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Thread: Nikon D7000 with Grip Warning & Questions

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    Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    While using my D7000 with a grip, everything has been working fine for two years including today. That was until suddenly in the middle of a shoot today, three parts of my D7000 stopped functioning. Two of them are the playback functions and the menu functions; the LCD remains in the same state as if the camera was turned off. The Info button also does not function, whether using it on its own or while using Live View. (Live Vew itself works fine.)

    I tried using the two-button reset to no avail. I was shocked to realize that there is no reset switch, such as the hard reset in my Nikon D80.

    The Warning
    I always use a 3rd party grip and I always use just one battery placed in the grip, rather than using a battery in the camera body and the grip. I considered removing and replacing the battery. However, upon removing it, I noticed that the battery was not fully clamped down in the cassette. Seeing that, I was completely surprised to realize that the camera had been working so long during the shoot before losing functionality.

    The Questions
    I'm using a third-party grip, not the Nikon grip. Could that have something to do with the cause? See the related questions below.

    Is it possible that I didn't install the battery properly? If so, that means that it's possible to insert the cassette even though the battey is not properly installed.

    If it's possible to insert the cassette in a third-party grip even though the battery is not properly installed, is this also possible when using a Nikon grip?

    Is it possible that I did install the battery properly and that the cassette failed during operation, allowing the battery to come loose?

    If that's possible when using a third-party grip, is it also possible when using a Nikon grip?

    Any other ideas?
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 3rd September 2012 at 11:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Mike - it might not be related to the battery and grip at all and could have merely been the camera malfunctioning. Diagnosing this problem you are having without the analysis tools that a Nikon service facility has would be pure guesswork; I'm pretty sure that their recommendation would be to ditch the 3rd party hand grip.

    Don't forget that your camera is just a computer, and like a computer runs on code. If for any reason some previously untested conditions went through the code in the camera's firmware and could have caused it to hang up. And you are correct, it could have potentially been caused by by a failure between the hand grip and the power source. One thing with the old mechanical cameras was that they tended to be fairly easy to diagnose, as you did not need to understand the code that was running the on-board software.

    I assume that you removed the battery, waited a minute or so and reinserted the battery without using the hand grip? Does the camera work properly now? If not, a trip to the repair facility is in order. If your camera does work again, is it running the latest version of firmware? If not, you should consider updating it.

    If everything is working again, try using your hand grip again, but double check how you mount the battery.

    Unfortunately, you will likely never find out what happened. As soon as a third-party part is involved, the various suppliers tend to point fingers at each other.

  3. #3

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Thanks for the detailed response, Manfred.

    The camera still is not functioning correctly. I forgot to mention that reinserting the battery in the grip and that inserting the battery in the camera body did not help. I did so with two different batteries that have always functioned properly.

    There is a good chance that you're right that I'll never know with great certainty what caused the problem. Considering that both products are past their warranty, I'll be pleased to simply pay to have the camera fixed rather than to have the camera and grip manufacturer pointing fingers at each other. I'll also make absolutely sure in the future that the battery is properly installed in the grip's cassette.

    However, I'm wondering if I should buy a Nikon grip once I get the camera fixed. This is the first camera that I've used with a third-party grip and I'm trying, perhaps impossibly, to know whether that was a mistake.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    However, I'm wondering if I should buy a Nikon grip once I get the camera fixed. This is the first camera that I've used with a third-party grip and I'm trying, perhaps impossibly, to know whether that was a mistake.
    Mike - That was exactly my thought when I bought the more expensive Nikon grip for my D800. I'm more than willing to take a bit of a risk going for third party lens manufacturers, as these are turned out by companies with reasonably large R&D organizations with a likelihood of having actually licensed some of the technology from the camera manufacturers. The mysterious third party grip makers seem to be much shakier operations that at best have done some reverse engineering and hopefully got everything right.

    In your case, I would try leaving the battery out of the camera for a day or two at least (leave the camera in the "on" position) to make sure that any capacitors or backup batteries that might be keeping circuits alive are totally run down. Put in fully charged batteries and see if the camera comes back to life. Stranger things have happened.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    I'll try that, Manfred. I would never have known to even consider doing that, so thank you!

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I would try leaving the battery out of the camera for a day or two at least (leave the camera in the "on" position) to make sure that any capacitors or backup batteries that might be keeping circuits alive are totally run down. Put in fully charged batteries and see if the camera comes back to life. Stranger things have happened.
    Just let me know where to send you the roses, Manfred. Your idea worked perfectly by putting a fully recharged battery in the camera (not the grip) after leaving the camera on with no battery in it for 39 hours. (I mistakenly thought it had been at least 48 hours.) I'll take your word for it that stranger things have happened, because this is the strangest thing that I could imagine.

