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? on flash sync?
This makes me feel dumb, but can someone explain to me why 1/500 flash sync is better than say 1/250 flash sync? Is it just the flash is quicker and isn't used as long? Is it important to use this as a criteria for choosing a camera?.

Becky..

Comments (7)

Becfuddle wrote:.

This makes me feel dumb, but can someone explain to me why 1/500flash sync is better than say 1/250 flash sync?.

Because you can use the flash with exposure up to 1/500 seconds..

Is it just the flash iis quicker and isn't used as long?.

No. It has almost nothing to do with the flash. It is about the camera shutter. Example:.

Let's say you want an exposure of a second. The first shutter curtain oppens (x miliseconds), there is a pause (1000-x), then the second curtain shuts (x miliseconds). Total exposure per capture area: 1000 miliseconds..

For the sake of simplicity, let x be 4 milisecs. This is a hardware value, and it's different from camera to camera..

What if I want an exposure of 1 milisecs? Not very unlikely, that's 1/1000 secs... And the curtain lag is 4 milisecs!.

Well, it's simple. You start opening the first curtain, then, 1 milisecs later, you start closing the second curtain. Therefore, you'll have a band of open curtain, traveling acros the capture area. What happens if you flash in this situation? You get just a band of flash-exposed image! So, basically, the flash sync speed is the fastest exposure time that your camera can yield while keeping the whole sensor exposed, like in the first example..

Is it important to use this as acriteria for choosing a camera?.

It depends, but yes. You might want to shoot a portrait outside, in sunlight, with a flash to fill the shadows. You'll want to shoot wide open, to get nice bokeh and subject isolation. And in that light, with 2.8 aperture, the ambient exposure time will easily hit 1/4000. Ooops... can't use the flash..

Well, there are workarounds. You can use ND filters. Most modern flashes (external!) have a high speed mode. But both eat more batteries than necessary, and increase recycle time..

Now you know .

/d/n.

PS. If you calculate, the 4 ms value is one of a 1/250 flash sync camera ..

Comment #1

In the old days cameras had flash bulbs. T the cameras and the flash shutter speed was designed to be the fastest speed at which one could be sure that the shutter opened, the bulb flashed, and the shutter closed. Today electric flashes tend to be more powerful but the theory is the same. One can actuall shoot with any shutter speed that is recommended OR slower, but using a slower speed may well capture some of the image without the flash causing blurring or multi images. In theory the faster you can shoot eliminates this concern but whether it be 250th or faster or slower the power of the flash should outway any other light entering the lens so there should be no worries. But you can use a slower speed if you like, try it.Jules.

Becfuddle wrote:.

This makes me feel dumb, but can someone explain to me why 1/500flash sync is better than say 1/250 flash sync? Is it just the flashis quicker and isn't used as long? Is it important to use this as acriteria for choosing a camera?.

Becky.

Why do you never see birds crash?..

Comment #2

As devnull noted, the concern is that a slow X-sync speed limits your choices when using fill flash in bright sunlight..

On many Canon DSLRs, X-sync is 1/200 and the lowest ISO available is ISO 100. For shooting in bright sunlight with fill flash, you're pretty much stuck with 1/200 at f/11 and ISO 100. You can't open the aperture wider than f/11 without overexposing..

The X-sync speed has to be judged in relation to minimum ISO. Compared with Canon DSLRs, Nikon DSLRs generally have a higher X-sync speed but they also have a higher minimum ISO, so you're still stuck somewhere around f/11..

Many external flash units provide FP (High Speed) Sync capabilities, which allow them to be used at shutter speeds faster than X-sync. The amount of light that they put out is reduced in that mode, but for fill flash you usually don't care. This is the best solution..

Back in ye olden days of film we often had cameras with sync speeds of 1/30 or 1/60. This wasn't such a problem because film was available with lower ISOs and the "bokeh" craze hadn't started...

Comment #3

Becky, it ain't you this stuff really is confusing and takes a long time to learn..

But, in regard to >Is it important to use this as a criteria for choosing a camera?<.

If you are thinking of buying a digital single lens reflex camera, like a Canoin Rebel XTi or a Nikon D40xor anythign similar, no, it does not make any difference that really matters..

If you've already compared fifteen criteria and still can't decide, shutter sync could be the final deal-maker, but normally, forget it..

Perhaps you canunderstand the other posters there's a lot of technology in their answrs..

Looking at it from another approach the faster the sync speed, one of two things happen..

1/ the background gets darker,.

2/ in fairly bright existing light, a faster/higher sync speed may reduce some blurring, or it may not matter..

BAK..

Comment #4

BAK wrote:.

Becky, it ain't you this stuff really is confusing and takes along time to learn.But, in regard to >Is it important to use this as a criteria forchoosing a camera?.

If you are thinking of buying a digital single lens reflex camera,like a Canoin Rebel XTi or a Nikon D40xor anythign similar, no, itdoes not make any difference that really matters..

If you've already compared fifteen criteria and still can't decide,shutter sync could be the final deal-maker, but normally, forget it..

Perhaps you canunderstand the other posters there's a lot oftechnology in their answrs..

Looking at it from another approach the faster the sync speed, oneof two things happen..

1/ the background gets darker,.

2/ in fairly bright existing light, a faster/higher sync speed mayreduce some blurring, or it may not matter..

BAK.

Ah, laymen's term's finally!! I appreciated the other poster's answers but wasn't quite sure how it would affect my pictures..

And I am thinking of buying a Canon 5D which has the slower flash sync, yes?.

Becky..

Comment #5

I have an article on this topic. Check it out here:http://dptnt.com/2007/10/flash-sync-speed/.

Max~*~* http://dptnt.com *~*~Digital Photography Tips and Tricks..

Comment #6

Doug Pardee wrote:.

Many external flash units provide FP (High Speed) Sync capabilities,which allow them to be used at shutter speeds faster than X-sync. Theamount of light that they put out is reduced in that mode, but forfill flash you usually don't care. This is the best solution..

What "High Speed Sync" means is that the flash keeps firing away continuously, pulse after pulse, for the entire time the shutter is open..

This avoids the problem with exposing only a band of the image. But if you are trying to use the flash to freeze motion (beyond what the camera's shutter can do), you wouldn't want to use a "High Speed Sync" mode...

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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