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OM10 Flash Output

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by gobeatty, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. gobeatty

    gobeatty Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 15, 2014
    I'm struggling to get consistently good indoor flash photos with my EM10. These are low light at close distance and usually come out dark. I'm using the kit zoom at 20mm or so wide open f4 and turn up is to 800 or so. I know the flash isn't powerful with a guide number of 19 in feet but if I put it on manual bam! Tons of light and overexposure even past 10 feet. I've dialed up the flash compensation to +1.7 and it helps but I'm mystified when my iPhone and Canon compacts easily give nice flash snapshots without fiddling.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    In which Mode (PASM) do you get those results? What are the results, wenn simply setting:

    M, 1/160, f4, plus a fix ISO of e.g. 200, plus the normal flash symbol... so that f, time and ISO does not overchallenge the flash... meaning: fixed settings of the cam and the flash beeing the only one to controll the light via its flash duration...
     
  3. gobeatty

    gobeatty Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 15, 2014
    Given the poor results in auto settings, I'm shooting full manual now. Typical would be 30-60 sec f4 iso 640-800. In our house this gives a natural light exposure about -0.7 without flash. The flash is on the standard setting. Switching it to manual outputs a lot more light.
     
  4. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    No problems so far for me.

    I'm usually shooting Program mode with the flash set to Auto, sometimes Aperture priority and flash still set to Auto.

    Seems OK with both the 14-42 EZ and the 12-40 (although the 12-40 casts a very nice shadow at the bottom of the frame).
     
  5. gobeatty

    gobeatty Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 15, 2014
    Just checked in the manual and I may have found the problem. In manual and shutter priority modes the flash is fill only. In Program and aperture priority the flash can be set to Auto as you are using it. I will need to try it.
     
  6. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    As I said above: don't use any 'tricky' flasch modes (auto etc.)... always use the simple flash symbol (fill-in)... this works in all modes... but I prefer to use M-mode plus fixed settings (see above) in order to prevent the cam from 'thinking'...

    I have never seen a cam that could cope with all sorts of flash automatism (aperture, time, ISO, flash intensity)... make your live easy and predictable and use the M-mode plus fixed cam settings...
     
  7. ajPhoto

    ajPhoto Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    May 27, 2014
    Calgary
    Hello gobeatty,

    I don't own an EM10, so can't specifically answer your concern as it relates to your camera or flash. However, as far as I understand your issue, I will try to suggest a few things which might help you.

    When using M mode in indoor settings, you can either use the flash as TTL or on M mode. I prefer M mode, as it give most control. If you are using TTL, use the second curtain ( 2nd sync) instead of full fill, this will allow you capture ambient light as well and will not flood the scene with flash fill.

    If you opt to go manual, adjust your flash power according to your aperture. Please note that the shutter speed does not affect your flash, it only controls ambient, however your aperture dictates how much flash your camera sees. So adjust your flash power and your exposure accordingly.

    For instance, if I were taking an indoor portrait, I'd set my iso to about 400, shutter to about 100, and aperture to 2.8 - 4.0 and then dial the flash power to about 1/8. I'll take a photo, chimp it and then adjust accordingly.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    It's also worth shooting RAW.

    If the flash barfs then you stand a better chance of recovering something useful.
     
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    As others already told, if you are working in manual mode and you get an over exposed picture just fix the exposure in the camera, move the iso down or use a smaller size aperture, etc.

    Or, if you have a reasonable exposure to start with, keep this constant and change the flash compensation to a negative value (why +1.7 if you are overexposing?) but I do not know if this makes sense. Maybe flash compensation is more useful with automatic modes to "correct" the automatic choices.
     
  10. gobeatty

    gobeatty Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 15, 2014
    Thanx to all. The original issue www.underexposing with flash in manual mode. I was setting the manual exposure under by a stop to capture some ambient light and expected the flash would be the main or key light. The Oly doesn't work this way in manual exposure mode though. Instead, the flash is fill and so limits the output to be even less than the available light exposure, giving me dark images. At least this is what I suspect is happening.

    I could set the flash to manual but then I have to adjust the flash output or adjust aperture. I may experiment with this to see if I can find settings I like for general indoor snapshot use, but would like an auto TTL option.

    I used Program today with Auto flash and the results were good. The downside was the camera was setting a slow shutter speed and a few shots had motion blur from the ambient light. I'm not sure how to set a shutter speed and have the flash be the main light source. In shutter priority, the flash is fill only just like when the camera is in manual mode. I could try Aperture priority and manually set iso to force a faster shutter speed but this feels awkward and the camera will adjust shutter speed as the light changes.

    Suggestions?

    Update: I just found an option to set minimum shutter speed with flash in Custom Menu F. Another option may be to dial in a bit of negative exposure comp to lower the ambient light in the photo. This should give a higher shutter speed and lessen visible blur since the blur would be a bit underexposed. I am still going to experiment with settings in Manual mode as I'm old skool and like setting the shutter speed and aperture I need for flash shots.

    Update 2: After more testing, I now see the flash output does not differ between Auto and Fill flash modes. My main issue seems to be that when the camera is set to under expose the ambient light I find the flash also under exposes for my taste. If I set the flash to +1 I prefer the result. The exeption is when the ambient light is sufficient then +1 will over expose the flash. I also set the min flash speed to 1/60 sec to reduce ambient lIght blur. I am good now using the flash in any exposure mode. Just wish it didn't under expose by default, which Imaging Resource also found when they reviewed the EP5.
     
  11. gobeatty

    gobeatty Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 15, 2014
    Ok. Time to eat crow. Big time.

    I'm posting this for future viewers that might be confused or dissuaded from buying the camera due to my misplaced criticisms of the flash performance of the camera.

    Early on in my camera owning experience, I came to the conclusion that my copy of the camera over exposed by 2/3 stop. As a result, I menu dove and set all metering modes to underexpose by 4/6, which is 2/3 of a stop. Setting this adjustment back to zero fixed the flash issue. As a side note, I created a MySet that had a +0.7 adjustment for low light situations that I will no longer need as well.

    Ah, the things I forget and didn't see or realize until I menu dived again. I will leave it at zero (olympus got it right) and forward on with an excellent camera.
     
  12. bigal1000

    bigal1000 Mu-43 Veteran

    337
    Sep 10, 2010
    New Hampshire
    It's at best a low power fill flash. You need a decent on camera flash !!!!!!