External flash for digital cameras

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by brianh, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. brianh

    brianh TPF Noob!

    Mar 1, 2005
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    I have recently bought a Panasonic DMC FZ20 Lumix digital camera. I am very impressed with what it produces but, I have a problem with the flash side of things.

    Using the in-built flash I find the time lag between the initial red-eye reduction flash and the main flash triggering is over a second. Therefore the subject may move before the picture is taken making it very dificult to compose a picture (nevermind the impossibility of taking instant candid shots).

    A possible solution to this might be to use an external flash via the hot-shoe thus overiding the in-built flash problems described above.

    My question is what kind of flash should I use. I have been advised by some that I should only use a dedicated digital flash gun and by others that as the Lumix takes exposure readings through the lens then a normal, non-digital flash would be ok.

    Can anyone advise on this please.



  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Jan 7, 2005
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    Kankakee, IL
    To offer answer helpful for you, I have to ask a couple of my own.

    How will your photographs be used?

    What level of skill do you wish to develop?

    If you wish to make nice keepsakes for your family and yourself, I'd advise you diffently than someone wishing to make photos for hire.

    I wish I could be more helpful right now.

    -Pete Christie
  3. Kodan_Txips

    Kodan_Txips TPF Noob!

    Feb 6, 2005
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    If you are using a flashgun in the hotshoe of your digicam, remember that you can only use flashguns that are designed to work with digicams.

    Fortunately my local camera shop checked this when I wanted to buy a bargain Minolta flashgun for my Dimage Z1. Apparently, the flashgun I had seen second hand would have turned the Z1's circuitry into molten slag, as the pulse it sent through the camera was for too high.

    If you are using the flashgun off camera with slave trigger units, it doen't matter.
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2003
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    You could probably turn off the red-eye pre-flash on your camera...but then you would get red-eyed subjects.

    There are plenty of non-dedicated automatic flash units. You simply set the same ISO & aperture on both the flash & camera. Of course you do have to make sure that the flash trigger voltage is compatible with your camera.

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