Flash for E-520

Started Mar 4, 2014 | Questions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 25,048
Re: Flash for E-520

SteveRoberts wrote:

Thanks, That list is just what I need. Thanks.

I want one the camera can control, with manual options later. For right now i am having enough trouble getting the camera settings right without adding more complexity by having to set the flash.

It depends on your budget, how much you want to light, how big of a flash you want. I would suggest thinking about a RC compatible flash, since that gives you the most options. The FL-36R flash is fairly small and is not as top heavy, and you can pick them up used in the $100-150 range (I picked one up recently for $85 by following the for sale posts in various 4/3rds and micro 4/3rds forums). The downside of the FL-36/FL-36R is that it doesn't have the power to light up large rooms, and it is slow at recycling (I tend to think of it as getting you out of papparazzi mode, and concentrating on waiting for the decsive moment). Keh has 2 under $150: http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-Digital/system-Olympus-Digital/category-Shoe-Mount-Flashes?s=1&bcode=DO&ccode=21&cc=3699&r=WG&f

Keh, also has some FL-50's that are slightly more, but don't have the remote capability (i.e. the flash has to be in the hot-shoe or connected via a flash cable).  The FL-50 is much more powerful than the FL-36R, but it is also heavier.

If you are willing to spend a bit more, consider the Metz 52 AF-1 (I have its predecessor, Metz 48 AF-1, that worked great until I dropped it, and now the flash won't zoom in/out) or the FL-600R. Note, on the E-520, you will not be able to use the FL-600R's video light for focusing (but on the other flashes you would -- the red focus assist light on the older flashes works on the classic 4/3rds cameras like the E-520 but not the Pens/OM-D's). The Metz does not have the auto mode, that the Olympus flashes still retain, but with the RC mode support, you probably don't need it as much these days.

If you do need to go papparazzi mode, the Metz flashes tend to recharge much faster than the Olympus flashes.  However, the Metz menu scheme is not as straight forward.

Some of the 3rd party flashes don't have support for manual modes, so if you think you want to go in that direction, you might want to read and think about specs.

If you need to go cheaper just for the automatic TTL flash (i.e. you may need to buy another flash further down the road if you do want to go into challenging situations, but many folk just want something that works), consider: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/914065-REG/bower_sfd7280_autofocus_dedicated_flash_for.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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