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Old Jun 5, 2004, 7:10 PM   #1
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What the is maximum shutter speed that can be used with an FZ10 and Sunpak 383 external flash? The Sunpak documentation states that "most cameras don't support sync above 1/60, but some go as high as 1/125".

I was able to find no mention in the FZ10's manual as to what the maximum is. However, I am able to set the shutter speed to 1/1000, but I am not convinced it is actually doing that at all.

Anyone know the truth?
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Old Jun 5, 2004, 10:16 PM   #2
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Why don't you try @ higher shutter speed? It's digital after all and you can always erase the sample pictures... :idea:

The reason of this limitation is some cameras have curtains as shutter: one curtain opens as a second one closes not exposing the whole frame while the flash is fired -> resulting in partial exposure (some portion of the picture is darkened out)

If the shutter is located in the lenses as most leaf shutters are or most P/S digital camera they can sync at somewhat higher speed.
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Old Jun 5, 2004, 11:56 PM   #3
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I already did try experimenting a bit, which is what led me to the original question. It seemed like once I got above 1/200 to 1/300 range, it didn't actually go any farther. For example, 1/200 looks about as bright as 1/1000 with the flash set identically! Yet the camera lies and says it's 1/1000 of sec which I don't believe.

Most cameras don't seem to state in their specs what the maximum shutter speed is with external flash. An exception I noticed is the Nikon D70. Nikon brags that it can sync to 1/500. Assuming Nikon's number is actually worth bragging about and the fact that it's a higher end camera than the FZ10, 1/200 or so max for the FZ10 seems to make sense.

I would still like to know if there is an offical spec for this though.
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Old Jun 6, 2004, 6:59 AM   #4
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You're correct in your observation:

A flash burts is very brief, expecially when it's on Auto and at close distance, that's how its output is regulated: more light with longer pulse and less light with shorter pulse as high as 1/20,000 of a second!

What this means is the shutter speed is no longer relevant in stopping the action, but the flash pulse in itself will freeze any movement even at 1/30s shutter speed... the slower shutter speed will then allow you to control the ambient light: try slower shutter speed and you'll notice the background lightening up (while increasing the shutter speed will blacken it).

The 1/500 sync on the D70 is for outdoor ambient fill, but like most dSLRs they can go much higher when their flash are set to FP (or high-speed-sync mode) all the way to their highest regular shutter speed. In this mode their flash will strobe at high speed multiple times to follow the narrow shutter curtains. :idea:
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 12:56 PM   #5
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I see what you mean about using the flash pulse itself to freeze the action. Below is a shot I just took in somewhat low light at only 1/30 of a second, yet the humming bird's wings are perfectly frozen with no blur!

(The humming birds don't see to mind the bright flash from the 383. I even had it aimed directly at them at full power several times and they just seemed to ignore it.)
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 1:28 PM   #6
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Nice pic! How close were you? That's a great shot.


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Old Jun 12, 2004, 3:13 PM   #7
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I was about 6 feet away, handheld, with maximum optical zoom. Much to my surprise, the humming birds are willing to come up close to me even when I am not standing completely still. They seem to be far more frightened by slight noises than by slight movement. I had to even disable the FZ10's beep sounds since that would almost always scare them away!
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 7:37 PM   #8
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Very nice - I disabled beeps, too. Nice feature.


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