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Elinchrom announces an Olympus version of their Skyport HS studio remote flash transmitter

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Elinchrom announced this week an Olympus compatible Micro Four Thirds version of the EL-Skyport Plus HS remote studio flash controller.

Transmitter allows manual power output control of up to 10 Elinchrom lights over 20 channels in 5 groups with ability to use manual exposure High Speed Sync to 1/8000th sec as well as their OverDrive Sync (ODS) which allows up to 2 stops more light at higher shutter speeds above the x-sync.

Units will cost $US249.

At last, radio TTL remote flash coming to Micro Four Thirds – PocketWizard FlexTT5 for Panasonic

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

One area where Micro Four Thirds users have been seriously neglected is in radio TTL remote flash capability.

Micro Four Thirds users have had to settle for either light-based line-of-sight TTL remote flash, or non-TTL radio remote flash.

A big player in third party radio TTL remote flash technology is PocketWizard who have had their FlexTT5 units available in either Canon, Nikon or Sony versions for several years now.

This week PocketWizard have announced a Micro Four Thirds version – albeit at this stage only compatible with Panasonic GH4 camera in combination with either a Panasonic DMW-FL360L or DMW-FL580L flash but will support radio remote HSS TTL as well as normal remote radio TTL mode and their proprietary Hypersync non-TTL mode.

These units thankfully are firmware upgradeable, and they do intend adding support for other cameras and flashes, and there is no physical reason why this could not be extended to Olympus cameras and flashes given they use the same hotshoe pins (although Olympus has an additional power supply pin now which would be ignored by this units without issue) and essentially the same TTL technologies.

The units will cost $US186 per unit or $US299 for a pair (you need one for the camera and a receiver for the flash).



Adding a PC sync port to your Micro Four Thirds camera for manual off-camera flash or studio strobes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Most Micro Four Thirds cameras (other than the Olympus OM-D E-M1) do not have a PC sync port to connect an off-camera flash in manual flash exposure mode.

Why do this?

Whilst you can use a radio flash transmitter system to achieve this without cords, there are several main downsides:

  • potential issues with the radio triggering – particularly in areas where radio waves don’t transmit well or when there are others using the same radio channels
  • transmitter and receivers cost more and are a little bulky attached to the flash units
  • cannot push shutter speed above flash x-sync well due to the radio triggering latency

Solution is cheap and easy:

There are several types of hotshoe adapters which provide a PC sync port:

  • hotshoes with full TTL pass through capability to a top mounted hotshoe
    • these are ideal if you wish to also mount your Micro Four Thirds compatible flash and use it as you normally would
    • I have bought and used the Flash IS-HC120 hot shoe adapter for Canon EOS (pin compatible with Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds flash systems), and it works very well and appears to be well made – NB  see post script at bottom – mine has stopped functioning!
  • hotshoes with only a single pin pass through capability to the top mounted hotshoe
    • these are ideal if you wish to mount your Micro Four Thirds flash and use it in manual mode while pushing shutter speed above x-sync
    • these are getting hard to find!
  • radio transmitter unit with PC sync port
    • also can function as a radio transmitter but usually do not have TTL pass-through compatibility for Micro Four Thirds
    • but even when not used as a radio transmitter may give latency preventing use in allowing faster shutter speeds above x-sync
    • NB. PocketWizard TTL Canon units do not seem to be able to fire mounted Olympus flash units even in “pass-through” mode, and the Mini-TTL does NOT have a PC sync port



Flash IS-HC120 adapter

More on flash units for Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds – here.

P.S. I purchased one of the iShoot adapters but unfortunately the PC sync connection appears to be very temperamental and thus I have had to stop using it – it may only be an issue with the one that I received and not a general issue with them but I have decided to resort back to my non-TTL multi-PC sync hotshoe adapter, even though the PC sync ports are not threaded.

Radio remote TTL flash for Micro Four Thirds?

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

As much as I love Micro Four Thirds, there is one area which I would really love Olympus and Panasonic to address – the lack of radio remote TTL flash capability.

Nikon and Canon users have access to this technology thanks to 3rd party products such as Pocket Wizard – unfortunately they have not come up with a Micro Four Thirds solution – although this could be potentially possible using their Canon modules given the TTL pin system is at least physically compatible.

Canon have recently added radio wireless TTL flash to their latest dSLRs and flashes in addition to infrared TTL flash.

