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Problems when shooting with flash

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by prophet, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Using an E-PL7: yesterday, I was shooting indoors at a christmas party. Light was low, so I put on the kit flash (with a diffusor). I shot in aperture priority mode with the 40-150mm. Turns out that when I shot with a flash, shutter speed was even longer and my shots turned out blurry.

    So obviously I was doing something wrong; could anyone please elaborate what my mistake was and how to do it properly? Thanks!
  2. m4c

    m4c Mu-43 Regular

    May 15, 2014
    Czech Republic
    What flash mode were you in? Weren´t you in slow sync mode (at least that is what is it called on my EP1)
  3. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Just checked, and it was in slow sync mode. Which mode should it be in?
  4. m4c

    m4c Mu-43 Regular

    May 15, 2014
    Czech Republic
    I use flash very rarely, so it is mostly auto for me, works just fine :smile:
  5. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    • Like Like x 3
  6. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I find with flash on 4/3 and m4/3 it's best to go completely manual on shutter/aperture even if you use automatic flash. The reason for this is it can pick a slow shutter speed and fire the flash at low power to get the correct exposure however if you manually overrode it and used a faster shutter speed closer to sync speed it would fire the flash at higher power resulting in less potential for blur.

    I've never found automatic exposure AND automatic flash to mix very well, one can confuse the other with something lost in translation between the two. I suspect it's because the automatic exposure attempts to balance flash with ambient so that you get the background (if there is one) exposed as well as the subject rather than subject isolated on a sea of black.

    I'm a bit of a Luddite as I still use guide numbers and do everything by memory(I've memorized apertures and ISOs with various distances and the power of the flash units I use...). I find it more reliable and if it fails I at least know WHY it failed (most commonly distance estimation is slightly off) rather than just looking questioningly at the TTL automatic setting... The other advantage is once you're good at it you can set the flash power for whatever range you want it used at and it will not be fooled by subjects closer to the flash returning a brighter signature, while they will be overexposed your subject will be perfect, depends on the subject naturally.

    One thing I do often when using flash is use 2 frame bracketing. 2f +1 stop, the first frame is the correct exposure with flash, the second frame will fire off without triggering flashes (if the power is set high enough so that they don't recycle instantly) and they are generally spaced close enough apart in time that I can blend the two together to produce the correct exposure for both scene and subject (however I still the backup first frame of correctly exposed subject with a fast shutter speed and flash with no blur if this doesn't work). Mainly used for things such as houses rather than subjects like people or cars that move. Using multiply curves layers with various curves/masking in photoshop you can also adjust the brightness of different parts of the frame to achieve the correct balance(a curves layer set to multiply blend mode is the equivalent of burning in the darkroom).
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Manual is nice... I agree. Most of my flash is done with older non-TTL flashes....

    But I also acknowledge that this isn't for everyone. I've taught beginners who have a hard time grasping a single exposure much less the concept of two exposures; ambient and flash. Notice it takes whole paragraphs to explain.

    In the situation you describe, you don't want slow sync.... it allows you to drag the shutter (long shutter) with a pop of a flash either at 1st or 2nd curtain.


    Simply set the flash to A-TTL and Auto then let the camera figure out the exposures. I generally set the camera at ISO 400 or even higher if subject distance increases. Our cameras can handle ISO 400-800 just fine. Higher ISO equates to less work the flash needs to do in order to obtain proper exposure which translates to faster cycle and longer battery life. That little kit flash is good for about 10ft... its not that powerful, so keep that in mind.

    Practice.. practice.. beforehand. Once you want to take the next step in understanding, the strobist website is a good place to start.
    • Like Like x 2
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