April 25, 2014
I was really excited when Olympus had the HLD-6 and GS-4 combo on sale the other month. Here's my observation so far:
The HLD-6 is like how everybody describes it: high quality construction that greatly improves the handling of the E-M5. But--I'd still hesitate to buy it at full regular price, unless you use your camera constantly and/or routinely use long lenses or a large flash.
Most reviews have noted how Olympus thoughtfully provides an indentation to hold the rubber flap--that's good. But I'm just as worried about leaving the pins exposed once you take any part of the grip off: for that you'll need to hang onto the little plastic cap, which will probably get lost immediately. Speaking of the pins: they are *finicky*! I assembled both part of the grip and thought everything was secure. Then none of the dials on the grip worked! The secondary shutter buttons worked. I panicked, thinking I got a dud. Then I decided to unfastened/refasten the grip, and then the dials worked. I cannot understand how the pins didn't contact properly before!
As for the GS-4 grip: I was looking forward to using this, but it's not very well designed. In order to use it, you must have BOTH parts of the HLD-6 in place, plus one of the camera strap "D" rings in place. I've removed my "D" (actually they're triangular) rings and I don't often use the bottom half of the HLD-6. So it's a tremendous hassle to constantly thread/unthread the GS-4 from the ring. Olympus should have found a way to contain the GS-4 entirely within the HLD-6.