External Flash

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by BillW, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    I see that Panasonic offers an external flash for their cameras, as does Olympus, etc.

    Has anyone used these, or a third-party unit with good results?

    I would only be interested in one with head that fully bounces/swivels.

    I'm coming from using a Canon 5D and 580ex II flash, which was exceptional.

  2. Photodan1

    Photodan1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Real Name:
    With no off camera options on Panasonic, most of the aftermarket TTL flashes would work just fine on there. I use a Metz 50AF on my G3 and E-PM2. It has good power, TTL and bounce and swivel. It also has a wide diffuser and bounce card built in.
  3. digitaldan1

    digitaldan1 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    Panasonic flash

    I've used the Panasonic flash on a GF1. It worked reasonably well as an on camera flash, but as the previous poster noted, there aren't any off camera flash options beyond a good old fashioned slave trigger.

    The Olympus flashes and cameras such as the E-5 and the E-M5 do off camera E-ttl flash pretty well and will work on the GF1, but since the camera doesn't have a wireless flash controller, there's no way to use them off camera beyond that same photo slave approach.

    All the ones I've used except for the Olympus FL-14 had bounce/swivel heads. I'm afraid I haven't tried any third party flashes on either an Olympus or Panasonic camera.
  4. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    Sorry if my first post was confusing...

    By external I meant I was interested in a shoe mount on-camera flash, that will give predictable and accurate results...not off-camera / wireless.
  5. LDBecker

    LDBecker Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2012
    Which Panasonic camera do you have? I bought the new Olympus FL600 R (same as a Panasonic FL360L, but it wasn't released yet when I needed one) for my G5 and my upcoming/now owned GH3. I wanted newer tech and the wireless for the GH3, and I thought the video LED would be helpful. Compared to my 5DII and 580EXII, it's a bit underpowered, but ok. Wouldn't want anything much bigger on a G5.
    If it's an older camera or you don't care about the video light or wireless, any of the Panasonics would work, but the FL500 would be closer in power to what you're used to.

  6. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    using a G5, and you are right...I don't want something as big as my 580ex. It would defeat the purpose of a smaller form camera.

    At first I considered using my 580 in Auto mode, but was cautioned against it, but I'm not sure why. I have used Nikon flashes on my Canon in Auto mode with no issue. Of course, TTL won't work.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Why use Auto mode with no TTL? Just put it in Manual mode, and it will work fine. The 580EXII is a good flash. It's a waste not to use it. You should get a single-contact trigger, hotshoe adapter, PC sync cable, or optical sensor to make its use 100% safe with no crossed pins (Canon and Olympus use the same physical pin pattern).

    The Olympus equivalent to the 580EXII is the FL-50R, which also has the added advantage of built-in slave mode which can be triggered as a dumb slave off any system, besides also reading the Remote Commander of Olympus bodies (RC mode is of course is moot for you with a Panny body, but the dumb slave mode is not).

    You said you wanted a smaller flash though, so the obvious choice for that would be the FL-600R. It's just as fast and versatile, even moreso with its additional continuous video light, but at half the power and nearly half the size. It is the equivalent to the Canon 430EXII.

    I would not bother with the Panasonic versions of these flash units, though they do exist... unless you happen to run across a particularly good deal on one. They are pretty much identical in every way except for lacking the R-series optical sensor for wireless slave use, and are at least as expensive as the Oly versions. Why pay more to have less? Just buy Oly. You'll get the same thing with an added optical sensor.

    Or there are also 3rd parties like Metz, Nissin, etc. which all work with full TTL on 4/3 or m4/3 bodies (4/3 and m4/3 is the same flash system), and literally countless legacy flash you could use in manual mode. The options there are too endless to list. Personally, I would just stick with what you already own - the 580EXII. Unless you really want something smaller, then pick up the FL-600R.
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    The GH3 supports wireless TTL and wirelless manual flash (Olympus protocols). Other Panasonics do not. However it's assumed all future models will so worth considering if you choose to upgrade.

    The smallest gun with tilt/swivel and fast recycle is the FL600R or Panasonic FL360 which is identical. Both support wireless. The 580 equivalent FL50 will work and the FL50R supports wireless. In Olympus speak the "R" designation means a gun has wireless capability.

    There are various aftermarket guns. The Metz 58af1 and af2 support wireless (again 580 replacements) and there are the 40 series as well. There are also several brands of cheaper chinese units that seem to work well, but I have not used them.

    You can use a 580II in auto mode (although it's a pretty poor implementation of it and difficult to set compared to other flashes) without any issues. Mosy modern flashes from Nikon, Canon, Metz and others should work in either manual or auto. Just check older high trigger voltage units.

    If you want TTL then the FL600R (430ex replacement) or 50R are your best options.