The OM-D E-M5 is Olympus’s most highly specified four thirds camera to date, and its most attractive, but is its performance good enough to provide a lasting legacy?
HLD-6 grip and battery pack
During this test, I used the OM-D E-M5 with the HLD-6 grip and battery pack. The first thing to note is that the battery pack is attached through the grip and does not slot directly onto the camera.
The grip makes holding the camera with one hand much more comfortable, and duplicates the shutter release and exposure dial on the body of the E-M5 for an easy reach. With the grip in place, the battery pack can be attached.
Like other battery packs, the HLD-6 transforms the handling of the camera, providing a practical balance for portrait and landscape orientation.
The controls are mirrored in portrait format, with two exposure dials, a shutter release, two function buttons and a lock. Activating the lock prevents the accidental taking of pictures when using the camera in landscape format, which can occur because the palm of the hand naturally rests over the extra shutter release.
Furthermore, with a second battery inserted into the pack (the same BLN-1 type used in the camera, costing £59), the battery life is extended to a claimed 650 shots. Without the pack, the camera is capable of a relatively modest 330 shots.
Both grip and battery pack are weatherproofed and made to the same high standard as the body. I am not in the habit of recommending camera extras, but in this case I’ll make an exception.