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Olympus OM-D flash modes


  • Olympus digital cameras have several flash modes available in the camera menu:
    • Auto
    • RedEye
    • Fill-in
    • Slow1 Redeye
    • Slow1
    • Slow2
    • Manual Flash - you set the power output of the built-in or bundled flash unit
  • in addition to these, one can use remote control flash - see remote TTL flash RC mode with the Olympus OM-D cameras, in which case the camera can remotely control flash modes and outputs of attached and compliant remote flashes from within the special RC Mode panel (via INFO button if RC Mode = ON)
  • if you want to avoid annoying pre-flashes:
    • use Fill-in mode, plus,
    • flash unit set to manual (no red eye nor TTL exposure determination flash will be fired), plus
    • RC Mode = OFF (no remote control flashes will be fired), plus
    • AF Illuminator = OFF

Auto and Red Eye modes

  • cannot use SuperFP mode on your flash in these modes - must use Fill-in mode to allow SuperFP flash.
  • the flash MAY NOT fire!
  • the flash will ONLY fire if the shutter speed is within the following range:
    • slowest shutter speed:
      • the highest of:
        • 1/(2 x focal length), or, (unfortunately, Olympus is yet to factor in effect of image stabiliser)
        • your SLOW LIMIT setting (Menu:Cogs:F:Slow Limit)
    • fastest shutter speed:
      • the lowest of:
        • x-sync for your camera-flash combination as determined by your camera, or,
        • your x-sync setting (Menu:Cogs:F:X-sync)
  • Red Eye mode just fires an additional pre-flash to constrict the pupils of your subject and thus reduce chance of red eyes

Fill-in flash mode

  • flash will ALWAYS fire
  • this mode works extremely well with the PASM mode on the camera set to M (manual)
    • setting the aperture controls depth of field (DOF)
    • setting the shutter speed controls ambient light exposure
    • can increase ISO if need more flash output, but these also increases ambient exposure
    • lowering ISO to LOW (100) +/- using a polarising filter or ND filter allows wider apertures in bright sunlight
  • this may cause ambient over-exposure in certain modes as shutter speed will be restricted if using a compliant flash unit as follows:
    • slowest shutter speed:
      • in PASM M mode:
        • functions as SLOW1, hence there is no option to select SLOW1
      • in PASM modes other than M:
        • your SLOW LIMIT setting (Menu:Cogs:F:Slow Limit)
        • the focal length limit is thankfully ignored in these modes
    • fastest shutter speed:
      • the lowest of:
        • x-sync for your camera-flash combination as determined by your camera, or,
        • your x-sync setting (Menu:Cogs:F:X-sync)
  • faster shutter speeds CAN be used if either:
    • flash unit is also set to Super FP mode (FP TTL or FP Manual)
    • flash unit is a non-compliant flash or connected only via the central firing pin or PC sync cord
      • be aware that shutter speeds faster than x-sync result in progressively more “blacked out” areas which only receive ambient exposure but no flash exposure
      • this is still useful up to 1/400th or maybe 1/500th sec if you subject is not within the blacked out area at top of image.

Flash OFF

  • ensures the built-in flash (if there is one) or attached flash never fires even if scene is underexposed

SLOW1, SLOW1 Red Eye and SLOW2 modes

  • ignores the SLOW LIMIT and the annoying 1/(2xFL) rule
  • otherwise functions as Auto if in PAS or Fill-in if in Manual exposure mode
  • SLOW1 = 1st curtain:
    • fires flash at start of exposure
  • SLOW2 = 2nd curtain sync or rear sync:


Rear curtain sync effect with slow shutter speed courtesy of photofocus

SCENE mode: Night Portrait

  • sets the following which cannot be altered:
    • Slow1 Auto Flash, face AF, f/4, ISO200, exposure compensation = -0.3EV (to under-expose ambient)
omd/flash_modes.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/07 23:07 by gary1

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