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Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by rklepper, Aug 27, 2013.
What Panasonic flash would you recommend for use on a Panasonic GH3?
It really depends on what you want to do. There's a pretty straight relationship: the bigger the flash unit, the higher it's output. Do you just want a little flash for fill, or a big flash to be your main light? Are you going to use on-camera flash, or do you want to control a multi-flash setup?
One thing to keep in mind: except for styling and model numbers, Olympus and Panasonic flash units are identical, and last I checked Olympus units were cheaper than the corresponding Panasonic units.
And don't rule out third party flashes.
Camera Flashes | B&H Photo Video
Camera Flashes | B&H Photo Video
Just from reading specs, I'd say the Panasonic FL360L would be the one to go for, simply because you could use the popup flash on the GH3 as your wireless master with TTL/FP and all the other little goodies. Its Oly opposite number is the FL600R, iirc. And in this specific case, looking up the two models on US Amazon, it looks like the FL360L is $40 cheaper (color me surprised. Usually the Olys are less expensive).
This way, you'd have all the toys for both on/off-camera flash, as well as TTL or all-manual flash. Easy way to dip your toe into the Strobist world, as well as have on-camera TTL run'n'gun for event shooting. But, as was stated, how you plan to use the flash makes a big difference.
If you plan to go manual-only with cheap radio triggers Strobist-style, you can get much cheaper gear, but with far fewer features.
Third party can be good choices for all-manual models, but very few of the all-the-bells'n'whistles TTL 3rd party models are mft compatible. The most notable exception being the Metz 44. The Nissin Di-466 doesn't swivel, and Sigma and Yongnuo don't make mft-specific gear.
Sorry, I should have expanded. I have many manual flashes and wireless triggers to use for off camera flash. I am mainly looking for something to use on camera as I am not too pleased with what I get from the onboard flash. Not sure how big I want to go though.
Would still say the FL360L or Oly FL-600R, then. You want all the bells'n'whistles as well as tilt and swivel for on-camera, and they're smaller than the FL500/FL-50R. The guide number's pretty respectable (36m @42mm, and 20m @12mm), so about the same as most mid-range flashes in other lineups, like the Nikon SB-700 or Canon 430EXII, which tend to measure around 30m zoomed to 35mm.
Going any smaller is going to lose you tilt and swivel, which sucks for on-camera bouncing, if you want to make soft directional light. And for on-camera run'n'gun event shooting, TTL capability is desirable.
And while you won't have the range/reliability of radio with the wireless TTL, you would have the advantages of HSS and remote commanding of the slave flash's power level, so if, say, you're stuffing it inside a Westcott Apollo, you don't have to keep opening up the softbox to adjust the power level/zoom, as you would have to with manual flashes/triggers.
Have you considered renting to see if it's a good weight/balance for you?
I'd recommend the FL-600R, pretty impressive for the small size. I did a short write-up with some photos comparing the FL-600R, FL50R, and Nikons SB-800.
Wait, what? Are you serious? How does this work?
omg this is amazing! Wireless TTL! Woo! Even works with my GH3!
But the real test is to see if it will actually work with the flashes nestled inside of an Apollo. And if they will play nice with my manual flashes and radio triggers. Don't think the flash will pop up on the GH3 with my radio transceiver attached.
Yes, they do work inside an 28" Apollo, even if using the FL-LM2. I've been up to 10 feet away from the Apollo and able to see only a small section of the front of the box and the flash inside fires away. Just make sure the flashes sensor points to the front diffusion.
I've just tried the FL-LM2 to fire the flash inside the box a few times and it has worked. But I have used the FL-600R quite a few times with a FL-50R inside. And this has been in bright day light!
I used to use an OM T32 flash on a GF1, and now FL50R on G2. Most of a flash's weight is actually in the batteries, but, from what I've read, you really want one with 4 batteries for the decreased cycle time. The grip on the G2 makes the FL50R workable, so I expect the FL50R would work pretty well on a GH3.
I would avoid the older Panasonic versions of the Olympus flashes because they lack wireless TTL. For a little less money, you can look into Metz flashes; some of them support Olympus wireless TTL.
If you just want better lighting and looking mostly to bounce, I've always wondered if these were any good....
<a href="http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/pop-up-flash-bounce/embed">"600" height="400" border="0"></a><br /><br /><a href="http://photojojo.com/store/embed">Photojojo Store!</a>
DMW-FL360L is the Panasonic = of the FL-600R
I would get the Metz 58.
I have tried a bunch. Nothing offered by Panasonic or Olympus has enough power (for me) or quick enough recycling.
Yeah, more capable unit, but a lot bigger, so a bit more unwieldy for on-camera, and costs about $150 more. Amazon has the 58 for around $400, while the FL360L is on sale right now for about $260.