The HLD-6 is an optional dust and splashproof battery holder and grip created especially for use with the Olympus E-M5. The device can be separated into two parts -- one tailored to shooting in landscape orientation and one that's ideal for portraits.
The landscape unit includes a built-in shutter button as well as a dial for locking the grip onto the bottom of the E-M5.
The portrait unit includes a molded grip for stable shooting while the camera is in the vertical (portrait) orientation, a built-in shutter button, two built-in function buttons that can be programmed independently of the function buttons on the E-M5 body, a DC-IN jack for continuous powered shooting (requires the optional AC-3 Power Adapter), and a compartment for storing an optional additional BLN-1 lithium-ion battery.
When shooting with the E-M5 and two batteries, you can choose which battery to use first; once it's drained, the camera will start using the second battery for uninterrupted shooting.
Dimensions (combined): 4.7 x 1.9 x 1.6 in. (119.2 x 48.9 x 41.4 mm)
I don't exactly have big hands but even then I found that especially when the E-M5 is paired with any zoom lens (12-40mm in my case), you pretty much can't comfortably hold the camera without the HLD-6 grip installed.
The grip itself is really good. Screws right in and love how it extends the shutter button out. Third party grips won't have that. What could be improved is that you have to unscrew it every time you have change the battery which gets a bit annoying especially when you're travelling.
The battery holder itself I honestly never used too much. I brought it around for a couple of trips but just never found the need to use it. I don't do a lot of portrait shots so I didn't need it for that and honestly it was just a lot easier to buy the extra batteries.
Again, for anyone with an E-M5, this is highly recommended. And if you're doing comparison with third party ones, I really think this is better simply because it extends the shutter.
The dial on the landscape component of this device failed after just over two years of use. It now does nothing, though the shutter button still works. Very disappointing, and a hefty ($95) cost to fix it.
June 20, 2013 by OCULUS
The LOCK Switch Has Purpose, Despite Zero Instruction
I bought this combo holder and the leather slip-through Grip Strap (GS4) a year ago because this camera NEEDS it. I have endured repeated random fires, autofocus issues and of course hundreds of resultant stray, out-of-focus frames.
I consulted Product Support repeatedly, including returning the camera twice for inspection of body and kit lens.
Finally, about a month ago, out of extreme frustration, while on a 10-day photo workshop in the Mojave Desert, etc. I phoned again and demanded to speak to a Support Supervisor who finally told me because I do not use a neck strap, in favor of the hand grip, that the GS 4 was contacting and partially activating the vertical shutter release button.
Solution: Use the LOCK switch on the holder to disengage the vertical/portrait release button. NOWHERE is this cautionary note mentioned in the instructions.
I recall thinking upon assembly that this leather grip is far sloppier than my E-1 and E-3 grip straps….now I know it is. As one who uses vertical frames a lot, I now have an annoying extra step of UNlocking the grip before firing, but the random frames have stopped.