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Meike MK320 compact flash for 43rds cameras

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by DeoreDX, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Mar 13, 2013
    Alabama
    I was looking for a tilt/swivel flash for my E-M1. I wanted to go with the 14-150 and a flash instead of the 12-40 f2.8. I owned the 12-40 previously and it always either seemed too slow or didn't have enough reach. So instead of getting another 12-40 I went with the new 14-150 MKII paired with a tilting swivel flash. I felt that this would be a more versatile combination for the type of photography I do. I wanted the Nissin i40 but I couldn't find a used copy and $260+ for a new one was out of my budget. Ran across a TTL + Tilt + Swivel unit that had some favorable reviews on the Meike MK-320. It's sold under several brand names, Neewer, Eachshot, MCOplus, etc. All of them from Amazon for around $80 or less on Ebay. You can get it with TTL support for most camera systems (Fuji, Sony, Nikon, etc), mine being for 4/3rds. It actually says "For Lumix" on the bottom of the flash but since Panasonic shares the same flash control as Olympus we mu43 users should get full support. Claims a guide number of 32 (Guess that's where the 32 from the part number comes from). I've not tested the accuracy of the guide number claim.

    Box is nice. Comes with a diffuser, basic pouch, and a stand. My unit seems well built. There is no lock for the tilt/swivel head but the adjustment feels firm without being too firm and seems to hold it's position fine. Hot shoe is made from metal not plastic. Nice bonus. For the downsides there is no zoom. No built in bounce card like the Nissin. Lack of full articulation.

    One interesting feature I've not seen in other flash units is that there is a Micro USB port on the side which allows you to plug the flash in a charge the batteries inside of the camera. Personally I think that's a great feature as that could eliminate the need for me to pack a secondary NiMH charger when I travel. I almost always have Micro USB cords with me while traveling so one less thing to pack.

    24465809509_3115f42891_c.

    A quick press of the power button can turn on a 3 SMD-LED array for use as a video light. The manual refers to this as the "flashlight".

    24833452425_bdb536cab9_c.

    It seems well balanced on my E-M1 and E-P5. Isn't so large it feels out of place like many other flashes I've tried on mu43 bodies. Doesn't sit very high above the lens. I don't know what the magic number is for height above the lens for red eye reduction, but with the flash tilted forward it isn't very high above the lens.

    24739968571_eaeb171029_c.

    Tilts to 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees.

    24205262934_92c0bfd9e0_c.

    For swivel we have detents for 45 and 60 degrees left and 45-60-90 degrees right. Would have loved for it to be able to go to 180 degrees to bounce backwards, but because the flash is so low I don't think that would have been feasible if it could do that. When it is swiveled to the side it already touches my forehead with my eye to the viewfinder.

    24739976761_db764f7d03_c.

    From my few test shots the flash seems to meter great. I thought it was a little overexposed when I chimped them through the viewfinder but turns out the metering was spot on. Indoor night time shot under poor lighting at 120mm you say? No problem with a good flash :D

    24206417663_d7caa01960_c. EM140400 by deoredx, on Flickr

    I was able to turn a difficult shot like this:

    24715390662_8e296081c4_c. EM150401 by deoredx, on Flickr

    Into something more usable like this. Though the first face is a lot better than the second "stop chasing me around with your damned camera" face. But you get my drift. Now I need to figure out how to better control my flash. I was hoping to drag the shutter more on the last one to get the light to pop but there is a disconnect between me and the camera and the flash.

    24806992666_eee55d63ba_c. EM150402 by deoredx, on Flickr
     
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  2. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    500
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I'll have to keep an eye on that, looks like it could be something really nice for travel. Please keep us up to date with your thoughts on it.
     
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  3. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    that's a nice review, thanks for sharing. I have the Nissin i40, and I'm not very satisfied as I used to get way smarter flash with Metz. The very thing the i40 can't do is auto ISO, which means it'll prevent the body from choosing proper ISO, I find it useless in occurrence I'd need a non-manual flash. could you test auto ISO with this one? I'm desperate finding an affordable flash that has the basic feature. thanks.
     
  4. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    This lovely little gem syncs at 1/200 on the E-M5 and max TTL aperture is f2.5.

    E.g. On an E-M5 with a 45mm f1.8 lens, the flash set to TTL, the fastest selectable shutter is 1/200 (not 1/250), and although you can set the lens to f1.8, the f-number on the flash will only go down to f2.5.

    The latter means nothing really, but because of the former, I set the camera X-speed (on the menu gear f) to 1/200. I can't explain why, but I seem to get less shots with eyes blinked than before this.

    Other than the led flashlight, there's modelling light (strobing) if you press and hold the test button.

    Because of the non-standard head, putting gels on can be fiddly. So I made a few by tracing the front of the diffuser on a cardboard, then used that as a template for cutting the the gels. Then I put one of them inside the diffuser.

    I'll post a picture if anyone wants.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  5. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Auto ISO works fine with mine? Using manual or Aperture priority with automatic ISO it will pick a correct ISO and provide flash to match. (Using TTL mode on the flash, which is the through the lens metering mode).
     
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  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, if using TTL mode, iirc there's a pre-flash that can cause cats to blink. Try full manual.

    Barry
     
  7. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    could that be an issue with my G6? wjiang said that his i40 doesn't do auto ISO with em1 either, what are we missing?:confused-53:
     
  8. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    @jyc860923@jyc860923 I use M plus TTL all the time, but I did the test the Meike on an E-M5 on P/A/S mode and ISO set to auto:
    - Turn Meike on: Auto ISO went to 200
    - Turn it off: Auto ISO went to 1600 (it was dark)

    On M mode, auto ISO isn't available, so it disregards the flash attached and you need to set the ISO manually.
     
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  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    The Auto ISO will say 200 before you take a picture however once you actually take a picture it will have taken it at a higher ISO (800 etc). I agree that the Auto ISO marker is broken because it doesn't actually specify what ISO it will actually use.

    Edit: and you can enable Auto ISO in manual mode (E. Exp/metering/ISO options menu -> ISO-Auto -> "All")
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    Is that specific to G6? I took two shots just now on the E-M5 + Meike on TTL:

    - S mode, (Auto ISO) 200, 1/200, f1.8, flash on= clean
    - M mode, (manual) 3200, 1/200, f8, flash on= noisy

    The former looks like genuine ISO 200 to me.. ?
     
  11. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    Done. Took another shot
    - M, (Auto ISO) 200, 1/200, 1.8, flash on = clean.

    How is it broken? (Not argumentative, real question as I'm not technically inclined)
     
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Auto ISO functions perfectly, however the *display* of what ISO it says it will use before the shot will be incorrect if you're using flash (it will always say 200).
     
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  13. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Oct 18, 2015
    Taiwan
    Thanks for this review!

    I was planning to get an external swivel flash unit for 1) macro and 2) indoor baby pics. Was intending to get the i40 but this is smaller, more portable, and most importantly 3x cheaper. Think I'll buy this, can always upgrade again later.
     
  14. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I settled for the MK300 (no bounce/swivel) as I'll be using it off camera with a TTL cable. Good results so far :)
    Are you sure the micro USB is for battery charging? I thought it was for updating the firmware.
    AFAIK there's nothing on USB in the manual other than showing where it is...
     
  15. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Mar 13, 2013
    Alabama
    When I plug my MK320 in it shows a battery charging symbol. This review is where I learned about the feature.

    MeiKe MK320 for Micro Four Thirds review | Lighting Rumours

    (Picture from review)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    The pilot light on the left side of the flash turns green when it's charging and off when it's done. The charging takes about an hour or so with Eneloops.
     
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Just pick one of these up from a guy on FM. Should be nice.
     
  18. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ya, my thoughts exactly. I have the FL-36 and the FL-50 and the 36 is my "travel flash". But this might be a much more compact option for little money.
     
  19. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    don't know, thanks for trying, I think I'll borrow an Oly and do some tests, it's so bad that my Metz was broken (and I sold my Oly body just before that), so I've no idea whether it's a flash issue or body issue.
     
  20. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    eteless was right. On half press and the flash on- Auto ISO says 200, but exif says 320 ... But that was my best effort, shutter at max sync at 1/200 and at f22 :)
     
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