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Thread: Is external flash unit the way for me?

  1. #1

    Default Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Im deciding whether to get myself an external flash unit.

    Currently the factors pushing me to get a flash is:
    1)i want natural lighting instead of flash ie bounce flash??? (built in flash just creates the obvious flash effect, so i prefer to use slow-sync but this creates motion blur which isn't really good)
    2)the 16-105 lens im using is blocking my built in flash
    3)built in flash can't illum my subjects standing at a distance sometimes
    4)not so much but better images in indoor shooting. i cant even do shooting in my own house right. Whenever there are things going on in my house the pictures i took are crap. i had to reduce my AE so the shutter can be fast enough. ISO400, Min F

    Are there any other options i can take? I'd really like to save my bucks where i can. I'm already looking at Sony's F43AM which seems like a really great package. advices?
    Last edited by AlphaLuver; 9th January 2012 at 07:48 PM.
    Rig: Trusty (dusty) 6 years old Sony A350, Sony 16-105 lens, Sony Flash unit
    Nokia Lumia 1020

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Getting an external flash will indeed give you a lot of creative options on top of what you have now. However, do prepare to start learning a lot of things regarding photography with an external Flash (ie. diffuser, reflector, bouncing, etc).

    There are many ways to do without a flash totally as well (I've done that for more than a year without the need of any flash unit and only got one VERY recently).
    1. Increase ISO. Not sure about your camera but many out there can crank their ISO to 6400+ and still shoot pictures with reasonable noise after post processing.
    2. Lens with larger aperture. This is obvious.
    3. Tripod. As long as you are not shooting moving objects this can be your option as well.

    And you can try getting a 3rd party flash (flash that is not made by the same company as your camera). However, I don't know if such option is available for Sony as they decided to be an ass and use a hotshoe different from everyone else.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    get d4...

    dun think of it as a las resort, but external flash can give u more option to explore how to aproach takin ur pics
    Stirring up emotions with pics - cyliew

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by area0404 View Post
    Getting an external flash will indeed give you a lot of creative options on top of what you have now. However, do prepare to start learning a lot of things regarding photography with an external Flash (ie. diffuser, reflector, bouncing, etc). Hell yea, im already cracking my mind reading the user manual rofl.

    There are many ways to do without a flash totally as well (I've done that for more than a year without the need of any flash unit and only got one VERY recently).
    1. Increase ISO. Not sure about your camera but many out there can crank their ISO to 6400+ and still shoot pictures with reasonable noise after post processing. Mine is A350 can go up to 3200 but beyond 800 is beyond any doubt unacceptable.
    2. Lens with larger aperture. This is obvious. don't have the budget to get another lens =D
    3. Tripod. As long as you are not shooting moving objects this can be your option as well. yep, doing it

    And you can try getting a 3rd party flash (flash that is not made by the same company as your camera). However, I don't know if such option is available for Sony as they decided to be an ass and use a hotshoe different from everyone else.
    Thanks for the ideas but do refer to te things in red =D. as for 3rd party flashes do they offers the same functions as sony ones? like zoom flash, ADI, etc.
    Rig: Trusty (dusty) 6 years old Sony A350, Sony 16-105 lens, Sony Flash unit
    Nokia Lumia 1020

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by ijnek View Post
    get d4...
    HAHAHHA Welcome to the 9gag community
    Rig: Trusty (dusty) 6 years old Sony A350, Sony 16-105 lens, Sony Flash unit
    Nokia Lumia 1020

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    Im deciding whether to get myself an external flash unit.

