If you have previously used an entry-level camera, certainly you have found some trouble with the small built-in flash unit included in this class of cameras. Although there have been a lot of improvements on the performance of a small built-in flash over the last few years, there still remain many problems, such as: the limited flash range, the possible vignetting as well as slow recharging. The intensity of these flash units also cannot be easily adjusted, which may result in hot spots in your photos.
However, if you are using a high-end DSLR camera, there are more nice options with the flash units. You can have more controlling options over the camera flash through external flash units and these units work well together with DSLR models. In addition, you can also find a popup flash unit which is built in the camera to have good performance in some shooting circumstances.
There are many flash options with a DSLR camera, as you see in EX320 Speedlite from Canon in the above image.
The following tips will help you find out more about the controlling options over the flash unit of your DSLR cameras, regardless of using a built-in popup flash or an external one.
Not every DSLR camera has a built-in flash unit. For the cameras that offers a built-in flash unit, you can still use one external flash if needed. It will be nice if at beginning of shooting anything, you can decide what type of flash to use and have a proper plan right after. The built-in flash unit will be very useful for shooting quick shots, but the light will be the greatest and most consistent with an external flash.
In a DSLR model, you can use an external flash unit by connecting it to the camera “hot shoe” that is located on the camera top panel where you find the connector of the flash slide into the hot shoe. Another way for connecting the flash is to use a cable, which allows you to have the flash located off the camera center. You can control several external flash units wirelessly or sync them with a lot of other flash units. Make sure that you have read the camera user guide to find out the attached options of an external flash unit.
With built-in flash units offered in DSLR models, some of them are automatically fired by the camera when needed, but some others requires to be manually opened. Be sure to use built-in flash unit correctly, or the photos shot with the flash may not be as good as expected.
There are many available options for using the flash modes in a DSLR camera. For instance, the “auto” mode allows the flash to automatically fire when it is required. When the flash is “Off”, there is a lightning bolt with a crossed line on the flash icon. In the “slow sync” mode, the flash has to adapt to the slower speed of shutter. In addition, there is an icon in the shape of an eyeball to indicate the “red eye reduction“. Finding out more about the available flash options will help you use the flash in the most proper ways. Remember that some of the flash controlling modes are not available in the fully auto mode. Select a mode with more manual control offerings will help you to have more control over the flash.
In many DSLR cameras, you’re going to be able to control the intensity of the external flash unit but this unit must be compatible with the camera. Commonly, you can make adjustments on the flash intensity in the range of equal to 1/32nd of full power. The image quality can be affected by those adjustments, especially for photos shot over very short distances, so learn the right way to make use of this aspect to make sure that you will achieve the great results.