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Shutter speed / flash issues

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Empireme, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Empireme

    Empireme Mu-43 Regular

    150
    Aug 25, 2011
    LA, CA
    I own a GH2 and with my flash (built_in and hot_shoe) my shutter speed is limited to 1/160 but without the flash, it can be raised to 1/4000. Why is this and can I change it? Because at that shutter speed some of my pictures are over exposed. If I cant raise my shutter speed, any tips to make the pictures with the correct exposure?
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is your maximum flash sync speed (X-Sync). Many consumer cameras sync to 1/180s, and many pro cameras (with focal plane shutter, not leaf) sync to 1/250s. Your shutter curtain can only move so fast and still expose the entire sensor to the flash duration. If you go beyond that flash sync speed then you will see the second shutter covering part of the image. Your camera, like some, simply prevents you from going past that sync speed so you never see what happens if you do.

    If your flash is a Panasonic then you can use FP Sync (Focal Plane Sync) or HSS (High Speed Sync), which is a trick mode that delays the opening of the shutter to time the second curtain shutting to the end of the flash duration (rather than opening the shutter at the same time as the flash). You lose light this way and overwork the flash (for the amount of light you get), but it allows you to use any camera shutter speed setting you want.

    The better thing to do however, is to try and stay within normal X-Sync speed. This is done by stopping down your aperture. If you reach minimum aperture setting (f/22 on most normal lenses, f/32 on most macro lenses, and f/16 on many older legacy lenses), you can further slow your shutter by using a Neutral Density filter or Polarizing filter - but usually turning down the flash is more effective, lol. Since you only mention one flash, I highly doubt you will ever need to stop down that much though, to even reach minimum aperture nevermind having to break out the ND filters. I reach that point sometimes in the studio, using a combination of studio strobe pairs and 5-6 speedlights - all putting out between 1/8 to 1/1 power. I doubt you're coming anywhere near that kind of light output, so all you need to do is stop down your aperture until you reach X-Sync or slower. :)
     
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  3. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You might want to not use auto iso and opt for a fairly low iso setting to maximize dynamic range. That will slow things down a bit, too.
     
  4. Empireme

    Empireme Mu-43 Regular

    150
    Aug 25, 2011
    LA, CA
    Ned that was absolutely informative. Thank you!
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No problem!
     
  6. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Just a couple of other comments. Olympus flashes (the FL36 and FL50 are essentially identical to the Panasonic versions, also support HSS, and are generally cheaper than the Panasonics.

    Also, there are two different possibilities as to why your photos are overexposed. It can be because the flash output is too powerful, or because the shutter speed / aperture combination is letting in too much light. If it's because the flash is too powerful, adjusting the shutter speed won't make much difference.

    In the GH2 menus, there is an option for flash exposure compensation. You can use this to reduce the output of the flash so it's better balanced with the ambient lighting.