    Currently the factors pushing me to get a flash is:
    4)not so much but better images in indoor shooting. i cant even do shooting in my own house right. Whenever there are things going on in my house the pictures i took are crap. i had to reduce my AE so the shutter can be fast enough. ISO400, Min F

    Are there any other options i can take? I'd really like to save my bucks where i can. I'm already looking at Sony's F43AM which seems like a really great package. advices?
    have you tried the "flash-off" in auto mode? (in the mode dial its the selection with the symbol flash-off).
    setting is in full auto mode but more than often it gives better image quality than manually settings all by yourself.. i have used this feature extensively and the camera would set to iso1600 with manageable noise that can be pp'ed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    Getting an external flash will indeed give you a lot of creative options on top of what you have now. However, do prepare to start learning a lot of things regarding photography with an external Flash (ie. diffuser, reflector, bouncing, etc). Hell yea, im already cracking my mind reading the user manual rofl.

    There are many ways to do without a flash totally as well (I've done that for more than a year without the need of any flash unit and only got one VERY recently).
    1. Increase ISO. Not sure about your camera but many out there can crank their ISO to 6400+ and still shoot pictures with reasonable noise after post processing. Mine is A350 can go up to 3200 but beyond 800 is beyond any doubt unacceptable.
    2. Lens with larger aperture. This is obvious. don't have the budget to get another lens =D
    3. Tripod. As long as you are not shooting moving objects this can be your option as well. yep, doing it
    No budget for another lens but you have budget for external flash? i believe Sony should have a 50mm F1.8 that cost slightly over $100 second hand, or 35mm F1.8that is slightly more expensive than the 50mm, an external flash will cost more than that i believe?

    using bounce flash does not mean that you are taking the photo with natural lighting, you are using flash, the difference between direct flash and bounce flash, is that bounce flash give you a softer light, to include the ambient light in your photo, you have to BALANCE the flash power and ambient light, which means you still have to compensate with slower shutter speed/higher ISO/wider aperture (something like slow sync), unless of cause you want to replace the ambient light with your flash.

    flash photography is a whole new area in photography because we are introducing additional light into the scene, and photography is all about light.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by area0404 View Post
    Getting an external flash will indeed give you a lot of creative options on top of what you have now. However, do prepare to start learning a lot of things regarding photography with an external Flash (ie. diffuser, reflector, bouncing, etc).

    There are many ways to do without a flash totally as well (I've done that for more than a year without the need of any flash unit and only got one VERY recently).
    1. Increase ISO. Not sure about your camera but many out there can crank their ISO to 6400+ and still shoot pictures with reasonable noise after post processing.
    2. Lens with larger aperture. This is obvious.
    3. Tripod. As long as you are not shooting moving objects this can be your option as well.

    And you can try getting a 3rd party flash (flash that is not made by the same company as your camera). However, I don't know if such option is available for Sony as they decided to be an ass and use a hotshoe different from everyone else.
    Hey area0404, since Rashkae hasn't seen this thread yet, let me say something for Sony. They didn't just decide to be different from the rest. When they bought over Konica-Minolta, they inherited the mount, hotshoe and I suppose the in-body IS (not too sure about this but I've never seen a IS Minolta lens).

    Perhaps to allow KM users to re-use their lens, they continued using the A-mount and the hotshoe (according to Rashkae, it's a newer mount than the hotshoe that everyone else uses). To me personally it boils down to business strategy, if they changed the mount and hotshoe, they could see throngs of people switching camp as they are, after all, the untested new kid in the block. =)

    I'm a newbie so do correct me if i'm wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    Thanks for the ideas but do refer to te things in red =D. as for 3rd party flashes do they offers the same functions as sony ones? like zoom flash, ADI, etc.
    There are 3rd party flashes and the power is debatable but i suggest a Sony flash (F43AM or F56AM). These models have a feature patented by Sony, i.e. the ability to turn the head of the flash to switch between landscape and portrait quickly. I don't know what they call it but you could refer to the website and look at pictures #5 and 6.
    Last edited by Prince Photogenic; 10th January 2012 at 12:16 AM.
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    Mine is A350 can go up to 3200 but beyond 800 is beyond any doubt unacceptable.
    I'm not sure about this since I have yet to try any of Sony's DSLR, but Photoshop's do quite well at reducing noise so you may wanna try that.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    don't have the budget to get another lens =D
    Do agree with miaoteh very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    Hey area0404, since Rashkae hasn't seen this thread yet, let me say something for Sony. They didn't just decide to be different from the rest. When they bought over Konica-Minolta, they inherited the mount, hotshoe and I suppose the in-body IS (not too sure about this but I've never seen a IS Minolta lens).
    Hm... I'm not a Sony user so I'm not aware of the history. However, it would be really nice if Sony can just make their equipment more available towards the other camera users.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    what do u mean by "more available towards the other camera users"... ?

