Any opinions on the new Olympus flash gear?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Peter 1745 Senior Member • Posts: 1,529
Re: Any opinions on the new Olympus flash gear?
4

Jeff wrote:

Kind of lost in the discussion of the EM1x is the release of the new Olympus radio-controlled flash gear ... the FL-700WR and the FC-WR remote commander.

I don't use a flash very often, but enough that I have few older FL-50 units lying around. I've been doing an overall updating of my kit, and one thought would be to replace the older units with the FL-700WR.

Any hands-on experience with this new gear? It looks attractive, but is it any better than I would I could get with Godox or other vendor?

The main issues with the new Olympus RF flash control system are

  • the price.
  • the number of flashes compatible with it.

Getting a command unit and 2 or 3 flashes for off camera use is much more expensive than buying a Godox system.

The wireless commander is £280 on its own, just £50 cheaper than the FL-700WR flash which has built in master/commander functionality.

The FC-WR receiver units are £180 each and require compatible flashes to be attached.

Currently the only flashes listed as compatible are the FL300R and the FL-600R with no mention of the FL-900R,FL-50R FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36 or any of the Panasonic flashes. It may be possible that the receiver can be used with these unlisted flashes but I've not seen any definitive answer, either way, so far.

With the Godox system you can get a TT685O flash as your commander for about £90 and use it with a vast array of Godox remote flashes. The remote flashes don't have to be Olympus system specific, e.g. you can use Godox "Canon system" flashes as the remote flashes. The range of compatible flashes is very wide, from cheap low power units to powerful studio heads (http://flashhavoc.com/godox-flash-system-overview/ ) which puts Olympus's two compatible flashes in the shade.

You can buy a Godox master/commander flash and 2 remote flashes for the price of the Olympus commander unit on its own. Buying 3 (1 master + 2 remote) Olympus FL-700R flashes would cost about £1000.

If you have a collection of compatible Olympus flashes and need RF control for a couple of them it might be worth getting a FC-WR and a couple of FR-WR units, but generally it would make more sense to go the Godox route.

Build quality of the Godox flashes may not be as good as the Olympus ones but it is generally up to the standard required by most people/users and their low price means that a malfunction isn't wallet breaking.

At the prices they are asking I can't see the Olympus RF system being widely adopted by photographers, so will remain niche and expensive and may not be worthwhile for Olympus to develop, or even maintain, long term.

For my RF control needs I currently use the (no longer available) Aokatec-TTL optical-to-RF converter system, which, though fiddly to use, works well. Were this to break, despite having 5 flashes compatible with the Olympus system (FL-300R x2, FL-600R, Metz 50, Metz 64) I would switch to the Godox system.

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Regards,
Peter
'Keep taking the photos'

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