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YorkshireTaff Apr 9, 2005 2:19 PM

Hi All,

I'm sorry to be asking yet another seemingly easy question. After 25 years of photography I feel like a newbie with the Z3.

All I want is for the flash to flash once when it takes a photo. Seems an easy thing to want? It seems in any exposure mode or flash mode (I think I've tried every combination possible) the flash fires twice. When in red-eye mode the flashes are far apart as expected, but when not in red-eye mode they are very close together. I'm wanting to sync with an external flash using a flash sensor to fire it. i.e. the Z3 flashes, sets of the big flash = loads of light.

Am I going mad, does the Z3 only do double flashes or am I a complete twonk and should lock myself in a padded room?



Mato34 Apr 9, 2005 5:33 PM

I think that it's the same than in my Z2, and it seems that the first little flash (say pre-flash) is used to calculate flash intensity, in order to avoid burn subject or under-exposure scene.

But I'm not sure about this. Maybe somebody could say something about it?


RC18T Apr 9, 2005 7:47 PM


my Z3 never double flashes

try reseting the camera to default settings and see if that helps ?

YorkshireTaff Apr 10, 2005 1:09 AM

The actual pre-flash is very very quick and sometime indistinguishable from the main flash. I've tried the reset and it's definately the same. The time laspe between pre and main flash in red-eye mode is very long in comparison.

YorkshireTaff Apr 10, 2005 1:23 AM

Found it...

It is a pre-flash for TTL metering, so no problem with the camera, just my attempt at a cheaper flash solution than buying a Minolta dedicated flash.

Thanks for the replies.


Nols Apr 10, 2005 1:25 AM

I haven't noticed that with my Z3's flash (I'll check). Anyway, the real question is - How does this affect your shots?

YorkshireTaff Apr 10, 2005 1:34 AM

The TTL pre-flash just sets the camera's exposure. In an SLR the TTL flash exposure is set by the light reflecting off the film after the mirror is up and the shutter open. This is possible because the shutter speed compared to the flash speed is very long, so no pre-flash is necessary. I assume they can't emulate this system with the Z3 hence the pre-flash. The normal flash method (and cheaper) is not to use TTL but a separate sensor, normally next to the flash head. TTL is the preferred and more accurate.

Concidering the lack of power on the Z3 flash, it seems a bit of a wasted feature for Minolta to put on this model. A bigger flash would have been better.

KCan Apr 16, 2005 10:46 AM

You are refering to the traditionnal "auto" flash mode . Many flash manufacturer (SR electronics, Olympus, Phoenix , etc ...)offer slave flash for digital cameras (they ignore the preflash). These slave flash can have manual or auto mode settings just like "normal" external flashes. There were many threads about this subject in the external flash forums.

Myself, I use a normal external flash triggered by a cell, via a home made counter that ignore the first-secend-third preflash.

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