Flash
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Flash

Many interchangeable lens cameras have flashes that you, the user, must pop up yourself if you wish to use them. General rule of thumb? If your photos are coming out too dark, too blurry or too grainy, pop up the flash. The camera should know to use it when it's popped up and you're in an automatic mode.

On some cameras, such as Nikon and Canon models, the camera will choose for you whether to pop the flash up or not. They're often wrong about this, particularly with subjects that are very far away (the flash isn't that powerful). However, if you are shooting a photograph of a person on a bright day with the sun overhead, the flash pop will fill in some shadows on your subject's face - this is called 'Fill Flash,' and it's usually a good thing. The flash can also handy if you're trying to take family photos indoors and are getting blurry or grainy results.

In any case, those flash-happy Canon and Nikon models have a setting right next to the 'Auto' setting on the mode dial, that looks like a crossed-out lightning bolt. That's the same automatic mode as before, but the camera will refrain from popping up the flash at all.