OM-D E-M5: To grip, or not to grip?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jim_C, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    I bought an E-M5 in January, and just sold off the last bits of my Nikon kit. I'm really enjoying this camera.

    I was able to get the HLD-6 from my local camera shop on sale last weekend. (Turned out it's still cheaper at Amazon, but I like to support the local camera shop so they stay around.)

    However… I'm torn about whether to keep it, or return it. My return window is closing fast.

    It improves handling dramatically, at the expense of bulking up the camera a bit. It handles a lot more like the D80 it replaces with the grip on. Seems like this would be especially useful if I attach a speed light.

    However, you've got to remove the thing to replace the battery. This alone may keep me from using it very often.

    Those of you who have the grip — do you use it often? Is removing it to get at the battery a nuisance in practice? (Seems like it would be particularly, when shooting out in the field. If I know I'm going to be shooting tomorrow, I often pop out the battery to top it off. I might avoid doing that with the grip attached.)

    Anyone used both the Olympus grip and the RRS grip, and can compare the two? (The latter offers access to the battery.)
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    i dont like it much. Im one of those that like the OMD without the grip. I do have it do, and use it, specially with the long zooms such as the P100-300 but for primes, it gets in my way and doesnt improve the camera for me. But im not selling it. It really nice built and weather sealed. so its good.
  3. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Jim, did you not know about having to remove the grip in order to change the battery before buying it?
  4. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    I did, but it seems more clumsy than I would have thought it would have been.
  5. Beena22

    Beena22 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    Can you not put the battery in the grip and just use that one rather than having to have one in the camera body? I know you can tell it to use one or the other first if you have them both in.
  6. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I haven't bought the grip yet for a few reasons...1: Even though I'm used to DSLRs (my other camera is a Canon 5D Mark II), the OM-D handles surprisingly well on its own. 2: Part of the reason to choose an OM-D kit over a DSLR kit is the size/weight, I like to go as small/light as possible. :) 
  7. neofx19

    neofx19 Mu-43 Regular

    May 16, 2012
    Yes, you can have a battery in the grip and no battery on the body and still have the camera work. In the Olympus menu you can set which powers the camera first the body then the grip or the grip then the body. I personally use the battery on the grip and not in the camera. Only when I'm doing serious work will I add both batteries but having the battery in the grip itself is a lot easier to swap.

    I have a grip for one of my Om-d's but I might just get another one for my secondary body. It really does improve the handling and its still fairly decent in size; its not too big compared to my E-3 w/battery grip. Plus I love the vintage look the silver OM-d gives when it has the full battery grip, but this is just me.
  8. Beena22

    Beena22 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    There you go then....problem solved and you can keep it.
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I love the controls and feel of the Oly grip, but I did not keep mine. The battery issue is what killed it for me.

    I got the JB grip. It's a nice grip, but doesn't put my finger quite where I want it. I use it when I mount the FL-600R flash head, and sometimes when I mount the 100-300, but leave it off for other times. The JB grip has batter access and is easy to put on/take off.
  10. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    just buy 2 or 3 batteries, or set it up to run off the grip battery first. problem solved.
  11. mring1

    mring1 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    John Taska
    The idiosyncracies of the E-M5's grip

    have been the subject of dozens, if not hundreds, of threads across a number of fora. I have the RRS grip, which is smaller than the HLD-6 and allows for battery changing. I like it because it improves the one dimension of the E-M5 I wanted most (the depth) without substantially changing the other dimensions. However, I also discovered that the camera is very useable for me with no grip whatsoever. I suspect I'll go "gripless" when I'm using the 45/1.8, which will be my next purchase.

    A lot of folks say they use the HLD-6 landscape grip almost exclusively, leaving the portrait grip in the bag. That seems to me to be a lot of money gathering dust, although, lord knows, I have a few accessories like that in the bottom of my bag, too.

    For the users who shoot a lot...weddings, various events, etc...the HLD-6 is a no brainer. For those who don't need the battery capacity and don't find the camera awkward to use in portrait mode, I think the variety of options like Milich's, RRS's, Garitz, and some of the others, offer some great options. I do know the JM and RRS grips come with at least a 30 day return policy, so you could certainly play around a bit until you find what works for you.
  12. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I can't believe that people are letting a MINOR annoyance such as this, compared to comfort of having the HLD-6, impact keeping or getting rid of such an amazing camera!

    I remember back when I used film cameras I always had a leather full body case on the camera, so every time I changed film (36 exposures) I had to remove te case, again by uncrewing the tripod screw. But with the E-M5 we're talking about 100's of pictures between battery changes. If you're smart, you set you camera to use te grip battery first and just change that one, until you need to charge both batteries.
  13. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I, too, am surprised that it is such a big deal to so many. I timed a battery change, starting with the extra battery in my pocket, and it was less than 15 seconds to calmly remove the grip, swap batteries and then screw the grip back on. I can't imagine too many situations where that would really bother me.

    The landscape grip lives on my E-M5 and the portrait grip gets used intermittently. I have longer fingers, so I can't imagine using the E-M5 ungripped with any lenses bigger than a 14-42mm. It's fine for the 20mm, for example, but I wouldn't trust it with my 12-35mm hanging off the front, much less a 35-100mm (if I ever get one.)
  14. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    I'm not considering getting rid of the camera! Just whether or not to keep the grip.

    I haven't even taken the portrait portion of the grip out of the box. Like many others, I'll likely use the landscape portion almost exclusively.
  15. Heavy Doody

    Heavy Doody Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    Have it... Love it. I don't use the battery portion. Just the thin grip. Considering what I use it for, I overpaid... But I'd rather have it than not have it.
  16. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Can the battery portion be used without the "thin grip"?
  17. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    The landscape grip, the part without the battery, screws into the tripod thread on the camera body. The portrait grip, the part with the battery holder, screws into the tripod thread on the portrait grip, but those two tripod threads aren't vertically aligned and that means that if you try to attach the portrait grip directly to the camera body the contacts do not align and you can't attach the grip.

    You can use the landscape grip on its own without the portrait grip/battery holder portion but the portrait grip/battery holder portion only attaches to the landscape grip, not to the camera body itself.
  18. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Is there a connection between low tolerance for grip removal and that of swapping primes?
  19. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Ah, too bad...would have offered to take it off his hands, as I just want the extra battery power for shooting star trails haha....surprisingly, I looove the handling of a DSLR...I had a massive Canon 1D Mark III that is, to this day, the most perfect camera I've ever laid my paws on as far as handling goes. So, I was afraid that the OM-D will disappoint. I'm not sure how, but it doesn''s night and day between it and a big DSLR...and yet, it feels natural...perhaps because I shot with sooo many similarly designed film SLRs for years...
  20. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I've been considering buying the HLD-6 grip for the last month but recently saw the RRS grip which now has me intrigued. The RRS sectional grip provides an arca swiss base plate with the possibility to add a vertical arcs swiss L-bracket.

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    Now I'm not sure which to opt for. I like the arca swiss because it doesn't add much weight or to the dimensions and provides easy access to the battery compartment but the HLD-6 offers the option of extended battery life for the odd occasion that I would use the vertical section of the HLD-6. As I sit and write this it is clearer my mind that the RRS grip is probably the one I should opt for.

    Does anyone else have any feedback on the RRS grip.
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