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M43 speedlight systems

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by ionian, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Veteran

    394
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I'm sure this is a familiar story, but I have some specific questions related to my own particular needs so thought I could get away with a separate thread.

    I bought a GX7 on a whim three months ago - since then I haven't touched my DSLR and I have built up a good M43 lens collection that suits my needs for 95% of my photography.

    I have a Nikon d7100 with 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 18-140mm, 70-300mm VC which I think are going up for sale. What is preventing me doing so is speedlights and flash commanders. I have two third party speedlights that fully integrate with the Nikon CLS system, preventing the need for other controlling devices, and its a set-up that is familiar and reliable. I also use manual radio triggers where needed.

    So, the key question:
    What flash controllers exist for M43, preferably not optical, that I can use in a home studio set up for product and portrait photography? What speedlights integrate with these systems? I have various modifiers that I intend to keep.

    Assuming I can find something to cover this area without spending too much cash, I can sell the Nikon gear and wait for the EM-1 ii (or get the GX8) as a working camera, with the GX7 as my walk-around. I really want to move away from two lens systems.
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Unfortunately TTL is all optical at this stage within the system. It's basically the same as the 4/3 one, outside Olympus and Panasonic there is also Metz and Nissin. Here is a good resource, though a little old and incomplete:

    flash for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds cameras [Gary Ayton's photography wiki]

    There are a lot of slave units from those manufacturers, but commander flashes are basically limited to the Olympus FL-600R and FL-50R, Panasonic FL360L and FL580L, Metz 52 AF-1 and above. A lot of the built-in or kit flashes that come with the body are also commanders, though some Panasonic ones are not (not sure which ones though).

    If you're willing to go manual, then pretty much any radio trigger will do.
     
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  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I had good luck recently with Yongnuo triggers and manual strobes.
     
  4. skellington

    skellington Mu-43 Regular

    171
    Mar 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Keith
    I'm looking at setting up a small home studio as well.

    So the Nikon CLS system is IR/optical as well. If you're indoors, the comparable Olympus/Panasonic RC system will probably work (but it does have a visible pre-flash.) That gives you full control of any compatible flash (which, unfortunately aren't cheap.)

    Yungnuo, Godox, Cactus, etc. have remote settable, radio controlled, manual flashes that work fine with m43. (i.e. They must be manually set, but you can adjust them from the radio controller on your camera.)

    Cactus V6 also supports remote setting power on many flashes that support TTL from any vendor, so you might be able to use your Nikon flashes directly as manual flashes with remote power control. And they can pass through TTL to the on-camera / corded flash as well. They've got HSS support coming (probably for m43.)

    And then any standard radio trigger can fire any flash in manual mode.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    499
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Personally, I went with the Godox system (flashpoint, bolt, cheetah, newer, all are the same and compatible) as it let me have remote manual control with not just speedlights but also their studio strobes. (using a combo of AD360s and V850s). Their new system offers TTL for Nikon, Canon, and Sony with many rumors of M43 and Fuji compatibility on the way. Not sure if I'll bother upgrading though, I'm becoming more comfortable with manual control.

    The new Cactus V6ii system looks promising, but is limited to just speed lights.
    Yungnuo has excellent reviews for it's price point.
    Lumopro is apparently working Phottix and Elinchrom for a system, but I haven't really looked into it too much.
    Nissin makes some very interesting compact lights as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Veteran

    394
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Thanks everyone. Looks like I have some more reading to do; I'd like some sort of controlling unit on-camera but I'm fine with manual flash. I'm prepared to get a separate unit for on-camera ttl when needed, although I've been having surprisingly good results with on board flash on the gx7 in a pinch.
     
  7. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    499
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    There are several systems that can provide remote manual adjustment pending how much you're willing to spend. PCB, Profoto, Phottix, Godox, Cactus, Yongnuo... the list goes on. It really comes down to if you're looking for Strobes or Speedlights, a mix of the two, and how much you're willing to spend.

    If you're looking for TTL, be prepared to wait. If you want an on-camera flash that can act as a master unit to other flashes, I think (key word here) phottix, godox (new model), cactus, and yongnuo can all do so?
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Yongnuo YN560-TX can wirelessly control power, mode, and zoom of YN560 III and IV manual strobes. YN560 IV can act as a controller as well, but I prefer the UX of the TX.
     
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