Nikon still only have infrared TTL flash.

Olympus uses a visible light remote TTL flash system which I personally find intrusive on the subject compared to either infrared or radio, and like infrared, it requires line of sight and relatively short working distances, which are further impacted by bright sunlit conditions.

Olympus and Panasonic have added ad hoc WiFi connectivity to their latest cameras for rapid and easy connection to smartphones which allows a device such as an Apple iPad or iPhone to remotely control the camera – even displaying the live view and allowing AF selection and shutter release.

It would seem to me that if this is possible then it should also be possible to make flash units which could be connected via ad hoc WiFi network to the camera and to other such flash units, and then Olympus and Panasonic can easily add radio wireless remote TTL flash to their system.

Well here’s hoping that this is possible and soon, because this would be fantastic for strobists everywhere who would love the Micro Four Thirds system for its portability – they just need radio TTL flash, and the option of a powerful compatible off-camera flash to allow them to push their creativity.

This would open a new market for Olympus and Panasonic.

Furthermore, using WiFi means each photographer has their own unique radio network for their flashes – no more worrying about which radio channel to use and accidentally triggering or being triggered by other photographer’s setups – particularly an issue in workshops or major events.

So what about it Olympus?

Wifi based remote TTL flash please.


ps. I have been told about a hack around radio TTL system that will probably work if you don’t mind taping up your flashes – see http://www.aokatec.com/AK-TTL.html which uses a similar technique as does RadioPopper.


Seems like I am not the only one wanting this, users have started up a Facebook petition for radio TTL flash and see also blog post on LightingRumours.com.


Pushing the flash sync of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera

Friday, May 4th, 2012

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera is great for lots of reasons, but one of them is that it has easily the BEST flash capabilities of ANY Micro Four Thirds camera, or for that matter, ANY mirrorless camera currently available.

Unlike the Panasonic cameras prior to the GH-3, it has remote TTL flash capability, much better control over manual flash output, the TTL flash metering appears to work perfectly with legacy lenses, you can over-ride the flash sync speed* and the flash sync with new flashes is a lovely 1/250th second.

The Fuji X-Pro1 with its lovely sensor only has flash sync of 1/180th sec, no remote TTL flash system as I understand it, and has major trouble with autofocus or manual focus in low light conditions where you would be most needing flash, and of course, no image stabilisation on any of the only 3 lenses available.

The Sony NEX cameras persist with Sony/Minolta proprietary hot shoe which is not compatible with every other manual hotshoe ever made, and flash sync only 1/160th sec.

The Samsung NX cameras have flash sync of 1/180th second, but no remote TTL flash that I am aware of.

Most of the EM-5 features also exist on the current Olympus PEN cameras except the nice fast flash sync of 1/250th second.

Another benefit of the identical Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds hotshoe pin layout is that they can both use the Canon off-camera TTL cord as this is TTL pin compatible for use as a off-camera TTL cord to an OLympus flash unit – fantastic if you also happen to use Canon gear as I do!

But being who I am, I like to see what happens when I push the system, because sometimes you want full output flash at faster shutter speeds (not just Super FP or HSS flash which saps your flash output dramatically as you increase shutter speed!).

On the Panasonic GH-1 there was no way I could push it like I have always been able to do on my Olympus dSLRs, and now with the E-M5 – by using a manual flash only adapter in the hotshoe which then connects to your flash in non-TTL mode, you can trick the camera software to allow any shutter speed not just a shutter speed up to the “flash sync”.

The downside, is that as you increase the shutter speed, you get increasing vignetting along the top of the frame from the flash exposure due to the mechanical focal plane shutter obscuring the sensor during the flash exposure.

However, if you are shooting a portrait outdoors in the sun with camera rotated into vertical portrait mode, and you position your subject to the opposite side of where the vignetting is occuring (and preferably have no close objects which will only be partly lit by the flash, as this would betray our little trick and spoil the photo), you can succesfully use this technique very nicely indeed to get results that are otherwise not possible.

So here are the test shots of a wall to demonstrate the increasing vignetting when using an Olympus FL-36R flash:

1/250th sec
1/250th sec (above)

1/320th sec
1/320th sec

1/400th sec
1/400th sec

1/500th sec
1/500th sec

The hotshoe adapter could also be a non-TTL radio trigger device, or a MiniTTL PocketWizard set to non-propietary mode which ignores the TTL pins.

