View Full Version : Question about AF-assist on External Flashes

04-17-2008, 08:48 AM
After (far too) many months of reading about and handling various DSLRs, Iíve just about decided the Olympus E-510 is the right choice for me. I love the way it feels in my hands, and I love all but one of its features: the way the camera uses the pop-up flash instead of a dedicated AF assist lamp to assist the autofocus mechanism in low-light conditions. While this might be an effective way for the camera to achieve focus lock, there are just too many settings (such as museums, or photographing wildlife at twilight) where strobing the flash is simply out of the question. To me, this poses a very real limitation of the camera. I know manual focus is an option, but frankly Iím not sure how well my aging eyes will do focusing accurately under dim light situations.

I just learned, though, that at least two of Olympusís external flash units, the FL-36 and FL-50, have built-in red AF assists lamps. From the reviews Iíve read, they significantly improve the ability of the E-510 to achieve focus lock in dim light, which sounds wonderful. Thereís one question about these flash units I havenít been able to find the answer to, though. Can the camera + external flash be configured in such a way that the camera will use the red AF assist lamp on the external flash to achieve focus lock, but NOT go on to take a flash photograph? If yes, then that would solve my problem nicely Ė Iíll pick up one of the external flash units when I buy the E-510, and go away a happy photographer.

04-17-2008, 12:48 PM
I had that same question answered for me previously.

04-17-2008, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, Steve! That's just what I wanted to hear. Looks like I'll be going to my local camera store this weekend to pick up an Olympus E-510 + 2 lens kit. I can hardly wait to get it!:D