Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Started Mar 3, 2015 | Discussions
uberzone
uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)
16

So I went out on a limb and purchased an Olympus FL-LM3 flash (the flash that comes with the new E-M5 II) to see if it would work on my GM5. The E-M5 II, GM5, and LX100 all share what seems to be the same configuration for the hot shoe port. With m4/3 being a "standard" I was fairly confident it would work. I'm happy to say that indeed the FL-LM3 flash works on the GM5 just as expected.

There is one small caveat however. The flash has a 1mm lip of plastic (see image below) on the front of the hot shoe connector which prevents the flash from sliding all the way into the port and locking the flash into place. The flash still works perfectly fine like this, but obviously if you are going to be tilting and twisting this flash it would be better if it was locked in.

So I took an razor knife and shaved off the extra bit of plastic. The image below is probably a rendering and the lip looks much larger than it actually is. After making the front flush all the way across, the flash locks in place and functions perfectly. I am guessing this will work just as well on the LX100 too.

Remove this small front lip from the FL-LM3

This flash is immensely more useful than the flash supplied with the GM5/LX100. It looks and fits (after the small modification) like it was made for the camera and it is slightly more powerful (GN9 vs GN7) than the flash Panasonic included. The FL-LM3 comes with a little carrying pouch, but it seems a bit bulky and is made of a weird scratchy feeling material. Luckily the FL-LM3 fits perfectly in the little drawstring pouch Panasonic supplied with their flash.

I was surprised to find out the GM5 supports wireless triggering for groups of flashes. I guess if I had read the manual I would have known this, but it was a nice surprise to find out the FL-LM3 would trigger my FL-600r and FL-50r wirelessly. The Panasonic flash will do this too of course but I dismissed it early on and never played around with it.

The GM5 is still limited to 1/50s flash sync, but despite this and a few other limitations, I am really loving this camera. It is everything I wanted the GF1 to be 6 years ago and the it embodies all of the reasons I bought into the m4/3 system to begin with.

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Cane Veteran Member • Posts: 6,900
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Wow, I just posted about this last night with regards to if this would work on an lx100. Is it working in full ttl mode for you? What is the size difference?

I was debating on getting the nissin i40 as a bounce flash, but I like the size of this for when you don't want to lug something bigger.

OrdinarilyInordinate
OrdinarilyInordinate Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)
2

There's a small and lightweight new Metz 26 AF-1 for bounce flash with A-TTL capability. Uses 2 AAA  batteries and would be a good travel flash.

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uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Cane wrote:

Wow, I just posted about this last night with regards to if this would work on an lx100. Is it working in full ttl mode for you? What is the size difference?

I was debating on getting the nissin i40 as a bounce flash, but I like the size of this for when you don't want to lug something bigger.

The TTL protocol is a m4/3 standard so it is the same for Olympus and Panasonic. This flash will only work in TTL mode. The only buttons are an on and off switch and an unlock button. Manual control is not an option but flash exposure compensation via the camera menus work as expected.

It is marginally taller and slightly wider than the flash Panasonic supplies with the GM5 and LX100. Looking at pictures online I would say that it is 1/3rd to 1/4th the size of the Nissin i40. Keep in mind the Olympus FL-LM3 doesn't have a battery compartment. Instead it gets it's power from the camera battery just like the supplied Panasonic flash. This allows it to be much smaller, but also means it is less powerful and your camera battery will drain much faster.

If I need more power I'll just use my fl-600r, but this Fl-LM3 is small enough and versatile enough to always carry with me.

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uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

OrdinarilyInordinate wrote:

There's a small and lightweight new Metz 26 AF-1 for bounce flash with A-TTL capability. Uses 2 AAA batteries and would be a good travel flash.

This is another very interesting option, but I was never able to find a place that had this in stock. Everyone shows it as on back-order. While it is probably more powerful it is twice as expensive as the Olympus FL-LM3 and doesn't swivel.

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Cane Veteran Member • Posts: 6,900
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

OrdinarilyInordinate wrote:

There's a small and lightweight new Metz 26 AF-1 for bounce flash with A-TTL capability. Uses 2 AAA batteries and would be a good travel flash.

I emailed Metz and they emailed back two weeks later regarding this flash and said...

Your request (ref. HELPDESK-100778 - 2015-02-06 17:31:43,000) needs more information:

Hello, Unfortunately Metz flash units such as mecablitz 26 AF-1 digital for Olympus/Panasonic/Leica don't work together with the Panasonic lx100/Leica D-Lux (type 109). For this camera Metz will have to modify all system flash units for Olympus/Panasonic/Leica of their product range. Unfortunately at the moment I can't give you a release date for this modification. Best regards

OrdinarilyInordinate
OrdinarilyInordinate Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Ah,  interesting. I've been considering getting one for my E-M1 (should work for it), and B&B shows expected stock soon. Fl-600r is great but so heavy...  My arm gets tired holding up the camera with it on for a long time. I used to have a Samsung flash similar to the Metz and loved the small and light aspects.

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mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)
1

I could not get the EM5 MK II flash to work on my LX100. However, I didn’t shave that little part off either so it wasn’t seating properly.

