Best flash for my E-P3?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by phdezra, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. phdezra

    phdezra Mu-43 Stalker

    Dec 6, 2011
    New York, NY
    Hi all. I have an E-P3 which I generally use to make photographs in two situations: 1) my kids indoors (sometimes in evenings) or 2) street photography (generally, daytime) or my kids outdoors. Also, 80% of the time I shoot in continuous drive mode.

    Now that you know that, I am looking for a good flash (preferably with simple TTL capability) that would enhance my indoor photos. I though about the FL-14, but wonder about it's usefulness and practical impact on images? Would the light be too harsh/direct for the images of my young kids? Other consideration is FL-36, but that seems too large...? I realize I wont be able to shoot continuous drive with flash, which disturbs me because kids are always squirming, so I usually like to fire off multiple shots at a time with continous drive... can I do this, even a pseudo-fix, with a flash on E-P3? HT would recycle time be...?

    In my past life, I used a Canon D60 (from 2002!) with a speedlite that I could bounce as well as diffuse. I found this to be the most pleasing (not even close to direct harshness). And so I would like to replicate this ideal.

    Any ideas? All comments appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.... Ezra.
  2. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Real Name:
    If you're concerned about using continuous drive, you might want to consider an LED light panel instead of flash. Kirk Tuck is the expert on these and just finished a book about them. Here's a link to info about the book...

    Kirk Tuck's LED Lighting book

    And if you look around his site, you'll see some good examples of how he uses these lights.

    Neil van Niekirk is another photographer who uses these lights well. Check out his blog here for articles about them.
  3. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    This is not answering your question, but do you have the panasonic 20mm f1.7 ? I spent an evening last week taking photos of friends' boisterous kids inside and outside at night (in an outdoor setting with lots of Christmas lights) and with the ISO at 400 I never missed having a flash. I used the built in flash for a few shots, but the better shots were all with available light. It's a sweet lens anyway, and if you don't have it, I'd consider getting it before an external flash. My $.02.
  4. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    Nissin Di-466 works for me for similiar purposes. It recharges very fast thanks to 4AA supply and so can do full speed burst shooting with my E-PL1 (but not with GF1 and G3 for some reason Panasonic should know). TTL and zooming works fine. Not too big, priced right also. Only one limitation I am aware of - it cannot bounce in portrait orientation.
  5. phdezra

    phdezra Mu-43 Stalker

    Dec 6, 2011
    New York, NY
    I've been looking at that flash and will look into it some more. Are you saying it fires its flash in continuous drive?! How is that possible?
  6. pixl10

    pixl10 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    Phoenix AZ
    Can the Nissin be remotely triggered like the RC flashes?
  7. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Full power flashes no but for 1/4 power and less no problem for many shots. With decent aperture even 1/4 power flashes will be too bright. Outdoors at longer distances you might need higher power.

    Metz also has TTL flashes for Oly/Panny.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    Exactly. I use 20/1.7 or 45/1.8 for indoors even with the flash.
  9. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    FL-300R is fantastic flash. Surprisingly powerful for its size and can bounce. I'm using it with E-PM1, the exposure is spot on. I usually use it indoors and set ISO400 which is more than enough power even for bouncing (you can even go to ISO800 whih is still very good in well exposed pictures).
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, this is the type of flash you should be going for. You need a proper sized head in order to fit standard light modifiers, which is the most important aspect to light quality.

    The smallest flash I would look at is the FL-36R. No, it is definitely not too large for your PEN. It is a very compact flash and fits very nicely on a PEN camera.

    The FL-36R will not be good for continuous drive because of its slow recycle rate, so if you want that capability you should look at the FL-50R. As long as you're not running 1/1 power, it'll recycle very fast.

    There are also a lot of third party options like Metz, Nissin, etc., as well as Panasonic who has the exact same flashes as Olympus except that Olympus has the R-series optical sensor which the Pansonics do not have (Panasonic flashes can't be used as a dumb slave or with Olympus' Wireless Remote Commander included in most of their cameras since the fall of 2007).

    Then there are also a ton of other options you can use for manual power settings with no TTL, including old Vivitars and Sunpaks, or whatever flash you used to use on your Canon 60D.