The Ultimate Olympus FL300R Review!

Welcome to our ultimate Olympus FL300R review that we decided to publish after seeing some positive feedback based on our Olympus FL600R review that we published a few months back. Our hope is that this article will help any of our readers who are considering adding the Olympus FL300R to their collection of camera accessories.

Although the FL300R has been on the market for a fair few years now, it has not become as popular as many people would have expected. That said though, the people who have picked it up and use it as their go-to flash of choice definatley seem to be big fans of the flash unit.

Although you can often get some bargains on the FL300R if you pick it up second hand (Click here to check for product prices and availability), picking it up first hand can still be pretty cheap depending on the supplier that you order the flash unit from. If you are planning to pick the flash unit up second hand from a local thrift store the main thing we would recommend that you check is the battery housing door. Although pretty rare, some of the battery housing doors on the flash can become defective so it is always worth checking that yours will close correctly and stay in the closed position rather than randomly opening.

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User Interface And Control System

The image above shows the interface system for the Olympus FL300R and as you can see it is pretty basic in all honesty. Depending on what you are wanting to do with the flash unit this can work to your advantage though as there is not many settings that you may accidentally change. On the flip side of this, it also limits the amount of customization that you can do with the performance of the flash unit too. That said, as more of an entry-level flash unit for the Olympus range, this may be the first flash head for some of our readers so the simple user interface is probably an advantage.

Once your Olympus FL300R is set up as you want it, you simply mount it to your camera body of choice via the hot shoe mount and go about your session as you wish. The hot shoe mount on the flash unit is solid and has aged well over the years too. If you are picking up a second-hand unit then give the mount a quick check to make sure it has not warped in shape so you know it will smoothly mount and unmount from your camera body with ease.


The image above shows the tilt functionality of the Olympus FL300R and although it is pretty basic when compared to the higher price point flash units on the market, it is still nice to be able to tweak the angle of the flash head as required.

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Performance And Functionality

Innards @ some barn
Before getting into this section we just want to quickly say that all of the example photographs in this section were captured using a Olympus FL300R as the camera flash for the photograph. We feel that they give a good idea of how the flash unit can perform as well as what you are able to expect from it should you pick it up.

The flash unit does have some wireless technology build in to it and uses the E-P3 protocol. In theory, this should mean that it will work with any wireless flash trigger that supports the E-P3 protocol but we have seen mixed reports from the community. As we have not experienced these issues ourselves, we were unable to fault find the issue and see if it was an issue with the flash unit or the wireless flash trigger.

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When it comes to the performance of the Olympus FL300R, you have to keep in mind that it was never designed to be a professional level flash unit and its price tag reflects this. The FL300R was meant to be used in tandem with your camera’s built–in or pop-up flash system or as a primary flash unit for amateur photographers. That said, the photograph above shows a good example of how the FL300R is able to fully illuminate the subject of the photograph in low light conditions.

Although the photograph below has been edited to be black and white in post-production, we feel that it also shows how the Olympus FL300R can be used to light the subject on the far side of the ping pong table giving an idea of the effective distance of the flash.

Brian & Leanne
We feel that the photograph below is another solid example of what the Olympus FL300R is able to provide for you when used as the primary flash source for your photography.

Innards @ some barn
One thing that does seem to split the opinions of the people who own the Olympus FL300R is its fixed flash recycle time. Some people like this user says that the recycle time on the flash is fine whereas others like this user comment on how the recycle time is too slow and a bit of a pain to use.

As this does seem to be a Fifty Fifty split right down the middle, I think that it is safe to rule out the possibility of this being a fault with the camera. Although the ideal recycle time for a flash unit is subjective to each individual user and depends on what you are trying to do with the flash, some people like this user have commented on how the batteries they used directly had an effect on the flashes recycle time.

We would always recommend that you use a set of high-quality rechargeable batteries (Click here to check for product prices and availability) with the flash unit for best performance. The user in the report linked in the paragraph above backs this up by commenting on how using high-quality rechargeable batteries helps improve the flashes recycle time.

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Build Quality And Design

When it comes to build quality, the FL300R is middle of the road in our opinion, nothing on it stand out about having a great or poor build quality, it just does as you would expect. If you are looking to pick a second-hand FL300R up at a local thrift store then we would advise you to check the battery door on the flash.

Although rare, some of the flash units do have fault battery doors that will randomly open up of their own free will. A quick check to ensure that when you close it and click it into place it will remain closed should be enough to check if the flash in your hands has developed this fault or not.

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Our Verdict

That brings our Olympus FL300R review to an end and in all honesty, unless you can pick this up second hand we would not recommend it to our readers. In our opinion, the price tag of the flash unit does not reflect the limited functionality and performance of the FL300R when compared to various other flash units on the market right now.

That said though, if you are able to get a cheap second-hand version of the Olympus FL300R then we have no doubt it can improve the image quality of your flash photography and help you our in various low light situations.

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Image Licensing

Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

dallashangerphoto – Bekah Timm – https://flic.kr/p/8rXMCh