Phottix Kosmo

24 Jan 2009

The EN-EL3e battery that comes with D300 can only get the camera shuttering at six frames a second, and let’s be honest, that just isn’t fast enough. Dropping another few hundred dollars to get the EN-EL4a and charger to get up to nine fps is a little ridiculous, though.

Enter the Phottix Kosmo. Not only is it a battery on par with the EN-EL4a, getting you those last few precious fps, but it also does away with the need for the BL-3 battery chamber cover required to get the EL4 to fit properly in the MB-D10. The rest of the story gets pretty sketchy. The Kosmo’s main hangout is eBay, and they are shipped straight out of Hong Kong. Shipping takes a good while, and I wouldn’t expect too much tech support if something were to go wrong with this guy.

The charger is pretty unusual for a camera battery. Instead of the standard cradle approach, it just have a little cover over a DC jack, so you plug an adapter right in. This sounds convenient, and considering you don’t need to carry around another bulky (in the case of a EL4, a very bulky) cradle since you’ll probably still be using an EL3, I guess in a way it is. But the thought of having a strange power cable plugged directly into a battery still in my camera doesn’t sit well, so I always end up taking the battery out to charge it. The included AC adapter has EU prongs, so you’ll need a travel adapter, and that’s been nothing but inconvenient. I found a US adapter of equal wattage and voltage in my box of cables, but the jack was too large for the plug on the Kosmo. The larger jack that I had seemed to be standard, so I don’t know where they found the adapter that was included. My last big gripe with the battery is that the little rubber cover protecting the DC jack doesn’t instill much confidence in the way of weatherproofing. I think that when it’s seated properly it will do a decent job of keeping out moisture, but it doesn’t really have the grippy feeling other rubber covers on electronics have, so I go out of my way to keep on a on it and make sure it’s where it should be.

I haven’t done much in the way of testing capacity, or compared it to the EL3 (and I don’t have a EL4). I would say it probably runs out a little more quickly over the same number of frames, and a lot more quickly over the same time period — those three extra fps add up.

Lastly, nine frames every second is silly. But fun.

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