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P&S flash photography
I have an A720 and I'm looking at getting a second, larger camera with more zoom. External flash compatibility will be a major factor. I thought a hot shoe would be all I need to look for, but it seems not all hot shoes are equal. For example I've heard people criticize the lag that an external flash causes with a Canon G9. I've heard people say the the Fuji S100FS hot shoe is inferior, but I'm not sure why. I know that TTL flash means through the lens, but what effect does it have?.

I'd also appreciate any tips on taking better pictures with the in-camera flash. If I leave the flash settings on Auto, the photos suck. I've looked at a bunch of digital photography how-to's and tutorials, but the only thing they seem to discuss is compensation.Dan..

Comments (9)

Audiobomber wrote:.

I have an A720 and I'm looking at getting a second, larger camerawith more zoom. External flash compatibility will be a major factor.I thought a hot shoe would be all I need to look for, but it seemsnot all hot shoes are equal..

Compatibility of Third Party flash may be an issue, but all these cameras offer manual control over A/S so one should be able to get good results..

For example I've heard people criticizethe lag that an external flash causes with a Canon G9..

Should not have such an issue. People may be talking about recycling being slow..

I've heardpeople say the the Fuji S100FS hot shoe is inferior, but I'm not surewhy. I know that TTL flash means through the lens, but what effectdoes it have?.

That normally means that flash is able to adjust it's output based on metered reading of exposure..

I'd also appreciate any tips on taking better pictures with thein-camera flash. If I leave the flash settings on Auto, the photossuck..

Please elaborate. Is it overexposure?.

I've looked at a bunch of digital photography how-to's andtutorials, but the only thing they seem to discuss is compensation..

Right. That is what photography is all about. Correct Exposure.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #1

Audiobomber wrote:.

I have an A720 and I'm looking at getting a second, larger camerawith more zoom. External flash compatibility will be a major factor.I thought a hot shoe would be all I need to look for, but it seemsnot all hot shoes are equal. For example I've heard people criticizethe lag that an external flash causes with a Canon G9..

Not lag, recycling between shots maybe..

I've heardpeople say the the Fuji S100FS hot shoe is inferior, but I'm not surewhy. I know that TTL flash means through the lens, but what effectdoes it have?.

Like Ajay said. Shutter opens, flash fires for long enough to expose correctly, camera tells flash to stop at the right time, shutter closes. All in a fraction of a sec. Nikon's i-TTL system generally means the exposure is perfect, in my experience..

I'd also appreciate any tips on taking better pictures with thein-camera flash. If I leave the flash settings on Auto, the photossuck. I've looked at a bunch of digital photography how-to's andtutorials, but the only thing they seem to discuss is compensation..

Onboard flash is usually mediocre, mainly because of the inability to bounce the flash off the ceiling. I use a little Nikon SB-400 flash on my dSLR and small Nikon P5100 and it works well with full i-TTL capability. The camera is well known for rather sluggish autofocus but the shots are fine..

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #2

Ajay0612 wrote:.

Compatibility of Third Party flash may be an issue, but all thesecameras offer manual control over A/S so one should be able to getgood results..

Should not have such an issue. People may be talking about recyclingbeing slow..

Please elaborate. Is it overexposure?.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612.

Check this post re G9 lag when using a flash. I guess the only way to know if this is an issue with any given camera is empirically or through a review. http://forums.dpreview.com/...25716132&q=g9+s5+shutter+lag+flash&qf=m.

I had a 35mm film camera with an articulated flash. I took great flash photos with it, and horrible flash photos with the onboard flash. Now I avoid flash to the point where I won't take the photo if I need the built-in flash. I would say often the shots do look overexposed, but also the lighting looks unnatural and an underexposed background is ugly..

Actually, what you said about control over A/S has me thinking. I use the manual controls almost all the time, but when I use flash, I let the camera control the shutter. I suppose what I should do is practice with the A720 and see if I can figure out how to use the flash, but I will definitely be buying a long zoom camera with a hot shoe, and a pivoting external flash..

Thanks Ajay.Dan..

Comment #3

Alex Leach wrote:.

Not lag, recycling between shots maybe..

See my response to Ajay. 1/2 second pre-shutter lag is a long time..

I know that TTL flash means through the lens, but what effect does it have?.

Shutter opens, flash fires for long enough to exposecorrectly, camera tells flash to stop at the right time, shuttercloses. All in a fraction of a sec..

