G1 and external flash?

Started May 24, 2001 | Discussions
a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
G1 and external flash?

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have any problem?

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to change in the camera?

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Thanks.
--a l b e r t

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joe filer Senior Member • Posts: 2,934
Re: G1 and external flash?

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions
regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can
manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have
any problem?

Others "in the know" caution to avoid 3rd party flashes with high voltage across the flash shoe. Here is a good link to start: http://www.botzilla.com/photo/G1strobe.html

You need to verify that the flash you are considering has low voltage (

I opted to avoid potential problems and purchased the Canon 420EX. It works very well, giving complete bounce control and the future cabability of remote slave.

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash
is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to
change in the camera?

The internal flash is turned off whenever an external flash is attached (regardless of whether it is powered on or not). As far as I know, you can not override this feature.
If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached
be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?
When external flash is attached, the internal flash off/on is inactivated.
Thanks.

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Sunil Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: G1 and external flash?

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have any problem?

I have a Canon compatible 5 point flash that works fine on my EOS 5QD (A2E) but does NOT work on the G1. I had to get a 420ex.

Haven't tried any other 3 point contact flashes.

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to change in the camera?

As far as I can tell, it is turned of automatically.

Haven't detected any "settings" to be applied.

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Haven't checked this one as the internal falsh is turned off auto. (as above). Well you can turn off the external flash by switching it off ?

OP a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: G1 and external flash?

Others "in the know" caution to avoid 3rd party flashes with high voltage across the flash shoe. Here is a good link to start: http://www.botzilla.com/photo/G1strobe.html

You need to verify that the flash you are considering has low
voltage (
damage your G1.

Thanks for the link. I had an old National (Panasonic) flash that I used for my Nikon SLR. I measured the voltage, and is about 8.5V. So I guess it is safe to be used on the G1.

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Steve Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: G1 and external flash?

Check out this post

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&page=2&message=1084058

It's quite long but a number of people have reported problems getting third party flashes to work properly with the G while others have had no problems. You may want to read all 100+ posts.

I spent a quick 20 minutes a couple of days ago and couldn't get a G! to fire any third party device thru the contact pin. There may be some circuitry that dictates that the dedication pins must be active for the hot shoe contact pin to fire.

Do you some research and testing before you buy. I'm going to try and do some further testing this weekend.

Steve H

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions
regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can
manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have
any problem?

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash
is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to
change in the camera?

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached
be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Thanks.

Yu-Lin Chan Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: G1 and external flash?

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions

I think it would help if you do a search on flash on this forum. This topic has been talked about many times.

regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can
manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have
any problem?

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash
is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to
change in the camera?

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached
be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Thanks.

OP a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: G1 and external flash?

It was a very long post, I didn't read all.

But it'd seems that Canon said it should work with 3rd party flash yet it didn't. Was that the final verdict?

Yu-Lin Chan wrote:

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions

I think it would help if you do a search on flash on this forum.
This topic has been talked about many times.

regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can
manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have
any problem?

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash
is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to
change in the camera?

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached
be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Thanks.

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Michael w Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: G1 and external flash?

That's correct, and Canon is not planning on addressing the problem. Check this out...

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&page=1&message=1108308

a l b e r t wrote:

It was a very long post, I didn't read all.

But it'd seems that Canon said it should work with 3rd party flash
yet it didn't. Was that the final verdict?

fred New Member • Posts: 23
Re: G1 and external flash?

Check the following site.
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/G1strobe.html

a l b e r t wrote:
It was a very long post, I didn't read all.

But it'd seems that Canon said it should work with 3rd party flash
yet it didn't. Was that the final verdict?

Yu-Lin Chan wrote:

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions

I think it would help if you do a search on flash on this forum.
This topic has been talked about many times.

regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can
manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have
any problem?

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash
is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to
change in the camera?

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached
be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Thanks.

Michael w Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: G1 and external flash?

When you read this article make sure to pay close attention to the topic "Wide Angle Mis-Timing". From my own testing I see the same problem is all zoom settings, not necessarily wide angle. Problem severity varies greatly between different G1's, so don't assume your G1 will behave exactly the same as someoneelse's

fred wrote:
Check the following site.
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/G1strobe.html

a l b e r t wrote:
It was a very long post, I didn't read all.

But it'd seems that Canon said it should work with 3rd party flash
yet it didn't. Was that the final verdict?