The main reason for doing this is to effectively make your flash more powerful when trying to use it in bright sunlight as a fill in flash, and at the same time, the faster shutter speed allows wider apertures for your portraits, although you will almost certainly still need to use a ND or at least a polarising filter to further assist in getting a wide aperture in bright sunlight at ISO 200.

Food for thought.




Tips for better Christmas party indoor photos – all you need is a Micro Four Thirds camera, pancake lens and a flash

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Indoor Christmas party photos can be a very trying issue for the social photographer.

Sure you can use a point and shoot digital with its built-in flash and get the usual shots, but what about aiming for a bit more flattering portraiture without taking a studio lighting kit with you?

My favorite indoor party camera kit is the following:

  • a compact unobtrusive Micro Four Thirds camera – the smaller the better so you can carry it – try the Olympus E-P3, E-PL3, E-PM1 or Panasonic GX-1, but the larger versions such as my GH-1 or the new GH2 or G3 will be still much better than a dSLR. It MUST have a hotshoe – so the Panasonic GF-3 will NOT be a good choice!
  • a compact wide aperture lens like the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 if you will be doing mainly group shots, or the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 if you will not need to do any wide angle shots.
  • an external flash which you can swivel such as the Olympus FL-36 or FL-36R (the FL-50 will work even better but it is a bit too big for these cameras)

Now, the above kit could work well without the flash even indoors IF you have nice flattering lighting for your portraits such as window light or a light hitting the face at a 45deg angle.

More often than not, venues will have very unflattering and often quite dim lighting – downlights are among the worst for flattering portraits unless you position your subject very carefully indeed.

Faced with difficult lighting, your best option for easy to achieve nice portraits indoors is to put a nice powerful flash on your camera and swivel its head so that it bounces off the cornice region of the wall behind you or to the side of you. BUT you do need relatively light and relatively colour neutral paintwork to bounce off – if its is natural wood panels, forget this option!

Set your camera for bounced flash:

  • shoot in RAW + jpeg so you can more easily adjust white balance in Lightroom and add some nice vignette effects, etc afterwards.
  • set exposure mode to M for MANUAL EXPOSURE – this is to stop the camera choosing a shutter speed that is too long and allows the ambient light to add nasty colour casts and shadows as well as camera shake and subject movement blur to your precious photo.
  • set shutter speed to 1/160th sec (a starting point on these cameras as this is the faster shutter they can do in flash mode “the flash sync”)
  • set aperture to a nice wide aperture like f/1.7 or f/2.0 as this will help blur the background and allow you to use less flash power – if you are taking a group shot with subjects relatively close to the camera (eg. 2-3m) but at different distances (eg. closest person is 1.5m and furtherest person at 2.5m), and you want them all in focus, you may need to stop the aperture down to f/4 or so.
  • set ISO at lowest acceptable ISO (eg. 200 would be reasonable, although if you find your flash is not powerful enough, you may need ISO 400)
  • set up the flash: put flash on camera, turn flash on (remember fresh set of batteries), set flash to TTL
  • double check that your flash adjustment setting is zero (I tend to often have mine set to -1EV to -2 EV when using it for fill-in flash so don’t forget to put it back to normal as your flash will be your main light source).
  • set AF mode to face recognition
  • make sure flash is aimed at a nearby wall, ceiling or cornice that will bounce onto your subject’s face
  • and you are ready for fun!!

Here is a QUICK impromptu snap of my friends using this method at f/1.7 using the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens – my “party lens”:


If the room ambient lighting in the background is too dark for your liking, just play with the shutter speed – the longer the shutter speed using the above technique, the more ambient light you allow and the lighter the background will be.

If you are using a wide-normal lens like the 20mm f/1.7 pancake, avoid getting too close to your subjects as this will cause unflattering distortion making their noses appear larger than they are, etc, so stay at least 1.5 – 2m away, and if need be, crop your images later.

Also be careful of arms coming towards you such as resting on a chair, as these will also gain an unflattering distortion.

Your friends will be blown away with the quality of your photos – far better than point and shoot cameras with inbuilt flash and as good as dSLRs.

They will then likely say wow, what camera did you use to take those with – instead of saying what a great photographer you are – but that’s life – people treat photography quite differently to music – they would not dare say, wow, that sounded great, what brand piano did you use?

