Flash Types Printing Knowledge
Flash Types

Digital cameras have two basic types of flash units to consider for use: built in or internal and external flash attachments. Factors to consider for flash units are described below.

  1. Evaluate the types of flash sync modes available (mainly on higher level cameras) to allow more control over flash activation and various lighting conditions.
    • Auto Sync Mode:  When using the auto sync mode, the flash automatically fires for a determined amount of time when the light sensor gauges lighting conditions that warrant its use.
    • Red-Eye Reduction Mode:  The red-eye reduction mode provides a short burst of light to close the iris of the eye and then a full burst of light from the flash.
    • Slow Sync Mode:  Natural looking tones and backgrounds are achieved because the flash fires a short burst to provide light for the foreground subject, while the shutter remains open longer allowing for a lighter background.
    • External Mode:  An external mode allows for the use of only the external flash attachment rather than the built-in flash.
    • Off Mode:  The off mode allows the flash to be deactivated while the shutter is opened for a longer exposure allowing more natural light to enter.
    • Fill Flash Mode:  The fill flash mode provides options for flash functionality such as dual fill and forced fill.
      • Dual Fill:  An internal flash is used with an attached external flash. Both are fired for the desired effect to fill in shadowed areas low on light.
      • Forced Fill:  The flash is activated to fill in or highlight shadows when there is sufficient light to capture the image without a flash.
  2. A sync connection on the camera will allow a flash to be operated away from the camera body and connected with a cord for the power and synchronization.
  3. Slave Flash: is there a need for the ability to use dual flash units synchronized for lighting purposes?
  4. Ring Flash: is there a need for a flash unit fitting around the lens to provide a circular lighting effect used mainly in close-up shots of products or small items?
  5. Consider the effective focal range of the flash for correct exposures. Manufacturers will generally state focal range in terms of the maximum suggested range under conditions of a fully charged flash and a fully open lens aperture. External flash units should provide greater range and greater control for lighting options.



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