Aftermarket flash mystery; seeking advice

ektar

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Okay. I don't shoot a ton of flash photos. I have the smaller of the two Oly 4/3 flashes (pre micro 43), and it has done fine, with the expected lesser reach and narrower coverage compared to the FL50 (the bigger of the two of that vintage). Looking at the aftermarket units out there, a lot of them seem to be different only in terms of labeling. The Godox, Promaster, K&F, even some of the Nissin units look to be the same pieces. Wondered if I could ask the collective for either device suggestions, or directions as to where to try to do research. Relatively light duty is anticipated. I like the idea of the Godox batttery pack, but I can buy a pretty good wad of NiMH AAs for the cost difference. Appreciate the help!
 

Stanga

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I have been using a Meike MK320 with lithium batteries for that task. I bought a set of rechargeable batteries, but keeping to remember to have a charged set ready has sent me back to lithium for relatively light use. It's cost and time effective. The MK320 even charges up within 2 sec with them. Handy at parties and in bars, restaurant etc.
 

ektar

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Okay, still contemplating, researching, or whatever. Question: Mine is the FL-36. In looking for a little more “pop,” would something like the Godox 860 or the Promaster 7500 be unreasonably large on an M4/3 body? I’m reading about the Nissin i60 right now. The Promaster is dirt cheap, the Adorama version of the Godox is on sale right now. “Need” is the always-relative term...
 

exakta

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I owned the Promaster 7500 for a while. It is definitely bigger than the FL-600R. I did check against the FL600R with a flash meter and it was only about 1/2 stop more powerful with the same zoom settings. There is no off camera TTL and no HSS but I got it for a $15 closeout price.

Which camera are you using?
 

ektar

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Mainly OM-D E-M1.ii

I've seen the 7500 at $25 "used" on eBay; Norman Camera is trying to sell 'em at $69.
The Adorama is on a second discount; getting down close to $100.
 

Phocal

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I have the Godox V860ii and love it. The battery is absolutely amazing and will last an entire day of shooting. I don’t feel it’s to big on my EM1 at all, even with a Better Beamer attached.
 

ektar

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I have the Godox V860ii and love it. The battery is absolutely amazing and will last an entire day of shooting. I don’t feel it’s to big on my EM1 at all, even with a Better Beamer attached.
You have the Li-ion battery then? I'm guessing that there's not AA-fallback provision on that one, correct?
 

Phocal

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You have the Li-ion battery then? I'm guessing that there's not AA-fallback provision on that one, correct?
Yes and there is not an AA option. I originally planned to buy an extra battery but have yet to feel I’ve needed it. I have gone 2 days of shooting wildlife on a single charge.
 

Apollo T.

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My recent experience with ths has been: Was looking for Godox X1T remote AND godox TT350. I found that the 350 had been superceded by 685 so the 350 was unavailable. I bought the 685, which uses 4 AA batteries(alkaline OEM reccommended w/ NiMH second). The 685 doesn’t even mention using Li-ion.
The alk batteries seem to have died very quickly, but I don’t use the flash alot. This makes that combo inconvenient so I’ll try NiMH some day. Whether these batts will be a better $$ bargain is open to debate, but the convenience will be well worth it- to me. There will still be the alkaline backup, for middle of the night emergencies.
Based on my light use I’m not sorry and won’t miss Li-ion pack.
 

alex66

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I picked up the Godox 350 and X1 trigger used off ebay, the trigger gives full TTL off camera that is useful and I think the trigger controller is not that expensive. The 685 would be a good one to go for if you want more power, I was considering getting one first but the combo I got was silly cheep. The great thing with the Godox units when using the trigger thing is if you get a second system that they support the purchase of that language? trigger will give you TTL with the flashes (remote) dedicated to another brand. You could say have a Canon and Olympus working at the same time with full TTL using Nikon dedicated flashes, great a cheep trigger and the ability to keep your current units. You wont get TTL on your camera though. If you are in the US look at Adoramas Flashpoint rebrand it gives you better support if one goes wrong.
 

Repp

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If your primary use will be on camera flash and you only want 1, it’s honestly probably best to get an Oly/Pany flash.

Where Godox and other brands (to a lesser degree) really shine is for off camera and multi light setups. They don’t really offer anything better for standalone oncamera work, and are probably not as good on camera as the Oly/Pany units
 

Mack

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Fwiw, there are some lithium rechargeable batteries now showing up out there in AA size if you don't want to stay with a proprietary Li-Ion cell type of flash battery and charger. My Godox speedlights are AA battery types and I might try these new rechargeable ones once my rechargeable Ni-Mh ones lose power. I got over 31 different chargers on a table now as it is and it's getting out of hand with all these different batteries and special plugs.

https://www.amazon.com/KENTLI-Rechargeable-Battery-Lithium-ion-Batteries/dp/B019O4WISY?tag=metaefficient-20
https://www.amazon.com/TENAVOLTS-Rechargeable-Batteries-Included-Electrical/dp/B07BKV793P?tag=reactual-20

Don't even get me started with the DJI intelligent drone batteries that cost $300 for the pair, and then die 6 months out and are also out of warranty by then too. Some do not even work bought new which is another matter. Nothing else fits the things either with their newer models while their first ones used generic RC hobby types of batteries which last for years - and they should have stayed with those, imho.
 

exakta

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I've seen the 7500 at $25 "used" on eBay; Norman Camera is trying to sell 'em at $69. The Adorama is on a second discount; getting down close to $100.
At those prices, I wouldn't recommend the 7500 whatsoever. I agree with Repp, just get an Oly or Pana flash. The FL600R and FL-360L are the same unit and it works fine, totally integrated with my E-M10, unlike the Promaster. I bought the FL360L because in the USA it sells for 25% less than the FL600R, at least at online dealers.
 
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