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Olympus brings wireless flash control to SP-560UZ with firmware update

Olympus just released version 3.1 of the SP-560UZ's firmware, giving the camera wireless flash control.

Olympus SP-560UZ

Olympus just released the latest firmware for its super-zoom EVF (electronic viewfinder) camera, the SP-560UZ. Version 3.1 of the camera's firmware includes a unique feature: support for Olympus' wireless RC flash system. According to DPReview, this update enables the camera to use its own flash to remotely activate Olympus wireless flash modules through the camera's "RC" flash mode. The camera can activate RC flashes up to 32 feet away in a 60-degree arc, or up to 16 feet away in a 100-degree arc.

Some digital SLRs can use wireless flash units, but this is the first time we've seen a non-SLR able to do it. The SP-560UZ is the first EVF camera we've seen to support remote flashes. While you probably won't be using wireless flashes when you're out shooting (authorities frown on suspicious characters placing small boxes in corners and walking away), this feature works nicely for home photography and studio shooting. Multiple flashes can help balance out light and offer much greater control over shadows and reflections than a single, camera-mounted flash can.

Of course, these wireless flashes don't come cheap; flashes like the FL-36R and FL-50R can cost as much as the SP-560UZ itself. You can install the firmware update with Olympus' Master 2 software. Details can be found on Olympus' site.