    The Chinese grip will never, ever come near my D7000 again.

    Please check your private messages for a more detailed thank-you note.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Just let me know where to send you the roses, Manfred. Your idea worked perfectly by putting a fully recharged battery in the camera (not the grip) after leaving the camera on with no battery in it for 39 hours. (I mistakenly thought it had been at least 48 hours.) I'll take your word for it that stranger things have happened, because this is the strangest thing that I could imagine.

    The Chinese grip will never, ever come near my D7000 again.

    Please check your private messages for a more detailed thank-you note.
    Glad I could help Mike. It's always nice to know that those "hail Mary" passes sometimes work. I personally prefer spending my money at places other than Nikon's repair department.

    Manfred

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Thank you, Mike and Manfred for this thread. I've considered buying a grip and these considerations are good to know.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Mike: If you think of your camera as a computer you take pictures with, rather than just a fancy electronic SLR, what I suggested you do makes a bit more sense. Whenever your home computer locks up, you fix things by powering it down and then starting it up again. What this process does is forces the operating system to load itself. Laptops are a bit more of a pain, because all the power supply does is charge the battery, so when one of these locks up, you have to physically remove the battery.

    Effectively, this is what you did with your camera. The problem with your camera / computer, as you had already found out, is that it is designed to not totally shut down when you turn it off. Otherwise, it would have to reload the software every time we turned it off and would drive us photographers crazy with the startup delay. The engineers designing the camera know this and keep certain parts of the camera running, even when the camera has been turned off.

    They do a couple of other things too. We want the camera to remain “hot” when we change batteries, so what is often done is to have a capacitor keep the camera running while we change the main battery. Generally there is also a secondary battery to keep any presets, for instance, the system time and our custom settings active.

    The problem with any third party part is that the camera manufacturer has no way of knowing if the component is compliant with the software in the camera, which is why I tend to stay away from them. In theory, if they have worked with the camera manufacturer and have a licence agreement with them, there is a good chance that the parts are compliant with how the camera is designed to work. Somehow, I rather doubt that the Chinese knockoff manufacturers have done any more than reverse-engineered the original OEM part, and how well the reverse engineering was done.

    Based on your description, and the fact that you had already tried removing and reinserting the battery, it was fairly obvious that your camera had either locked up because some condition that the software design engineers had not planned for and the camera had gotten itself into a state that the normal routines for preventing lockup got bypassed. The other explanation is that you had actually suffered hardware failure in one of the camera components.

    Anyhow, buy shutting down the camera, without a battery and turned on drained any capacitors or backup batteries and the camera was forced to do a cold reboot and totally reload the operating system. The problem with that strategy is that we don’t know how long it will take to drain the backup power. One to three days is not a unreasonable length of time for this to happen. I have an older pro video camera where the backup battery lasts for months, but fortunately it is located so that it can be removed, forcing a hard reset.

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Mike: If you think of your camera as a computer you take pictures with, rather than just a fancy electronic SLR, what I suggested you do makes a bit more sense. Whenever your home computer locks up, you fix things by powering it down and then starting it up again. What this process does is forces the operating system to load itself. Laptops are a bit more of a pain, because all the power supply does is charge the battery, so when one of these locks up, you have to physically remove the battery.

    Effectively, this is what you did with your camera. The problem with your camera / computer, as you had already found out, is that it is designed to not totally shut down when you turn it off. Otherwise, it would have to reload the software every time we turned it off and would drive us photographers crazy with the startup delay. The engineers designing the camera know this and keep certain parts of the camera running, even when the camera has been turned off.

    They do a couple of other things too. We want the camera to remain “hot” when we change batteries, so what is often done is to have a capacitor keep the camera running while we change the main battery. Generally there is also a secondary battery to keep any presets, for instance, the system time and our custom settings active.

    The problem with any third party part is that the camera manufacturer has no way of knowing if the component is compliant with the software in the camera, which is why I tend to stay away from them. In theory, if they have worked with the camera manufacturer and have a licence agreement with them, there is a good chance that the parts are compliant with how the camera is designed to work. Somehow, I rather doubt that the Chinese knockoff manufacturers have done any more than reverse-engineered the original OEM part, and how well the reverse engineering was done.

