Popup flash and camera manual settings

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mrodgers, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a question about camera settings using flash. I was just playing around with the flash since my camera does not do well inside the house.

    I have been playing with the shutter speed and I see absolutely no difference in the results changing from 1/100 to my quickest of 1/1000 when using the flash. I am wondering why. My camera does not do well in quality with anything above ISO400. I typically leave it at f/3.5 aperture as I don't have a very tight DOF with this camera. So, I'd like to stay away from the 1/40-1/60 shutter speed the camera usually sets it's self at in Aperture or Program mode, so I set it in manual and tested at various shutter speeds. There is no difference between as I said, 1/100 and 1/1000 seconds.

    Why?
     
  2. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I am new to the game too bro and I rarely ever use my build-in flash. My theory is that when you change shutter speeds or other adjustments to your camera, the camera also reacts by automatically adjusting your flash settings. Perhaps during 1/100 shots, your flash burst is longer or more intensified to pickup light faster by your sensor. Not sure if this is really happening but it seems like a decent theory.
     
  3. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    It is because, and I am assuming you don't have a pro rig, that your flash sync speed is at 1/180.

    You could set your shutter speed to 1/1000, however as soon as you pop the flash, it will probably go down to 1/180.

    With more expensive cameras, you can get faster flash sync speeds, (up to, i think 1/500).

    When I use my built in flash, even at 1/180 the flash is more often than not too bright, so I step up the aperture until the photo is more even.

    It's not just limited to built-in flashes, either. I'm still quite new, but from what I've read, the flash sync speed is entirely dependant on your camera.
     
  4. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    The native flash-sync speed on most cameras is a maximum of 1/250, on some cameras it's less, and on a few it's 1/500 (the D70, for example). The ability to go up to 1/500 is a manifestation of the CCD sensor-- even high-end Nikons or Canons that have CMOS sensors cannot go past 1/250. However, some external flash units have 'high-speed sync' mode that will allow you to shoot at any speed you wish, at the cost of flash power and battery life.
     
  5. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    In short..shutter speed doesn't affect flash exposure. Aperture and ISO both affect the flash exposure and all of the above affect ambient light.

    Try this..
    Shoot in a somewhat dark living room and have a few lights on. Shoot with 1/60 and work your way to 1/20 you'll notice that whatever the flash is fired at would be lit the same no matter what the shutter is set at (as long as you kept your aperture and iso the same). Now play with your aperture and ISO and you'll see that the flash along with ambient would both change depending on your settings.

    I hope that made sense.
     
  6. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    I may sound like an idiot here, or perhaps i've misunderstood what you were saying, however I don't understand how you could get the same exposure in 1/60 as 1/20 at the same ISO and aperture.

    1/20 would be considerably more exposed than 1/60. Even if the flash is strobing the same amount of light for both exposures, the shutter speed is allowing more of that light in.

    Otherwise, there would be no point in having flash sync speed. From what you are saying (I think), the photo is going to have the same flash effect regardless of the shutter speed, and the only way to alter your exposure is through ISO and aperture.

    Would you, possibly be able to clarify what you meant?
     
  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    The exposure is not changing the flash settings. What happens is that if you open up the shutter longer, the camera can expose for the ambient light as well as the flash. So if you want to have only the flash lighting the subject, then you can set it for a shutter speed and aperture that is well over the ambient light, so there will be no light from the background. If you want the background to be exposed better, then you can open things up so that the light affects the exposure.
     
  8. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah ha! That's the layman's explaination I needed to understand the answer to my question.

    Thanks all to the responses. I should have been able to connect the brain waves and realize why I was seeing the same exposed shot when I was changing the shutter at faster speeds. My camera does not do well inside the house in low light (ie, during the day when lights do nothing but the orientation of my house and windows don't allow bright enough sunlight in.)
     
  9. mrcrassic

    mrcrassic TPF Noob!

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    You see no differences because after the shutter speed is the inverse of the focal length (1/focal length), the camera can usually freeze most slow and still movements fast enough to reduce motion blur to negligible values.

    EDIT: Misread the question; tsaraleski's explanation is correct.

    As an aside, what camera do you have? Newer Canon cameras with a built-in flash use E-TTL II to determine the subject distance and appropriate flash speed for fill flash. A speedlight is much more suitable because a) it has a more powerful flash, which can help illuminate the area better, and b) you can manually control the flash speed to control the desired effect, which allows for night-time portraiture (since you can also save the background with a high-speed flash burst; the built-in fills the subject, but also washes away any background.
     

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