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Date: 22/11/2013 | By: Heather

8 Great Accessories Every Olympus OM-D E-M5 User Should Consider

My ideal OM-D E-M5 setup

8 Great Accessories Every Olympus OM-D E-M5 User Should Consider

The Olympus OM-D E-M5, upon its release a year and a half ago, was a groundbreaking camera. It was the first to use Olympus’ renowned 5-axis stabilisation, reducing the need for higher ISO levels in dark shooting conditions. It also has one of the fastest autofocus and continuous shooting mechanisms on a mirrorless camera. Finally, it was also one of the first modern digital cameras to feature a functional yet stylish retro look, making it desirable not only for its advanced technology but for its aesthetic appeal as well.

While it is the perfect photographic companion on its own, there are a handful of accessories which may make your shooting experience even better with the E-M5. Below I have listed a series of useful OM-D E-M5 accessories that were either suggested to us by other E-M5 users, or that we use ourselves.

If you have any accessories to add to this list, please do not hesitate to include them in the comments section of this article!

1. Olympus HLD-6 Battery Holder

The E-M5 with the landscape grip attached. My favourite set-up!

Although the OM-D E-M5 is a very well-constructed little camera, the grip may prove too small for those with large hands. Mathieu for one found that the grip was fine for casual photography but was too small for intensive work sessions. This is why we immediately bought the additional HLD-6 battery grip/holder after purchasing the E-M5. Not only did it improve the battery life for full days of shooting, but it also improved the ergonomics of the camera and gave him some extra function buttons and dials to work with. Being a two part grip, you can choose to use just the horizontal grip for landscape shooting, or add on the vertical grip for portraits. It is the vertical grip which contains the extra battery.

The only thing we do not like about the HLD-6 is that it covers the battery compartment. If the battery dies, it becomes necessary to remove the entire grip to replace it. Some have complained about the odd placement of the tripod lug as well, but since we rarely shoot with a tripod, it doesn’t really bother us.

You can visit our full review of the HLD-6 battery grip/holder to read more!

List Price: $299.00
Current Price: $229.99
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Note that there is another E-M5 Grip Base available from J.B. Camera Designs if you can find it in stock. I believe it is much cheaper and provides access to the battery compartment, but does not function as a battery holder. It is the perfect option for those who want more grip but don’t care about extended battery life.

2. Gariz Genuine Leather Half Case

gariz leather case om-d e-m5

If you aren’t attracted to an extra grip, you could always go for the highly-recommended Gariz Leather Half Case designed especially for the E-M5. Not only does it protect your camera, but it also improves the grip if you find the E-M5’s grip a tad too small. The case features a well-built battery door, a small opening for your SD card and a built-in tripod mount so you don’t have to remove the E-M5 from its case for long exposures. It does not block access to the tilting screen, though it does become a little harder to articulate. If you don’t like traditional black, it is also available in brown.

3. Gariz Genuine Leather Wrist Strap

gariz leather strap mirrorless

Another popular E-M5 accessory from Gariz is the Leather Wrist Strap. As the name suggests, it is made from high quality soft leather to ensure maximum durability and comfort while shooting, and has been designed to complement the above-mentioned Gariz half case. The only caveat, as David Taylor-Hughes points out, is that once you latch it onto your mirrorless camera, it isn’t very easy to remove. This could prove irritating if you often switch between shoulder straps and wrist straps. However, if you plan on leaving the strap attached to your camera, you shouldn’t have any issues.

4. Anti-Glare Expert Shield Screen Protector

The Expert Shield packages
The Expert Shield packages

The Anti-Glare Expert Shield Screen Protector for the OM-D E-M5 is a product we can personally recommend as we have been using it on our E-M5 for over six months now with very few issues. The Expert Shield does exactly what it’s meant to do – protect your touch screen from scratches. It is very easy to stick onto the screen and does not come away at the edges if attached correctly. In the case of our E-M5, a couple of small bubbles have recently appeared along the bottom edge, but the protector is still firmly attached. On our Fuji X100s, on the other hand, the protector has not shown any signs of bubbles. Though it may not be perfect, it is affordable and does the job!

You can visit our full review of the Expert Shield for the E-M5 and X100s to read more!

5. Olympus GS-4 Grip Strap

olympus gs-4 grip

The Olympus GS-4 Grip Strap is another alternative for those who want a better grip on the E-M5. It is meant to be attached to the base of the HLD-6 Battery Holder mentioned at the beginning of this article, and the strap ring of the E-M5, so you should only consider this product if you already have the HLD-6. With its velcro closure, it will adjust to any hand size or shape, and is ideal for shots where vigorous movement on the part of the photographer (running, jumping) is required.

6. M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 Lens Hood

Though I’ve chosen to list the 45mm here as an example, I believe that a lens hood is a necessary addition to any expensive lens. It protects your lens from flare and will act as a shield if your lens should knock against something hard or fall. The disappointing thing is that for some lenses, Olympus does not include a lens hood in the lens kit. Thankfully, there are a number of inexpensive third-party and Olympus lens hoods you can buy for almost every lens in the system including the 45mm listed here, the 17mm, the 75mm, the 14-42mm, and more.

7. Olympus FL-600R Electronic Flash

olympus fl-600r

When we bought the E-M5, we decided to invest in the FL-600R as well since Mathieu does a lot of event and reportage work in darkly-lit conferences halls. This flash unit is smaller than a standard flash for DSLRs and has been designed for the OM-D E-M5 and MFT cameras in general. It is equipped with wireless functionalities including a wireless commander mode (4 groups, 4 channels). Another interesting feature is the built-in LED that can be activated at any time for video shooting. It isn’t super bright but can be of help in extreme situations. The flash recycle time is fast but not as fast as high-end DSLR flash units. Also always make sure to have the batteries fully charged!

