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Panasonic G7 Mystery Flash Feature

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by Boatman, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. I very recently acquired a G7, upgrading from a GH2. While working with the camera and learning its new features and differences from the GH2, I discovered an unexplained, but useful feature with the camera’s flash synchronization.

    I have two flashes; an Olympus FL-36 and a Yongnuo YN560III. With the GH2, the Olympus flash worked very well as long as you used AUTO mode and not AUTO TTL. I wanted to check this performance with the new camera. When I went to try this, I realized I had an old Konica lens on the camera, and being totally manual would not give me consistent results to using the GH2 with a Panasonic lens. I decided to check flash performance with the manual lens anyway as I was planning to use it in doors.

    Using the FL-36, I quickly realized that with the manual lens AUTO mode is not available; only TTL AUTO and MANUAL. I don’t like TTL AUTO as it is slow and uses a lot of flash power, so I continued working in flash MANUAL mode. I had the camera in manual mode, and quite by accident, I noticed that I was able to increase the camera’s shutter speed beyond 1/160 - the flash synchronization limit. This did not seem consistent, sometimes I got limited to 1/160, sometimes not. It seems to depend upon which mode you are in when you attach the flash, but if you put the camera into PROGRAM mode, then put the flash in TTL AUTO, and then move the camera back to MANUAL, the ability to increase the flash synchronization all the way to 1/4000 is available. You can switch the flash back to MANUAL and the feature persists.

    Examination of the resulting images showed no ill effects from shooting at these high synchronization speeds. The image’s exposures were as expected with the high speed shutter darkening images unless you bumped up the flash’s output accordingly. Shots with the flash off demonstrated that I was not seeing results from just ambient light.

    I then tried this with the Yongnuo flash. Unlike the Olympus flash, getting the camera to go to the higher shutter speeds is easy – it does it in all settings. However, with the Yongnuo flash, shutter speeds above 1/200 result in images that are partially or fully blocked by the shutter curtain – as you would expect. If you put on a Panasonic automatic lens, you cannot coax the camera to shoot above 1/160 in any setting.

    I’m not sure if I have one of the many settings in the camera somehow set to allow this or if this is just an undocumented feature. (Or I’ll find this feature is gone next time I try it!) The ability to shoot at high shutter speeds is very useful when using a flash out of doors. Since the G7 does not have an external X-sych connection, I had not expected to be able to use a flash at high shutter speeds. I checked the G7’s user’s manual and there is no mention of high speed flash synchronization. Perhaps others could try this and report what they find. For me, this is a bonus feature that will be useful.
     
  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    HSS mode with the oly flash?
     
  3. I think you figured it out. Looking at the Olympus manual, there is an FP mode that will do a high speed synch. Using this, the flash will synch above 1/160 even with the Panasonic lenses attached. Useful to know!
     
  4. Well I feel like bit of an idiot. I checked the GH2 and it works more or less the same way. The key is putting the FL-36 into one of the FP modes, which enables the high speed synchronization. With the GH2 it is very consistent and only works in FP. The G7 is rather odd. Sometimes it works when not in FP mode and the shutter speed display in aperture priority seems different. I'll have to mess around with it some more.
     
  5. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    compatibility issue with Oly flash? I don't know.
    recently I discovered that auto ISO doesn't work with my Nissin i40 attached, however auto ISO worked with on board flash and Metz 44, which means they don't always work together the way they should.