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Cameras

Olympus FL-50R Flash: Get the light right

The Olympus FL-50R Flash casts your subjects in the right light, with three wirelessly controlled groupings and assorted adaptors

Flash photo­graphy is a tricky thing to get right. Counter-intuitively, it's often better in bright light to turn the flash on and fill in stark shadows, and in low light to turn the flash off to avoid bleaching out your subject. To achieve complete control it helps to have the right kit, and the Olympus FL-50R Flash is packed with options to get that light right.

The rotary flash head can be angled in four directions: up and down and side-to-side. It's seen here attached to our trusty Olympus E-510, the lightweight snapper that's seen the world as our in-house camera -- the FL-50R is designed specially for digital models. It goes particularly well with the E-3, thanks to the remote control wireless system baked into that pro shooter, but can be used with other Olympus dSLRs with its slave function.

The wireless RC gives you complete control over your lighting setup's illumination levels in three independent groups. To avoid signal interference, there's a choice of four channels, with the option to tweak signal strength for a range of up to about 10m.

The guide number is 50m at 42mm (35mm equivalent of 84mm) and ISO 100. A built-in wide panel promises a focal distance of 8mm (equivalent to 16mm).

Also included in the box is a flash stand and assorted adaptors. A bounce adaptor diffuses the flash to soften the shadows created, while a reflector adaptor provides a catch light. There's a soft case included too. It's powered by four standard AA batteries.

The Olympus FL-50R Flash will set you back £300, but hey, what price decent lighting?