If you do not have an external flash, then you will have to settle for harsh, direct on-camera flash in the same manner as a point and shoot shot – just use the above settings but DON’T FORGET to POP UP the built-in flash!

The big group shot:

Then once everyone realises that you are a brilliant photographer capable of making them look good, inevitably you will be asked to do the group shot.

Now, in a dim room, with downlights, a group shot with minimal equipment could be hard to pull off well.

But not with the above kit and a bouncable ceiling, a great photo is easy to achieve, just step back far enough to get everyone in making sure that your flash can aim at the ceiling well in front of the group (you may need a decent flash for this or increase your ISO and open your aperture to get enough light from your flash).

 What happens when you use other exposure modes on a Panasonic GH-1 in low light indoors?

SCN mode “Party”:

  • this should do the trick shouldn’t it?
  • if you don’t put the flash up, it puts ISO = Auto ISO and you will probably end up with ISO 400 even if you have ISO limit higher than that, and if you have a f/1.7 lens, a slow shutter speed to match the ambient lighting which will most likely end up with camera shake or subject movement – not what we want unless ambient light is bright enough and your lens aperture is wide enough to allow a fas shutter speed.
  • if you put the flash up, ISO is set to 100, aperture at the widest but still shutter speed is set to match ambient just as above, so now our subject will be blurred from subject motion but combined with a sharp component from the flash – this may be a useful effect but most will not want this.

Portrait mode:

  • don’t use this indoors without a flash unless you choose “indoor portrait” otherwise ISO is set to 100, and even at widest aperture that it selects, shutter speed will be far to slow.
  • with flash up, it can be useful, ISO set to 100, aperture widest and shutter 1/30th sec and you have the option of “soft skin setting”
  • interestingly, even with the flash up, the flash does not fire using the “indoor setting”

iA exposure mode – the “dummies” mode:

  • if the flash is down, ISO will be the highest allowed as set in ISO LIMIT, aperture the widest, and this will give you the fastest shutter speed possible for the available light – if you don’t want to use flash, this is just what you want.
  • if the flash is up, ISO will be set to 100, aperture the widest, and shutter to 1/125th sec which will expose your subject well with the flash and reduce blur, while the background ambient will be under-exposed – again this is not a bad outcome indeed.

“A” exposure mode – aperture priority:

  • you should set the widest aperture for the lens
  • if the flash is down, Auto ISO setting will give the  lowest ISO to keep the shutter faster than 1/30th sec as long as ISO LIMIT is not reached due to very low light, in which case, shutter speed becomes slower and you will get subject blur.
  • if the flash is up, shutter speed will be set to 1/30th sec and Auto ISO will set ISO to 100 – this shutter speed will risk subject blur  if ambient light is bright enough.

“P” exposure mode – programmed mode:

  • aperture will be set to the widest
  • Auto ISO and shutter speed will be set as with A mode with lens at widest aperture

“S” exposure mode – shutter priority:

  • this could get you into a lot of problems in low light with flash down if you are not careful
  • with flash down, you select the shutter speed, and if ambient light allows, Auto ISO will be set to lowest (100) as first priority with aperture at the widest needed for this ISO. If there is not enough light at widest aperture and lowest ISO, the ISO will then be increased but not beyond the ISO LIMIT setting. If higher ISO than this is needed, the image will be under-exposed and the viewfinder values will flash red to indicate this. You should then choose a slower shutter speed until you are back in a possible exposure range.
  • with flash up, you can select a shutter speed but no faster than the flash sync speed of 1/160th sec. Auto ISO will set ISO to 100, and the aperture will be set to the widest available without causing over-exposure due to ambient light.

My conclusions:

  • use manual mode when using the flash up if you want control over the aperture, shutter speed and ISO but still have automatic exposure of the flash.
  • using iA mode seems a reliable option for either no flash or flash and is the probably the best option for beginners
  • avoid A mode for indoor parties as you are likely to end up with a slow shutter speed of 1/30th sec which may cause subject blur unless you specify a higher ISO setting such as 400 for indoor parties with a wide aperture lens and aperture set to the widest aperture
  • consider S mode if you want to achieve a certain blur effect from a longer shutter speed, but use Auto ISO setting
  • avoid the Party Scene mode unless you want blurred subjects when they are moving
  • if you want softer skin effect, choose Soft Portrait mode but use a flash!
  • the Indoors Portrait mode will NOT allow use of a flash!
  • there is also a creative portrait mode which allows you to alter depth of field by adjusting the aperture.

