After seeing a steady increase in the number of people reaching out and showing interest in the Olympus range we have decided to start publishing some dedicated articles that focus on Olympus and their products. As we always see people reaching out about the fl600r flash unit we felt that it was only fair that we start this new range of articles with a dedicated Olympus fl600r review.
Our hope is that any of our readers who are considering picking up this flash unit will find the article helpful but our main purpose of publishing this is to link people to it who we see asking about the flash and its performance in the future. As we are fully aware that some of our readers are on tight budgets when it comes to their photography accessories, we would like to quickly point out that you can sometimes save almost a third of the list price on the Olympus FL600R if you are willing to pick up a refurbished or second-hand version (Click here to check for product prices and availability) of the flash unit.
As usual, before getting into our own review of the camera flash, we would also like to point out that due to the popularity of the flash unit, many third-party owners have posted their own independent reviews of it online by now. You can click here if you would like to read any of them as we know how valuable a third-party insight into a product can be from other photographers who are using the product as their goto flash of choice.
We feel that Olympus have managed to consolidate all of the lessons that they have learned from the previous camera flashes they have released and improved on them during the design phase of the FL-600R. This has resulted in a solid flash unit that can easily hold its own against the popular competing flash units from brands like Godox.
The master and slave function on the FL-600R also works flawlessly and allows you to operate your FL-600R as a full blow commander unit that can be used in a number of different ways. If you are in a studio setting then you can set your flash unit up to automatically trigger the other flash units in your studio without activating itself.
Over the course of a day with paying clients, this can be a real godsend as it really can save you a ton of time where you would otherwise have to faff around with your camera rig, you can literally press a button to deactivate the FL-600R mounted on your camera of choice while still activating the slave flashes in your set up.
Another time-saving function that we love about the Olympus FL600R is its built-in LED torch shown in the photograph above. You are able to use this as a regular illuminator for photography or as an actual auxiliary light or torch if you are recording video footage in low light conditions. Although more and more flash units are being released on the market that provides this functionality, we really are big fans of this feature.
As you would expect from any flash unit worth its salt at this price point, the Olympus FL600R is a great bounce flash with a smooth, and fully rotatable flash head. That said, its tilt range is not as wide as some of the competing flash units on the market right now and only offers an upward tilt of ninety degrees as well as a downward tilt of seven degrees. The FL-600R does offer full 180-degree horizontals in both directions though pretty much enabling you to bounce your flash off any surface without issue.
The photo shows the interface for the Olympus FL600R and in our opinion, the control system can be a little confusing if you are used to Canon, Nikon, Godox, or Yongnuo flash units. That said, we feel that anyone who is able to navigate a modern smartphone will be able to pick it up quickly and get comfortable navigating the FL-600R’s menu with minimal practice.
That said, if you are used to using Olympus flash units then working your way around the FL-600R should be second nature to you. All of the commonly tweaked settings are easy to get to allow you to adjust the performance of your flash unit during your photo session without wasting any time. In all fairness, the menu does allow for some quick and easy in-depth customization of the flashes performance that can be a pain to do on the more modern Nikon and Canon units on the market.
The rotary dial on the base of the image above also functions as a number of dedicated buttons too. Personally, we feel that it is a little fiddly to operate the flash in this way and would prefer to have a dedicated button for the flash mode function as a minimum but once you get used to running your flash in this way it is easy enough to rotate between the following flash modes:-
- FP TTL-Auto
- FP Manual
If you are one of our regular readers then you will be fully aware that we are massive fans of robust flashes that can take more than their fair share of knocks as we are always having accidents with our photography kit. We are happy to say that the Olympus FL600R is solid and would easily stand the test of time with us. Unlike some of the other “ruggedized” flash units on the market right now, the FL-600R doesn’t actually look like a brick with a ton of protection on it either, it looks like a regular, everyday flash unit.
The majority of the outer flash body and flash head are made from high-quality specifically treat plastic to ensure it is as strong and robust as possible while also remaining lightweight coming in at only 9.3 ounces! Being only 4.1 x 1.1 x 2.4 inches in size also means it is pretty small helping give it an advantage over the latest Nikon flashes when it comes to looking for something to use for travel photography too.
Thankfully, Olympus has not joined the trend of trying to make the hot shoe connector on their flashes from treat plastic and have stuck with the traditional metal option. We feel that this is, and for the foreseeable future at least will remain the better option for the hot shoe connector as metal holds it’s shape better and ensures a quick and easy connection to your cameras hot shoe mount.
That concludes our Olympus fl600r review, although we do feel that the Olympus FL600R would make a great addition to many peoples camera accessories it definitely does have a number of negatives that can hold it back against competing products from Nikon, Canon, and Godox. On the flip side though, it also has some advantages that push it ahead and this one will not be an easy decision to make.
In our opinion, it’s all going to come down to the navigation menu and if you are willing to learn a new system or not. Another thing that may make the choice easier is to check out any available price reductions on the flash via the refurbished and second-hand page (Click here to check for product prices and availability). In our exprience, nothing makes a toss up between two similar camera accessories easier than finding out that you are able to save almost a third of the price on one of them!
The video below offers an additional third-party, independent review for the Olympus FL600R to offer our readers an independent opinion of the product.
Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Igor Menezes Fotógrafo – 15 Anos – Daniele Dias – https://flic.kr/p/jCG2E8