Second camera body?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Jakob F., Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I've currently got the E-P2, and a nice set of lenses (samyang 7.5, Oly12&45, pana25) -But the E-P2 don't do off camera flash, so I've been looking for a cheap second-hand deal on one of the PLs.
    Now I have the chance to buy the E-PL1, body only, for something like £92/$144 -but is that a good or bad idea? Will it do handheld flash, with for example the FL36r? Or any of the other remote working flashes?
    Furthermore, I seem to remember reading somewhere, that shooting adapted glass is better on the PL1 than on the P2 -Can anyone confirm that, and maybe explain why? Because then I'll have one happy girlfriend as well -she tends to run of and shoot manual, when I turn my back on the camera, so a second body would come in handy in more ways than one ;v)

    Thanks a lot!

    Regards,
    Jakob
     
  2. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    As far as I know the only cameras that offer "off camera flash" in m4/3 world are GH3 and OM-D. So if off camera flash is your prime concern then there are no cheap option for you.
     
  3. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I have both cameras. I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to when you say the E-P2 can't do off camera flash. It can, though you need a wireless trigger to do so since there is no built in flash (or a flash mounted in the hotshoe) The E-PL1 however can use its built in flash as a master for off camera flashes (this is as I understand it - I may be wrong though because admittedly I've never used it as I don't own any compatible flashes).

    As far as adapted lenses, I definitely find them easier to use on the E-PL1 because it has a direct magnify button whereas the E-P2 requires multiple presses of the info button to get into the green box magnification mode. Its much quicker to zoom in, check critical focus and then zoom back out on the E-PL1. Also, the lack of control dials doesn't bother me as much on the E-PL1 when I'm using adapted lenses since the aperture is controlled on the lens.
     
  4. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Shouldn't it be possible to trigger a remote flash via the built in flash on the cheaper bodies?
     
  5. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    Unless I am missing something, I thought that other then GH3 and OM-D...no other m4/3 body offered flash commander mode.... ok now I'm confused :)
     
  6. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Doesn't anyone offer a flash extender cable for the hotshoe?
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Every single Olympus body (DSLR, Pen, and OM-D) except the E-P1 and E-P2 have a Remote Commander since fall of 2007. :) Panasonic has never had a Remote Commander until the GH3.

    With the Pen bodies though, it gets a little confusing as to where the Remote Commander lies, because Olympus has traditionally built it into the pop-up flash and not all Pens have a pop-up flash. Those which don't (the Minis and the newer Lites from the E-PL3 and newer) have a clip-on flash which acts as the pop-up as well as the Remote Commander. The OM-D uses the same kind of clip-on as well, with the only difference being that the OM-D's is weather sealed. Any Oly body with a pop-up flash will be able to trigger wireless TTL flash through it.

    However, this is only necessary for remote TTL. Without TTL (ie, manual or regular auto), you can use any kind of trigger you want such as radio trigger, PC Sync, or optical trigger from another flash... since all Oly bodies have a hotshoe no matter how small the camera is. The smallest Panasonic bodies on the other hand, don't even include a hotshoe.
     
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  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes. If you're talking about a TTL cable, any Four-Thirds or Canon EOS cable will work. Canon and 4/3 have identical pin-out patterns, and the Micro Four-Thirds uses the same flash system as Four-Thirds.
     
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  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    You would think so, but in many cases you would be wrong.

    The problem is that the built-in flashes often (maybe always) have a pre-flash that IIRC is used to measure the reflected light and set the exposure for the main flash. This preflash will trigger a simple light-sensor remote slave. One workaround is to set the remote flash power low enough that it can flash twice. I find this to be unsatisfactory. Another is to buy a small external flash and use it on the camera. This eliminates the preflash issue. That is the path I have taken. I block the on-camera flash lens with tape to cut down the light so it is enough to do the triggering but not enough to significantly contribute to the exposure.

    My external/trigger flash is a Vivitar 2400 that cost me about twelve bucks on on of the deal-a-day web sites. I saw the same model on the same kind of site a couple of weeks ago for $8.

    If you search here for "preflash" you will find some threads. Maybe the particular body you are looking at will be mentioned.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, you're right there oldracer. For any Olympus camera this is not a problem as they all have manual flash settings available even with the pop-up/clip-on flash units. Panasonic bodies on the other hand, I don't think have this (at least not the older ones). I haven't been able to find it, and all the Panasonic owners I talk to say the same. It could just be that I haven't had enough time with them though, since I only own Oly bodies. Turning off pre-flash on a Panny pop-up has always been problematic. With the Oly bodies you just go into the flash menu and choose a power setting like you would on an external flash.
     
  11. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Ned,

    In regard to using the built in flash as commander, how much line of sight do you need? For example, have you experienced issues with a flash placed in a shoot through umbrella or softbox?
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That really depends on the sensitivity of the sensor on the flash end. Olympus R-series flash units never have a problem triggering with an umbrella or softbox, in my experience. But then, also don't forget that all R-series flash units have swivel heads as well. ;)
     
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  13. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    Ned,

    Thank you for the detailed explanation. Now, it makes sense. I have been in the Panasonic camp since the beginning and that's why I wasn't aware that Olympus offered that feature since a long time.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    This all sounds great, so I think I'll buy that E-PL1, if it's in good shape!

    Thanks for the replies :v)

    /Jakob
     
  15. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Eric Cote
    Thanks Ned... didn't know that about the Canon TTL cable. :)
     
  16. Alan_N

    Alan_N Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jan 22, 2011
    Yorkshire UK
    Alan
    Thanks for that I will give it a try I had been looking at cables as I wanted to get one to use with my G5 and Metz flash, but as I have for my Canon will give it a try! :thumbup:
     
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah, the Canon cables, admittedly, tend to be better quality than what's available for 4/3. ;) And easier to find to boot...
     
  18. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    I had a line of sight issue and it took a long while for me to figure it out. Flash unit was pointing into the back of a lightbox, but it wasn't triggering. It finally worked when I had the brainstorm to orient the flash body with its LED facing me; the light still pointing down into the back of the lightbox. Surprising, because my Canon flash units would work almost no matter what; even behind umbrellas and the umbrellas located behind me. So for the entire time prior to figuring it out, I was all over the place, reading and re-reading use guides; looking for U-Tube guides; the works.