Eric & Terry
Thank you very much for the info. It is valuable. I understand about 75% of it, but the rest I will read about in my books and on the NET. I definitely understand the depth of field point you were making, Eric. It makes a ton of sense. I also have noticed that manual mode is just too much work, asTerry stated,especially when you want to get a "qucik" shot. Maybe for portraits it may come in handy. Next step is to put these tipsinto practice and do some experimenting!
I actually find Manual to be the easiest and quickest mode to usefor indoor flash photography. For example, if you take "around the house" type candidsIuse 1/250s and ISO200 (leave them there) and set the aperature to get the depth of field I want.Also, I find with my 20D that images are always a bit underexposed with flash, so I use +2/3 flash exposure compensation as a start. To me, it's the use of FEC and FEL that are the keys to good flash photography, not whether you are using Man, Av or Tv.
The most important thing to understand is that the camera light meter is used for determining the background exposureNOT the subject exposure. Proper exposure of the subject is taken care of by ETTL/ETTL II. So,
- set the shutterspeed to prevent blur from subject motion or camera shake
- set the aperature to get the depth of field you want
- use FEC (and FEL) to help control flash power in the event that ETTL/ETTL II doesn't get the subject exposure quite right
- understand the limitations of your flash, such as the relationship between aperature, ISO and range.
For around the house (small rooms) where I'm taking B'day party type "quick" snapshots I'd set my camera in Man with 1/250s, f6.3, ISO200 and +2/3 FEC, and wouldn't change the settings for the entire event (except maybe FEC which I find can range anywhere from +2/3 to +1 1/3).
No matter what mode I use, I put my camera away with +2/3 FEC dialed in. After some correspondence with Canon they confirmed thatETTL II underexposes a bitby design.