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View Full Version : AAs and the HLD-4 power grip - Olympus advice


Ian
29th May 2008, 08:42 AM
I have now managed to get some advice from Olympus on the use of AAs with the HLD-4 grip. I've published an article based on the Olympus info here:

http://fourthirds-user.com/2008/05/clarification_of_aa_battery_use_with_e3_hld4_grip. php

Ian

art frames
29th May 2008, 09:04 AM
Ian

I think that is a fair summary.

I do not use the grip simply because the benefits do not seem to be as good as for the E1 grip (bigger battery longer life and really neat). But on the E3 it is a worse design just using two normal batteries isn't a real benefit as I carry that anyway and it is apparently no better to run two together.

The chance to use re-chargeable batteries or Duracells when in trouble seemed a benefit. But I couldn't get it to work... so it wasn't.

The option to use Japanese batteries is but for a few of us... and sounds like desperation on the excuse ladder.

I guess I know the answer :D but would you ask Olympus to consider swapping this redundant grip with something that works if they cannot improve it. I have considered selling it but cannot really do that in good faith.

thank you

Peter

HughofBardfield
29th May 2008, 12:38 PM
Out of interest, does anyone know how/whether the LBH-1 holder (which takes 3 x CR123s) works in the HLD-4? I keep one in my big camera bag for emergencies even though I always have a spare BLM-1 or two as well.

Not that I have an E3 or an HLD-4... yet!

Ian
29th May 2008, 12:56 PM
Hi Peter, no argument that the HLD-4 is not as elegant a solution as the HLD-2, but let's not forget that the HLD-2 was criticised for its battery (not accommodating BLM-1s) and expense. It also offered no emergency AA battery option at all.

The AA issue is disappointing, but the grip certainly does improve the balance and handling of the E-3.

Ian



Ian

I think that is a fair summary.

I do not use the grip simply because the benefits do not seem to be as good as for the E1 grip (bigger battery longer life and really neat). But on the E3 it is a worse design just using two normal batteries isn't a real benefit as I carry that anyway and it is apparently no better to run two together.

The chance to use re-chargeable batteries or Duracells when in trouble seemed a benefit. But I couldn't get it to work... so it wasn't.

The option to use Japanese batteries is but for a few of us... and sounds like desperation on the excuse ladder.

I guess I know the answer :D but would you ask Olympus to consider swapping this redundant grip with something that works if they cannot improve it. I have considered selling it but cannot really do that in good faith.

thank you

Peter

gphemy
29th May 2008, 03:55 PM
Out of interest, does anyone know how/whether the LBH-1 holder (which takes 3 x CR123s) works in the HLD-4?

Yes, I do know.

Yes, it does.

Piers

Ian
29th May 2008, 04:20 PM
Just had some more info from Olympus. The 'Japanese' AA alkaline battery issue has been further clarified - they meant Japanese brand batteries, not batteries only available in Japan. I'm going to investigate the different Japanese heavy duty alkalines available and will report back in due course.

There was also an explanation for not recommending NiMH batteries and this is mainly due to a perceived safety issue with batteries that have damaged covers. This can reveal the metal underneath, potentially causing a short circuit. I wonder if this is a safety regulation in Japan which we're not aware of here?

Ian

Paulpp
29th May 2008, 05:04 PM
Interesting !!!!!! So can Olympus give us the names of brands that will work (or maybe you can update us on this when you return)

tlove
29th May 2008, 05:48 PM
Hi Peter, no argument that the HLD-4 is not as elegant a solution as the HLD-2, but let's not forget that the HLD-2 was criticised for its battery (not accommodating BLM-1s) and expense. It also offered no emergency AA battery option at all.

The AA issue is disappointing, but the grip certainly does improve the balance and handling of the E-3.

Ian

I'd just like an HLD-4 that works with my camera in the first place :(. (Yes - I got one of the freebie ones that were part of the offer. I can use all the buttons on my camera with it attached (and fitted with the two BLM-1s I have), but none of the buttons on the HLD-4 function at all and never have (even though I've tried every combination of flicking switches etc. I could think of) :(:(, and yes it has been back to Olympus (at my expense), who kept it a month before sending it back and it still doesn't work. When I reported that to them they offered for me to return it to them again to be looked at :mad:. I said 'for the same outcome? - I don't think so'. They didn't respond to that :rolleyes:.

