In this inaugural Cine Blog article I will discuss a D-I-Y quick fix that addresses a major flaw when using the Olympus OMD EM5 for enthusiasts/professional videography – mounting a more professional microphone on the camera body. On many other camera bodies that are popular for video features (ie. GH2, GH3, 5DMkII/III) and the upcoming Olympus EM1 they were wise enough to include a 3.5mm Mic input on camera – not so with the EM5. If reading this article, your probably aware that owners of the EM5 have to buy the SEMA-1 (~$60 accessory) in order to use a professional microphone like the popular RODE VideoMic Pro.
Here in lies the problem, now the hot shoe port is taken up with with the SEMA-1 adapter, leaving no place to then mount the RODE microphone – which also mounts to the camera using the hot shoe port. After much research, I really found no information online addressing this problem other than buying brackets that hold the microphone off to the side, or using a second tripod which utterly defeats the purpose of being compact, portable, and discrete in certain situations.
MY SOLUTION? Simple really –using two very small screws no longer than 1/4 of an inch and an old cold shoe mount I had lying around (you can pick one up online or possibly at a camera store) I screwed it on to the SEMA-1 adapter and viola!! – you now have a portable compact solution for the EM5 that looks kinda cool too I think. Be sure to pre-drill both the cold shoe and very delicately into the Sema-1 since you only have to go through a very thin piece of plastic. As far as placement, the SEMA-1’s shape seems to have a perfect mould that leaves only one place to mount the cold shoe on to, and it fits perfectly, so no guess work there really!
*OTHER TIPS – My old cold shoe mount was silver, and I spray painted it matte black to match my all black EM5, but if you have the silver EM5 I would think a silver cold shoe would look cool. Another possible $ and time saver that I did was where I found the perfect screws for this project. If you have old remote control lying around that you don’t need anymore you just might find the perfect size small screws in the back of that remote. Again, my recommended screw length is just a little under 1/4 of an inch to make sure it’s strong enough to hold up but not too long that it hits the circuit board in the SEMA-1.
My alteration to the SEMA-1 has held up for over 11 wedding shoots and several other small projects with no problems and I LOVED using it as it really helps make the OMD-EM5 more functional! Of course, though this can be done very safely to your equipment, I cannot guarantee any results and I must say try this only at your own risk!! Feel free to comment with any questions and I will try to respond quickly. GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY SHOOTING!