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Old Nov 18, 2006, 2:42 AM   #1
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Hello,

I have had my E500 for a few weeks now. So far so good. The owners manual is...well....difficult to understand I guess. I have used :



http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/e500-using.html

and

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/index.html



with great success in figuring out different functions, settings, etc....



My problem is with the flash. I have the automatic pop up disabled. When I use it indoors, at night, or otherwise need a flash, every time it fires it seems to be in red eye mode. It strobes 2-4 times before it will focus and be ready for a picture. I thought I read somewhere along the way that this was an automatic red eye feature that could be turned off, but I can't find where to turn it off.



Any ideas? Is this the normal flash for the E500? I have yet to have a problem with red eyes, but it also blinds everyone and isn't discreet when taking pictures in crowds. I was hoping to find a way to disable it. Maybe I just have it on the wrong setting, but so far I'm stumped and I figured this was the best place to ask.



Thanks!
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 9:38 AM   #2
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Hi Mike!
I don't use the pop-up flash at all (I use the FL-36) but I think what you are experiencing is the "auto focus assist lamp" firing to help the camera focus in low light conditions and has nothing to do with red-eye mode. Unless you focus manually, the auto focus assist is essential in very low light conditions but it can be shut off. Check out "AF Illuminator" on the top of page 75 in your manual.

This is a quote from a review at Digtal Camera Resource Page:

"While there's no dedicated AF-assist lamp on the camera, if you pop up the built-in flash, the camera will use it as a focusing aid. Best of all you can set up the camera to not take a flash picture in that situation, unlike some other D-SLRs. If you're using an Olympus external flash, the camera will use the AF-assist lamp on that."

Also this from Wrotniak:

"I found that the E-300 AF system works significantly better (faster, more reliable) when using this feature than when using the built-in flash as AF illuminator. While writing this article I took a series of E-300 full-aperture pictures of my toilet bowl in a completely dark bathroom (let me spare you the samples), and all ended up being in good focus. With the built-in flash providing the AF illumination, the system sometimes had to repeat the process two or three times."

As you may notice, Wrotniak seems to indicate that the pop up flash's AF illuminator function (in comparison to the FL-36) sometimes has trouble getting it right and needs to repeat several times which sounds like what you are going through.

If you like to take a lot of flash shots, you might consider getting the FL-36. It is not really designed for professional use, but for us mere mortals, it is a wonderful flash unit that perfectly integrates with the E series cameras. Check out what Wrotniak says about it.

Hope this helps.



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Old Nov 18, 2006, 1:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
When I use it indoors, at night, or otherwise need a flash, every time it fires it seems to be in red eye mode. It strobes 2-4 times before it will focus and be ready for a picture. I thought I read somewhere along the way that this was an automatic red eye feature that could be turned off, but I can't find where to turn it off.
BEFORE it will focus is the focus illuminator...in order to focus the camera needs a certain amount of light becuase it uses contrast detection (the difference between light and dark, explained on page 27 of the manual).

If the camera doesn't detect a difference in contrast, and the scene is dark, if you have the focus illuminator not switched off, it will strobe the flash so the camera has enough light to detect focus (briefly explained on page 75).

For people who find this feature annoying can disable the AF Illuminator (p75), use manual focus, or use an external flash like the FL-36 or FL-50 which have a less annoying illuminator (a red light).

While I also use the FL-36 with my E-300, you should consider your shooting style...if you do a lot of flash photography and don't like waiting for the flash recharge you should look at the FL-50 as it has a faster recharge time and more power output.
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 1:40 PM   #4
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Done!!!

Thank you for the quick responses. I didn't think it was really a red eye feature, but hte flash style was similar. It makes sense now.

I got it turned off now. If I run into focusing problems, at least I know I can turn it back on. I plan on getting an external flash eventually, most likely the FL 36.

Thanks again!!!


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