Yu-Lin Chan wrote:

a l b e r t wrote:

I plan on getting a G1. Before I do, I've a few questions

I think it would help if you do a search on flash on this forum.
This topic has been talked about many times.

regarding the use of external flash:

Can I use any 3rd party external flash other than Canon's? I can
manually set the external flash, but other than that, would I have
any problem?

If I have some non-Canon external flash setup, the build-in flash
is turned off automatically, right? Or is this a setting I need to
change in the camera?

If I set flash off in the camera, would the external flash attached
be turned off, or does this just affect the internal flash only?

Thanks.

OP a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: G1 and external flash?

So there is a work around for 3rd party flashes? If the workaround works consistently, then it is not too big of a deal then.

fred wrote:

Check the following site.
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/G1strobe.html

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Steve Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: G1 and external flash?

Bottom line, so far this problem or lack there of is very inconsistent. Heed Michael's warning with all due respect. Some people have had no problems. Others have never been able to make it work and it's not because they're incompetent. You're going to have to test this for yourself.

Steve H

a l b e r t wrote:
So there is a work around for 3rd party flashes? If the workaround
works consistently, then it is not too big of a deal then.

fred wrote:

Check the following site.
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/G1strobe.html

Peter T Senior Member • Posts: 1,272
Re: G1 and external flash?

The significance of the problem depends on how you use your camera and flash. I read the info on the botzilla site prior to purchasing my G1 and thought that the flash situation was ok. Once I got the camera I realized that none of the various workarounds work for my needs.

However, I have found a workaround that is bearable in my situation. I use the internal flash to trigger the optical slave on my flash and use a business card about 1/2" in front of the internal flash to keep it from lighting the subject but still allow it to trigger the slave. I am shooting with the camera in manual mode.

There is no problem in aperture or shutter priority mode. How the camera assumes that you are using the flash for fill and sets the shutter/aperture based on an ambient light reading.

Peter T Senior Member • Posts: 1,272
Re: G1 and external flash?

Peter T wrote:

There is no problem in aperture or shutter priority mode. How the
camera assumes that you are using the flash for fill and sets the
shutter/aperture based on an ambient light reading.

The above should read:
There is no problem in aperture or shutter priority mode. but the
camera assumes that you are using the flash for fill and sets the
shutter/aperture based on an ambient light reading.

OP a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: G1 and external flash?

Does it imply the shots will be overexposed? Would EV adjustment cause the G1 to think differently? Let say I try to take a flash shot with someone during dinner with a 100W incadescent bulb. Would A or S priority work properly with external flash?

Peter T wrote:

Peter T wrote:

There is no problem in aperture or shutter priority mode. How the
camera assumes that you are using the flash for fill and sets the
shutter/aperture based on an ambient light reading.

The above should read:
There is no problem in aperture or shutter priority mode. but the
camera assumes that you are using the flash for fill and sets the
shutter/aperture based on an ambient light reading.

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Peter T Senior Member • Posts: 1,272
Re: G1 and external flash?

I only tried this once and the shot was properly exposed. But I was using a flash meter. Exposure compensation can be used the aperture/shutter.

One concern if you are taking candid shots is the shutter speed. It is also a concern if the shot is handheld.

You say you can manually set the flash. Does that mean you can control it's output? If so, how? Most people use flash where you set the guide number and distance and I don't have that type of flash.

a l b e r t wrote:

Does it imply the shots will be overexposed? Would EV adjustment
cause the G1 to think differently? Let say I try to take a flash
shot with someone during dinner with a 100W incadescent bulb.
Would A or S priority work properly with external flash?

OP a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: G1 and external flash?

My old National flash has 5 power level settings plus a DA mode for the small fill-in flash in front.

If I use shutter priority at 1/125s or 1/500s, I can use EV in conjunction with flash power output, so this whole thing would work for me? If I want more ambient light, then I can set shutter to 1/60s or lower?

Peter T wrote:

I only tried this once and the shot was properly exposed. But I was
using a flash meter. Exposure compensation can be used the
aperture/shutter.

One concern if you are taking candid shots is the shutter speed. It
is also a concern if the shot is handheld.

You say you can manually set the flash. Does that mean you can
control it's output? If so, how? Most people use flash where you
set the guide number and distance and I don't have that type of
flash.

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Peter T Senior Member • Posts: 1,272
Re: G1 and external flash?

How are you going to determine what setting to put the flash on? One great thing about a digicam is that you get immediate feedback and can adjust accordingly. But in some situations you don't have the luxury of experimenting.

Have you used this flash on a camera in this type of situation before? If so, how did you use it?

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