    nikon n canon also dun generally share lenses n flashes, so sony is jus doing the same thing...

    the way i c dslr market now, canon is good at marketing, sony nex, then nikon is very quiet...
    Stirring up emotions with pics - cyliew

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by area0404 View Post
    Hm... I'm not a Sony user so I'm not aware of the history. However, it would be really nice if Sony can just make their equipment more available towards the other camera users.
    As for flash hotshoe all companies made different hotshoes for their flash and not just Sony being whatever you call it. Nikon flash cannot be use on Canon and Canon's flash cannot be use on Nikon (maybe only manual control only).

    I would believe only Olympus and Panasonic's flashes and lenses can be mount on each other.

    Frankly, only the Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and maybe a few more lens company that actually create lens for a variety of mounts, and also flashes such as Yongnuo, Nissin and Metz create flashes for different camera brand (that say, you still cannot buy a Nissin canon mount flash to be used on a Nikon, Sony, Pentax or whatever brand cameras and only use for Canon camera - same for other mount).

    And so why must Sony make equipment more available towards other camera users? In actuality, Sony actually create very good memory cards that can also be used by other camera brand... while other camera brands didn't do any systems that can be used by other camera brand except their own.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Sorry, I apologize if I sounded rude. Didn't mean it.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to be able to use interchangeably.

    Ah... Yea. I think I meant the wrong thing totally. I apologize. Please forgive me.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by area0404 View Post
    Sorry, I apologize if I sounded rude. Didn't mean it.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to be able to use interchangeably.

    Ah... Yea. I think I meant the wrong thing totally. I apologize. Please forgive me.
    I really wasn't offended, i was trying to offer my views on why the mounts are that way.

    *offers hand to shake*
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Actually, I do notice myself going a little overboard on forums from time to time.
    *Hand shake*

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Woah... i didn't start this thread for a fan war... - OT detected =D

    43 seems like a great package. im still trying to learn what i can now through the manual. One thing i don't get from it is whether can i still do slow-sync with it? I should be able to right?

    Back to topic, i realise with flash i can do two things:
    bounce (ok so it's not 'natural' lighting but still better than the direct flash burn)
    stronger flash?
    Would it be all the advantage? SGD470: ouch

    Quote Originally Posted by miaoteh View Post
    No budget for another lens but you have budget for external flash? i believe Sony should have a 50mm F1.8 that cost slightly over $100 second hand, or 35mm F1.8that is slightly more expensive than the 50mm, an external flash will cost more than that i believe?
    haha... i dun plan on getting anymore lens, further more it's overlapping with my 16-105, it's a prime lens which, i will be lens swapping for almost all shots? - i have only one body but correct me if im wrong. I'll be using my DSLR more during travelling so prime lens isn't my piece of cake. + overall i get paranoid over dust right when that lens release is pressed.

    i agree 1.4f would save me bucks and solve things.
    Rig: Trusty (dusty) 6 years old Sony A350, Sony 16-105 lens, Sony Flash unit
    Nokia Lumia 1020

  16. #16

    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    bounce (ok so it's not 'natural' lighting but still better than the direct flash burn)
    Flash has many many many uses. Bouncing is a technique (flash at a flat surface so the light will be diffused and less direct). You can get reflectors or diffusers as well. Usage for flash is generally to light up the scene in a specific way, enhance strong lighting (fill) and creative lighting (all those time freeze shots and etc). To achieve the various effects, you need adjust things like strength, timing and setup (like using a reflector card or bounce on walls).

