Mirrorless Speedlight Choices

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Nissin Di466 In the past few weeks I’ve had a chance to try out three different dedicated speedlights that work with both the Panasonic and Olympus Micro Four-thirds cameras.

The Nissin Di466 is an inexpensive and small speedlight whose size fits nicely on all Micro Four-thirds cameras. Its head zooms, tilts, has a diffuser and reflector and the flash works well for most casual shots. I tried to use it at a wedding and found the recycling time and power to be lacking but for around $140 (street price) this is a fine little speedlight for everyday use.

Lumix 360L The next flash I tried was the Panasonic FL360L, which is very similar to the Olympus FL-600R speedlight. Both are small wireless flashes that work well with the Lumix GH3 and Olympus OM-D cameras to trigger the flash remotely using TTL exposure. I don’t need a wireless remote flash very often but if you do these are the flashes for you. Size wise they fit Micro Four-thirds cameras perfectly and at about $300 (street price) they are a good buy. I thought that this was my flash of choice until I tried the next flash.

 

Metz MB58-AF2The Metz 58AF-2 is the Mercedes Benz of Micro Four-thirds speedlights. It’s little large for MFT cameras and size wise feels more like my Nikon SB800 speedlight but as soon as I turned it on and fired a flash I was in love. The power and recycling time are fast. If you need a professional flash for Micro Four-thirds this would be my choice. At about $350 (street price) this is a great flash, but a little top heavy on even a Lumix GH3. All three flashes produce the same kind of images so I’m not going to get into technical comparisons. Depending on your specific needs I would recommend any of them.

 

 

I’m also a big believer in using a Sto-Fen Omni Bounce flash diffusers. They are small and light and have done a great job diffusing and softening light from speedlights for many years. The above photo was shot using the Nissin Di466 tilted up at 60 degrees with an Omni Dome. Trust me, I’m a sucker for buying flash diffusers and the Sto-Fen does the job beautifully for about $20.

Update: See Barry Staver’s Post ” My Favorite Gear: Yongnuo Flash System for a look at another, affordable speedlight. And you can learn more about using speedlights in Barry’s book,Master’s Guide to Off-Camera Flash” that is available from Amazon at prices for new books starting at $14 with used copies available for less that nine bucks.