The E-M1 mkII L-Bracket from Really Right Stuff is finally available! I received mine a few days ago. In my workflow an L-bracket is invaluable. I virtually can’t use a camera without one of their brackets. The markings allow for precise centering on tripod and panoramic equipment. An L-bracket also allows you to place the camera in portrait mode centrally over the ballhead so balance is retained. You can read more about L-brackets on the RRS website.
This new bracket has some interesting features that were not available on older brackets. I want to go over them, show a few items to be aware of when using a bracket, and then give my overall impression of the new unit.
You can see in these two previous images how the L portion works now. RRS came up with a nifty way to allow the L to slide out and relock using a screw underneath. The screw is NOT captive and can be fully removed in order to allow the L portion to come out completely. This feature is great if you are tethering or attaching mic cables, HDMI cables, etc… and need the extra space. It also allows the screen a little extra space when swinging out. It locks very securely and feels just as solid open as it does closed. In fact when it is open you can hold the camera from there and have a great grip when shooting video with a small prime. Also take note of the hex wrench in the first picture and the same wrench removed in the second picture. RRS has added REALLY strong magnets into the bottom to hold a wrench. This way you don’t have to worry about carrying tools additionally or losing them. This makes adjusting the L immediate.
Here is another shot showing the wrench attached via the magnet. I can’t imagine this will ever get dislodged on its own. Also note in this shot the battery door clearance is excellent and effortless.
Another great feature is how versatile the plate is with straps. You can see I have a Peak Design strap connector on my left lug. I have another connector attached to the bottom right of the L-bracket. There is a small metal post on the right edge that allows for all kinds of different strap attachments. In the center there is a traditional tripod hole which can also be used for straps like the Black Rapid, or a Peak Design Plate, etc… Now notice there are two more holes…one of the L portion and one on the bottom right hand grip. These two holes are designed to accomodate the RRS quick release connector. I’ve never used one, but they seem great. I image they are quite solid in the way they connect with their locking mechanism. The top camera lug is also still available for those that like wrist straps. Multiple ways of mounting makes fitting the camera to your needs very easy.
It is nice that the L portion is so quick and easy to remove. The only catch is not losing the screw. I would immediately thread the screw back into the L so it does not get lost. If you shoot a lot of video, you may not need the L portion on all the time. This also allows complete usage of the screen swivel.
Here you can see the catch of having an L-Bracket on a camera with an fully articulating screen. You cannot swing the screen with full range of motion. You get a wider angle with the L open. This is not limited to this camera. Any camera with a fully articulating screen and a bracket will have this problem. In reality though…it is not that big of a problem. If you shoot mostly video or hand held, I would just keep the L off and only attach it when there is a chance of portrait mode tripod usage.
Here you can see the screen tilted upwards. You can turn it and insert it between the bracket. This works, thought your angle of adjustment once inserted is very limited. It is enough to get the job done though.
Here you can see the screen tilted downwards. This is more likely if you are doing an overhead shot for instance. In fact, you have a lot more range of motion in this orientation and it is quite comfortable when shooting overhead.
RRS L-Bracket for E-M1 mkII
If you have never held a camera with an RRS bracket then you have missed out. RRS gear is made solid. VERY SOLID. Yet lightweight. It adds a little size and weight to the camera, but in turn you get enhanced functionality and ease of use when working with tripods and accessories. It is nice that the L portion removes so quickly. The E-M1 mkII was already built with a more substantial feel than the original. Adding this new bracket makes the camera feel like a solid rock. It honestly feels like an old hasselblad…. you know the feeling…like the whole camera was just carved out of a single piece of stone. It’s the same feeling as a Leica M..just one solid piece. The camera feels spectacular with the plate. It retains this feeling with the L portion on or off. If you use RRS ballheads, clamps, or any Arca-Swiss style clamp, you should really try an L-bracket as opposed to a screw on plate. Many of those aren’t center, or block the battery door, etc…
In my opinion, the RRS bracket for the E-M1 mkII completes the camera. I love it. In fact, I can’t fully use my cameras without one. I also won’t buy a camera that RRS doesn’t build a bracket for specifically. That’s how much I trust in their product.