    Based on your description, and the fact that you had already tried removing and reinserting the battery, it was fairly obvious that your camera had either locked up because some condition that the software design engineers had not planned for and the camera had gotten itself into a state that the normal routines for preventing lockup got bypassed. The other explanation is that you had actually suffered hardware failure in one of the camera components.

    Anyhow, buy shutting down the camera, without a battery and turned on drained any capacitors or backup batteries and the camera was forced to do a cold reboot and totally reload the operating system. The problem with that strategy is that we don’t know how long it will take to drain the backup power. One to three days is not a unreasonable length of time for this to happen. I have an older pro video camera where the backup battery lasts for months, but fortunately it is located so that it can be removed, forcing a hard reset.
    hi manfred (grumpy driver) thanks so much found your info very useful in case of any such problem in future. So should we always take battery out? i have thrid party grip i rarely use it if i do should i just place battery in grip only to be safe? thanks

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    No - taking the battery out of Mike's camera for that length of time was to force the camera to do a hard reset. That was only necessary because the camera was malfunctioning.

    Taking the battery out in situations where you are not going to be using it for an extended period is a good idea, but otherwise there is no benefit in doing so.

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Glad I could help Mike. It's always nice to know that those "hail Mary" passes sometimes work. I personally prefer spending my money at places other than Nikon's repair department.

    Manfred
    Nice work Manfred! Do you have a yellow cape with a black "N" on it hanging in the closet?

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    Do you have a yellow cape with a black "N" on it hanging in the closet?
    I don't care about the cape but it would be fun to see him in the tights.

  14. #14
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I don't care about the cape but it would be fun to see him in the tights.
    You'll have to wait a couple of months for that. The tights won't go over the cast on my leg very well.

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    You'll have to wait a couple of months for [the tights].
    I take that as a promise.

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip: Warning & Questions

    This post is an update, which will be followed by a more important post in the form of a request to Manfred.

    I ordered a new Nikon grip to replace the Chinese grip that I had thrown away and none of its controls communicated with the camera. I returned the grip and received a replacement Nikon grip. That one also didn't work, which indicated to me that the camera was probably faulty, not the grips.

    I took the camera and new Nikon grip to the local Nikon-authorized repair facility. They confirmed on the spot that the camera, not the grip, is malfunctioning. I was expecting the local shop to be able to fix the camera. However, they advised me that Nikon has changed its policy regarding certain electronic repairs and that Nikon now requires the camera to be sent to them. After ascertaining that it costs me the same whether I send it directly to Nikon or the repair shop sends it, I opted for the latter. That's because I felt that it might be better having a Nikon-authorized business representing my concerns rather than me having to influence Nikon on my own.

    Three weeks later and only after considerable prodding (my decision about that seems to have been the right one), I have finally received the cost of Nikon's repair bill in the amount of USD $370. I have authorized Nikon to proceed with the repair.

    I have been given conflicting estimates about how long it could take for the repair to be completed. The worst estimate I have received is 8 - 10 weeks. One explanation is that both Nikon and Canon are having difficulty obtaining parts. Even if that is true, that doesn't explain why Nikon took weeks to provide a cost of doing the repair. I don't know if it matters, but I'm referring to Nikon's repair facility in New York.

    The upshot is that I'll never know whether it was the Chinese grip that broke the electronics in my camera, but that's the likelihood in my mind. If I'm right about that, I spent about USD $50 on the Chinese grip trying to save about USD $150. Instead, I have lost that $50 and am now having to spend another USD $370 to get the camera repaired. Worse yet, I am already without the camera for three weeks and it may be another 8 - 10 weeks before I receive it. Thank goodness I have two backup cameras!

    Someone could understandably argue that I had just as likely a chance of a Nikon grip causing the camera body to malfunction, but that argument can never be proved or disproved.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 19th December 2012 at 03:07 PM.

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip Warning & Questions

    Now, the really important post: Manfred mentioned two months ago that his cast would be removed by now and that only then would he be able to provide a picture of himself wearing the Nikon cape with the yellow "N" and, of course, the tights. It's really the tights that we want to see.

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    Re: Nikon D7000 with Grip Warning & Questions

    A new update to this already overly long thread: I bought the Nikon grip to replace the Chinese grip in late November. It went unused for about two months while I was waiting for the camera to be repaired. It's now early April and the Nikon grip won't focus or release the shutter. (Fortunately, this happened in the middle of the last day of my vacation rather than on the first day.)

    Despite this sad state of affairs, I'm grateful for two things: The Nikon grip is still under warranty and, unlike the Chinese grip, it seems not to have damaged my camera in the slightest.

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