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.
- Evaluate the types of flash sync modes available (mainly on higher
level cameras) to allow more control over flash activation and various
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Slave Flash: is there a need for the ability to use dual flash
units synchronized for lighting purposes?
- 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?
- 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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