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View Full Version : Accessories Ownuser battery grip BH-E51/E51R for e-510



MikkoH
02-22-2009, 07:18 AM
Ownuser battery grip BH-E51/E51R for e-510

http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13137&stc=1&d=1235311625

Ever since I got my e-510 I've been wanting a portrait/battery grip because I take a lot of vertical photos. Unfortunately, Olympus doesn't offer a battery grip option, nor are there any connections for a grip in the battery compartment. But thanks to the Taiwanese company Ownuser, there is a battery grip available. It's great that these kind of innovative 3rd-party manufacturers exist that make accessories which are not available from the camerabrand itself.

I ordered the more simpler (and cheaper) version of the grip, BH-E510, from enjoyyourcamera.com which is located in Germany. Unfortunately the grip stopped working, so I contacted Ownuser directly via email. The responds were quick and informative and finally they asked me to send the grip to Taiwan and they would send me a brand new BH-E510R, the one with a built in IR-receiver and a -remote. I was quite happy with their customer service. So, the BH-E510R arrived about a week ago and I took it with me on a trip to Lapland for extensive testing :D :

The first thing you gotta do when attaching the grip to the camera, is to take off the e-510's battery door. It comes off with just a little pulling, no unscrewing or anything like that neccesary. Then clip it on to the grip so it doesn't get lost and then just screw the grip on to the camera's tripod-screw.

Ergonomics and built

The grip is made of good quality plastic (though not on par with e-510's plastic) and doesn't feel cheap or weak. Due to the design of the grip, it feels and looks allmost like a solid part of the camera. The top of the grip follows the curves of the bottom of the camera making it sturdy and clean looking. The finishing of the grip is not the same as e-510's, which would have been cool. There are 2 points for attaching straps in the bottom of the grip. I really, really would have liked to have leather(/rubber?) on the front of the grip, it would have made the grip feel even much better. At the moment, the lack of leather on the grip makes it a bit slippery and leather would have added the needed friction between grip and ones hand. Ergonomics are great with the grip on the camera, it makes the whole camera just the right size for my hands and has great balance especially with larger/heavier lenses like the 12-60 and 50-200 zuikos.

http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13138&stc=1&d=1235311625

Operation

The grip has two shutter buttons for vertical shooting, one for right hand and one for left hand use. For some reason I really dont like the positioning of the right hand shutter button (the one on the front of the grip), I think a better place for it would be on the right side of the grip like on the Olympus grip for e-3. Half press for autofocus works perfecfectly. The buttons dont feel as good as the shutter button on e-510, but not bad either.

Because e-510 doesn't have connectors for a battery grip, the buttons work through a connector on the usb-port of the camera just like a wired remote. I don't think the usb-connector gets in the way too much, nor does it make pressing the ISO-button noticeably harder. But it does mean, that using the usb-port for other things like transferring images to the computer means you have to take the grip's connector off. It would have been great to have an extra usb-port on the grip itself.

There are two switches on the sides of the grip the one on the left is a AA-CR-V3/DC -switch and the one on the left is used to switch the shutter buttons on/off and to switch the IR-receiver on. There are also ports for a wired remote and a dc-adapter. The grip takes two Olympus blm-1's as one would expect. The battery door is exellent, it's impossible to open by accident and can be opened even when the camera is on a tripod.

http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13139&stc=1&d=1235311625

IR-remote

The difference between the BH-E51 and the more expensive BH-E51R is the infrared-shutter release possibility which the latter has. The BH-E51R has built in IR-sensors on the front of the grip aswell as on the back of it which is very usefull. The lag of the Ownuser remote is shorter than Olympus' own RM-1 IR-remote and I was able to release the shutter with the Ownuser remote from a 14m distance from the camera. The remote also has a nice 10 second self-timer button on it.

http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13140&stc=1&d=1235311625

Conclusion

Overall I really like my BH-E51R and dont regret buying it at all. It's a great accesory and so far the only battery grip option for e-510. As for the price, I feel it maybe a bit overpriced because of it's monopoly position. At the purchase price of it (100€ for the BH-E51) I would have liked to have leather on the grip and perhaps a dial too or a dc-adapter included in the package. So there are a few things that could be improved in the possible next version, but overall it's great allready as it is and a great add-on for the e-510 that I can easily recommend.

