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Olympus HLD-6 Battery Holder
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|Item Dimensions LxWxH||1.63 x 1.93 x 4.69 inches|
|Item Weight||225 Grams|
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- Olympus V3281300U000 HLD-6 Power Battery Holder
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From the Manufacturer
The HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, in the same dust- and splashproof construction as the Olympus E-M5 body, is an adaptable, two-part grip that can be used either as a landscape grip for easier handling or as a portrait grip with an additional shutter release. The portrait grip accommodates an extra lithium-ion battery to supplement the one in the E-M5, thus extending battery life.
FULL 14 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE, FULL 90 DAY PARTS AND LABOR WARRANTY.
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With that said this is the best grip I have ever owned and makes the OM-D behave like 3 different cameras.
1) Without a grip. Put on the Pani 20mm and you have your go anywhere camera.
2) With first part of grip you get a nice grip on the right side of the camera to help stabilize longer lenses another shutter release and another front control dial which changes either aperture or exposure compensation depending on which mode you have selected. This is the configuration I keep the OM-D in most of the time with the Pani 25mm f/1.4. This is a great combination.
3) With the second part of the grip you now get a portrait shutter release and another front and rear control wheel. You also get 2 more function buttons which can be set independently of the first 2 function buttons. You also get a lock to prevent any of those buttons from accidentally being pressed. Finally, you get a space for an extra battery. Even in this configuration the camera is neither heavy or large. This set up is fantastic for the event photographer and portrait photographer. This setup makes this a fantastic professional camera for many many many situations. M4/3 has arrived into the working professional ranks with the OM-D and this grip.
There are 3 main drawbacks to this grip. The first is the first part of the grip blocks off the battery compartment on the camera. So you have to take the grip off to recharge the batter. The second is on the second part of the grip the tripod lug is well to the right of the camera. I am really not sure what Olympus was thinking here. The 3rd and largest right now is the fact Olympus does not sell the BLN-1 yet. Which sort of makes the extra battery capacity a moot point.
To solve the problem of no Olympus Battery, I purchased the following.
ZIP OLYMPUS BLN-1 (Includes 1-1500mAh battery, pocket charger,LCD Screen protector and Card Reader) for Olympus OM-D E-M5
This battery does not work in the Olympus charger. However, it comes with its own charger that is also a car charger. This charge also charges the Olympus battery so you get a way to charge your Olympus batter in the car. So far I have had no issues with this product.
Overall, if you have the OM-D and some of the larger lenses such as the 100-300mm or 14-140mm then this lens will help stabilize and balance the lenses on the camera making them much easier to use.
Best grip I have ever bought
Turns the OM-D into 3 different cameras
Great build quality
Blocks camera batter compartment
Tripod lug not centered
No Olympus BLN-1 batteries available to put in grip
a. I have (used) the E-P1, E-P3 (along with the E-5 and a ton of other cameras) and although the pen cameras were (are) great cameras, the ergonomics was always something that really limited the functionality of those units.
b. Fast forward, the E-M5 looks bigger than the E-P3 but in reality it's not much bigger and the grip is really not better. However, with the E-M5, you now have the ability to add this grip and unequivocally this is an awesome unit. 100% of those who are going to use the E-M5 along with the standard 4/3 lens must have this grip; no question about that. 90% of traditional camera folk who are going to use the E-M5 with the m4/3 lens are still going to want to have this grip because it really improves the overall comfort / grip / ergonomics of this camera.
c. Re: Quality of build: excellent.
d. Re: Ease of use: it's a no brainer. Screw on/ screw off. Note, you'll have to screw off each time you want to access the battery (a minor hassle, but there's nothing they could have done about it).
e. Re: Flexibility: excellent. I don't need to shoot vertically (or rather use the vertical shutter) and thus just attach the first part. If you want the whole deal, then just attach both units. Again, it's up to you.
f. re: use with standard 4/3 lens. I'll comment more on this in my E-M5 review, but although this does not replace the DSLR (the E-5 is still better in re: ergonomics when using the 4/3 lens), this is a quantum leap forward in re: using standard 4/3 lens on the m4/3 cameras. It's now actually doable and fairly comfortable to use 4/3 lens on the E-M5; my standard lens that I use is the 12-60mm and it's largish but not ackward and again, the grip is what makes all the difference.
2. 1000% kudos for Olympus for putting out this excellent product.
3. FYI: I don't have it yet, but for those looking for an alternative, really right stuff now has a grip for the E-M5; it has some pros / cons, but at least check it out and see if that'll work for you.
The top half of this grip is always attached to my camera just to improve my ability to hold it securely. The bottom half is nice, but unless I was shooting a ton of shots in portrait orientation, I'm not sure it's worth the extra bulk. Having an extra battery in it is nice but it really only saves you the ten seconds it would take to swap batteries.
If you just want an improved grip on the camera, you don't need the extra shutter releases or battery, Really Right Stuff makes a bottom plate and hand grip combo for the camera that adds an arca-swiss tripod mount and costs about half as much as this battery holder. If I had known about that at the time I bought this, I might have purchased it instead - it provides about 70% of the functionality I use for 40% of the price, and it also acts as tripod quick-release plate.