Along with the announcement of the Olympus E-PL7 and corresponding housing (PT-EP12),
Olympus also announced a new strobe, the UFL-3 http://www.olympus-g...140828epl7e.jsp
UFL-3.jpg 21.17KB 36 downloads
Where the previous strobes from Olympus only used 2xAA batteries, the new model uses 4xAA which is a welcomed change.
The first strobe from Olympus, the UFL-1, was basically a rebranded Sea & Sea YS-17 TTL.
UFL-1.jpg 13.52KB 36 downloads
Their second strobe, the UFL-2, was essentially an underwater version of their land flash FL-36R housed by Sea & Sea. While it retained the zoom function and wireless RC flash system, it was excessively bulky and low powered compared to the competiton, i.e. larger than an INON Z-240, but only packing 2xAA batteries instead of 4xAA.
UFL-2 Slave Flash.jpg 33.41KB 35 downloads
The new UFL-3 appears to be a Sea & Sea YS-01 with the addition of the Olympus Wireless RC flash system (to be used with fiber optic cables).
Compared to the UFL-2, it appears to be a lot better. While it does not have the zoom function, it is about 300g lighter without batteries, and carry 2 extra AA batteries which hopefully translates to more power and faster recycle time (the press release states GN22 and 2 second recyle), where the UFL-2 had a recycle time of 6-8 seconds at full power !
In addition it also appears to have the target light as the YS-01, which the UFL-1 and UFL-2 did not have.
Compared to other strobes, the Wireless RC flash system will allow flash sync speeds of 1/4000 or 1/8000 (FP modes) with most Olympus cameras instead of being limited to the 1/250 or 1/320 range. This could be usefull in some applications.
More interesting is that the FP-TTL mode will allow TTL underwater with (hopefully) less drain on the camera battery (and faster recycling) than when using conventional TTL. The reason being that the camera flash only needs to transmit light signals through the fiber optic cable instead of a stronger flash pulse.
Hopefully the UFL-3 also retain the TTL modes of a normal Sea & Sea YS-01 so that it can be used with other camera brands, but that we will know when it has been released.
Guide number of the UFL-3 is stated as GN22, while the Sea&Sea YS-01 states GN20. Possibly just a result of a minor upgrade from Sea & Sea to their strobe unit.