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External Flash

External Flash

Capture natural expressions with natural light.

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What kind of advantages does an external flash give you? One important advantage is that it illuminates distant subjects. Another one is that it lets you "control" the surrounding light. You control light every day - from the sunlight that comes through the windows to the lights on walls and ceilings. This kind of control is equally important for photographs.

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How far can the light from a flash reach?
To find this out, you need to look at the GN (Guide Number)* and its value. The larger the value, the further away your subject can be captured with the proper exposure.

* The flash GN indicates the aperture value that provides proper exposure for a subject that is 1m from the camera when using ISO100.

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Based on the GN, you can calculate how far the flash's light will reach.

Also, when you divide the GN by the distance between the camera and the subject, you get the aperture value that is necessary during maximum light emission.

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When the camera is equipped with the DMW-FL220 (GN22) and the aperture is set to F2.8, you can shoot with proper exposure at a distance of approx. 7.9m. With the DMW-FL500, you can shoot up to a distance of approx. 10 m*2. These external flashes let you record subjects with correct exposure at distances that are not possible with a built-in flash.

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*1 When shooting with F2.8, ISO100, 24mm wide-angle (35mm camera equivalent) settings.
*2 Maximum shooting distance for the DMW-FL500 using F2.8, ISO100, 24mm wide angle (35mm camera equivalent) settings.

When the ISO sensitivity is increased, subjects at a farther distance can be captured with the proper exposure. For example, when shooting at ISO400, the distance is approximately twice as great as when shooting with ISO100. This lets you extend the shooting distance.

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*1 When shooting with F2.8, 24mm wide-angle (35mm camera equivalent) settings.

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This is a shooting method in which the light source is rotated to bounce the light off of the ceiling or a wall to attain a diffused light source. It softens shadows that are generated by the flash, and produces a natural lighting that enhances facial expressions and the mood of the room. It also prevents the light from shining directly onto a sleeping child's face.

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Using Board Reflector

A boarder reflector lets you brighten your subject by reflecting light onto it from a white or silver reflector. You can also use it as indirect lighting by reflecting the flash or sunlight onto parts with shadows. It gives you control over the shading of your subject.

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Using Diffuser

In contrast to a board reflector, which reflects light, a diffuser is used to diffuse light. It provides soft lighting with suppressed shading.
Thin white cloth or tracing paper can be effectively used as a diffuser.

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Shooting Tips

• Use a white, non-colored surface to bounce the light. If the ceiling or wall is colored, the reflected light will take on the same coloring.
• When there is too much distance between the bouncing surface and the subject, it becomes harder for the reflected light to reach the subject. Be careful because the effect weakens in large rooms.

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A flash is convenient for shooting against the light source. FP emission lets you shoot at faster shutter speeds. You can also use a fully open aperture even for bright scenes.

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Slow Sync. Flash

With an ordinary auto flash, even if the subject is properly exposed, the background may be underexposed. Using the Slow Sync.
flash function slows down the shutter speed and continues to capture background light even after the flash is finished.

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2nd Curtain Sync.

With 1st Curtain Sync., the flash is emitted as the shutter opens. However, with 2nd Curtain Sync., the flash is emitted just before the shutter closes. This lets you naturally display attractive light traces.

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The DMW-FL580L / FL360L incorporates wireless control functions that enable powerful multiple flash lighting with up to three flash groups. Flash settings such as firing, dimming and exposure compensation can be configured via the camera menu. It may also be used as a slave flash.

* While the DMC-GF6 is not equipped with a hot shoe, it is capable of wireless control.

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The DMW-FL580L / FL360L features LED lights that are especially useful for shooting videos under backlit or low- light conditions.

• This function is also available with DMC-GH4 / GX7 / G6 / FZ70 (FZ72).

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Products used in this article

*Suggested Retail Price /my/consumer/where-to-buy.html false false DMW-FL500E
*Suggested Retail Price /my/consumer/where-to-buy.html false false DMW-FL220E
*Suggested Retail Price /my/consumer/where-to-buy.html false false DMW-FL360L