Why are people with DSLRs not using flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Vinny, May 2, 2010.

  1. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I went to a party today and saw at least 4 people with DSLRs taking photos without using their flashes. I do understand that the pop up flash isn't the greatest but it is a light source and can help in taking better photos.

    Is there some kind of problem with using flash other than possible harshness? I didn't take my camera but certainly would have used the flash in all the photos that I saw people taking (indoors with large windows on one side, kind of dark otherwise).

    BTW, these were just shots of individuals or groups and were probably on Auto. Back in the day of film a flash certainly would have been used; are people in digital now relying on their ISO so much as to not bother with flash?

    Inquiring minds want to know (OK, just me!).
     
  2. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    If they were in Auto, then the camera clearly thought there was enough light to not need the flash. Auto is quick to pop it up.

    Aside from that, the pop-up flash simply sucks. I would choose bumping the ISO up over using the pop up flash any time. I never use my pop-up, but I also have speedlights available.

    Edit: I must add that, if this is casual users with DSLRs (as it sounds with many of them being at a party), they were most likely in Auto. Like I said, Auto is very quick to pop the flash up from what I've noticed so the light must have been decent. I helped shoot a wedding just yesterday and there was a guest snapping away with their own DSLR, popup flash firing even outdoors under great light.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  3. Alter_Ego

    Alter_Ego TPF Noob!

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    Yeah im not much of a fan of the pop up flash unless its at night (im a beginner obviously) Id sometimes rather not take the picture at all if i have to use the pop up flash.
     
  4. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    im with alterego. If i am forced to use the popup flash, i normally give up on the photo. Its just not worth the effort, because its too harsh.
     
  5. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The pop up can be used as a light fill flash if in a pinch (somewhere around 1/4th power and lower). As a main light source, I am with the others- pass on the snap.
     
  6. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I shoot indoors plenty and hardly ever mount my flash. Fast glass helps.
     
  7. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    +1 I'm able to (usually) run around on ISO 1000 or slightly higher with the 1.4. It's just hard to focus sometimes. If it's really bad I'll use my flash and just drop the power all the way.
     
  8. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    My very limited experience with the pop up flash is quite different than what is being said. My D90 seems to give OK (not great) results with the pop up flash. Yes it's a bit harsh but any direct fire flash would be harsh vs bounce or a studio umbrella. Here's an example:

    [​IMG]

    I do not have a flash unit any more and eventually do plan on buying one but can someone tell me the difference between a camera mounted flash firing straight at the subject vs the pop up flash? My last flash unit was mounted onto a flash holder bracket to the left of the lens and was tethered to the camera by a sync cord. I had to manually calculate the distance and f stop being used along with the ISO of the film to get good results and I did get good results. I would think with the TTL on auto the results would be about the same for either type of flash except if one had a zoom flash then a wide angle shot may not have light that is cut off. The way I look at it, before bounce flashes became popular everybody had a straight firing flash (heck, I remember single use bulbs and 4 shot instamatic flashes). I personally don't understand why you would give up a shot because the flash was a little harsh; same as I don't understand why you would give up a shot because you need to use a higher ISO because you can't use flash - a lot of missed memories.

    Now as far as auto not using a flash ... my D90's flash will pop up often if it's somewhat low light and we were in somewhat low light, I can override the flash not to fire and it will compensate for no flash - I imagine all DSLRs do that.

    I guess everyone has their own techniques!
     
  9. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I see a couple mentioned fast glass ... these people were probably NOT into photography as others are ... looked like all kit zoom lenses from afar.
     
  10. xstepone

    xstepone TPF Noob!

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    I find that my popup flash makes my pictures look blown out, and not as high quality.
    But, I do use it if that's the look I'm going for.
     
  11. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking to invest in a really good, simple, and relatively small sized diffuser. I'm leaning towards the lumiquest series.
     
  12. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Foward facing flashguns (speedlites) are higher up from the lens than pop up flashes and therefore reduce/eliminate red-eye. You can also mount a diffuser easily to soften the light. Besides that, a hotshoe mounted flash lets you bounce!;)
     

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