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Old Apr 8, 2008, 8:03 AM   #1
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I was just wondering, aside from the Vivitar 285HV, the Olympus FL series and the precribed Panasonic flash, any other units I can use for the Panasonic FZ50? and any idea on the ones listed?

1. Black's TDZ120

2. Nikon SB24/28

I am really at a loss at it right now and is also on a very tight budget, hope anybody can help.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 8:15 AM   #2
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brehn-

If you are a tight budget, I would personally get by with an inexpensive slave flash. Or just forego the flash for now. Then I would save up for a powerful and useful flash such as the Olympus FL-50. That would allow you to keep your ISO to the minimum and still have a good measure of flash for effective bouncing and the like.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 12:52 PM   #3
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Your FZ50 uses a "dumb" hotshoe. Basically, there is no communication between the camera and flash except for triggering it.

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Edit: My bad..... see my later post in this thread. The shoe in the FZ50 was upgraded over the shoe in the FZ30.
That means you'll need to use manual exposure, setting the camera and flash to match for aperture and ISO speed for best results.

Non-dedicated flash models like the Vivitar 285HV you're looking at have the ability to control their own exposure. This works because they have a built in sensor to measure reflected light.

So, when they see enough reflected light for the aperture and ISO speed you have set, they terminate the flash burst. You still have to set the camera and flash to match with this type of solution (but, they don't make a flash for your Panasonic that communicates information about camera settings). So, a non-dedicated model is probably your best bet.

I'd also look at the Sunpak 383 Super in a new flash. It's got both tilt and swivel (whereas the Vivitar 285HV is tilt only).

You can usually find some pretty good bargains in used flashes like this. For example, I got a used Sunpak 333 Auto a while back in 10 (as new in box) condition from the used department at bhphotovideo.com for only $25. I got a smaller Sunpak 222 Auto from the used department at keh.com for only $7. ;-)

You will have to make sure trigger voltage isn't too high. It's my understanding that you should limit trigger voltage to under 24 volts with your Panasonic. Some flash models may have much higher trigger voltages. See this thread for more details and links to some user reported voltages:

Trigger Voltage Limits with Modern Digital Cameras


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Old Apr 8, 2008, 1:36 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot, JimC-

I was not aware that the FZ-50 had a dumb hotshoe. That information will save Behn a lot of $$.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 2:20 PM   #5
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It looks like I'm mistaken.

Panasonic upgraded the hotshoe for the FZ50 and it now supports dedicated flash models.

The older FZ30 didn't have any extra pins in the shoe for communication. But, it looks they changed that with the newer FZ50 and have some dedicated flashes that can work with it now. It's new shoe is compatible with the Pansonic DMW-FL500 (GN50) and DMW-FL360 (GN36).

If you don't mind manual exposure, you could also use a non-dedicated flash.

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Old Apr 8, 2008, 4:10 PM   #6
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Yep, JimC that is also what I had heard lately-

Oddly, enough the newer FZ-50 camera will also communicate with the Olympus FL-50 flash. It goes back to the Panasonic-Olympus co-operatation of the 4/3 format.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Apr 9, 2008, 1:31 AM   #7
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Thank you very much for that information JimC, I will go and look out for bargains now, however it's proving to be quite a challenge since not everybody offers delivery to where I'm at (KUWAIT), and so far I only found eBAY catering to that.... but I will check out the sites you gave as well as look at the Sunpak 333 and hopefully I get a good price. Thanks again!
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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mtclimber wrote:
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Yep, JimC that is also what I had heard lately-

Oddly, enough the newer FZ-50 camera will also communicate with the Olympus FL-50 flash. It goes back to the Panasonic-Olympus co-operatation of the 4/3 format.

Sarah Joyce

Well, Sarah Joyce, somewhere I found a review that agreed with your assessment of the FZ50 and the FL50 by Olympus. I think it was actually for the FL-50R, which, after much searching, I finally bought. (BIG) However, while the flash and the camera communicate, I can only access the AUTO and MANUAL modes of the flash. The TTL mode, and the AF modes do not come up. This is my first foray into an external flash for this camera, and I am really stressed. Olympus phone support wasn't in the least helpful, and Panasonic support was not able to resolve the issue, though she made an effort...Any help here?

Dave Myers
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