Pros:
-A well designed battery grip for a camera that was never ment to have a battery grip option. Just the right size and weight. Takes 2 blm-1's
-Gives that rugged pro feel and look :cool:
-Balances the camera with larger lenses.
-2 shutter buttons
-DC and wired remote ports.
-excellent battery door.
-IR receiver on the BH-E51R -version
-2 points for attaching straps on the bottom of the grip

Cons:
-The positioning of the right hand shutter release button.
-No leather/rubber
-Makes the usb-port harder to get to for other uses, because you have to take the connector off. Perhaps an extra usb-port on the next version would be nice?
-Perhaps a bit pricey
-No dials

cifcap
02-22-2009, 07:56 AM
Excellent review and it actually looks quite good on the E-510. I'm glad a 3rd Party makes gear like this for Olympus too. I've skipped all of the bodies since the E-300 since I can't use my AC-1 adapter nor do they have a grip (amongst other things) save the E-3 and E-30. Thanks for your post!

Ravenwing
02-22-2009, 08:18 AM
Thanks for the review. I have one of these on the way for my E-520, will add my thoughts when I've had it for a while. Hoping the Oly grip strap from my E-1 will fit it??

pmbpro
02-22-2009, 11:12 AM
Excellent review! Thanks for that. I agree with you on all of it. I literally just got mine (the IR version) a week ago and love it overall.

I feel the same way about the right-side shutter button too. IMO, I think they should have placed it right on the side, just like the left button is (so when you rotate it, it's actually on "top"). I like to push *down* on the shutter button, not "pull in", which is what I feel like I'm doing when I use it.

MikkoH
02-22-2009, 12:29 PM
Thanks for all the replies. This must be the longest thing I have ever written in english


Thanks for the review. I have one of these on the way for my E-520, will add my thoughts when I've had it for a while. Hoping the Oly grip strap from my E-1 will fit it??

It should if it's long enough.


Excellent review! Thanks for that. I agree with you on all of it. I literally just got mine (the IR version) a week ago and love it overall.

I feel the same way about the right-side shutter button too. IMO, I think they should have placed it right on the side, just like the left button is (so when you rotate it, it's actually on "top"). I like to push *down* on the shutter button, not "pull in", which is what I feel like I'm doing when I use it.

Exactly how I feel, I just couldn't put it down to words. It really feels like pulling in the button especially because I'm used to push the shutter button with the joint of my finger rather than the tip of my finger.

Petephoto1
02-23-2009, 04:10 AM
Mikkoh , great review .:) cheers Pete

GreKom
03-25-2009, 07:39 AM
Thanks for great review. I also just got mine, and the camera holding and handling just got perfect.

About the right button... First I have to remember I have it :o

I just catched myself jesterday that I was still shooting with original button in portrait mode :D I guess I just have to get used to it, or to put some Postit on the camera saying... "Hey stupid... You have a grip now! Use the other buton" :p

Mmmmm BTW, a friend is also using it, and he said, that when not using the camera the grip drained his batteries. Can you say more about that?

Ravenwing
03-25-2009, 09:35 AM
I can say that I've had mine for about a month now, and just today I'm charging the first set of BLM-1's that I put in it. And it still wasn't showing that it needed a charge, I just didn't want to get caught with it going dead. Havn't noticed any discharge when not in use at all.

Edit: Although I have heard of this problem with an earlier version (mine is the one for the E-520, with remote included). Reportedly, Ownuser was good about correcting the problem, you might want to suggest your friend contact them.

GreKom
03-25-2009, 10:31 AM
Thanks for prompt answer. I will see how it develops in few weeks of use.

MikkoH
03-26-2009, 06:29 AM
I don't think that the draining problem exists anymore with the new grips. When I was going to order my grip for christmas, I noticed they werent available anywhere. I guess they were pulled back by Ownuser because of draining problems. Then a couple of weeks later the grips were back on sale again and atleast I havent had any draining. Tell you're friend to contact Ownuser, they are wery helpfull.

thebinaryman
03-26-2009, 12:47 PM
A thought just crossed my mind. Does anyone know how this will hold up in rain?:hmm:

Petephoto1
03-27-2009, 03:57 AM
Mark , ( glad you posted your name tend to forget) good question, not only rain but static electricity for any of these devices ? Cheers Pete

Ravenwing
03-27-2009, 07:18 AM
Just a WAG on my part, but I would think it would hold up at least as well as the 510/520 itself, it not being weather sealed. I'd tend to worry more about the camera than the grip.

thebinaryman
03-27-2009, 07:21 AM
Just a WAG on my part, but I would think it would hold up at least as well as the 510/520 itself, it not being weather sealed. I'd tend to worry more about the camera than the grip.

