a580 to a99 - Crazy to upgrade? or go with an a77?

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Joseph T Lewis III Veteran Member • Posts: 3,379
Re: Are You Sure The Flash Is Working Properly?

MikeNannie wrote:

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:

You said: "Most disappointing is indoor flash photography. It's always been a struggle using my older Minolta cameras and also with my new a580. I honestly don't know if it's me, or my equipment, but I'm tired of blurry images, or blown out flash shots of family members. I've tried about everything to get better flash shots, with moderate success, but very inconsistent results."

You really shouldn't have to "always struggle" to get decent indoor shots of family members with an external flash the way you say you do.    If used properly, a good external flash that's working the way it's supposed to will give you very nice images, in many cases better than you'd get without one even when using a camera that is good in low-light situations.

Perhaps it might be worthwhile to rent or borrow a newer flash made expressly for digital cameras and see if that makes a difference??  I realize that the HS 5600 flash is supposed to work OK with digital cameras, but there might be something wrong with it.

Just a thought...


Tom, I've wondered exactly that with my 5600 flash. I remember having issues with my 7D too, but that was a well know problem with the 7D - not a good flash camera.  thanks.

Don't get me wrong, buying a new camera is a wonderful thing if you have the money to do so.  But, it would be a shame to upgrade to a nice new SLT and still not be able to get decent flash shots.

I suggest you try a different flash and see what happens.  If you do have to replace the flash with a new one made for digital cameras, you certainly won't lose anything...you can use the new flash on the 580, or whatever you ultimately replace it with.

I had barely touched my external FL42AM flash other than a few test shots in the house, until I was pressed into service to shoot a low budget wedding (I didn't want to but it was either I do it, or the family would rely purely on friends' cell phones and point and shoots).  So, I was starting pretty much at ground zero, knowledge and experience wise.

However, I was lucky, in that noted photographer and author Gary Friedman gave me some key hints via this forum:  leave the camera in P mode (ISO set to 800 or less), flash in AUTO, flash head pointed straight up with a white piece of paper behind it to reflect the flash forward.  He emphasized NOT trying aperture or shutter mode because things changed around so rapidly at a wedding...he said that when he shot weddings for money he used the same approach he suggested for me.  Other than accidentally setting the ISO to 1600, and using a Rogue Flashbender card instead of white paper, I dutifully followed his advice.  Here are a few of my pics.  They aren't world class by any means, but they were certainly good enough to make the family happy.

In a small dressing room

Vaulted ceiling maybe 10-11 feet high

 Joseph T Lewis III's gear list:Joseph T Lewis III's gear list
Canon PowerShot G7 X Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-PL7 Olympus PEN-F Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +8 more
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