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Old Oct 18, 2006, 8:47 PM   #1
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Hello all,

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Recently, I purchased my first DSLR -- Pentax K100D. Now, I am starting to toy with the idea of getting an external flash. However, I've never used one of these before, so its a little bit difficult for me to imagine what impact such an accessory would have on my photography. What are the advantages of an external flash? When is it useful?

Also, since we're on the topic, what flasheswould you recommend for my new camera?

- Bpp
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 11:38 AM   #2
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Well, think about the built-in flash for a moment. What does it do? It helps illuminate a dark area. But a concentrated light source on top of the camera can produce 2 things that are undesirable:

1) unnatural looking lighting.
2) harsh shadows.

A designated flash unit can help solve those two issues, because most of them will have bounce flash capability. A flash that bounces off the wall implies that the wall becomes the new light source for your picture. The light source is no longer so concentrated so it could help illuminate a very large area (which will help illuminate the background) and, at the same time, reduce harsh shadows.

If you want to have some fun and create interesting lighting effects, then you can have several flash units and try a wireless setup.

When comparing a flash unit to a built in flash, a flash unit requires its own batteries, so you're not draining the camera's battery. The flash unit is much more powerful (good if your subject is far away) and will cover a larger focal range.

I'm a Canon user, so I have the 580EX (Canon's current top model) and the Sigma 500 DG Super. The Sigma flash also comes in a Pentax version. The Sigma has poor build quality, but it's a very good performer and I got it for half the price of the 580EX. If cheap build doesn't bother you, I would recommend the Sigma 500 DG Super. I've heard that older models had issues so try to avoid them.
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 2:04 PM   #3
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BoYFrMSpC wrote:
Quote:
Well, think about the built-in flash for a moment. What does it do? It helps illuminate a dark area. But a concentrated light source on top of the camera can produce 2 things that are undesirable:

1) unnatural looking lighting.
2) harsh shadows.
I'll add one more undesirable and that is red eye, because the built in flash is so close to the lens, your chances of getting red eye are increased. A hot shoe flash raises the flash higher above the lens and reduces the chance of red eye.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 8:05 PM   #4
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Cool, thanks for the replies. Based on this information, I don`t think that I need one of these at this time.

- Bpp
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