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Cane Veteran Member • Posts: 6,900
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

mpgxsvcd wrote:

I could not get the EM5 MK II flash to work on my LX100. However, I didn’t shave that little part off either so it wasn’t seating properly.

Shoot, I just ordered one from B&H. I hope that's all it takes. Once you shave it off, you can't return it.

uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

OrdinarilyInordinate wrote:

Ah, interesting. I've been considering getting one for my E-M1 (should work for it), and B&B shows expected stock soon. Fl-600r is great but so heavy... My arm gets tired holding up the camera with it on for a long time. I used to have a Samsung flash similar to the Metz and loved the small and light aspects.

This flash will not work with the E-M1. The hot shoe ports are not the same.

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Helen
Helen Veteran Member • Posts: 7,255
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)
2

OrdinarilyInordinate wrote:

Ah, interesting. I've been considering getting one for my E-M1 (should work for it), and B&B shows expected stock soon. Fl-600r is great but so heavy... My arm gets tired holding up the camera with it on for a long time. I used to have a Samsung flash similar to the Metz and loved the small and light aspects.

I don't think it will work on any Olympus but the E-M5 Mk II so far - it doesn't use the accessory port - instead there's a new, fourth contact on the foot (and the corresponding one in the shoe of the E-M5 Mk II, plus the two new Panasonics) to pass the power to the flash (remember, it doesn't take any batteries of its own).

OrdinarilyInordinate
OrdinarilyInordinate Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Hmm it was released before e-m5 II came out. I'm talking about the Metz flash I brought up earlier, not the new Olympus flash.

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uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Hmm it was released before e-m5 II came out. I'm talking about the Metz flash I brought up earlier, not the new Olympus flash.

The Metz flash would work with the E-M1. Let me know if you find a place that has it in stock.

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OrdinarilyInordinate
OrdinarilyInordinate Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

I mistyped above, but B&H (not B&B) should have stock soon for the Metz flash. They list approximate stock update days. I think Adorama does too, can't check now. . Haven't seen it for sale anywhere else recently.

Edit : found it anyway: April 1 from B&H

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1100043-REG/metz_mz_2631293opl_mecablitz_26af_1_digital_flash.html

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uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

I find it odd that Metz claims it will not work with the newer cameras. It looks like it shares the same connections as my fl-600r and fl-50r and those two both work fine on my GM5.

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OrdinarilyInordinate
OrdinarilyInordinate Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

It must be the new pin locations on the latest cameras, starting with GM5, LX100, and E-M5 II (guessing the model numbers based on the discussion here). Metz released this new flash this January and probably had it fitted for most of the existing MFT models, since it's only the most recent cameras that have switched to the new format, and Metz probably started designing this flash a while ago.

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uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

The new pin configuration has to be backward compatible though, otherwise my other flashes would not work (which they do). So it would stand to reason that the Metz would also work.

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OrdinarilyInordinate
OrdinarilyInordinate Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

Ok, question!

Will the "original design" flash units made for the camera models prior to the latest extra pin added still work on the newest cameras with A-TTL mode?  So for example, FL-600R should work on Olympus E-M5 II in much the same way it works for E-M5 I?  Likewise, 3rd party flashes like Metz should do the same?

On the flip side, the most recent flash designs such as FL-LM3 won't work properly in A-TTL mode with older cameras, right?

Just checking that there's forward compatibility for the older flashes with newer cameras, but no backward compatibility for the latest flashes with older models.

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uberzone
OP uberzone Regular Member • Posts: 279
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

OrdinarilyInordinate wrote:

Ok, question!

Will the "original design" flash units made for the camera models prior to the latest extra pin added still work on the newest cameras with A-TTL mode? So for example, FL-600R should work on Olympus E-M5 II in much the same way it works for E-M5 I? Likewise, 3rd party flashes like Metz should do the same?

On the flip side, the most recent flash designs such as FL-LM3 won't work properly in A-TTL mode with older cameras, right?

Just checking that there's forward compatibility for the older flashes with newer cameras, but no backward compatibility for the latest flashes with older models.

We probably posted at the same time, but yes, the older flashes still work. I have tried my FL-50, FL-50r and FL-600r. They all work as expected.

As far as I can tell the new hot shoe configuration is just for supplying power to flashes that do not have their own batteries. The extra 4th gold pin that was added seems to be replacing the auxiliary port that was in previous cameras. The new hot shoe is totally backwards compatible.

The new flashes that come with the E-M5 II and GM5/LX100 do not have an auxiliary port connector so older cameras have no way to power these flashes.

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danslides
danslides Regular Member • Posts: 245
Re: Olympus FL-LM3 flash works with Panasonic GM5 (most likley LX100 too)

I posted about this when I got my em5 early. It works, and that little flash is surprisingly awesome. I love the fact that it can move in any direction.

The main problem with it (on the GM5 at least, not sure about other cameras) is that it doesn't fit perfectly in the hot shoe. When I did my initial testing, I thought it didn't work, because it wouldn't fire - but after try again and fiddling with it, i noticed that it would fire but doesn't stay put. Since the pin connections are so small, if the flash unit moves a little, it no longer lines up causing it to not register/fire. It's somewhat of an annoyance, but imo worth it considering we now have a great little flash option for the GM5 - and any hopefully anything else that has the extra pin.

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