Recommendations for a small, portable flash for Lumix S5

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
David V
OP David V Senior Member • Posts: 1,230
Re: Recommendations for a small, portable flash for Lumix S5

kli wrote:

Usual candidates, assuming you don't want a tiny accessory flash to take the place of a pop-up but a proper speedlight with rotating head for proper bounce flash:

  • Panasonic FL360L/Olympus FL600R
  • Godox TT350-O/V350-O
  • Nissin i400, i40, i600, or i60A
  • Meike MK320 (aka Neewer NW320)
  • Metz M400

None of these are quite a powerful or full-featured as a full-sized speedlight, though, so you may also want to consider whether you want to go all the way up to a big-boy flash, like, say, a Godox V1-O or TT685 II-O. Might be topheavy, but the S5 has a deep grip that can help counter that.

Of these four models, Metz is bankrupt again, so finding an M400 might be hard and getting service/support for it near-impossible.

The Meike is probably the cheapest, and may not do HSS and only swivels 150º.

The Nissins are probably the best for on-camera usage (more power, 360º swivel) but only the i60A has built-in radio for off-camera usage.

The Godox is part of a really big radio remote-controlled lighting system that scales all the way up to studio strobes if you want and comes with radio triggering built-in. It may work cross-brand; but it also won't (another reason the full-sized speedlights can be nicer if you're thinking about switching systems or need to share lights with a non-Panasonic shooter). And the "V" version uses a rechargeable li-ion pack instead of 2xAAs that will last roughly 2.3x as long while slightly speeding up recycle times. Main drawbacks are it's less feature-laden vs. its full-sized siblings (no sync port, no external battery pack port, no recycle beep, smaller radio range, 16 channels not 32, half the power output, etc.) and the head only rotates 270º.

The OEM speedlight is OEM, so best compatibility, service, support, and probably the best TTL consistency/accuracy and overheat protection. But. You need much more expensive WR units to have remote radio control, and the S5 has no pop-up flash to use in the Oly/Pany "RC" smart optical system these speedlights use.

If you do just want a pop-up flash sub, the Olympus FL-LM3 should work; I think the S5 has the additional brass-colored contact that provides power for it.

Thank you very much for such a detailed and informative answer.  95+% of my shooting is done outdoors for landscape or macro.  The S5 is a second, smaller, backup body for me and for my wife to shoot as we begin to ramp up our travel again, but its nice to have a flash when indoors for some people and event duties, so I wasn't planning on needing a big boy flash.

I shoot the SL2 as my primary camera and have the small Leica flash for that one when I need.  I will check to see if it works with the S5 first, but somehow I doubt it

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Leica Q2 Fujifilm X100V Leica SL2 Leica SL 24-90mm F2.8-4 Leica APO-Summicron-SL 35mm F2 ASPH
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