I recently purchased the Olympus FL-700WR Wireless Radiowave Control flash to extend the overall functionality of my M4/3 kit. This article features an extensive selection of FL-700WR sample images of birds, captured handheld at Bird Kingdom.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I chose Bird Kingdom for this initial test of the FL-700WR flash since one of my planned uses for this gear is to photograph small birds in low light conditions.
I captured a number of different images of a few species to test out various lighting situations. In the case of the three Zebra Finch photographs in this article, the first one illustrates a typical opportunity to capture an image of a bird with nothing in the immediate background. The second (above) was composed against a busier background.
The Zebra Finch in the above image was up against some very bright light streaming in through a window in the Small Bird Aviary at Bird Kingdom. This caused the bird to be silhouetted against the bright sunlight. I wanted to test a couple of things with this type of lighting. The first was to see how well the TTL exposure would work with the FL-700WR flash. The second was to test the auto-focus performance of my OM-D E-M1X when it was trying to achieve auto-focus on an extremely dark subject. Suffice to say that I was quite pleased on both counts.
I was fortunate that a couple of Speckled Mousebirds were flying about in the Small Bird Aviary during my visit. Sometimes they are not out in a public area.
These birds can be quite restless, so they are decent subjects on which to test auto-focus speed, as well as accuracy.
They often frequent areas with strong sunlight, causing back lighting challenges. My E-M1X handed the conditions well.
Getting up close to a Spotted Mousebird, and other specimen, also gave me the opportunity to test whether the FL-700WR would create any hot spots on subjects.
As could be expected, depending on angles of the birds’ beaks, there was the occasional blown out area.
Much of that had to do with the reflective properties of the birds’ beaks. My test photographs of various Scarlet Ibis worked out well.
Using the FL-700 Wireless Radiowave Control Flash was extremely helpful capturing images of small birds in low light at Bird Kingdom.
I was particularly pleased with how well my OM-D E-M1X with the FL-700WR flash worked with silhouetted subjects up against very strong sunlight.
As the afternoon light began to fade the birds basically became black blobs against the bright back lighting. That’s when the focus clutch on my M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom came in handy. As long as I could obtain even a rough manual focus on the subject bird, the E-M1X’s single point auto-focus would then grab good focus for me, once I clicked back to AF.
In the weeks to come, I am planning to go out with the FL-700WR flash to photograph some wild birds in low light.
Over the past 5 or 6 years I’ve hardly ever used any flash for the work that I’ve been doing. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Olympus FL-700WR Wireless Radiowave Flash. Based on my initial outing with the FL-700WR flash at Bird Kingdom, I am anticipating good results with wild birds in the future.
In many cases my subject birds were almost continuously on the move. Using the TTL mode was ideal for the photographic conditions.
While most of the photographs I captured were at fairly short distances, I did create a few that were in the 3.3 to 4.6 metres range (~11 to 15 feet). I was pleased with the results.
There are likely cheaper flashes on the market than the Olympus FL-700WR Wireless Radiowave Control flash. I didn’t bother to look at any other brand.
I wanted a flash with the same IPX1 weatherproof rating as my other Olympus gear, as I plan to use it outdoors extensively. And, I wanted the flexibility of using wireless control in the future. The FL-700WR fit the bill on both counts.
The FL-700WR flash seems to be fast and efficient when it comes to battery use. Recycle time using four AA batteries was very quick. I seldom had to wait for my FL-700WR to recharge between capturing images. During this initial session at Bird Kingdom I captured over 800 images and still had charge left on the batteries.
I absolutely loved using the Olympus FL-700WR Wireless Radiowave Control flash! Darn near ‘lost my head’ over it.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process, and are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping.
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