E-M1 and E-M5-II flash options?

Leo_B

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I just bought a used E-M1. It didn't come with a flash. I've got an E-M5-II on order that will have the small Olympus flash with it. How good is that flash? Do most users replace/upgrade it with a different flash? Are there less expensive but equally good options than the big Olympus flashes? What do others recommend?
 
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I'm not sure if the flash that comes with the em5ii will work on the older em1. All I know is that the em5ii flash needs the additional contact that only a few cameras have to give it power since that particular flash relies on the camera to feed it juice. I do know that the supplied flash that comes with the em1 has a special port that connects just below the hotshoe so I suppose the em1 doesn't have the extra hotshoe contact.
I would ask you, how often do you shoot with a flash? How powerful do you need it to be? Will you be bouncing it off walls or only directly in front of the camera?
A cheap one thats very small and doesn't require the extra hotshoe pin would be the fl-14 which uses a pair of aaa batteries. It's very small and is a bit more powerful than a built in flash that doesn't rotate or tilt. I have one I can sell you.
If you need more power and the ability to tilt and rotate, I'd suggest getting into the Godox system. You can get their TT600 manual flashes for about $60 but keep in mind these don't have TTL and are all manual which means you will have to dial in it's power and zoom manually. These are excellent flashes for very little $$$, are very powerful, very fast recycle time, have High speed sync and connect to the Godox wireless system which has plenty of options if you ever want to expand and upgrade your lighting setup in the future.
 
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As @Tool Crazy pointed out, the tiny FL-LM3 flash may not work (although it is awesome and super portable just not very strong). I also agree with @Zairski that the Godox TT350O is a great, small flash.

I've found that both of these can be underpowered certain situations and cycle time can quickly become an issue in which case the GodoxTT650O is great.
 

Leo_B

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I don't anticipate using a flash too much but figure better to have one and not need it than the other way around. I don't think I'd want a completely manual flash. I could figure it out I'm sure but think I'd like to be able to attach it and just shoot. I'll have to compare the 350 and 650. Thanks for the good input so far.
 

Zairski

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Size comparison between the FL-LM3 and the Godox TT350o.

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Leo_B

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Definitely some size difference. If the LM3 doesn't work with the E-M1 I'll have to decide if I want a flash for it or just use the M5 when I know I want flash. That's probably the economically sensible option.

Another option is to buy an LM2 flash from BH for $50. It's what came with the M1 and while definitely much less flash it's also 31g total weight compared to ~250g for the TT350 with batteries.
 
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retiredfromlife

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I purchased t he Nissan i40 for Mu-43 but mine has been in for warranty twice now.
My next flash will be the Godox 350o for Mu-43 hopefully it will be more reliable
 

PakkyT

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Things to keep in mind with the FL-LM3 Oly flash.

1) Limitation: It is a fixed flash head with a m43's field of view for 12mm focal length. If you shoot with focal lengths longer than this, some (or a lot) of your flash will be illuminating stuff outside of your field of view.

2) Limitiation: Guide Number is fairly low at 9.1 meters at ISO 100 or more relevant to most of our cameras with a base ISO of 200, 12.9 meters at ISO 200. I assume these numbers are for the 12mm.

3) Pro or con depending on your point of view: It does not have its own batteries so it uses your camera's battery for power. Great that you don't have to worry about carrying spare flash batteries or if the flash's ones are charged. But not so great in that you will have the added incentive to carry a spare or two of your camera's battery with you.

4) It does support tilt and swivel and I believe it is a dust and weatherproof which are all great rare features for an "included" flash with cameras.
 

Leo_B

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I will have 2 Olympus batteries, one coming with each camera of course, plus I bought 2 Wasabi when I ordered my camera and then also got 2 Powerextra with the M1 when I bought it. The one Olympus battery and 2 Wasabi are all brand new. The others I don't know about age etc. but presume they're at least somewhat good still so I should be set for batteries for a while even if I do go with a flash option that draws from them.

It's a quandary, go with the small flash that barely weighs anything and is more light than nothing at all or go for the big one that gives a nice big KERCHUNK when it fires and temporarily distracts airline pilots.
 
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It's a quandary, go with the small flash that barely weighs anything and is more light than nothing at all or go for the big one that gives a nice big KERCHUNK when it fires and temporarily distracts airline pilots.
Seriously, the FL-LM3 is SO SMALL that I keep it in my purse with my EM10ii all the time. It's perfect for when you need a flash but don't want to carry one. If you THINK you might need a flash then take the bigger one. It's like the ultimate backup plan.
 

ac12

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TWO.
  • I would go with a small low power, keep in the bag flash.
  • PLUS a larger higher power flash for serious work, where you can bounce off the ceiling or back wall if you want to. And if you are like me, it will also have a high voltage port, for a HV battery pack for FAST recycle time.
I don't like the idea of the flash taking power from the camera. Mirrorless battery life is already short, compared to a dSLR; 4hrs for my EM1-mk1. AA batteries are not a problem to carry and find.
I have FOUR batteries for my EM1-mk1, to last me through a FULL day. I would rather not make it FIVE.
 

wjiang

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I've had experience with both kit flashes going from E-M1 Mk1 to Mk2. I would not recommend getting an FL-LM2 - that flash is of almost no use since it does not bounce or swivel. Even as a commander it kind of sucks because there's residual light from it that hits the subject.The FL-LM3, although a useful little flash in a pinch, definitely does not work with the E-M1 Mk1, so not of any relevance for the OP.

For on-camera, the Godox TT350O is a great option - better than the i40 which I previously owned (dials too easy to turn, no RF master/slave capability). If you want to go even lighter and longer endurance, there's the Li-Ion V350O. The larger TT685O and V860IIO are really better for off camera use unless you've got a big grip on the camera.
 

mawz

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The E-M1 does not support the FL-LM3, which is a pity because the FL-LM2 is basically useless unlike the newer clip-on unit.
 
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