True, but the interesting thing is that I just recently shot with my 510 in the rain. It actually help up OK and had no problems (I tucked it under my jacket in between shots). The camera was dripping wet everywhere though. I'd hate to attach the grip and find that the grip is at fault for destroying the camera, but I guess it would be smart to remove the grip before shooting in the rain.

Stetr24
08-18-2009, 09:43 AM
I just ordered one of these grips for my 510 and can't wait for it to come in!

To solve the leather on the grip issue, I think I am going to attempt to purchase adhesive backed vinyl that can be cut to fit the curves of the grip. Like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Pebble-texture-Adhesive-Black-Vinyl-Guard-9%22-wide-Roll_W0QQitemZ350230368825QQcmdZViewItem

It looks almost the same as the texture on the body and I think it would be a fun little project. I don't want the camera to fall out of my hands if I start to get sweaty.

Ooo, this stuff looks even better...

http://cgi.ebay.com/1-x-SHEET-BLACK-TEXTURED-SELF-ADHESIVE-VINYL_W0QQitemZ350173022482QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_C arsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM?hash=item5187f04912&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177

RAH
08-18-2009, 01:33 PM
There are two switches on the sides of the grip the one on the left is a AA-CR-V3/DC -switch and the one on the left is used to switch the shutter buttons on/off and to switch the IR-receiver on. There are also ports for a wired remote and a dc-adapter. The grip takes two Olympus blm-1's as one would expect.
Very interesting review. I do have one question concerning the batteries, which I have never been able to get a straight answer on - does this grip allow you to use 4 AA batteries instead of the 2 BLM-1s? The switch you mention implies this, and their website kind of says it - I think they have adapters for sale, or maybe they come with it? But I've never been totally sure. It would be nice to know one way or the other.

Stetr24
08-18-2009, 01:51 PM
...does this grip allow you to use 4 AA batteries instead of the 2 BLM-1s?

Yes it does. There is a battery pack that hold 6 AA's which is external to the grip. You can see the pack in detail here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ownuser-Battery-Grip-for-Olympus-E-520-E-510-BH-E51R_W0QQitemZ170362836761QQcmdZViewItemQQptZDigit al_Camera_Accessories?hash=item27aa6a9719&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

RAH
08-18-2009, 02:24 PM
OK, thanks. I guess I was thinking that maybe you could use FOUR AAs in the grip itself without that external battery pack, via some adapters, but it seems not. Still pretty nice!

Stetr24
08-18-2009, 04:10 PM
Yeah, the first model had the little packs that you could use pretty much anything in, but I think new model is better because the back is smoother and not as tank-ish looking.

marcot64
10-01-2009, 12:28 AM
Looking to purchase this item.
Was wondering now that the people have had a chance to use them over a longer period of time if they still have the same positive impressions of this grip?

Any input would be appreciated.

Vandy
10-01-2009, 02:04 AM
Yes, I'm in the same boat. I would like to here from some longer time users of this item. There seemed to be a battery drain issue, how is that going? Thanks for your time for this thread.

Julio
10-01-2009, 10:41 AM
Also, I shoot with my left eye. Does the protruding USB thing-a-ma-jig bump against your nose, or does it make it awkward somehow? Thanks.

Stetr24
10-01-2009, 04:21 PM
Looking to purchase this item.
Was wondering now that the people have had a chance to use them over a longer period of time if they still have the same positive impressions of this grip?

Any input would be appreciated.

Haven't had mine long, but I don't regret getting it at all. It is solid and has some great features that I don't think I could live without any more. My favorite part of the grip is the IR remote. I can use the remote to lock focus on a subject and adjust my composition without holding the shutter button down. It will then lock the focus for multiple exposures. This is a plus for HDR stuff.

It also allows for you to use burst mode without holding down a shutter button. You can set the camera to burst mode, set your exposure, lock the focus and shoot using the "B-Mode" button. It will then continue to shoot frame after frame until you wither stop it or the camera runs out of batteries. And you don't have to touch a thing! I found this very usful when doing star trail shots...


There seemed to be a battery drain issue, how is that going?

