On-Camera Flash Fill in Sunlight

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by sprinke, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Does anyone have tips on how to best use the on-camera flash for fill light on bright sunny days? It seems that when I try to force flash on, half the time I am getting overexposed photos, even with the flash power dialed down -2. Usually I'm in P mode on a GH2.

    Maybe I'm standing too close to the subject?
     
  2. Oopsydaisy74

    Oopsydaisy74 Mu-43 Regular

    55
    Sep 6, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Will
    You might want to try one of these bad boys. I'm thinking of getting one myself

    Puffer - Pop-Up Flash Diffuser - Flash Diffusers
     
  3. Usually this happens because of the flash sync speed, where the minimum shutter speed possible is in the region of 1/160 to 1/200 second which will usually cause overexposure on bright days. All you can do is set your camera to 'A' and reduce the aperture value until the metered shutter speed doesn't exceed the flash sync speed. If you want to use larger apertures you could try an ND (neutral density) filter to get the shutter speed down. You'll generally need to set your flash intensity quite high to get the fill in flash to have an effect on a bright day.
     
  4. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Instead of the forced flash use the slow sync setting and as mentioned above, set your aperture to get a shutter speed of 1/160 or slower.

    Fred
     
  5. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    If I do this, will the flash "freeze" the action? Because 1/160 is sometimes too slow for fast-moving kiddos.
     
  6. No, not to the same extent that a flash (as the primary light source) will freeze motion when used at night when used with a slowish shutter speed. The flash is only the secondary illumination source when used during daylight.
     
  7. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Actually, can I respectfully disagree? I suggest you use 'S' ( shutter speed priority) and not 'A' when shooting outdoors with fill flash. Then all you need to do is set the shutter speed to the maximum sync speed and let the camera sort out the aperture for you. I have found this to be the easiest in variable light outdoors. Using 'S' will always give you the most selective depth of field at any exposure level and will avoid the shutter dropping rapidly if a cloud passes over etc.

    Another useful solution is to use an ND filter to control exposure a bit more.

    If you absolutely must go above the max sync speed of the camera then a hotshoe flash that supports FP mode is the way to go. The Olympus FL36R is fine for occasional use as a fill flash. But the FL50R is better if you get more serious. Or you can use reflectors or video lights if you want to not use flash.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. That's actually probably a more direct way to achieve the same result. My PASM dial tends to be a PAM dial. I must have some kind of 'S' phobia.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Me too. I was something that Neil Van Niekerk wrote on the Tangents blog about a year and a half ago that made me think about it, and I've been using it ever since. I only spent nearly 20 years cursing at the Av switch and my flashes before that. ;-)

    Gordon