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E-PL3 - struggling for correct exposure when using flash

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Millsey, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Millsey

    Millsey New to Mu-43

    6
    Jan 3, 2013
    Cambridge, UK
    Chris Mills
    Hi,

    I'm fairly new to micro 4/3 photography, but am really enjoying it with a new Olympus e-pl3 and 14-42 IIR kit lens. However I'm missing nice photos of the family when using the flash because I either set it too powerfully or not enough, and the photos are overexposed or dark. Using the SCP, I vary the flash power between 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and full power. But more often than not I get the value wrong for the particular situation. I shoot in Shutter priority mode mostly, to guarantee sharp photos. Can anyone help me? With my Canon Ixus compact camera its easy to take these type of photos. I must be doing something wrong. Other than this the camera is amazing.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I sometimes get a similar problem with my e-pM1 (almost the same camera inside) but I just carry on and hope for a sensible exposure. Don't blame yourself or your settings : it does this!
    (My Olympus DSLRs are reliable with flash levels and exposure, just this camera goes a bit wierd sometimes - so it IS the camera, not just you.)
    Maybe 10% of the time it is totally wrong, so I don't worry about it.

    You should just carry on and take more photos than you think you need. :biggrin:
     
  3. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    392
    Nov 30, 2011
    Hi Chris,

    I use both an EP1 and EPM1. I have found the TTL functionality of the EPM1 to e quite consistent and reliable with either the clip on flash unit or a larger external Oly flash such as the FL36R or FL600R. I cannot say the same for the EP1; it's TTL is unreliable.

    The EPM1 is essentially the same camera as the EPL3 in most respects. I always shoot in aperture mode, set the WB to flash, and ISO to 200 when I know I will be using the flash in all instances. Aperture mode permits so e control over DOF and will keep the shutter speed in the acceptable range for the flash.

    Check your settings in the menus for upper and lower flash sync speeds. They should be set to default ranging from 1/60 to 1/160. I wonder whether you are pushing the shutter speed outside the flash sync range when using the camera in shutter priority. It is worth trying the camera in aperture mode.

    I get consistent results when using this camera in aperture mode and TTL flash with the settings I listed above. At most I would need to adjust the flash power by 1/3 +/- for the majority of shots, and at most + 0.7 when using the flash with lens range at the long end.

    The flash has enough power to wrk well with the standard kit zoom in most average lighting conditions. I would be interested if aperture mode is successful for you.
     
  4. Millsey

    Millsey New to Mu-43

    6
    Jan 3, 2013
    Cambridge, UK
    Chris Mills
    Hi,

    Thanks both for your responses. Yes I think my mistake was taking photos in Shutter priority. In Aperture mode (and iAuto) I see you can set the flash to Auto (which you can't in Shutter priority), which led me down the road to then playing with Flash power settings giving my bad results). I have tried setting WB to Flash and ISO to 200 and with these it seems to work fine - my upper and lower flash sync speeds are what you recommend too. So I think I'm all fine now, many thanks both.

    Chris