So with a TTL flash, the camera controls the flash, and with a non-TTL, the photographer would have to set shutter and aperture to match the flash?.

Onboard flash is usually mediocre, mainly because of the inability tobounce the flash off the ceiling..

That's been my experience, and it's one reason I'll be buying another camera, but I really should work with the A720 inboard flash to see if I can improve my technique..

Dan..

Comment #4

The information you recieved is wrong. You can put you flash into the hotshoe BUT, first check the flash voltage of the camera you are using and of the flash gun you are about to insert into the hot shoe. The dSLR cameras usually have a flash voltage of 6 volts or less. If the flash you insert into the hot shoe is more than 6 volts you will fry the camera. To get around this problem you will have to obtain a Wein hot shoe adaptor that converts the current of your flash to 6 volts. There is also a PC adaptor in this device.

Also, you can get a sync eye that fits on the bottom of your portable flash set the camera flash to as week a setting as available and set the camera to the protable flash exposure. But, the sync eye does not know your flash from your neighbour so if anyther person sets off a flash yours will flash also. This way you can set up as many flashes as you want to they will all sync with your camera...

Comment #5

I haven't read all of this yet but it looks like a great resource. http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/Dan..

Comment #6

I can't tell you about lag with a G9 but I can surmise that if you have red-eye reduction turned on you will get additional lag simply due to the way it works. If I were having a problem and red eye reduction was something I had control over I'd turn that off first. Other than that, I don't know why using an external flash would create more lag. Maybe it does but that's news to me..

In Camera flash leaves little room for control. Compensating can be done in terms of under/over exposing the over-all image, or by compensating the flash itself. The discussions are about that because that's all that really is available. Yesterday I did four hours of shooting flash in a TaeKwonDo dojang (sp?). I was bouncing an external flash (Canon 550EX) off a high white ceiling. I had to set the flash to +1 and the camera to +2/3 to get a perfect exposure.

An external flash gives you that added exposure control and is just one good reason to get an external. There are actually some folks who market little diffusers to clamp on pop-up flashes but I have no links. I would look over your manual carefully to see if you can set your flash (just flash) to + or - settings, but nothing you do with pop up flashes will let you bounce to prevent harsh shadows. If your camera doesn't allow you to bump up or limit the flash output then there isn't much you can do. Even if it does it may be buried in a menu so changing it may be awkward..

TTL flash means the camera is setting it's exposure (including the flash) by readings taken from inside the camera (through the lens). Some flash have sensors on the flash unit itself and the flash strength is set from the sensor on the flash unit...

Comment #7

Santa wrote:.

Have red-eye reduction turned on you will get additional lag simplydue to the way it works. If I were having a problem and red eyereduction was something I had control over I'd turn that off first..

Yes, I have it turned off. I hate that feature..

If you can't set compensation for the flash separately from theexposure of the camera you'll never have full control..

My Canon A720 does allow control of both..

Nothing you do with popup flashes will let you bounce to prevent harsh shadows..

That's the biggest problem as I see it..

If yourcamera doesn't allow you to bump up or limit the flash output thenthere isn't much you can do. Even if it does it may be buried in amenu so changing it may be awkward..

Not a problem it's no worse than changing ISO, WB, etc..

Some flash have sensors on the flash unit itself and the flashstrength is set from the sensor on the flash unit..

That sounds tricky, with the photographer having to tell the camera what the flash is doing.Dan..

Comment #8

If you're interested you could experiment with getting an external flash that would work with your A720..

I bought a Fuji F20 some months ago and playing around one evening "discovered" that an external flash I already own would work..

The Fuji F20 fires a pre-flash which triggers my external flash early, but the external flash recycles fast enough that it can then fire again with the camera's main flash..

Before deciding on the Fuji F20, I researched some of Canon A Series models and know that some them allow the user to switch the flash to manual, thus no pre-flash (Fuji F20 doesn't have this option, it always fires a pre-flash)..

If your A720's flash can be switched to manual then you could "potentially" use any regular optical slave or flash with a built-in optical slave..

If you go this route I would advise getting a flash that you could use also later on when upgrade cameras..

BTW: the reason some might say the new Fuji you mentioned has an "inferior" hot shoe might be if it it has a dumb hot shoe and not a "TTL" or intelligent hot shoe..

Below are some "real world" results from my Fuji F20 )and bouncing the Sunpak external flash) from when I house-sat a friend's cats - not the most cooperativeof subjects, particularly the grey one who is somewhat skittish:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #9

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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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