Really need a flash for the G5...

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by matt_w, May 15, 2016.

  1. matt_w

    matt_w Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 27, 2013
    I am looking for a TTL flash for the G5. I would like to have basic tilt and swivel. It does not have to be a really high powered unit, looking for something that does not get in the way but adds some utility to the camera.

    I am really looking for thoughts and suggestions. I have been looking at the following units.
    1) Olympus FL36
    2) Meike MK320

    I will be using this mainly for fill flash and maybe with an off camera shoe cord for a little macro work.

    Thanks Matt
  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    Be aware that G5 doesn't work very well with third-party flash, if you're using one, you'd probably lose the auto ISO ability, and IIRC the G5 onboard flash doesn't work as an RC master so you'd need a hotshoe remote, basically, you'll be using flash manually if you do that with G5.

    With whatever you pay to get a working TTL remote flash with G5, you could get an EPM2 for very little money now and work flawlessly for that purpose.
  3. matt_w

    matt_w Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 27, 2013
    I think I could live without auto ISO... I prefer to set the ISO and not have it move around and work with the aperture to control exposure. I am not looking to do wireless remote, I have Canon's 5Dii and 7D with the right gear and several L lenses that I use when the shot has to be right. I am simply looking for a little stronger on body flash, that is fairly small and will work with an off camera shoe cord. The little G5 is something I can grab in a hurry and that will still take good images, if I do my part.

    That being said, it fits my hand. Are they really that bad with a proper protocol flash unit? I am really listening and looking forward to your advice, I see that you are a very senior member here and I therefore assume have a much larger pool of experience to draw from. I have been a Canon shooter from day 1, 40 years ago I started with a TX and have never looked back. The little Panasonic was my daughters, she really does not want anything more that point and shoot but I find some utility in it as a capable, light weight and small system. So far I have the 20mm, 14-42, and the 45-150 kit lenses and the Oly 60mm macro. I have used it to create a couple of decent quality how to and review videos and it goes with me when I might want a camera, but do not want a 5Dii or 7D and the weight of L class lenses.

    Thanks Matt
  4. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I don't have the MK320 but have been thinking about picking one up as a small travel flash. At only about $80US it is about half what I would pay for a single dinner out with my family (of 6) on a vacation, so not a bank breaker by any means.

    I do have the FL-36 and have used it (along with the FL-50) for many years now. About the only drawback to the FL-36 is that it is a two battery flash and so the recharge time between flashes is slow, especially when the batteries are not fresh. However the MK320 is also a two battery flash, so in that regard I suspect they are about the same. This is only an issue if you need to take several flashes photos in a row and need rapid recharging, say shooting at a party. But if you are in no hurry to get a flash quickly after taking one, then it isn't an issue.

    A couple advantages of the MK-320 are that it looks much smaller than the FL-36 where there is almost no body to the flash. The FL-36, while a lot smaller than say the FL-50, still had a largish body and is kind of tall sitting on the camera. Also the MK-320 has LED modeling lights, so nice if you want to see how shadows will show up before you shoot. I don't think they are very bright, but may be very useful for your macro work if you want to get an idea of flash placement with respect to your subject.

    Advantages of the FL-36 include:
    • Being taller on the camera, may be slightly less prone to red eye effect being farther away from the lens. I don't know that the MK-320 is bad at red eye, so simply speculating that the FL-36 being taller might be better. Then again it might be a wash.
    • The FL-36 is that it has a zoom flash head that will auto zoom (in TTL mode) from 14mm to 42mm. In addition it has the wide angle panel where you choose either 10mm or 8mm on the flash when using it. I believe the MK-320 is a fixed 12mm. Great for wide angle shooting, but you will lose a lot of light to the sides when trying to shoot at longer focal lengths unless you "snoot" the flash.
    • While the MK-320 does do tilt and swivel, on the left to right axis it goes 60 and 90 while the FL-36 does 180 and 90, so with the FL-36 you can aim the flash over your head behind you to bounce that way. I personally have never shot that way, so this may not be an issue with a lot of others as well.
    • "Super FP emission" supported which is high speed Focal Plane shutter flash sync for shooting in situations where your shutter speed it high (for example, outdoors during the day) and you just need some fill flash. With the MK-320 you may have to force your shutter speed below the X-Sync of your camera which during the day may force a very small aperture or the use of ND filters.
    Clearly the FL-36 is a better flash in many regards and if you don't have any hotshoe flash at the moment, I would say you would be better served with the FL-36 generally. The MK-320 does look like a very nice compact unit that for many would be better as a second flash for those times when you are looking to travel very light. BUT if the "advantage" list of the FL-36 simply are not important to you, you may be well served by the MK-320.

    Again, my actual experience is with the FL-36 and I am only speculating on the MK-320 based on second hand accounts. So my advice is about worth what you paid for it. ;)

    EDIT: here is a very nice review of the MK-320 that I think covers most of its good and weak points, but is overall positive about the flash...
    MeiKe MK320 for Micro Four Thirds review | Lighting Rumours

    And the Olympus FL-36 user manual in PDF form can be found here...
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  5. matt_w

    matt_w Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 27, 2013
    I think I have decided to go with the FL-36. With my large Canon flashes I use the diffuser panel and bounce card often, I love having a good full range tilt and swivel. I would imagine that I will also appreciate these features on the smaller scale body. This is not a heavily used body for me, in fact I have not accumulated great lenses for it but would love to move up to a couple of the 2.8 zooms or to something with some reach. I may look into adapters to get to the Canon 300 L EF and the 85 L in the future. I have not taken this format as seriously as I maybe should.

    Should I change bodies... Not yet, I need to spend time and see what I can really get out of this one. I do not shoot much video, it seems that many of the M4/3 bodies excel at video. I have not gotten the quality of images from these little guys that I had hoped for, the 60 macro may change that for me.

    I am rambling, I value the input here and may have to frequent this site more often that I do. Heck, maybe I will get something that is worth presenting! :)

    Thanks Matt