That use to be an issue with the first model that was put into production. With the new model, BH-E51R, battery power is only used when the body is on and you are using the functions on the body. I have turned my camera off, but left the grip on over night and there was no indication of the batteries being drained at all.


Also, I shoot with my left eye. Does the protruding USB thing-a-ma-jig bump against your nose, or does it make it awkward somehow? Thanks.

I guess, depending on the shape and size of your face, you might feel it rub against your mouth or chin. You would prob have to try it for yourself and see...

In regards to your hand, you do have to twist your wrist ever so slightly to hit the ISO button, but other than that, it stays out of my way and is not much of a bother...

mclarenf3
10-01-2009, 06:45 PM
I have a somewhat big nose, and also shoot with my left eye. I never had it get in the way with my nose. However, it did get in the way with how I would normally keep my thumb. Not annoying enough to really mention, but it was something I had to get used to.

I have used it for about a year now (just sold it) and I had absolutely no complaints about it. It did what it was supposed to do, without any problems.


Also, I shoot with my left eye. Does the protruding USB thing-a-ma-jig bump against your nose, or does it make it awkward somehow? Thanks.

Rockin Ronnie
10-04-2009, 02:11 PM
Someone asked about long term use. I have had my grip since September of 08 and it is the newer version as mentioned above. I did have to send it in once back in October 08 because of the well documented battery draining problem. It came back fixed.

It is never off my E510. It has performed flawlessly. I have to admit it is a very well-designed aftermarket product.

Ron

marcot64
10-06-2009, 03:58 AM
Thanks for the help everyone. :)
I'll probably end up buying it. I already have the Oly RM remote do you think it's worth it to buy the remote model?

Vandy
10-06-2009, 11:25 PM
Marco, I bought the $95 version from Saini. It comes with the aa battery pack and the remote. Check out ebay. I get it tomorrow.

DesertNate
10-26-2009, 07:13 AM
I have an E-520 and I use some fairly heavy lenses. The body seems a bit off balance with some of the largest ones. Is this grip fairly solid or does it feel a bit light without batteries in it? Any flex or wobble when using the tripod mount?

Also, does anyone have any comments about the button? Is it fairly precise? I worry that cheap aftermarkets might not have mastered the two-stage shutter release button. I would hate to waste a flash cycle when I am just trying to focus.

Will in Tejas
10-26-2009, 07:27 AM
I have had one on my 520 since July of last year when I bought it and honestly it feels more solid than the OEM model from Olympus that I have on my E-30. The only time I have had a problem is when the connection cord is not totally seated.

Stetr24
10-26-2009, 08:15 AM
Is this grip fairly solid or does it feel a bit light without batteries in it? Any flex or wobble when using the tripod mount?

Also, does anyone have any comments about the button? Is it fairly precise? I worry that cheap aftermarkets might not have mastered the two-stage shutter release button. I would hate to waste a flash cycle when I am just trying to focus.

I think it is very solid unit and is pretty heavy when it has the batteries in it. It balances my E-510 and 14-54 combo very nicely. I'm sure it would feel pretty good with a 12-60 on there too.

There are two buttons on this grip, a right and left handed button. They are both pretty solid. They both have the half press for focus and work just like the factory chrome button. I find myself shooting left handed more in portrait mode now that I have this grip.

I have a questions for all of you guys now...

Is there a way to take the rubber flap where the plug for the grip goes off? I don't like the fact that it just hangs there and I worry that it may just snap off when putting it in or taking it out of my bag.

Vandy
11-05-2009, 07:34 PM
Doesn't quite feel a durable as the e-1 grip and feel :down:, but it does the trick, and suits my big hands better. Plastic, but better than nothing. No battery drain in my model. Cord in back fell out, and it kept working? Oh well, maybe that was divine intervention.:D I'd buy it again if I was in the same predicament.

ikemann
12-08-2009, 01:54 PM
sorry for digging this thread out of the archives (and sorry for the long absence :) ), but i just purchased this grip (bh-e51r) for my e-520. i have to say, i really love the aesthetics and the feel of the grip but am having a problem with the shutter. i can't seem to get either the camera or the grip to allow me to focus with a half-press -- it just fires away.

i have only seen one other post in this thread about my possible situation, but haven't seen that anyone else has had this problem. am i missing a setting? did i receive a bad copy?

cheers.

-- ike

UPDATE: i just set the drive mode to continuous (with grip installed) and it didn't even stop shooting after i released the shutter button. i'm starting to get concerned...