A rose on the first day of Spring – Panasonic GH-1 + Olympus ZD 50mm macro lens + Canon ring flash

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

On the first day of spring here in Melbourne, Australia, one of my David Austin roses was just starting to bloom, so what a good excuse to get my gear out.

As you can see, I am not really a fan boy – I use whatever equipment I have that will do the job, in this case, a Panasonic GH-1 Micro Four Thirds camera with Olympus ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro lens and a Canon Ring Flash in manual exposure mode at ISO 100, f/14, flash output at its lowest (1/64th).

Although the rose was a gorgeous apricot color with pink tinges, I decided I would prefer to concentrate on the delicious tonings, curves and edges, and only conversion to black and white would achieve this.

Minimal post-processing otherwise.


3 macro ring flashes compared – Olympus, Sigma and Canon

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

I have Olympus, Panasonic and Canon cameras and like using ring flashes not only for macro work but as a shadowless fill light for general use such as portraits – but note, they are not large enough to be beauty lights for portraits!

I now have all 3 of these macro ring flashes and offer some points of comparison.

Clearly, if you want TTL flash you need to use the flash that matches your camera, but as Canon, Olympus and Panasonic have similar flash hotshoes physically, you can use either of these in manual flash mode on either camera EXCEPT the Sigma flash will ONLY fire if it is mounted on a Canon – a very annoying design.

If you want the easiest to use flash, with easily the best manual flash control, and a true ring flash – then the Olympus wins out – just need to work out how you will mount it on your lens if it is not designed for it.

All of these ring flashes could have been designed much better:

  • the Canon should have had a larger internal diameter for more versatility, and it is not really a full ring flash but for most purposes, this is splitting hairs. BUT the BIGGEST issue is that it’s manual flash mode only allows changing of output in 1EV increments – this is disastrous when  you have a set magnification and thus flash to subject distance, an optimised aperture for your subject and you need to give just a little less or more flash!
  • the Sigma has a nice large internal diameter and can be fitted to many lenses but it can only be used on a Canon camera, and remote TTL slave flash must be a Sigma flash – very disappointing on both issues. Manual flash output increments as for Canon – very disappointing!
  • the Olympus should be MUCH smaller, especially now we have Micro Four Thirds cameras, and they need to make adapters so it can fit to a 72mm filter thread – for many lenses it needs to be hand held!

Interestingly, Olympus, always the innovator has brought out a cute little twin light for macro flash on its Pen cameras – very cheap and fun to use but only for macro use.

Metz do have a 15 MS-1 ring flash slave unit but this requires a master TTL flash to function – see here.

If you have a Canon 580EX or Olympus FL-50 flash, and want TTL ring flash on the cheap, you can get an off-camera TTL flash cord (the Canon will work for both Canon and Olympus even in TTL), plus the Orbis Ring Flash adapter – this can even be used on the Olympus ZD 7-14mm ultrawide zoom -  see here and here.

Nikon don’t make a true ring flash for their system, but have taken a different approach to macro flash which is quite interesting – a ring which attaches to most lenses up to 77mm filter thread, upon which you mount up to 8 wireless compact macro SB-R200 flashes which are then controlled via TTL by the camera’s flash, of if there is none, a Nikon flash mounted on the camera. This gives a cost effective, versatile macro flash system without any need for a large controller unit (if your camera has inbuilt flash), but although it can simulate a ring flash, you won’t get circular catchlights as with the Olympus ring flash.

