Mike Chaney's Tech Corner

Technical Discussions => Camera Accessories => Topic started by: Wil on June 07, 2009, 09:05:31 PM

Title: Pasanoic G1 Flash Options
Post by: Wil on June 07, 2009, 09:05:31 PM
Among the reasons to select the Panasonic G1 is its small size.  It would be nice to find a small flash to complement this fine small camera.  While i am waiting for my copy to be delivered, I have been collecting data on the most common flash units that will work with this camera.

My major requirement is that the flash can be used in bounce mode, and I only surveyed units that allowed that.  It seems that many flash units will work.  It seems that the requirements are that the flash and camera communicate and that the flash allows the camera to set the flash exposure.  It may also work if the flash can set its own exposure.

Mike reports that his Canon 580 works very well with the G1.  That means that many others will work.  Below is a table showing the guide numbers and size of my Canon EX 580 II and the other two units that seem to work with the G1 with the bounce function that I require.

Flash for Panasonic DMC-G1   Guide Number   W   H, folded   D, folded
Canon 580 II      58/190      3.0   5.4   4.6
Metz 48 AF-1      48/157      71/2.79   5.4   3.89
Olympus FL-36   36/118      67/2.6   4.3   3.7

As you can see, there isn't much difference in the size of the units.  That means, to me, to pick the best specs.  If you have a Canon 580/ 580 II, it should serve you well.  If you must buy one, the Metz seems to be an obvious choice.  Its specs are materially better than the Olimpus unit in all ways as well as proce.

Good luck!

Title: Re: Pasanoic G1 Flash Options
Post by: Wil on June 18, 2009, 02:26:58 AM
Since that first post, I have spent a lot of time trying to fine an acceptable flash for the Panasonic G1.  In some cases my Canon 580 II worked just fine, but in other cases, the results were awful.

After a lot of searching, I decided on the Metz 48 AF-1.  It arrived today and initial shots around the house indicate that, straight out of the box, it does just what it should do.

The G1 allows very limited functions for external flash units -- essentially only TTL.  That seems to be enough.  Except for outdoor fill flash, I shoot all flash in bounce with "ABetterBounceCard" which I made myself for about $0.50.  I've only had time to test the combo at home with 9 ft. ceilings and simple subjects.  So far, the flash is perfect.  Even at about three feet, there is no over exposure.  At 30 ft. with 9 ft. ceilings all is very well.

I'll be shooting a church Vacation Bible School tomorrow where the ceilings are more than 20 ft. and some of them are black.  I have been shooting this job with a Canon 1DIII and a 580 II.  The results are exceptional.  Now we'll see how the G1 and the Metz 48 do compared the the 1DIII and 580 II.  More as tghe job cotinues.