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Old Apr 20, 2011, 11:49 AM   #21
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Wow...now I'm really confused. I looked at my manual and Jim is right. It states:

Flash sync speed X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 or slower

I think for now I'll just see if I can find a used sb-400 for less than $100 and practice basic flash techniques. I'll decide later if I really need more than that.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 12:02 PM   #22
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A 1/200 second x-sync speed is typical for cameras in that class. You'll see the same limitations with other brands *unless* you're using a flash model with support for HSS (a.k.a., FP Mode).

But, as already pointed out by DigMe, it looks like the D5000 won't support HSS (even if the flash you're using does support it). So, something like the Di622 Mk II already suggested may be a good bet with it, and would give you some features you don't get with the SB400 (including much greater power for bouncing).

That is odd (no support for HSS with the D5000 if you're using a flash with that feature).

AFAIK, *all* Sony, Olympus and Canon dSLR models allow HSS with a compatible flash that supports it (and I suspect Pentax models do as well, but I don't keep up with them as much). But, that doesn't appear to be the case with the entry level Nikon models (no support for HSS, regardless if your flash supports it or not).

Now, wireless flash using the built in flash as a commander is a bit trickier. AFAIK, all Sony and Olympus models support that feature, and lately, more Canon models do (for example, Canon included that feature with the new T3i).

But, with Nikon bodies, that feature appears to be missing on some of their entry level models unless you buy a separate commander unit (or flash that can act as one) for them.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 12:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdaman1 View Post
Wow...now I'm really confused. I looked at my manual and Jim is right. It states:

Flash sync speed X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 or slower

Why are you confused? 1/200 is the max sync speed.

It could be worse... I believe the max sync speed of the Canon 5D MKII with normal flash is 1/160 (you could go into HSS but then you lose significant flash power). At the Flashbus tour I met a guy with a Sony dSLR and his max sync speed was even lower. Maybe 1/120th or maybe even 1/80<?>. Can't remember exactly but it was SLOW.

brad
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 12:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
AFAIK, *all* Sony, Olympus and Canon dSLR models allow HSS with a compatible flash that supports it (and I suspect Pentax models do as well, but I don't keep up with them as much). But, that doesn't appear to be the case with the entry level Nikon models (no support for HSS, regardless if your flash supports it or not).
I believe that this is not correct. I may be wrong but I think the Canon 60D doesn't offer HSS.

I don't know about all the other brands.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 12:53 PM   #25
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It's 1/200 for the EOS 5D Mark II.

With some Sony models, it depends on whether or not you're using the built in stabilization. For example, my A700 has an x-sync speed of 1/250 second with stabilization turned on, or 1/200 second with it turned off. Ditto for the Sony A850 and A900. All of the current entry level models below that have an x-sync speed of 1/160 second.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, 1/200 is typical. Only when you get into Pro Level bodies do you see anything a lot faster.

BUT (and I think this part is what you're missing), if you use a flash model with support for High Speed Sync, *all* of the Olympus, Sony and Canon models can sync with one up to the fastest shutter speed supported by their camera (usually anywhere from 1/2000 to 1/4000 second with most models, with some pro level models supporting even faster shutter speeds).

That's what's missing on the entry level Nikon bodies (no HSS, even if you're using a flash with that feature, and most camera manufacturers' external flash models will support High Speed Sync).
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 12:58 PM   #26
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I believe that this is not correct. I may be wrong but I think the Canon 60D doesn't offer HSS.
Sure it does, *if* you use a flash that has support for it (430EX, 580EX, etc.)

AFAIK, *all* Olympus, Sony and Canon dSLR models support High Speed Sync with a compatible, hot shoe mounted flash that has HSS support (and most camera manufacturers' external flashes have that feature now).

Frankly, I was surprised to learn (in this thread) that the entry level Nikon bodies don't support that feature with an external flash (SB-600, etc.), even when the flash models have that feature.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 1:03 PM   #27
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P.S.

Now, wireless HSS support is a bit trickier.

Some models may not support HSS via an off camera flash, and some models will.

But, if you're talking about a shoe mounted flash, all Sony, Olympus and Canon dSLR models will support HSS with a flash that has that feature (and most camera manufacturers' flashes do support HSS/FP mode).
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 1:44 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
BUT (and I think this part is what you're missing), if you use a flash model with support for High Speed Sync, *all* of the Olympus, Sony and Canon models can sync with one up to the fastest shutter speed supported by their camera (usually anywhere from 1/2000 to 1/4000 second with most models, with some pro level models supporting even faster shutter speeds).
I'm not missing that part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigMe
(you could go into HSS but then you lose significant flash power).
That's the tradeoff. I would definitely love to have HSS but there is a tradeoff there.

brad
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 1:48 PM   #29
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FYI - D5100 owner on another forum just confirmed for me what the Nikon spec. sheet says - pop-up flash does not work as a commander.

brad
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 1:54 PM   #30
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There's a flash range tradeoff if you need to stop down your aperture to get your shutter speeds slow enough so that you don't exceed the x-sync speed limit, too. ;-)

For example, if you need to shoot at f/5.6 versus f2.8, then your flash range is cut in half for the same ISO speed. Flash range = GN / f-stop number at the rated ISO speed (usually either ISO 100 or ISO 200).

Yes, you lose some range with HSS because of the way it pulses the light over a longer duration. But, you can shoot with wider apertures in bright lighting to help your subject stand out from distracting backgrounds if you have that feature.

But, if you don't have HSS, you may need to use smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers) in some brighter conditions to stay within the x-sync speed limitations (and stopping down your aperture also decreases flash range).

In most conditions, it's not going to be a big deal. But, if you're trying to shoot at wider apertures in bright light, your shutter speeds may exceed the x-sync speed limitations if you're not using a flash with HSS. So, it's better to have that feature and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

I had no idea that Nikon didn't include HSS support (with a compatible external flash) on their entry level models until you pointed out in this thread. Odd, since other manufacturers do have that feature.
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