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Flashes

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If the built-in flash in your camera just doesn’t cut it anymore, it's time to look for an external flash. But how do you choose the right one?

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When choosing a flash, consider what features are important to you

First party flashes have guaranteed full compatibility with other devices from the same manufacturer; with third party flashes, some flash or camera features may be unavailable. Models at both ends of the price spectrum differ – aside from the guide number - in various parameters, such as remote control, continuous shutter, flash interval, power supply, flash grouping, or orientation and tilt.

Flashes can be divided into:

Which category to choose?

Most external flashes connect to the camera via the TTL system, which can be found on most advanced cameras. The guide number (GN) indicates the flash output, namely its ability to illuminate the subject. The general rule for good illumination and exposure is the following: the further away an object is, the higher guide number you need. Furthermore, aperture and ISO also play their role.

Flashes can be divided into three categories:

  • Amateur (low performance, low reach, GN - 20)
  • Semi-professional (fairly powerful, tilting, GN - 42)
  • Professional (high performance, rich features, GN - 60)

externi-lightning-amateur-pro-semiprofessional

Amateur - typical for their low guide number (low power output and reach). Generally can’t be titled. Tend to be fairly small.

Semi-professional - offer sufficient power and range combined with rich functionality. Unlike the amateur type, these are fully tiltable and omnidirectional. They are powered by four AA batteries.

Professional - offer maximum performance and a range of exciting features that distinguish them from semi-professional flashes (communication with other flash devices, strobe light, external power supply connector, etc.).

Camera flash control types

  • Manual (constant flash intensity)
  • Auto (flash output controlled by a sensor)
  • System (controlled by the camera, the devices exchange information to achieve optimal exposure)

A separate subcategory are the macro ring flashes, in which the lighting part forms a ring-shaped lamp surrounding the lens. This eliminates the shadow normally cast by the lens and ensures proper illumination of objects at a very small distance from the camera.

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Flashes

Flashes

A Flash is used to illuminate subjects or scenes by creating a short burst of light. It is mostly used in low light conditions to illuminate subjects.

Compact cameras usually have a built-in flash, whereas digital SLR cameras allow various external flashes to be connected to suit different conditions.

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