FL-300R: mini review and a question

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Allan Crowson, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. I responded to a question about the FL-300R on another forum, and thought I would share some of it here, and add my own question as well.

    The flash came with a stand, which features a tripod thread in the bottom. It also came with a fabric drawstring bag which will hold both the flash and the stand.

    The tilt backward is 60° and the tilt forward is 30°. It can also tilt 90° down while on the camera, allowing you to have it available, but as much out of the way as possible. A manual slider on the left side of the flash allows the user to diffuse the light more broadly when shooting focal lengths shorter than 14mm, or when shooting macro. Lights on the back indicate charge, exposure, etc. There is a slide to chose Remote Set A, B, or off. Finally, there is a square on/off button for the flash itself.

    I have not timed its recharge times, and just threw a pair of alkalines temporarily anyway. However, subjectively it seems peppier than the FL-36 that I used to have. The brute force output is somewhat less than the FL-36, but not too bad for modest sized rooms in my house (U.S. "ranch style" from the late 60s/early 70s, white smooth ceilings of 8 feet (~ 2.44 metres). I usually bounce the flash back when at home indoors.

    The base has a push button to lift a locking pin on the front of the bottom, to lock the flash in place. At first, I thought the push button was also necessary to tilt the flash, but that was incorrect. Tilting is just a bit stiff, but not objectionably so. The push button lock appears only to be for keeping the flash on the hot shoe (and the base, which has a hole to receive the little pin just like the hot shoe).

    Wireless mode is of interest to a number of us, and here is what I have noticed about it:

    First, the wireless mode works great, and is not complicated. No muss, no fuss; it just works. I did read the manual before trying it, however. There's nothing more humiliating than to try something without knowing how to do it, complain in a forum, and then find out it was quite clear in the manual, right? :smile:

    Here it is in three easy steps. Naw, let's be more explicit and make it seven:
    1. Place the FL-300R on the stand and/or tripod and place it as desired. I left the wireless group as A, on the back of the flash.
    2. Turn on the flash.
    3. Insert the accessory "flashlette" that came with the E-PM1, and lift the head to turn it on.
    4. Go to Setup via the Menu button, and choose "camera 2" (I believe), and then RC Control ON/OFF, setting it to ON.
    5. Click the OK button to display the RC control panel.
    6. Aim
    7. Focus
    8. Fire!
    OK, so it was eight steps! :rolleyes:

    Just to be clear, the accessory flashlette, at least with the E-PM1, must be both attached and on. I tried it with the flash attached, but turned off, and unattached, and neither way worked. Plan to do your remote flash photography using the LCD, not the EVF.

    I have one complaint. It may simply be that I have not configured things properly, but this is it nonetheless: When the RC control panel is activated, hitting the OK button brings up the RC control panel…only. In other words, bye-bye SCP, under/overexposure highlights, histogram, grid, etc. I really do not like that, but will have to live with it, unless someone can weigh in with what to do.

    Assuming this description of remote flash control panel is accurate then it is important to set one's non-flash parameters before moving into RC control mode. It may pay off to set up a particular custom set of parameters to be used with RC, etc.

    The RC panel itself is very simple, especially if you have used the SCP. It allows you to control functionality and output for up to three different groups of flashes (A, B, and C), plus what appears to be onboard flash for those camera bodies that have it. However, the FL-300R has to be in group A or B. A group can have several flashes in it, however. This makes the FL-300R a relatively inexpensive way to get into using multiple flashes remotely with a fair amount of digital control. You won't light up cathedrals with it, but like the E-PM1 itself, it packs a surprising amount of usefulness into a small volume.

    By the way, does anyone know if I am wrong about how the RC control panel does not play nicely with the other display options? I would love to hear more about how to do that.

    EDITED: to include starlabs' response and simple solution, so that everything can be together for someone looking for this in the future:

    At any rate, it's definitely a keeper.:2thumbs:

    --

    Allan Crowson
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Press the Info button to cycle through the display modes. It will default to RC display when you turn RC on. Pressing Info will then take you to whatever modes you have toggled on (SCP, Histogram, Leveler, etc)
     
  3. I was just about to try that, believe it or not! But thanks for reminded me of something I should have already known! :smile:
     
  4. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Np, the Oly menu and UI is very dense and very complex. It's quite easy to overlook something.

    BTW I got the FL-300R months ago and indeed it's a great little flash. I think a lot of people unfairly poo-poo it because it's not the size of a football. I DO wish however that it had swiveling in addition to tilting (I also bought a FL-36R recently because of that).
     
  5. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    It is a nice small flash. However, one annoyance is that tilting it up means not using the EVF on the E-M5 - it hits my forehead! i decided to sell it (I got it with the rebate). The FL-36R works well for me...
     
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Thanks for this! (& you're absolutely correct about the "fleshlette" needing to on & armed) :redface::tongue::biggrin: