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no current olympus w/ onboard flash?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by bartjeej, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. bartjeej

    bartjeej Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Oct 9, 2012
    I was just thinking about the different cameras in Olympus' current lineup, and I suddenly realised that not a single current-generation Olympus body has a flash built into it - which seems to me like it would alienate a lot of compact-camera upgraders who are daunted by the prospect of an extensive system and just want a small package that does most of the thinking for them, and are used to having a flash on their camera (basically the E-PM2's target audience).

    If you look at other manufacturers, all the Panasonic models, half of the Nikon 1 models, half of the Sony Nex models and one of the Samsung NX models does have an on-board flash. The Fuji's don't (except for the X100) but then they're aimed at true enthusiasts.

    Is Olympus making a big mistake here?
     
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I think so, at least on the E-PM2, for the exact reasons you noted. The E-PM2 should primarily be a "gateway camera". An easy sell to point and shooters that may get them hooked on more serious photography and get them to open their wallets for more expensive purchases down the road.

    Even if an on-board flash means a slightly bigger body I think that would be a worthwhile compromise.
     
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I think you are right in that P&S upgrade buyers probably wanting a built-in flash. My wife, who is not interested in photography that much, always left the accessory flash for her E-PL3 at home. There were definitely times where she wished she had it with her... lower light indoors with the 20/1.7 would force it to a wide open aperture in Auto mode, and she would end up with a DoF that was too shallow (like 2 out of 3 kids in focus).

    I am actually hoping that Olympus refreshes the E-P3... I may be the only one in this forum that would be just fine without a built-in viewfinder on that model. I think it is just about perfect size, profile and the handling is good... and the built in flash comes in handy for fill.
     
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    If Olympus comes out with a lower end OM camera (as rumored) then I think two PEN offerings make sense. If nothing slots in below the E-M5 then I would agree that a refreshed E-P3 makes some sense.
     
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I really like the E-P3 but I rarely use the flash. If I need flash that badly I use my Nissan. I would love to see the E-P3 upgraded but mainly because I like the size and control layout. With a better sensor and improved IBIS it would be perfect for me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    940
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    Never been a fan of built in flashes (harsh, direct light)...besides with being able to crank the iso and using a fast prime, what's the point. If I need a flash, I'm grabbing my fl-36 and will bounce the light.
     
  7. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I chose the E-P3 over the E-PL3 for the ergonomics and the on-board flash and haven't regretted it once. I just wish the flash could tilt back to bounce (like on the E-PL1) so I didn't have to use a white card. Otherwise the on-board flash is essential for triggering off-camera flash while using the VF-2. Will be interested to see what Olympus comes up with for the space between OM-D E-M5 and the E-PL5...
     
  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Olympus has skipped built-in flash to get the body sizes down, and on something like the PM2 I think it's not a good idea. The sensor is good but it's not magic, and fill flash -- even harsh direct fill flash -- can be helpful. Particularly for compact upgraders.
     
  9. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    229
    May 2, 2011
    PA
    My wife has been wanting a camera that she can carry around or use when I'm not with her to take pictures of our kid. She told me to find her the easiest to use camera that would take good pictures. I looked at the Oly's first, but none had built in flash for this generation. I don't like built in flash generally, but sometimes you just need it. Especially if the person operating the camera doesn't really care.

    I ended up buying a used Panasonic GF3 a month ago to mount the Pany 14mm lens on for her. I wanted this model specifically because of the built in flash and the tiny size. So far, she loves it and I've even used it when I didn't feel like taking the E-M5.

    I would have jumped on a new E-PM2 if it had built in flash.
     
  10. magkelly

    magkelly Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Nov 11, 2012
    USA
    Besides price, getting a used body under $100 was a huge factor in my decision to buy an E-PL1, one of the reasons I bought this particular model was I liked the fact that it had the flash. I'm not a huge fan of on board flash use. I more often than not don't use a flash actually. I'm more of an add some more photo lights or ambient kind of shooter than a grab a flash kind of shooter. Flash is always my last resort when I am shooting as I prefer less harsh light.

    But for a small pocket cam, particularly one I will likely use a lot for casual macro shots, like flowers I come across while I am on my fitness walk, it's kind of essential. I just don't want to be carrying a flash and batteries in my pocket all the time. I kind of view this camera as a cross between a serious P&S and a proper DSLR. I wanted it for walking around, in my purse, in situations where carrying a DSLR all the time would be a little too much weight and a little too conspicuous.

    Putting a flash on it kind of negates the discreet factor and adds weight. I might do it when I am shooting indoors but outside I don't want that really. I liked the pop up flash on this model and now that I have it I really like how much control over it. I'm not actually likely to use it full blast. I think I set it at 1/64 or thereabouts for normal usage. That's actually been just about perfect for in here, right now, in a very low light situation. I'm getting decent shots of a coke can and glass at 200iso with my lens wide open at 2.8 at 1/4 and with the flash set to 1/64. I've only got like a 60 watt lamp behind it, back about a foot. Otherwise the room is pretty dark...

    (No the glass isn't totally dirty. It's mineralized. We have extremely hard water here. We replace the glasses about once a year but it only takes about 3 months and every glass in the house looks like this. I hate it but we can't put a water filter on the tap. We use a pitcher for drinking/cooking water but using the pitcher water doesn't make sense just to wash the dishes...)

    haveacoke.

    This is the Viv 35mm which I put back on the camera after I was done playing with my 55 Tak. It's not quite as sharp but I really like the focal length on this camera. It's not doing too bad actually for poor light. Tomorrow I'm going to take it outside and see what it does in better light for a while.

    Honestly I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the later models of the Pen as I am about this one. After playing with this one and reading a few of other manuals for the series I'm far more likely to pick up another one of these in black sometime as a backup for this one than I am to buy a more recent version. I just like this particular version better. It might be a bit slower but it suits me just fine...
     
  11. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    Personally I hate in body flash, I tried it a few times with the E-P3 and it gave harsh red eyed results, however in a unit where you chose viewfinder and on camera flash, or no viewfinder with flash, it was a trade off I could live with.

    Now I use the E-M5 and the only time I use the add on flash, is when I playing with my Metz off camera, but I have no issue carrying a small add on unit in my camera bag. Course my standard kit when I go out is the camera, flash, three or four lenses, and when I really think I need it my Metz flash. :p so I probably not the best person to ask. But my opinion I would gladly trade noise and higher ISO's than to use a flash thats too close to the lens, which by definition is every flash thats on camera.

    Also is it just me or do other people find it hilarious when you see someone in the back of a stadium or concert and you watch those cute little flashes go pop? :D
     
  12. Mogul

    Mogul Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Nov 9, 2012
    Please forgive my ignorance. I thought that at least three Olympus 4/3 models had built in electronic flash. What am I missing here?
     
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    The OP referenced current generation bodies: E-M5; E-PL5; E-PM2.
     
  14. Mogul

    Mogul Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Nov 9, 2012
    Sorry, I thought the E-P3 was a current model!
     
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Well, it sort of is, since it has not been replaced. But I think a lot of us consider current gen cams to have the latest Sony sensor.
     
  16. Mogul

    Mogul Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Nov 9, 2012
    Thank you for the added detail about Olympus cameras and Sony sensors.

    Would the OM-D E-M5 qualify? It has a small built-in flash and a Sony sensor.

    From Imaging Resource:

    At a press conference in Japan earlier this week, Olympus CEO Hiroyuki Sasa finally put the arguments to rest, identifying the E-M5's sensor supplier in a Japanese-language article uncovered by the 4/3 Rumors website. We've had a native Japanese-speaker translate the article ourselves, and concur with 4/3 Rumors' assessment: the sensor supplier for the Olympus E-M5 is identified by Mr. Sasa as none other than mirrorless rival Sony Corp., whose NEX-series cameras directly compete with Micro Four Thirds models.
     
  17. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    The E-M5 does not have a built in flash, it has a small flash that you mount to the camera via the hot shoe. Which some don't mind and others find as a defect.
     
  18. magkelly

    magkelly Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Nov 11, 2012
    USA
    Yes, but not nearly as hilarious as I find all those people with their cell phones up in the air recording clips of the performance to send to their friends or who post them to You Tube even as they watch. A: It's incredibly rude to block the view of everyone behind you doing that shiz, and B: shaky, bad videos from 200 rows back are not something worth watching, even on You Tube. There's a reason they pay those A/V/S guys so much money to record a show properly, you know?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    Yup I love those people :)
     
  20. Until I read this thread, it hadn't occurred to me that this was the case (assumng the E-P3 is no longer in production, of course). In about six months of owning the camera I'm yet to use the clip-on flash that came with my E-M5 aside from testing that it works. I can however see that for someone used to compact cameras it would be strange that a larger and likely more expensive camera than they are used to does not have a built-in flash. The clip-on flash is quite ungainly when mounted, is easily left behind at home, and there is also the potential for losing it.