Olympus Ring flash SRF-11 Canon MR-14EX Sigma EM-140 DG for Canon
TTL flash Olympus, Panasonic Four Thirdsand Micro Four Thirds – note Panasonic cameras are not TTL compatiblewith legacy lenses! Canon EOS cameras Canon EOS cameras
Remote TTL master No Canon flashes. Auto with 1group; Manual with 3 groups; Yes for Sigma flashes only
manual flash output increments awesome: 1/3rd EV terrible: 1 EV terrible: 1 EV
Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 radio flash Manual flash only Remote TTL or  manual Manual flash only
Main controller can power TwinFlash too Yes No, separate twin flash unit No twin flash available
Flash type True ring flash two almost half rings NOT a ring just 2 twins mounted
lens mount type Bayonet, need adapter for ZD50mm f/2.0 macro. Only fits a couple of lenses including the ZD 35mm macro lens.Note the original ZD 50-200mm lens did allow attachment of this ring flash but the later SWD version of this lens does not allow it to attach! Click on, adapters for filterthreads 52-72mm Click on, adapters for filterthreads 52-72mm
Internal diameter of ring 70mm 57mm – major issue with 72mmfilter thread lenses such as the 135mm f/2.0 but said to be compatible with the 180mm f/3.5 macro. 72mm – adequate for EF 135mmf/2.0 lens
main controller size very large reasonably compact large
 manual flash usage  Olympus, Panasonic and Canon cameras without adapters   Olympus, Panasonic and Canon cameras without adapters  Canon cameras only!

Ring flash

Panasonic GH-1 with Olympus ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro, flash adapter and Olympus Ring Flash. The hand grip on the GH-1 is very handy here.

Sigma EM-140 DG macro flash

Sigma EM-140 DG ring flash – more details on the Sigma flash here.

new Metz flashes – 58AF-2 and 50AF-1

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Metz has just announced two new camera-specific flashes in versions for either Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, or Four Thirds (includes Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds).

These  may be of interest to many as they add some features missing on the branded flashes, in particular:

  • extra wide diffuser which allows coverage of lenses as wide as 12mm focal length in 35mm camera terms.
  • secondary light which adds fill light and catch lights while the main light is swiveled to bounce off a wall, etc
  • extended range of manual flash output settings – 25 levels
  • wireless master TTL function (58AF-2 only) even if camera model does not support wireless TTL – but only for Canon, Nikon and Olympus – seems that although TTL flash works on Panasonic, Pentax and Sony cameras, the wireless TTL does not work on these according to the pdf documentation


I had hoped this would add wireless TTL flash capability to my Panasonic GH-1 Micro Four Thirds camera, but seems that this is not the case – otherwise it would have made the perfect (albeit a bit large and heavy) solution, particularly when you can also get the Metz slave wireless TTL ring flash – the 15 MS-1 which would make up for the fact that Olympus and Panasonic have been very slow to redesign their macro flash system.

However, perhaps the Metz promo documentation accidentally left out Panasonic in the wireless TTL capability as the MS-1 documentation reads:

“The remote TTL flash operation of the mecablitz 15 MS-1 digital can be used for digital cameras of the following makes: Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic, Pentax/Samsung and Sony-Alpha. In this case, the camera must either have an integrated flash unit acting as master, or be equipped with add-on flash (e.g. Metz 58 AF-1 digital).”

Well I am a bit confused, perhaps someone can enlighten me on this one!

Will you get wireless TTL capability with a Panasonic?

Given that many Micro Four Thirds users also have either a Canon or Nikon dSLR system, it would have been nice to have a new third party flash such as one by Metz which could be used in TTL mode on each of the different cameras as with the Metz SCA flashes such as the Metz 54 MZ-4i digital and Metz 44 MZ-2 digital, but neither offer wireless TTL flash. Perhaps the next SCA flash from Metz will offer wireless TTL.

The documentation does not indicate whether the wireless TTL functionality can be allocated to groups of flashes as with the branded flashes, nor whether you can mix branded flashes with these in wireless TTL mode.

Metz press release here.

An excellent tutorial on high speed sync flash or Super FP flash

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

See Neil van Niekerk’s excellent tutorial he has just posted demonstrating High Speed Sync flash (HSS) on a Nikon D3 and on a Canon 5D.

For Olympus and Panasonic users, this technology (which was actually first developed for Olympus OM film SLR cameras) is equivalent to Super FP mode.

The actual maximum flash sync speed in normal flash mode depends upon the camera – most Micro Four Thirds and entry level dSLR cameras have a flash sync of ~1/160th-1/180th sec, while pro level dSLRs tend to have a flash sync of 1/250th sec.

High Speed Sync (HSS or Super FP mode) is very confusing to most people, and this tutorial goes a long way to helping you understand it.

It’s main purpose is to allow wider apertures to be used in flash photography in sunlit conditions, but as Neil points out, most single flash units will not be able to overpower full sun even in HSS mode as HSS mode inevitably results in a substantially reduced maximum power output or Guide Number, and this reduction is power is generally in proportion to the higher the shutter speed selected.