Canon 50D problems


TPF Noob!
Apr 20, 2009
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I have had my 50D for a few months and have just recently been giving it a true workout. I primarily shoot sports photography (team and individual). Through the winter and early spring, I shot single teams and it has been pretty good. I have recently had two all day events in which I shot entire leagues 30+ teams in one day, one athlete after another. I have noticed several problems both days and I have not been able to find an answer for these problems. I'm hoping somebody could enlighten me.

First, I shoot in manual mode and use a lot of fill flash, pop-up flash with diffuser (to help with the shadows under the athletes hats). All works fine for the first 15-20 photos, then the problems begin. I begin to receive a "busy" message from the camera. The "busy" lasts for 10-15 seconds before I can take my next photo. This really stinks when you have an athlete standing there waiting and waiting. If I get a break, turn my camera off for a little while, then start again, it's ok for the first 15-20 photos and begins again.

Second, I noticed the flash was not firing. It would fire for some photos, then wouldn't fire for others. It consistently did this all day long.

Any ideas on these problems or suggestions on what type of setup approach I could take to provide better photos would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Sounds like your just putting too much pressure on the popup flash - and the waiting times is the flash recharging for the next shot. The best solution to your problem would be a dedicated flashgun - like a speedlite 430M2 or 580M2 - or if your a on a tigher budget a second hand 430 or 580M2. That would solve your recharging problems and also give you a far more versatile and powerful flash unit to work with - though of course you would also need to diffuse light from this as well.

If you wish to stick with the popup flash you might get improved performance from using a batterygrip with a second battery for the 50D
I agree with Overread. You may just need to slow down a little bit or get a external flash and do not use full power (faster recharging time).
It may be the flash needing to cool down, or recycle. Or it may be a lower battery power taking longer to recycle the flash. Either way, getting a good hot-shoe flash will likely solve your problem...not to mention, give you the tools to greatly improve you flash photography.
Great advice, thanks!


You mention "do not use full power". Is there a setting to decrease the amount of flash? I thought I did this, but maybe I was in the wrong place.

Thanks again gang!
Not sure about reducing the power for your popup flash, but you can decrease the power used by a hotshoe flash in incremental values.
The flash is mostly (or always) automatic...but you can reduce the power used by using a larger aperture and/or raising the ISO.

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