Flash for E-520

Started Mar 4, 2014 | Questions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 24,838
Re: Flash for E-520

SteveRoberts wrote:

I was also looking at this one which appears to be TTL which was mentioned in the manual.


No, this flash is not TTL (and neither is the other one).  The line in the ebay ad about TTL preflash means the flash is a capable of being used as a simple slave with a camera that does multiple flashes as part of its TTL auto focusing.

In terms of flash, it depends on what you want.  If you want to put on a flash on the camera and not have to think about settings, you want a flash that fully supports the Olympus TTL flash protocol.

If you are doing portraits in a static setup where you can spend time tuning the camera and flash settings before doing the photos, and then after you do the setup, all photos are taken using the same settings, then you can use flashes that don't support TTL mode.

Some of the generic flashes (and Olympus flashes) have a mode called 'auto' where you set the camera to particular settings based on the flash (ISO and aperture), and the flash has a sensor where it will shut off the light when it gets reflection from the back wall of the flash, and judges that enough light has been emitted.  This is the flash automation of the 1980's, and it works indoors where the subjects are near walls, but it doesn't work in large halls or outdoors where the flash will not see the bounce back.

If you want to use the flash off the camera (without a cable) where the camera controls the settings, you want to use a flash that supports the Olympus RC protocol.  In this case, you are limited to flashes from Olympus, Metz, and Panasonic.

If you want to use the flash as a fill-in flash when it is very bright out and you want to use shutter speeds faster than 1/180 second, then you want to choose flashes from Olympus, Metz, and Panasonic that support FP-TTL mode (in Olympus/Panasonic speak) or High Speed Sync (in Metz speak).

I put together a list of the flashes that were compatibly with Olympus TTL 2 years ago.  Some of these flashes are no longer made, and there are new flashes that are not listed: http://www.the-meissners.org/olympus-flash2.html

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus TG-860 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 +19 more
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