FP Flash (HSS) off-camera options, TTL or manual

Yohan Pamudji

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I'm getting serious about dumping my Canon stuff altogether, so I'm looking into flash options for m4/3. I shoot primarily with an E-M1 but also have an E-M5 and GM1, in case that matters.

Here are my requirements in descending order of importance. 1.a. and 1.b. share the top spot:

1.a. The flash must do FP Flash (HSS = High Speed Sync in Canon terms). This is crucial since I do most portraits outdoors in bright light and need something that can provide strong fill light with a high shutter speed. I'll likely use 2 flashes on a stand, so power rating of individual flashes isn't a crucial factor although the stronger the better. FP Flash ability is the key.

1.b. The flash solution also has to support off-camera flash whether it be optical or radio-based--no sync cord. If that means additional triggers and receivers then that's not a problem as long as it works.

2. I would prefer the option to use off-camera TTL, but if the only option is manual flash power I'll survive.

3. Also preferable is the ability for the speedlites to hook up to external battery packs, but again not essential.

Thanks ahead of time for any help you can send my way.
 

Yohan Pamudji

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Jun 21, 2012
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Mississippi, USA
The Metz 52 or 64 are good value for money as well.
Looks like Metz 52 is slave only and 64 is master/slave?

Edit: eh, looks like that's wrong. I just glanced at B&H's specs for the 52 and it only mentioned slave, but after a bit of Googling seems it does master as well. Nice!

Do they use their own proprietary wireless system or can they be mixed and matched with Olympus flashes like the FL-50R and FL-600R?

Edit: Google is an amazing thing. After a bit more searching looks like they work with Olympus's built-in wireless commander mode, so mix-and-matching with Olympus flashes should be possible.
 

inkista

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Jan 13, 2012
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1.b. The flash solution also has to support off-camera flash whether it be optical or radio-based--no sync cord. If that means additional triggers and receivers then that's not a problem as long as it works.
I think you'll only find optical systems at this point. The only radio systems that work are typically manual ones that allow for remote power setting (e.g., Yongnuo YN-560III+YN-560-TX, Cactus V6 triggers with Canon/Nikon/Pentax TTL flashes, etc.), and they won't do HSS. The only TTL-mft-compatible triggers I've heard of are the Aokatec ones. Obviously, there's no mft equivalent to Canon's RT system.

Unfortunately, although the pin/contact placement is identical to Canon's, and you can use Canon TTL cables on mft flash gear, Canon TTL radio triggers don't do pass-through of the hotshoe signaling, so triggers like the YN-622C do NOT work from mft, although I have been able to do manual power control and groups on/off of lights with a YN-622C-TX on my GX-7 and using a Canon 580EXII and YN-568EX as the slaves; but obviously, no off-camera HSS or TTL.

BTW, Panasonic and Olympus flashes do seem to offer identical models across the brand lines. So, while you can look for an Oly FL-600R, you could also get the Panasonic FL-360L, which is the same unit, for about $70 less at B&H. Panasonic's come out with the new top-of-the-line bells'n'whistles flash first, so the FL-580L doesn't yet have an Oly counterpart, but probably will.
 

ThomD

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Jun 1, 2013
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I can confirm that the bigger Metz flashes are fully compatible with Oly/Pany. YN won't do FP directly, but does work in limited cases. The burn time on the YN is long enough when the YN is a full power that you can set it as an optical slave, use a FP-capable flash on camera as the trigger and crank up the shutter speed as needed. If you dial down the power on the YN, the burn time isn't long enough. I don't know exacly where the cut off is.

This is not idea of course, but given the price difference, it might matter to somebody.
 

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