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Old Dec 28, 2010, 9:47 AM   #1
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Default A question about flash

I'm new to dSLR cameras, so I don't know much. I have an Olympus e-450, and when I try to take a picture of my dog with all the auto settings on, the camera flashes like 6 times when trying to focus, then it takes the picture. This often scares my dog, and I can't get a good picture... but when I turn flash off, the lighting isn't good enough for a decent picture. Is there anything I can do to lessen all those flashes to get a good picture of my dog?
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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I'm not for sure when I say this but, I believe that since it doesn't have an Auto-focus assist light, it uses the flash to provide light for the camera to focus.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:43 AM   #3
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Is there a way I can manually focus it, do you think?
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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You really need to get one of the accessory flash units. The FL36R being the most economical Olympus unit in terms of price.

That flashing is the cameras' flash system assisting for focus, which is a royal PITA.

The FL36R uses a near-infrared AF assist light that does not strobe and will not scare your dog.

The only other thing to keep in mind if you buy the flash is, TTL flash does require a pre-flash to set the exposure, which can sometimes lead to both animals and people blinking when the exposure is actually taken, so you have to change from TTL flash to non-TTL auto, which is shown on the flash modes as "auto". That will eliminate the pre-flash and give you pictures of your dog with his/her eyes open if TTL flash causes them to close.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rawrkayx View Post
Is there a way I can manually focus it, do you think?
You could try that. You also need to turn the AF assist option off in the menu or the cameras' flash will probably still try to "help".

Otherwise, an accessory flash I noted in my other response is probably still the best option if you can swing it.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:54 AM   #6
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The on-board flash units on dslr cameras, to me, don't do much, other than drive your subjects nuts as they incessantly flash until the camera gets enough light to focus the lens. Pets really don't like it anymore than kids.

The options are to get an external flash which works a whole lot better, but cost about 150bucks used

2- take photos of your pets or subjects outside in better light or


the 3rd option is to take the E-450 out of Auto and use another mode. until you get comfortable with your camera, I would suggest you try using P or program mode. Program mode is a bit of a compromise, in that it allows you to change a lot of the settings, but still has the camera control the aperture and shutter speed.

Since you mentioned the lens was 'hunting' to get into focus there wasn't enough light. Try Program mode, then increase the ISO setting to a higher number, say 500. Then look thru the viewfinder, press the shutter half way and see if the lens will focus okay.

Depending on how little light there is in the room, you may have to increase the ISO to a higher number.

(note suggestions eliminates the use of the flash entirely)

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Old Dec 28, 2010, 11:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
The on-board flash units on dslr cameras, to me, don't do much, other than drive your subjects nuts

Zig
This is all true for photos where there's not enough light and the flash is required. But I want to say for the record, that I often use the on-camera flash and rarely use the FL-50.

I use the on-camera flash as a fill light when I'm shooting a back-lit subject in daylight, or to eliminate shadows. It works really well in the E-3; here's an example (1963 VW Double Cab):



To make this photo better than it is, would have taken a lot more gear (flash heads, reflectors, etc.). That simple pop-up flash did just fine, thank you.

I'm not disagreeing with anything anyone has said in this thread, just saying that everyone who decides to ignore the on-camera flash is likely to miss an opportunity where it can make a difference in a photo.

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Last edited by tkurkowski; Dec 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 12:16 PM   #8
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Outdoors, absolutely. I've used the on-board flash outdoors with great results. Combined with the ambient light you get outside and no walls to create nasty shadows, and the fact you almost never have a redeye issue outdoors with the built-in flash, it works great as a fill source, but you also rarely have an issue needing the flash to do the af assist-burst thing outdoors during daylight hours, which makes me think the OP is not talking about outdoor use of flash at all.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Dec 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 1:29 PM   #9
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.. which makes me think the OP is not talking about outdoor use of flash at all.

Yep. I thought I made that clear but maybe I didn't - when you need a flash because there's not enough light, the pop-up flash isn't very good. But for outdoor fill-in it's remarkably good.

Ted

Last edited by tkurkowski; Dec 28, 2010 at 1:36 PM.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 1:38 PM   #10
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Yep. I thought I made that clear ....

Oh, you did....after I went back and read it again....
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