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Thread: Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

  1. #1
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    Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

    I am going to the US in the next couple weeks and want to buy a flash unit for my Panasonic FZ150. I rarely use flash and the camera has a small pop-up flash. However, I recently lost some good shots at a folk event that went well into the evening (an native celebrant setting his costume on fire and running wildly through the spectators and photogs - no injuries, just part of the festival).

    Anyway, I am torn between the Panasonic DMW-FL360 ($220) and a Vivitar ($160) made for the FZ150. I used to have a Vivitar for my 35 mm. Nikon and it was great. The Panasonic only takes two batteries and it may be slower to charge.

    Any words of wisdom?

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    Re: Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

    I don't have experience with the units you mention, but I have a Yongnuo YN-560 II ($75) that I like a lot. Four batteries, charges fast. However, it's totally manual, so you pretty much have to shoot with the camera on manual, too. I like it a lot. The FZ150 is a much better indoors with the flash unit.

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    Re: Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

    Just FYI, the Panasonic is pretty much a clone of the Olympus FL-36. Panasonic and Olympus share the same flash hotshoe protocol. I use an Oly FL-50 on my Panasonic DMC-G3. The Oly FL-600R is actually what I'd recommend if you were thinking of going micro four-thirds and wanted a very capable flash for both on-camera and off-camera function. But that's probably higher-cost than you want to go.

    Vivitar flashes aren't actually made by Vivitar these days, and the reputation isn't as great now as they were in the past.

    You might want to look at the Metz 44 AF-1 or the Nissin Di-466 if all you want is a small supplemental flash. If you want a more capable unit, then the Metz 50 or 58, or the Nissin Di-622 or Di-866 might be better--but not sure if they make an Oly/Panasonic version of each.

    A full list of Olympus/Panasonic [micro] four-thirds-compatible TTL flashes can be found here:
    http://www.the-meissners.org/olympus-flash2.html

    Yongnuo YN-560s can be great if you want to go Strobist and shoot with flashes off-camera, but the lack of TTL function makes them less useful on a camera hotshoe if you plan on shooting in run'n'gun event type situations (e.g., parties, weddings, chasing small children).
    Last edited by inkista; 11th March 2013 at 11:42 PM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Yongnuo YN-560s can be great if you want to go Strobist and shoot with flashes off-camera, but the lack of TTL function makes them less useful on a camera hotshoe if you plan on shooting in run'n'gun event type situations (e.g., parties, weddings, chasing small children).
    I concur.

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    Re: Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

    Although I cut my teeth on manual flashes and still use studio strobes which are manual; there is no way that I would want to revert back in photo evolution to using a manual strobe in run and gun situations. Using a camera in manual with the flash in TTL or ETTL is superior to using a manual flash.

    When the first electronic flash auto exposure capability (auto thyristor) was introduced, it was a great leap forward in the ease of using flash. The TTL and ETTL exposure capability is even (IMO) better than the thyrsistor.

    A problem with a "full size" hotshoe flash on a smaller camera is that it tends to be the wagon pulling the horse because the flash is larger and weighs as much or more than the camera.

    I am a flash afficinado and love natural looking flash lighting. However, I am not crazy about a flash that is larger than my camera. It is just not fun to use.

    Unfortunately, the smalled sized flash units are often lacking in capabiities and are most often lacking in the capablity to rotate. Rotating is pretty important if I want to bounce my flash with the camera in the portrait position. I have a Canon 270EX which lacks the capability to rotate. This restricts my bouncing capability considerably.

    I have been searching the internet to see if there is any maximum shutter sync speed for the FZ150. In as much as I frequently use fill flash outdoors, I need a flash that can function at over 1/200 or 1/250 second so that I can use a wider aperture (+ faster shutter speed) to blur the background.

    I have not recommended or recommended against any specific flash units. I am simply providing my views on flash photography in general...

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    Re: Flash unit for Panasonic FZ150?

    I have my doubts about your problem. I see the on-board flash has a capability out to 9.5metres so I seriously wonder if in the situation you mentioned a flash unit would be any better? You were in a crowd and the exhibitionist was some way away and you hoped the x24 zoom would bring him closer to you but sadly the flash simply wasn't strong enough becuase the lens looses aperture, considerably so, as you zoom out. You might need the FZ200 with a constant f/2.8 lens. Though even better would be a MFT camera with higher usable ISO settings. There is an interesting part of my GH manual where it gives Guide Numbers for the onboard flash at the higher ISO settings which would cover your needs. The main problem with using flash is while you may get the correct exposure for the distant object anything closer will be burnt out. Here again I put my money on MFT working by ambient light at higher ISO.

    If you didn't erase the 'dud' shots you should try raising them with a editor ... even the free download Paint Net is capable in this task .... I did an exercise using both PN and also two topline programmes, Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, and couldn't see much difference if any at the end of the process between what each produced
    Note ... you do not use the brightness/contrast control but rather Levels or Curves.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 10th March 2013 at 08:06 PM.

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