Awful pics using the flash in FZ150

Started Oct 18, 2012 | Discussions
bimbobo
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Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
Oct 18, 2012

I had to take some pics with the FZ 150.

It was in low light with 2 lamps in the room. I tried P,S,A mode and the built-in flash. The result was a disaster.

Either everything was blown up, white and lacking all details, or dark and underexposed as h***.

The only way to take a decent pic was in IA mode.

I tried flash settings too,.. lower, higher nothing IA mode was the deal.

I like the quality of the pics a lot in general, but the flash.. is useless.

Any suggestion? I have also an external flash to mount, I will test that too.

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chillgreg
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 18, 2012

Try raising the ISO to 400 or 800 using P.

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bimbobo
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to chillgreg, Oct 18, 2012

Why should this be better?

I thought that the flash could give me the chance to have a lower ISO and reduce the noise.

I will try that. But why is it better in IA mode?

Thanks in advance

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SwatOx
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 18, 2012

Suggestion: look at the EXIF when you shoot iAuto and then more-or-less mimic those settings.

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Mirfak
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 18, 2012

bimbobo wrote:

I had to take some pics with the FZ 150.

It was in low light with 2 lamps in the room. I tried P,S,A mode and the built-in flash. The result was a disaster.

Either everything was blown up, white and lacking all details, or dark and underexposed as h***.

The only way to take a decent pic was in IA mode.

I tried flash settings too,.. lower, higher nothing IA mode was the deal.

I like the quality of the pics a lot in general, but the flash.. is useless.

Any suggestion? I have also an external flash to mount, I will test that too.

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Ignorant photograph beginner

You have a few options:

1) Try using negative flash exposure compensation (FEC). If you find that the lighting is still too harsh, then you should investigate option (2).

2) Invest in an on-camera flash diffuser. Search for Professor Kobre's Lightscoop, Gary Fong Puffer, and LumiQuest SoftScreen. With any of these, you can also use FEC for maximum flexibility. These diffusers are designed with DSLRs in mind, but they may also work with the FZ150.

3) Use an external flash bounced on the ceiling.

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trekkeruss
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 18, 2012

You may find this video helpful: http://youtu.be/GxO0gMfek1g

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A Girard
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 18, 2012

Posting pics is always recommended. Your metering, your background, flash intensity, distance from flash to subject etc etc.....can have influence the outcome.

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John Miles
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to Mirfak, Oct 18, 2012

I like the sound of your option 1.

If we were to try and mimic the OP's problems on our cameras, we'd have to set FEC to plus max and take some shots before the flash had charged. The lower ISO will be thumping the flash out, extending recharge times.

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The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright Leica 35-420mm lens that's this good: http://www.flickr.com/groups/panasonicfz50/pool/show (some real gems in there). With the FZ200 performance so good, I live in hope that Mr Ichiro Kitao has triggered the update to the FZ50. Our desire for IQ was taking us in the wrong direction. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=42366095

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John Miles
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to chillgreg, Oct 18, 2012

I find your avatar totally startling when it pops up as I float the cursor over messages.

Good choice

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The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright Leica 35-420mm lens that's this good: http://www.flickr.com/groups/panasonicfz50/pool/show (some real gems in there). With the FZ200 performance so good, I live in hope that Mr Ichiro Kitao has triggered the update to the FZ50. Our desire for IQ was taking us in the wrong direction. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=42366095

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bimbobo
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to John Miles, Oct 19, 2012

The exif info are here..

This how IA mode took the pics..

I tried 100 and 200 ISO and but not 0.66EV as it was already too harsh when I tried in A P S mode.

I used also Spot and Center metering and not Multi Segment but the issue was the "light" not the focus imho. So maybe somebody can explain simply what is wrong.

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carl english
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to A Girard, Oct 19, 2012

Shot last week using flash in iA mode

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Tootsall
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to carl english, Oct 19, 2012

I got this picture of my Dad's Yorkie last week.   Some light cropping on 12 mp jpg to get rid of a bit of background.  ev -0.3, flash -1, P mode.  FZ-150.  Distance approx. 4'  I would have expected a bit of blowout in the hair but haven't found any (yet).