List Price: $299.00
Current Price: $254.56
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8. Olympus MMF-1 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds Adapter

olympus mmf-1 four thirds to micro four thirds adapter

Do you have a bunch of 4/3s lenses lying around the house which aren’t getting any use? If so, you have two options: sell them and buy more Micro 4/3s lenses, or use them on your E-M5 with the Olympus MMF-1 adapter. With this adapter, you will get the same quality and image sharpness on the E-M5 that you get on a 4/3s camera. It has a solid metal build and is compatible with all Micro 4/3s cameras and 4/3s lenses across the two systems. Quite simply, you’ll be able to mix an already well-developed and respected older system with newfangled technology. What could be better?

List Price: $179.99
Current Price: $179.99
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Me + Oly = Love (sorry Mat!)
Me + Oly = Love (sorry Mat!)


Looking for inexpensive accessories for your E-M5? Be sure to check out eBay as well!

Is there an OM-D E-M5 accessory you’d add to this list? Feel free to chime in with your suggestions below!

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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Heather Broster

    We actually tried these two products recently and added them to a list called “10 photography gifts the mirrorless photographer in your life will actually find useful.” Thanks for the input!!

  • Heather

    Nice, thanks for your suggestions! I’ve been curious about the B-Grip for a while now.

  • Abdo Fernández

    I use a lot an accesory like B-Grip with my E-M5. I bought it from Adorama ( and I made an adaptor to use in a backpack like the original B-Grip. I’m an amateur mountaineer and most of my photos are taken at the mountain, so this is the very best accesory for me because I can have the camera in 2 seconds ready to shoot. Additionally, I have two more accesories that are wonderful, the remote and programable shutter and the Spudz (, which allow you to have always a microfiber cleanning in your hands.

  • Tim Bull

    Thankyou for that idea.
    Weighing up my macro options now. 45mm plus MCON PO2 vs 60mm 2.8 macro
    Macro has weatherproofing but then I would have 45mm 60mm and (what I really want to get ) 75mm 1.8 that seems a pricey trio could end up saving space and money going the MCON way that’s more money towards the 75mm.

  • Tim Bull

    I think it is to allow for easy handling when turning the camera 90 degrees.

  • Mathieu

    I think Olympus is starting to correct the lack of lens hoods in lens boxes. The recent 25mm has one so I hope they will include it for the next lenses to come. As for the battery grip it isn’t just a question of battery power but also a question of grip.

  • Steve Jones

    Although not everyone spends all their time taking Macro photos or close ups there will always be a situation when you want to get in close on something small.
    Olympus makes a great close up lens that fits the 45mm1.8 and even includes a step ring to fit it to the 17 or 25mm lenses.It’s called the MCON P02 is small,reasonably priced and give great results.
    Thought I’d suggest this for everyone who doesn’t know about it. It’s a great little accessory that you can tuck into a corner of your bag and always be ready for that super close up shot! really extends the possibility of the lens you already own without a weight penalty.

  • Steve Jones

    Love my EM5 and Olympus lenses but I must say I’ve never been able to figure out why anyone needs an extra battery in an expensive grip when it takes just a few seconds to slip a new battery into an OMD body.
    Sure if you’ve got big hands ( many of us don’t actually which is exactly why we appreciate the small size of the OMD series) and need to get a better hod on the camera that’s fine, but it’s not necessary to have a battery holder when it’s so easy to carry a spare and drop it in.
    Also Olympus should ( and many have complained about it) provide the hoods with the lenses. Many of them are terribly overpriced for plastic moulded parts.
    Except for these things the Olympus system is fantastic and the best travel system for photographers on the planet bar none right now!

  • Graham Goodenough

    One of the things that I use with my OM-D E-M5 is the penpal pp-1. Great for sharing photos with my tablet and android phone for mobile uploads.

  • dave

    also, forgot to mention that this bag is pretty cool if you are just taking the camera and no other lenses out for the day…

  • dave

    I am tempted by the battery grip etc. but I also like to quickly throw my cameras onto my tripod when needed. Have found the Ishoot grip to be an inexpensive alternative that is quality made in China…found on ebay. Provides an arcs swiss compatible mount for landscape or portrait and just makes the camera easier to hold…also does not block the battery door etc.

  • Andrew cooper

    I can also recommend the peak design capture clips, also look at a ThinkTank Retrospective 7 camera bag, holds my EM5, 12-35, 35-100, 60mm macro, 25 f1.4, and 9-18 with ease along with my iPad and various filters.

  • Albert

    For those who like straps, try Artisan & Artist ACAM-E25R and, as said TriggerTrap.

  • Marco

    A Manfrotto Pixi tripod. It’s quick to set up and very well built. Plus, it perfectly in tune with the M43’s small & light ethos .

  • John Schiller

    Should have mentioned an OEM to M4/3 adapter so you can use “legacy” lenses with the camera. I can use all of my Nikon lenses with my E-5.

  • Heather

    Awesome, thanks for sharing (and for the encouragement)! I’m especially intrigued by the Peak Design Capture Clip as I too hate neck straps.

  • Adam

    I think you have missed a couple of great little additions to theist which I use with my E-M5;
    * Trigger Trap Dongle and App – awesome App for IOS and Android that works as a wired shutter release but can also do loads of other stuff, like time/distance lapse shooting [also can be used with pretty much every other camera system with different leads]
    * Peak Design Capture Clip – bought mine the other day because I hate neck straps and this is the best thing I have ever spent £60 on, ever!
    These are two products to definitely check out, I love them both! Keep up the great work Heather (and Matt), I love reading the blog and keeping up with all things M4/3!

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