Review/Impressions: OM-D Grips and Batteries

Started Aug 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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j y g
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Review/Impressions: OM-D Grips and Batteries
Aug 21, 2013

I had been trying to figure out if I wanted to get the Olympus grip for the OM-D or the ReallyRightStuff camera plate + grip setup. The short answer is, while I think I might have enjoyed the extra shutter button, I opted for the ReallyRightStuff grip.

The longer answer is that early on in the life of my OM-D I had purchased this three battery + charger kit. I stowed my OEM charger and battery, labelled the new batteries with a Sharpie pen: 1, 2 & 3 and use and charge them in that order. The on-screen battery indicator does a fine job of reading the battery. With all this in the bag, I recently took a trip to every *Land amusement park in Southern California with my family. On average I'd say that within a full day I took about 250 to 300 photos (~15% high speed repeats) and some short (a few minutes) to some lengthy (more than half hour) movies.  I generally shoot with the EVF and don't do a whole lot of viewing on the camera.  This effort on the camera's part took about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 of those aftermarket batteries. No, no grip in the story yet.

This is considerably more content than I generally accumulate in a day and this confirmed for me, beyond experience already observed, that I wouldn't regularly need the two-battery setup of the grip. A corollary to this is that, if needed, I could still enjoy the easy access to the battery compartment of the RRS grip. Another is that I could enjoy the repositioning of the tripod mount thread for easier panoramas, something which I believe the OEM grip doesn't offer (?). Lastly, I like to have as small a bag as possible and this grip certainly keeps the body having a smaller overall form factor. I assume it also ends up having less weight than the multi-part OEM device. Sure I could use just the OEM right hand grip, but then what would I be paying $300 for? I got the RRS shipped for $140. RRS ships like lightning and their customer service is nothing short of perfect..

I put the grip on. While the unit itself is light, on the camera it does feel like it adds a considerable percentage of weight. This isn't necessarily bad, but it does feel almost like the grip justifies itself. Switching back and forth, taking it on and off, I began to appreciate more just how well designed the stock grip is. That thumb catch, not the finger grip, is the real star of the design. Certainly, the RRS grip does add stability to regular horizontal shooting. Where it shines, in my opinion, is during extended horizontal shooting, secure hand holding for vertical shots and more surety when carrying the camera while wading through crowds of mindless amusement park drones. My hand is 7 1/4" from middle finger tip to the top of my wrist, my fingers are just a bit stubby, and the RRS grip felt very natural to me.

My recommendations are:

1) Whoever you are, get that battery+charger it.

2) If you're not a pro and do not do any extended shooting, I wouldn't bother with a grip, unless your larger fingers demand it.

3) If you're not a pro but do have times where you do extended shooting or carrying, the RRS grip is a great addition the will give you extra stability and keep your forearms from cramping so easily.

4) If you are a pro (or like to pretend you are one) and do all that flipping around with your camera, trying to impress the rest of us, don't mind a big bag, really want those extra shutter buttons, like to spend double the money, well, by all means get the OEM grip.

 j y g's gear list:j y g's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R
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