GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Discussions
masoncl Regular Member • Posts: 125
GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review
1

Hi everyone,

Since all the info here helped a lot for my gh3 decision, I thought I'd add a few details on what I've found so far.

You never really have to wait for the camera.  With a fast flash card it just flies through everything, and the large buffers mean you can grab most action sequences in RAW without problems.  Continuous focus is ok, definitely more keepers than the g3 but nothing amazing.

ISO 1000 and 1600 have very little noise and great colors.  3200 is ok, but resolution suffers.  You need to light 3200 really well and keep your subjects large for the shots to come out nicely.  It's still a big upgraded from the g3.

Having the flash exposure compensation directly on one of the dials is great, and it also adjusts shoe mounted flash.  Even the wireless flash mode works with my metz-50, and the FEC is dial is much nicer than pushing the buttons on the metz.  The metering works well: this is a crop of a fairly close shot, with the metz firing head on:

ISO 200, 12-35 at 35mm

But (as others have pointed out) I really miss FEC in manual mode.  Also, the flash exposure control is only on when you let the camera adjust flash exposure with the overall exposure.  This gets messy quickly because dialing down exposure -1 also turns down the flash.  Any flash adjustments are on top of that -1, which means your max flash is now really a +2 instead of +3.  It sounds silly, but when you're bouncing the flash sometimes you need the extra umpf.

I'd really like to see a way to control the flash from manual and without attaching it to overall exposure.  That gives you the most control, and in manual that +/- button already does nothing.

Overall, the raw files have much more margin for error than my g3 did  This shot below was over exposed a bit, but I was easily able to recover the blown highlights (bounced with the metz)

ISO 500 with the f2.8 at 35 (12-35)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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Ulfric M Douglas Veteran Member • Posts: 4,818
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

masoncl wrote:

Also, the flash exposure control is only on when you let the camera adjust flash exposure with the overall exposure. This gets messy quickly because dialing down exposure -1 also turns down the flash. Any flash adjustments are on top of that -1, which means your max flash is now really a +2 instead of +3. It sounds silly, but when you're bouncing the flash sometimes you need the extra umpf.

That sounds terribly frustrating.

I like to keep my Flash and non-flash EV comps separate, does this make things more awkward?

s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,159
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review
1

Maybe, just maybe, setting camera in M mode requires flash to be switched from TTL to manual mode too... just a guess

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OP masoncl Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

Ulfric M Douglas wrote:

masoncl wrote:

Also, the flash exposure control is only on when you let the camera adjust flash exposure with the overall exposure. This gets messy quickly because dialing down exposure -1 also turns down the flash. Any flash adjustments are on top of that -1, which means your max flash is now really a +2 instead of +3. It sounds silly, but when you're bouncing the flash sometimes you need the extra umpf.

That sounds terribly frustrating.

I like to keep my Flash and non-flash EV comps separate, does this make things more awkward?

After playing with things, I turned off the new exposure compensated flash mode and just use the buttons on the back of the flash.  For the pop up flash, I can see the new mode helping.

-chris

OP masoncl Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

s_grins wrote:

Maybe, just maybe, setting camera in M mode requires flash to be switched from TTL to manual mode too... just a guess

It does still work well in TTL mode, but you have to control the FEC from the flash instead of from the camera.  Or if you're using the popup, you have to go menu diving each time you want to adjust the flash.

-chris

s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,159
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

masoncl wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Maybe, just maybe, setting camera in M mode requires flash to be switched from TTL to manual mode too... just a guess

It does still work well in TTL mode, but you have to control the FEC from the flash instead of from the camera. Or if you're using the popup, you have to go menu diving each time you want to adjust the flash.

-chris

Thank you for this news. It is good to know that is is still possible to control FEC: via flash is better than nothing.

BTW, what flash did you use?

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OP masoncl Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

s_grins wrote:

masoncl wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Maybe, just maybe, setting camera in M mode requires flash to be switched from TTL to manual mode too... just a guess

It does still work well in TTL mode, but you have to control the FEC from the flash instead of from the camera. Or if you're using the popup, you have to go menu diving each time you want to adjust the flash.

-chris

Thank you for this news. It is good to know that is is still possible to control FEC: via flash is better than nothing.

Definitely, I was just surprised that they went to all the trouble to setup the camera dials to control the flash, but then left out so many common uses.  One nice feature is they give visual feedback (the screen stutters a bit) if you try to push the shutter and your flash isn't fully recharged.

BTW, what flash did you use?

It's a metz AF-50.  It does work quite nicely all around.

-chris

OP masoncl Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: GH3 flash exposure compensation and a short review

Part two

Switching the exposure metering allows more fine grained control of flash exposure.   The TTL tries very hard to avoid over exposed areas.  So if you're shooting with a window or a bright light in the room, it'll stop sending flash output as soon as the brightest spot of the frame is fully exposed (no huge surprise).

The spot exposure is very effective at telling it to ignore the bright things and expose for a specific subject.  This didn't work well on the g3 for me, so it's a nice change.

I thought I'd hate the touchpad AF, but it's actually perfect for adjusting focus points and aiming the spot exposure when you are using the EVF.  You can slide the focus spot around without taking the camera away from your face, and I haven't yet hit it by mistake.

-chris

Pavel Posel Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: GH3 flash and Metz
1

Which adapter do you use to connect the Metz flash with GH3?