Sorry - I'm off thread, and I do apologise :o. Just wanted to get it off my chest - again!

art frames
29th May 2008, 07:03 PM
Hi Peter, no argument that the HLD-4 is not as elegant a solution as the HLD-2, but let's not forget that the HLD-2 was criticised for its battery (not accommodating BLM-1s) and expense. It also offered no emergency AA battery option at all.

The AA issue is disappointing, but the grip certainly does improve the balance and handling of the E-3.

Ian

My question was actually serious.

This was badged as a loyalty offer. For many people it hasn't worked as it promised. That isn't rewarding loyalty very well.

I don't happen to agree that adding weight improves balance. It also implies that the ergonomics are wrong on the camera. Olympus and I disagree.

In fairness to potential buyers I don't feel putting it on Ebay at a giveaway price is a good idea. And it is just sitting in a cupboard in the box it came in.

Who should I contact. The CEO in Germany who sent it to me?

Peter

btw the top battery brands in japan appear to be made by Sanyo, Maxell and Matsushita

Ian
29th May 2008, 08:34 PM
My question was actually serious.

This was badged as a loyalty offer. For many people it hasn't worked as it promised. That isn't rewarding loyalty very well.

I don't happen to agree that adding weight improves balance. It also implies that the ergonomics are wrong on the camera. Olympus and I disagree.

In fairness to potential buyers I don't feel putting it on Ebay at a giveaway price is a good idea. And it is just sitting in a cupboard in the box it came in.

Who should I contact. The CEO in Germany who sent it to me?

Peter

btw the top battery brands in japan appear to be made by Sanyo, Maxell and Matsushita

Regards the balance issue, I think we're going to have to respectfully differ on that.

I think we do agree that the HLD-4 grip is not as comfortable as the HLD-2 because the HLD-4 has a boxier shape to accommodate the two BLM-1s. Sony do it differently, with the batteries fitting sideways, one on top of the other, so the grip can be more sculpted.

I do concede that the bigger HLD-2 battery lasts longer (though the E-3 didn't have live view or 5fps shooting to contend with) and benefits AF speed with some lenses.

Olympus listened to criticisms that the HLD-2 was too expensive and should have had the versatility and convenience of using two readily available BLM-1s instead of the HLD-2's expensive and proprietary battery. The resulting HLD-4 is certainly cheaper and won't render your existing BLM-1 redundant. But the grip isn't as super-confortable as the HLD-2 and the power isn't as 'clever' as the HLD-2. Plus the AA solution (not offered with the HLD-2) is a bit half-baked.

So in the end, neither are perfect, really. But then again, neither are useless, surely?

But I do feel the HLD-4 is a very handy accessory for the E-3, especially with bigger lenses, with which the HLD-4 is, from my view, a boon from a handling and balance point of view.

Ian

Ian
29th May 2008, 08:41 PM
My guess is that Olympus are referring to batteries like Panasonic OxyRide and Sony Stamina brands. Toshiba also sells a hybrid battery that, effectively, recharges itself - 'GigaEnergy' Nickel Zinc technology.

I do think it's wrong of Olympus to assume general knowledge of such 'trick' battery types. I think they're realising that now!

Ian

Ian
29th May 2008, 08:43 PM
I'd just like an HLD-4 that works with my camera in the first place :(. (Yes - I got one of the freebie ones that were part of the offer. I can use all the buttons on my camera with it attached (and fitted with the two BLM-1s I have), but none of the buttons on the HLD-4 function at all and never have (even though I've tried every combination of flicking switches etc. I could think of) :(:(, and yes it has been back to Olympus (at my expense), who kept it a month before sending it back and it still doesn't work. When I reported that to them they offered for me to return it to them again to be looked at :mad:. I said 'for the same outcome? - I don't think so'. They didn't respond to that :rolleyes:.

Sorry - I'm off thread, and I do apologise :o. Just wanted to get it off my chest - again!

Sorry to hear this - sometimes we can help get things moving in situations like this. Send me an private mail message and let's see if anything can be done to help.

Ian