Any opinions on the new Olympus flash gear?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Peter 1745 Senior Member • Posts: 1,536
Re: Any opinions on the new Olympus flash gear?

Gregm61 wrote:

Peter 1745 wrote:


Thanks for the confirmation of them working with the FL900R and FL50R. I thought they would but didn't know for sure. I can understand Olympus not mentioning the FL50R as it hasn't been manufactured for years but the omission of the FL900R was strange.

I suspect they will work with any flash compatible with the old optical flash control system including my Metz 50 and Metz 64.

The big question for me is will they work with non "R" flashes e.g. FL50, FL-36 or the smaller Metz flashes that don't work off camera?

I gave my FL50 pre-R to a friend years ago when I purchased the FL50R so no longer have one to test with these new units.

I often wish Olympus would make a bit more effort in presenting their products. How hard would it have been for Olympus to test (or get their visionaries to test) old and off brand flashes compatible with the Olympus flash system and produce a system chart of compatible flashes. The system would be much more appealing it it had such a chart, rather than an incomplete list of just 2 of their flashes.

I read their manuals but no information about this issue there.

Another point I am uncertain on is the number of remote groups the FC-WR supports. If I am reading the manual correctly this is 3 groups but mounting a flash onto the FC-WR uses one of these groups and leaves just 2 groups of remote flashes. Is this correct?

The FC-WR does not have a hot shoe on it, so there's no mounting a flash onto the body when using this setup.

Oops, my mistake. I was looking at an image of the FR-WR whilst thinking of the FC-WR and reading about the FL-700WR.

No doubt Olympus' down-the-road strategy has to be introducing a new highest-level FL900WR that can act as receiver and controller so it can function as you are talking but as of today the FL700WR will be, once available, the only unit that operates that way.

I see no reason this would not be possible utilizing an FL700WR on the body, then three compatible external units mounted onto receivers.

On page 49 of the FL-700WR manual it states that it supports "3 groups (A / B / C)" in RF mode and "3 groups (A / B / C) + 1 master flash" in optical mode.

In the diagram on page 52 it also says

"You can use the flash as a radio commander flash. (Group A is set for the flash.)"

My interpretation from this is that, when used as a commander 3 groups are available but if used as a master flash only 2 are (B / C). I hope I am wrong.

Once all of their flash units are "WR" types, it looks to me like the receiver/controllers will no longer be needed except with the earlier units.

That would be the sensible thing to do. I suspect we will see a FL-900WR before long (once the existing stock of the FL-900R is sold). The FL-700WR is probably going to replace the FL-600R. I hope they will produce a small 2 battery flash to replace the FL-300R, but considering their move away from small bodies, I am far from certain that they will do this.

Another downside for me is that the new Olympus RF system doesn't appear to be able to control the zoom position of the remote flashes. This is something I covert in other systems and miss with my current set up.

To be fair, this is an academic discussion for me as my current set up will last many more years and who knows what will be available then. I am hoping for a control system that can be controlled by an app on a smart phone via Bluetooth. The app would be voice control enabled. I would love to say "Move lighting balance to the left 1/2 stop" or "Zoom background flash to 75mm" rather than having to take the camera from my eye to adjust it with my fingers.

The technology required for this to happen already exists, it just needs someone to put it together in a commercially viable package. Think of something like a Godox Xpro command unit with a bluetooth chip in it. The existing hardware in it can handle communication with the remote flashes, all the bluetooth chip needs to do is send information about the current settings to the smartphone and receive instruction on new ones to apply. An app on the smartphone could process the voice commands and convert them into the required settings for the remote flashes. Simple commands like "Group A, increase power 1/3 stop" should be easy to implement. More complex commands like "Move lighting balance to the left 1/2 stop" would require the app to be told the current lighting set up but there is no reason lighting set up templates couldn't be used by the app. Of course the app would also be able to control the flashes via sliders and dials, not just by voice. One can dream

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