Haylee

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Jerry045
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 19, 2012

Bimbobo:

Straight on flash pictures tend to be very flat. The lighting is often quite harsh, and the biggest problem putting the flash an inch above the lens is red eye.

I found the very best flash pictures I have taken was using an external flash pointed up towards the ceiling at about a 45 degree angle and using a diffuser to spread the light around. Using a TTL flash, you get the right exposure and you get modelling around the subject's features eliminating that flat look.

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RevsCam
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to Jerry045, Oct 20, 2012

Jerry045 wrote:

Bimbobo:

Straight on flash pictures tend to be very flat. The lighting is often quite harsh, and the biggest problem putting the flash an inch above the lens is red eye.

I found the very best flash pictures I have taken was using an external flash pointed up towards the ceiling at about a 45 degree angle and using a diffuser to spread the light around. Using a TTL flash, you get the right exposure and you get modelling around the subject's features eliminating that flat look.

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Jerry

I agree. Years ago I bought a cheap flash for my analog SLR. Its a Sunpak 144PC and it has a swivel head for bounce. One sets the ISO on the flash and it tells you what f-stop to use. Put the FZ150 in aperture priority mode, set the f-stop and fire away. I can set the head at 60 or 90 degrees for bounce. This requires increasing the f-stop some.

The thing to worry about with some of the old flash units is the trigger voltage. This is the voltage between the rail and center pin when the flash is charged up. If you don't have it, you can measure it with a multimeter. A safe voltage is around 6 volts or so. Some older flash units are well over 100V.

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Jerry045
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to Jerry045, Oct 20, 2012

Rev makes a good point. You need to be careful with older flashes.

I suggest looking at the dedicated flashes for Panasonic or Olympus that are TTL. The camera will talk to the flash, and when it thinks it has accumulated enough light it instructs the flash to turn off, giving you the proper exposure. It saves having to preset your aperture on the manual flash. There are a series of flashes in the $100 range that will work nicely with your camera.

My preference is a tilt and zoom flash that uses 4 batteries. It recharges faster between shors than the two battery models, Rokinon, Vivitar, Sunpack, Metz and others all make suitable models. The tilt feature lets you use a bounce flash when you turn the camera for a vertical shot.

The ciamera circuitry is the same for Panasonic and Olympus so the flashes will interchange. Nikon and Canon flashes will not work automatically on your camera.

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carl english
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to Jerry045, Oct 20, 2012

I have 2 old Metz twin head guns that I intended to sell, however a couple of weeks ago tried them on the FZ150 and they worked fine, so decided to keep for now.

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Tootsall
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to bimbobo, Oct 20, 2012

bimbobo wrote:

The exif info are here..

This how IA mode took the pics..

I tried 100 and 200 ISO and but not 0.66EV as it was already too harsh when I tried in A P S mode.

I used also Spot and Center metering and not Multi Segment but the issue was the "light" not the focus imho. So maybe somebody can explain simply what is wrong.

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Ignorant photograph beginner

Bimbobo, something I just noticed about your information: when I switch my FZ150 from P/A/S/M to iA, the ev always reverts to 0.  Did you crank up the ev in iA to 0.66 deliberately?  That could explain the blowouts.  I never use iA and always have my ev set at -0.33 or -0.66 (unless using ev bracketing or am in very dim light and don't want to use the flash)...when using flash I stay with a negative ev setting and, depending upon how much flash I need, adjust the flash intensity instead.  If I am in a large space (read "longer distance to subject") I may crank up the ev (less than +1) and the flash into positive territory.   I leave ISO at 100 most of the time but if light is lower (and no flash being used) then I'll go on auto ISO with max = 200 or 400 (mostly depends on where I used it last!).

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bimbobo
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Re: Awful pics using the flash in FZ150
In reply to Tootsall, Oct 26, 2012

I have the cam set to max 400ISO

No I did not change the EV in PSAM or IA..

I found out that the reason of the blow, was something in the flash settings.

I took more pictures and it's a bit better, but still not excellent. I will try with the external I have (Soligor).. let's see if it help pointing it at the ceiling as the head is adjustable

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