Stetr24
12-09-2009, 08:20 AM
I can't seem to get either the camera or the grip to allow me to focus with a half-press -- it just fires away.

UPDATE: i just set the drive mode to continuous (with grip installed) and it didn't even stop shooting after i released the shutter button. i'm starting to get concerned...

Did the camera allow you to focus when you put it in continuous mode?

Did you happen to sync the remote that came with your grip?

There is a function on the remote that came with the grip that allows the user to continuously shoot frame, after frame, after frame... until the user presses the cancel button on the remote

You may be confusing the grip by not having the remote synced to it :dontknow:

You might also have your AEL/AFL button set to focus instead of your shutter button as well... Page 77

http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/E-510_Instruction_Manual_EN.pdf

ikemann
12-09-2009, 12:54 PM
Did the camera allow you to focus when you put it in continuous mode?

Did you happen to sync the remote that came with your grip?

There is a function on the remote that came with the grip that allows the user to continuously shoot frame, after frame, after frame... until the user presses the cancel button on the remote

You may be confusing the grip by not having the remote synced to it :dontknow:

You might also have your AEL/AFL button set to focus instead of your shutter button as well... Page 77

http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/E-510_Instruction_Manual_EN.pdf

thanks for the reply stetr24 :). i did sync the remote, and remote usage exhibited similar behavior on the camera. the camera does try to focus with the grip attached, but this is an all-encompassing event -- focus and shutter. what i mean is that there is no half-press for focus and full-press for shutter (with the shutter buttons on the camera or the grip, or the remote) -- the camera just wants to take a picture any time any of the buttons are pushed to any degree.

i am wondering if there is a setting in the camera that i have missed, or a switch on the grip that i haven't toggled? the original poster on this thread expressed that "half-press focus works flawlessly". i haven't found that, but am wondering if that is a function of me not knowing the settings, or the grip not working properly...

thanks again for your post.

-- ike

[EDIT]
ael/afl button on the camera is set to the default exposure lock function -- not focus lock.

Stetr24
12-09-2009, 02:48 PM
the camera just wants to take a picture any time any of the buttons are pushed to any degree.

I am wondering if there is a setting in the camera that i have missed, or a switch on the grip that i haven't toggled?

[EDIT]
ael/afl button on the camera is set to the default exposure lock function -- not focus lock.

That's just strange. It may be that you just received a faulty grip. If you take the grip off, can you half-press the shutter for focus on the original button?

I do not think there are any other setting for focus that I can think of. I have the E-510, so the E-520 might be a little different...

I would have been willing to bet it was an AEL/AFL setting...

Well, I hope you figure it out. I would at least exhaust all possibilities and read all the instructions that came with the grip top to bottom to see if you missed anything.

Good luck :thumbup:

ikemann
12-09-2009, 10:19 PM
That's just strange. It may be that you just received a faulty grip. If you take the grip off, can you half-press the shutter for focus on the original button?

I do not think there are any other setting for focus that I can think of. I have the E-510, so the E-520 might be a little different...

I would have been willing to bet it was an AEL/AFL setting...

Well, I hope you figure it out. I would at least exhaust all possibilities and read all the instructions that came with the grip top to bottom to see if you missed anything.

Good luck :thumbup:

thanks again for the reply, stetr -- the camera does indeed function normally when the grip is removed. i think that you are right; this grip is faulty.

i have tried to contact the ebay seller from whom i bought it, but haven't had a reply as of yet. may have to contact ownuser directly...

cheers.

-- ike

Declan79
11-28-2010, 02:29 AM
i had the non ir and it find me a very handy

bikefreax
11-28-2010, 07:51 AM
I had one on my E-510 for about a year before it started giving me problems. All of a sudden the buttons did not work. The camera worked fine but when trying to use the shutter buttons on the grip nothing happened. I guess it is true, you get what you pay for.

dirtfan21
11-28-2010, 11:44 AM
I have had mine for a couple of years and no button issues. But now I have drain battery issues. I love this grip and would hope to get a hold of the company to fix it.

So I have sent three email to the Ownuser company about my grip issues and I have not heard a reply back.. Can somebody tell me what they are doing to get a hold of them?

Thank you

bikefreax
11-28-2010, 01:00 PM
I contacted them and they could not help. Said it was past the 30 day warranty. Mine was cheap from Overstock so it was no big deal.