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Camera Flash Ignorant - Help With EP3, Please

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by nueces snapper, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    I've owned and shot with a lot of cameras including medium format, large format and my previous camera was a Nikon D3. But I've only ever been interested in landscape and wildlife. I know squat about flash photography. I've read a bit and it makes my head hurt. :tongue:

    Lately I'm being called on by my employers to be the camp photographer because I always have a camera and have taken some nice shots of my employer's family at events and for their christmas cards. I send them some my latest wildlife shots from time from here at the ranch in SW Tejas I manage for them and they get a kick out of them.

    I need to be able to use my EP3 inside at dinners and parties once in a while and my people will want to see some of the shots. I will eventually purchase a dedicated flash for my cam but for now I can get by with my in-camera pop gun.

    Could someone just tell me what is the best settings to use on my cam. All of them. I'm working really hard these days and am tired every night and just want to veg and been going to bed early. I don't have the energy to research this. I would really really appreciate one of you ( or several would be good ) :tongue: folks who know a lot about flash photography and use it often to educate this lazy guy.

    Thanks EVER so much. :smile: :thumb up: :big grin: :thumbup:
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    1. with a built in, youre going to get red eye in a significant number of photos. I'd be telling your boss that he needs to buy you a decent flash. It's the least he can do.

    2. For web and small prints start at 800ISO, 1/60 @f5.6 and then adjust from there. In a dim room the shutter speed will generally only affect the background exposure and the flash will light the subject. For more background a slower shutter speed for less a higher one. 5.6 will give you enough DOF for small groups.

    3. You're opening a very very large can of worms when you start using flash. Get ready for an interesting ride.

    Gordon
     
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  3. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Bless you kind sir. I really appreciate your help.:thumbup:
     
  4. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oh darn, forgot to ask. Are we using A, S or M here. I always shoot in Aperture Priority but not wedded to it. Whatever works if fine by me. :smile:
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't use pop-up flash and can't help you much with that. However, a couple things you might try is to a) find a way to wrap tissue paper or a coffee filter over your flash, or b) fashion a bounce card to fit in front of your flash and bounce the light off the ceiling if the ceiling is low enough and light enough (like the picture below). Again, I can't say that I would ever use pop-up for anything, so think of these suggestions more as ideas. ;) Unfortunately, the E-P3 flash can't be pushed back to bounce like the E-PL2, E-PL1, GF-2, and GF-1 flashes can.

    card_bouncer.
     
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  6. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I found a semi gloss white bounce card as Ned has described works great in a lot of situations..
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Sep 13, 2011
    Indonesia-Singapore
    I never use off flash camera with my EP3 but I used it when I owned my DSLR.
    For fast family picture at restaurant / dim light, (with EP3) I use Shutter priority + fill in option , auto ISO and shutter around 1/30th - 1/15th. I never get red eye with this (maybe someone can explain :biggrin:) and I use small diffuser like this :

    pop-up%20diffuser.

    For M mode, I think there's no exact setting, you have to try different shutter-aperture-iso value to get what you want.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I thought about mentioning a diffuser like that (or like the Gary Fong Puffer), but I couldn't think how any would fit on the tiny PEN flash... That's why the best idea I could come up with was tissue paper, lol. xD If you can get a piece of coffee filter paper in front of it, that's even better.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    While I always use aperture-priority mode when shooting without a flash, I switch to shutter-priority or manuel mode when using flash. I think the parameters Gordon laid out are good starting points.

    However, if you intend to shoot at parties, you might have to deal with large, poorly lit area, and I am afraid your built-in flash might not be sufficient... I tried that once, and a lot of photos I took ended up to dark with lots of noise. I ended up getting an external flash, but just as Gordon said, it could open up a whole new can of worm... so, good luck!
     
  10. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Thanks to all. We're getting there. I did use a flash a couple of times back in the days of film. I remember bouncing .... kinda. I also remember really shiny blanched faces if I pointed the flash directly AT anyone. Oh yeah, and a funny black doppleganger on the wall behind my subject. :eek:

    Maybe those old experiences are why I don't use flash today. :confused:

    So I know this has been asked before but ( price is no concern ) what is the ultimate Oly flash? Don't want to mess with off camera versions. I can only go just so far with new and intimidating practices. :wink:

    Wait a minute. I seem to have a dim memory of a bracket thingy? Do these things help?
     
  11. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I went for a Metz 58 AF-2, the flagship model, since I figured if I were to use an external flash, I might as well go for the big gun. Otherwise, the built-in flash of the E-P3 might be sufficient, but I was told that a 48 or 50 are actually quite good, at a fraction of the price of the 58. I picked the Metz over Olympus flashes due to faster recharge time (these are all based on spec sheet and online research only)...

    I haven't found an effective, small diffuser to pair with the Metz 58 though, so if other happens to have a good recommendation, please share with us... Thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    308
    May 28, 2011
    I just tried making one of these out of an old credit card-thing and it works surprisingly well! The G2 metering program underexposes just a little, but overall a great idea that can be implemented for almost free.
     
  13. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Manual. You'll loose control of your backgrounds if you go to any of the auto settings

    Gordon
     
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  14. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    I agree. AND you're in a great situation. Go to those places you're going to shoot and TEST! Turn on the lights as they'll be in typical use. Bounce, no bounce, mode, is this lens wide enough? ISO. Grab a chair, sit where you'd shoot from and fire away. Try everything! Its FREE! If you spend an hour with that luxury of testing, you'll leave the room knowing exactly how to set your chosen gear the next time you have a shoot there. You may have to adjust slightly for a mass of people, but that's a tweak or covered in a bracket set. Don't forget to play with white balance too! You can save the setting for that room in a custom menu! We don't always have the luxury of pre-shooting, take it when you can!
     
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  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    You are in a good place to begin with. The E-P3 allows you to quickly adjust flash exposure compensation with the super control panel.
     
  16. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    If you do have time to research, I suggest reading Neil van Niekerk's blog. He's a really good wedding photographer and dishes out tons of information about flash photography. (Disclaimer: just bought 2 of his books - should arrive today!)

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/
     
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