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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Flash unit for my Sony DSC-F828
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11/01/2005 07:45:51 PM · #1
I'm looking to shoot indoor portraits and group shots. Subjects will be 4-15' feet away. I have only minimal knowledge about syncing flashes and using hot shoes and the like. What experience do others have in similar situations. I don't think you need to specifically be using a cybershot camera to provide valuable advice. If anybody does have a recommendation specifically for the my camera, however that would be appreciated.

Sony sells two flash units are:
HVL-F32X Digital Camera Flash
HVL-F1000 Digital Camera Flash

Does anybody know the practical real-world difference between the two models?

A link to the Sony specs can be found at:
//www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?CategoryName=dcc_DIDigitalCameras_CybershotProDigitalCameras&ProductSKU=DSCR1&TabName=acc&var2=

Are there any compatible equivalent (or superior) non-Sony branded flashes that could be recommended?
11/01/2005 07:59:53 PM · #2
I have the HVL-F32X and I love love love it. The light distribution is fantastic, and it is a very powerful flash. I often find I need to stand farther away and then zoom in than usual to avoid overexposure. You can get some really neat lighting effects by bouncing it off sliding glass doors/windows/etc.

In fact, the thing is so powerful it sucks up batteries like there is no tomorrow and I'd highly recommend investing in some rechargeable batteries. You'll get maybe 75 shots off with 4 AA batteries.

Another thing that kind of bugs me a little is that it can sometimes cramp your style. I find that I wind up shooting mostly landscape orientation when I'm inside and bouncing off the ceiling, which may not be exactly what I'd want to do. This could be that I don't know how to use it properly, though. My camera is only 4x so I have to be closer than I'd like for flash/overexposure purposes, but if I back up to compensate for the flash then I'm too far away to properly fill the frame composition-wise. Turning the flash power down often helps.

Lastly, I find that the saturation needs to be turned down on the camera, as the light is very warm and sometimes skin can be too orange-looking.

Even with those small niggling points, I would not hesitate to recommend it. You won't believe the difference in your shots.

Hope this helps!
11/01/2005 08:03:58 PM · #3
Originally posted by A1275:



Another thing that kind of bugs me a little is that it can sometimes cramp your style. I find that I wind up shooting mostly landscape orientation when I'm inside and bouncing off the ceiling, which may not be exactly what I'd want to do. This could be that I don't know how to use it properly, though. My camera is only 4x so I have to be closer than I'd like for flash/overexposure purposes, but if I back up to compensate for the flash then I'm too far away to properly fill the frame composition-wise. Turning the flash power down often helps


Using a diffuser would help.
11/01/2005 08:05:53 PM · #4
I use the HVL-1000 on my Sony Dsc S70. The flash works well on a bracket or handheld so you can get more creative.
11/01/2005 08:22:57 PM · #5
faidoi,
when you bracket, can you avoid some of the troubles that Laurie (A1275) mentioned with the flash being *too* strong. also, you have to purchase handheld equipment separately right? would you say the handheld functionality is the biggest advantage. it's default is still too plug straight into the hotshoe, though, right?
thanks,
Daniel
11/01/2005 08:35:47 PM · #6
Originally posted by faidoi:

Using a diffuser would help.


The 32X does have a diffuser slider thing that I use, but I know what you mean. Probably my main problem is figuring the angle of the bounce, especially on slanted ceilings. Who knew you'd really use geometry, right?

@teknon42, if you don't use the hotshoe, you'll lose the hologram AF assist capability of the camera.
11/01/2005 08:46:28 PM · #7
Originally posted by teknon42:

faidoi,
when you bracket, can you avoid some of the troubles that Laurie (A1275) mentioned with the flash being *too* strong. also, you have to purchase handheld equipment separately right? would you say the handheld functionality is the biggest advantage. it's default is still too plug straight into the hotshoe, though, right?
thanks,
Daniel


My Sony camera doesn't have a hotshoe. The flash is wired and plug into the camera so you can move it around to change the flash position. I do wish that the wire was a bit longer so you can move it a bit more.

Even though I have a dSLR it's sometimes good to go back to the older camera.

No hologram AF or auto bracketing on my Sony :(

Message edited by author 2005-11-01 20:47:16.
11/01/2005 09:04:53 PM · #8
I should probably explain further...when I said the flash was could sometimes be too strong that was when I had it pointed directly at the subject at a distance of less than 12-15 feet. This was when I had to adjust the power of the flash. The 32X flash will go out almost 45 feet.

The other times I got frustrated: once I was in a dimly lit hotel ballroom with monster high ceilings that weren't white. I wound up taking a piece of white card and attaching it to the flash via elastic band and bouncing the flash off that. Another time I was in a wedding tent with slanted slope to bounce off, and the other times I was in a log cabin which bounced off the logs (orangey) and affected my WB. Post-processing took care of that, but it was extra work.

These situations could probably be overcome more easily by someone with more experience with I. As I hinted before, the angle of the bounce dramatically affects results and it took me some getting used to before I could correctly figure the angle.

In a normal home/studio with 10-12' flat ceilings painted white or off white, you should be able to bounce no prob with excellent results.

11/02/2005 02:53:05 PM · #9
Greetings,
As a fellow 828'er I use the 32 myself, love the flash's strength, and the ability to adjust the power, 1/32 to 1/1 awesome, i will say the 1/32 setting is a bit weaker than the on camera flash, so it makes things much more controlable. As for the far end, someone had mentioned 32 - 45 feet, i'd give it more like 100, here's an example...

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/24789/thumb/115403.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/24789/thumb/115403.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

This was taken at light, with only minimal light from inside the store (lights were dimmed as it was closed) and small lights on the walkways on the sides, distance was probably close to 75-80 feet from the building, which is easily 50x30 or more....

Mike
//www.mikefairbanks.com

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