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Flash intensity adjustable models? Post yours here

jiminycricket
Apprentice

Hi, I would like to know which Canon Powershot cameras have adjustable flash intensity. I am specifically talking about large lens cameras (like SX---) with 12x+ optical zoom. I am tired of my small lens camera AS250, 300) which does not have a high enough flash intensity for far-range pictures. I need this for my ebay listings which are all coming out dull.

 

 

If you own such a camera with adjustable flash intensity and high zoom, please just type it here. It would be helpful just to get one camera model from everyone as I am not looking for any other features. The SX model is currently what I'm considering, as I have a similar camera from a few years back that has this feature.

 

 

Alternatively you can direct me to a website that lists these features. The Canon website does not list flash intensity features even on camera that I know should have it.

 

 

Thank you so much!

4 REPLIES 4

TTMartin
Authority

@jiminycricket wrote:

Hi, I would like to know which Canon Powershot cameras have adjustable flash intensity. I am specifically talking about large lens cameras (like SX---) with 12x+ optical zoom. I am tired of my small lens camera AS250, 300) which does not have a high enough flash intensity for far-range pictures. I need this for my ebay listings which are all coming out dull.

 

 

If you own such a camera with adjustable flash intensity and high zoom, please just type it here. It would be helpful just to get one camera model from everyone as I am not looking for any other features. The SX model is currently what I'm considering, as I have a similar camera from a few years back that has this feature.

 

 

Alternatively you can direct me to a website that lists these features. The Canon website does not list flash intensity features even on camera that I know should have it.

 

 

Thank you so much!


No built in flash will do what you want. Even dSLRs like the 7D have relatively weak built in flashes.

 

So you can do two things, one is to look at external light sources. The other is look for a camera that has a flash hot shoe and use an external flash with it like the 270EX II, 320EX, or 430EX II. The SX50 HS and SX60 HS both have flash hotshoes.

 

Posting a sample photo from your current camera would give us a better idea of what you really need.

 

FWIW, Canon does list the flash specifications for the SX60 HS on their website.

Based on what is listed there it would appear the SX60 HS flash has a Guide Number somewhere between 3 and 6 meters. Compare that to 27 meters for the 270 EX, 32 meters for the 320EX, and 43 meters for the 430EX II.

smack53
Mentor

Hi Jiminycricket,

 

Most of the PowerShot cameras in the SX line have adjustable flash intensity, but as TTMartin pointed out, even at the highest intensity, the flash is only good for about 6 meters, or about 20 feet. There are remote flashes that can be used which are line of site and are triggered by your camera's flash, so you might not need a new camera. Zeikos makes a cheap one that I use with my PowerShot A510 which has no hot shoe, and it has made a difference for me.

 

Steve M.

Great tip, thanks! Appreciate both of your feedback.

TCampbell
Elite

If your subject is not moving and also if your camera is not moving (e.g. mounted on a tripod) then you can take long exposures to allow the camera to collect enough light -- and not need a flash at all.

 

If you happen to own an SX model that has a hot-shoe on the top (e.g. SX50 or SX60 for example) then you can use a shoe-mounted flash which would be MUCH more powerful.

 

Canon Speedlite flashes have model numbers that serve as an indication of the flash's "Guide Number" in meters.  Just remove the trailing "0" from the model number and whatever is left is the Guide Number in meters.  So a 430EX II or 430EX III-RT both have a guide number of "43" meters.  A 600EX-RT has a guide number of "60".  The 320EX has a guide number of "32".

 

The "guide number" is the distance that the flash can provide adequate lighting for a subject ASSUMING a baseline of ISO 100 and f/1.0   Your camera will do ISO 100 (all models can do ISO 100) but no camera can do f/1.0 (Canon once made a 50mm f/1.0 lens for their EOS cameras but they have not made that lens in many years.)  But the reason f/1 is used as a baseline is that it makes it extremely easy calclate the actual distance.  Just divide the guide number by the aperture value that you are using.   Suppose your camera lens is using f/5.6 and you are using the Canon 430EX II speedlite.  You would divide the guide number (43) by the focal ratio (5.6) and this gives you the distance in meters that this flash can adequately illuminate for a shot at ISO 100.  In this case, 43 ÷ 5.6 = 7.7 meters (about 25 feet).  

 

But even that example was using ISO 100.  Each time you increase the ISO, that distance increases by just about 41%.  Technically it's based on the square root of 2, which means if you go up two stops of ISO the distance will exactly double.  That means if you wanted the 430EX II to reach a subject 50' away (assuming the same f/5.6 aperture) then you could bump the ISO up to 400 (that's 2 stops up from 100) and you would have enough light.

 

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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