I have Metz MZ54-3 up to now used with Minolta adapter (Minolta Dimage A4) and I am looking for camera upgrade.

OP masoncl Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

Pavel Posel wrote:

Which adapter do you use to connect the Metz flash with GH3?

I have Metz MZ54-3 up to now used with Minolta adapter (Minolta Dimage A4) and I am looking for camera upgrade.

My AF50 is one of the metz line that is native to the m43 cameras.  So, it mounts directly without any adapters.

-chris

exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

Pavel Posel wrote:

Which adapter do you use to connect the Metz flash with GH3?

I have Metz MZ54-3 up to now used with Minolta adapter (Minolta Dimage A4) and I am looking for camera upgrade.

if you Metz is SCA compatible then I think Metz has SCA adapters for Olympus.
http://www.amazon.com/Metz-MZ-53202-Olympus-Adapter/dp/B00009R8P1

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Pavel Posel Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

Thanks,

Yes the Metz is compatible and I use it with the SCA for Minolta - it works correctly including TTL and remote control.

I am looking for GH3 to get the same functionality because I love using remote flash with the indirect light. But I am in a doubt if the SCA adapter which is 10 years old supports all the state-of-the-art (hopefully) camera functionalities. Are the Olympus and Panasonic flash systems compatible?

However, thanks for the recommendation.

exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

Pavel Posel wrote:

 Are the Olympus and Panasonic flash systems compatible?

GH3 works properly with FL50R/FL36R mounted on it and also GH3 works properly using its on board flash to control remote FL50R/FL36R in RC mode... however Metz 58AF2 does not work as a remote flash in RC mode for GH3, only as onboard flash... I bet your flash shall be usable as on board for GH3

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ajamils1
ajamils1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Pavel Posel wrote:

Are the Olympus and Panasonic flash systems compatible?

GH3 works properly with FL50R/FL36R mounted on it and also GH3 works properly using its on board flash to control remote FL50R/FL36R in RC mode... however Metz 58AF2 does not work as a remote flash in RC mode for GH3, only as onboard flash... I bet your flash shall be usable as on board for GH3

That's good to know about Metz 58AF2, as I was thinking about picking it up. I'm looking for a powerful speedlight that can do wireless TTL with GH3.

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

ajamils1 wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Pavel Posel wrote:

Are the Olympus and Panasonic flash systems compatible?

GH3 works properly with FL50R/FL36R mounted on it and also GH3 works properly using its on board flash to control remote FL50R/FL36R in RC mode... however Metz 58AF2 does not work as a remote flash in RC mode for GH3, only as onboard flash... I bet your flash shall be usable as on board for GH3

That's good to know about Metz 58AF2, as I was thinking about picking it up. I'm looking for a powerful speedlight that can do wireless TTL with GH3.

in this case the safest bet will be FL50R ... USD $300 refurbished.

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ajamils1
ajamils1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:


in this case the safest bet will be FL50R ... USD $300 refurbished.

That seems like the best option but I was just reading the reviews on Amazon about it and someone mentioned about a limit. I don't know if that's the case with ALL speedlights or just 50R.

"There is a limit to the number of flash emissions you are allowed in a given time. This is difficult to use in real life. The limit is 10 full-power flashes in 10 minutes, or 20 half-power flashes in 10 minutes, etc. Since you don't know the power of any given flash emission in any of the AUTO modes, you must estimate the usage and curtail flash photography as required. The reason is that the light unit gets hot, as do the batteries."

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Pavel Posel Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

I’ve got an answer from the Metz directly saying that the older flash do not support functionality of new cameras as wireless or TTL. (They said that GH3 has new digital TTL; however the Metz worked with digital camera A2. I am afraid that it is a sell strategy pressing people to buy a whole flash not only an adapter.) So the full-featured flash can be used as a simple auto flash only.

Bad news because it destroys the advantage of the SCA adapters that Metz had developed. It is better for me to buy a Panasonic flash directly – it can be used as an occasional lamp for video as well.

ajamils1
ajamils1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

So what does that means? Which version of Metz work with GH3's new digital TTL?

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

ajamils1 wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:


in this case the safest bet will be FL50R ... USD $300 refurbished.

That seems like the best option but I was just reading the reviews on Amazon about it and someone mentioned about a limit. I don't know if that's the case with ALL speedlights or just 50R.

"There is a limit to the number of flash emissions you are allowed in a given time. This is difficult to use in real life. The limit is 10 full-power flashes in 10 minutes, or 20 half-power flashes in 10 minutes, etc. Since you don't know the power of any given flash emission in any of the AUTO modes, you must estimate the usage and curtail flash photography as required. The reason is that the light unit gets hot, as do the batteries."

this is about overheating the flash... if you want something  heat resistant you probably need to spend $$$ money to buy Quantum flashes.

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ajamils1
ajamils1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: GH3 flash and Metz

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

this is about overheating the flash... if you want something heat resistant you probably need to spend $$$ money to buy Quantum flashes.

My experience with flashes has been limited to cheap ones and Oly FL600R but I did not see any hear issue that's why I was surprised to read it about 50R. I'm not a pro photographer so I'm not sure if that heating issue is really a big problem or not. But if what the review said is true and I can only take 10 pictures in 10 mins (at full power) then that's definitely an issue.

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