    And to be honest, my knowledge of flash is at most considered basic (only theory, no practice). I'm sure people more pro can give you a better picture of what flash is capable of doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    i will be lens swapping for almost all shots
    That is not true. When using prime, your feet are the zoom. Walk nearer/further to frame your shots. Only swap lens when it is absolutely necessary. Oh, and dust goes into your camera no matter what you do. In fact, your camera itself may produce dust. Just clean it once in a while and you would be fine. Besides, dust don't really affect IQ unless it's really bad or at very bad location.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by area0404
    Actually, I do notice myself going a little overboard on forums from time to time.
    *Hand shake*
    We all do at times.. hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver
    Woah... i didn't start this thread for a fan war... - OT detected =D

    43 seems like a great package. im still trying to learn what i can now through the manual. One thing i don't get from it is whether can i still do slow-sync with it? I should be able to right?

    Back to topic, i realise with flash i can do two things:
    bounce (ok so it's not 'natural' lighting but still better than the direct flash burn)
    stronger flash?
    Would it be all the advantage? SGD470: ouch

    haha... i dun plan on getting anymore lens, further more it's overlapping with my 16-105, it's a prime lens which, i will be lens swapping for almost all shots? - i have only one body but correct me if im wrong. I'll be using my DSLR more during travelling so prime lens isn't my piece of cake. + overall i get paranoid over dust right when that lens release is pressed.

    i agree 1.4f would save me bucks and solve things.
    neither did I intend to start a brand war with my comment. Just wanted to clear some misconceptions =) and it seems like the others who commented are not Sony users.. Haha.. Sorry for the OT..

    I would say the most useful purpose for your flash is that it allows you to shoot at a smaller aperture and faster shutter speed than the ambient light would have otherwise allowed.. Not sure if I'm right. (pros, pls correct me if I'm wrong so that I can learn at the same time)

    I found some articles online on flash, perhaps you could start by reading them?
    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...al-flash-units
    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...h-units-part-2
    (source: DPS)

    http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/w...n-photography/
    (source: picturecorrect.com)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1jRs...e_gdata_player
    (YouTube)

    Note: I do not own any of the websites, articles and video, nor have I contributed to them in anyway, or own the copyrights.

    As for prime lens, like area0404 pointed out, it's mind activated zoom. Once your brain detects the lack or excess focal length, it will automatically activate your legs to zoom in or out =)

    Hope this helps =)
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    ...
    43 seems like a great package. im still trying to learn what i can now through the manual. One thing i don't get from it is whether can i still do slow-sync with it? I should be able to right? definitely yes..

    Back to topic, i realise with flash i can do two things:
    bounce (ok so it's not 'natural' lighting but still better than the direct flash burn)
    stronger flash?
    Would it be all the advantage? SGD470: ouch

    ..
    F43AM is priced S$370, last time i inquired..
    or you can go for the alternative 3rd party flashes that are cheaper such as Nissin 622 or Sunpak PZ42x

    or even yongnuo flash that cost less than $100 but fully manual and only if u want to do experience with it..
    ~PeaceNoWar~

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by intrance

    F43AM is priced S$370, last time i inquired..
    or you can go for the alternative 3rd party flashes that are cheaper such as Nissin 622 or Sunpak PZ42x

    or even yongnuo flash that cost less than $100 but fully manual and only if u want to do experience with it..
    Where is the 370 deal you found?
    Rig: Trusty (dusty) 6 years old Sony A350, Sony 16-105 lens, Sony Flash unit
    Nokia Lumia 1020

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is external flash unit the way for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaLuver View Post
    Where is the 370 deal you found?
    MS Color.. Call them for quote.. ask for Florence..
    ~PeaceNoWar~

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