HEAVIER, feels damn good and unbreakable as all their battery grips do. But is it worth $370....nope! I would gladly pay $150 or $200 but that is it.

Now for the Mcoplus MK-D750 for just $65. It looks great and works great. The buttons are a bit looser and softer but only if you have the Nikon grip to compare with side-by-side. More importantly it just works.

I decided to get the non-wireless Mcoplus MK-D750 version because of all the issues with the 2.4GHz wireless versions. My guess is that only the wireless versions had the battery drain issue. I thoroughly tested the Mcoplus MK-D750 for 3 days of shooting in the studio and ZERO battery drain issues.

Is the Mcoplus MK-D750 as solid as the Nikon version? NO....but it is close enough and good enough for daily use and it works just fine!

I kept the Mcoplus MK-D750 and returned the Nikon MB-D16.....and ordered a second Mcoplus MK-D750.

Adam Ottke's picture

That's pretty much how I felt. Thanks for sharing! And I know people keep having battery drain issues for some reason. But I've now had my D750 in and out of my bag for a while -- with the grip attached the entire time. The battery doesn't seem to be draining to me. MAYBE it is a little, tiny bit -- I wouldn't be able to tell. But it's been a few weeks now, and anyone should charge their batteries up before a shoot after that long anyway. :-)

Motti Bembaron's picture

I completely charged two Nikon batteries and inserted one in the grip and one in the camera. With my top screen constantly lit I left the camera on. The batteries drain after around 14 hours.

I did exactly the same with two third party batteries and got around 10 hours. The battery in the grip seems to drain at the same rate as the one inserted in the camera so it does not look like the grip drains the battery in it.

Again, my top screen is always on, that takes a lot of power.

As the remote control setting on the D750 disables when the camera is turned off (dumb idea Nikon), I've been told the Meike unit prevents this from happening. Can anyone confirm this? I have the Nikon ML-L3 IR remote and a Hahnel Giga T Pro II but neither of them stop the camera re-setting the remote to off.

Adam Ottke's picture

I would want any camera to be fully "off" when I have it turned off. So I'm happy about that. I've never considered the possibility that someone might want remote trigger functionality when the camera is off (just turn it on...that's what I always thought). But I still have it all with me now and will get back to you ASAP with regard to whether or not that's the case (though I highly doubt it, since the camera still turns off when you flip the switch, and therefore likely won't fire the shutter no matter what signal a grip might be trying to send it). If it does still work, that would explain the battery drain issue some people are mentioning... I'll check in with you soon.

Think you may have misunderstood. With the d600 the remote control function stays on until you turn it off, however many times the camera is turned off and on. With the d750 the remote has to be reactivated every time. According to someone who has the Meike remote you can turn the camera off and on as many times as you want and you can still operate the remote control without having to manually reset it in the menu. Hope that's clearer.

Adam Ottke's picture

Got it! Yes. That makes sense. And to your point, it does work that way. That's because the remote technically triggers the grip itself, and not the D750 body. So while the remote won't work without the grip, this is a nice benefit -- and it shouldn't really matter to those who own the grip since it'd likely be permanently attached for the most part....