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Thread: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

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    Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    This may sound like a strange question and I may be missing something in terms of how to use my camera but how does one bump up their shutter speed using the on board flash? It seems to limit itself to 160th.

    I want to say for example take a shot of a person or object standing infront of a light source/sun at low apperture of 2-2.8 and have the flash expose the object. I do this a fair bit with my simple cybershot point and shoot to great effect but cannot for the life of me figure it out on my GH1 in full manual.

    Is the only real solution an external flash?

    thanks in advance.

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    ... Is the only real solution an external flash?
    Yes.

    The onboard flash unit cannot do "focal plane" or "high speed synch" mode, which is required for shorter exposure times with the GH1's focal plane shutter. Your point and shoot has a leaf shutter, which operates in a different fashion from a focal plane shutter and allows a larger range of accessible electronic flash speeds.

    You need an Olympus/Panasonic dedicated external flash unit that supports this feature. The Panasonic and Olympus flash units, and the Metz flash units made for Olympus digital protocol, will do the job.

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    thank you for that informative reply.

    so am i really limited to getting a pana oly compliant flash or can I buy a decent flash that I can use on say another body that is not pana if I upgrade? I am hoping for the latter =)

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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    I'm pretty sure if you go above 1/160th with an external unit, part of the photo will not be exposed with the flash (probably the bottom).

    You could also try using an ND filter to lower the amount of light if you want to keep a wide aperture.

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    oh well, i knew there had to be some technical catch to it. Forgot about the ND filters, might give that a try.

    thanks.

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    ND filters are the way to go for what you're trying to do. Even with a Pana/Oly flash unit (or Metz 48) in HSS (high speed sync) mode, the flash duration will be very short so it doesn't interfere with the curtain at high shutter speed, which means it's really only good for relatively short distances.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    cheers. i have a fader ND that ill try out. Is this sync issue also present with larger full frame cameras like say the 5d? abit of a novice query, i should probably google it =)

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    cheers. i have a fader ND that ill try out. Is this sync issue also present with larger full frame cameras like say the 5d? abit of a novice query, i should probably google it =)
    AFAIK all focal plane shutter cameras, digital or otherwise, have a sync issue. Some allow you to sync at faster rates (5D2 is 1/160 as well, perhaps up to 1/200 using the Canon flash units), others slower (my Canon F-1 SLR is 1/60). Cameras with leaf shutters (shutters on the lens themselves) can sync to higher rates. Hopefully once the global shutter becomes a reality we won't have a sync issue any longer since we'll do away with the mechanical shutter curtain altogether.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    As I recall it the old (venerable?) Nikon D70 can synch a flash at shorter shutter times thanks to the technique of using the sensor as an electronic shutter. I guess that isn't possible with the sensor types used these days.

    /Jonas

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    thank you for that informative reply.

    so am i really limited to getting a pana oly compliant flash or can I buy a decent flash that I can use on say another body that is not pana if I upgrade? I am hoping for the latter =)
    The responses subsequent to this question have incorrect and/or inaccurate information.

    Some basic flash synchronization information, reasonably accurate and readable, is available on Wikipedia at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_synchronization
    This includes information about the design of focal plane shutters and how they sync with electronic flash if you follow the appropriate links.

    1- Yes, for FP ("high speed") sync, you must use a Panasonic/Olympus dedicated flash unit for Panasonic/Olympus bodies. The same need exists for any other focal plane shutter cameras ... all DSLRs and current interchangable lens digital cameras (Micro-FourThirds, Epson R-D1, Leica M8/9). E.G.: if you want dedicated operation for a Nikon which supports the advanced high speed sync or TTL flash metering features, you must buy a Nikon dedicated flash unit. Only cameras with leaf-type shutters which always fully open on every cycle can be used with a non-dedicated electronic flash unit at any shutter time setting.

    2- You can certainly use that same flash unit on other brands of cameras, but you can only use the flash unit's non-dedicated features. For instance, I use a Nikon SB-30 flash unit (which has dedicated features for Nikon bodies) on my Panasonic and Olympus bodies as a trigger flash for simple optical slave setups. However, I cannot use a shutter time shorter than 1/160 second with it on Panasonic or Olympus or TTL metering mode since it is not Panasonic/Olympus dedicated and does not support the specific TTL or FP protocols required for these bodies.

    3- You can also buy non-dedicated auto-flash units that will work on any camera ... but you will not get TTL flash metering or FP mode with any of them. You will be limited to whatever your specific camera body's simple X-sync speed is, typically 1/160 to 1/250 second with most of today's cameras.

    4- With the appropriate Panasonic/Olympus-dedicated flash unit that supports the FP mode feature (Olympus FL36, FL50, FL36R, FL50R, Panasonic 360 and 500, and some Metz units), FP sync mode will allow you to use any shutter time setting without image cut-off due to the shutter curtains. On Olympus and Panasonic units, the FP mode can be used with TTL-Auto metering or Manual mode. I believe it can also be used on certain Metz units in manual mode.

    (Jonas:
    The Nikon D70 used an interesting hybrid electronic shutter system whereby the flash was triggered at the normal mechanical first curtain fully open point but the sensor's capture could be terminated prior to the second curtain being released to close the shutter. Unfortunately, there remain many problems with such sensor-timed shutter systems as yet which affect image quality, so Nikon has abandoned this particular technology for the present.)

    5- FP mode operation essentially works by extending the electronic flash 'burn' time (through very rapid pulsing of the flash tube) to span the time that a focal plane shutter's traveling slit requires to cross the format gate. Since any given flash unit has only so much energy per flash to work with, and the total energy output is an integral of how much power per unit time the bulb is activated, the consequences of extending the unit's burn time is that the total output per flash is lower. The reduction in amount of light output is dependent upon power output setting and the shutter time being used (since those determine the length and number of pulses used to extend the burn time), and is listed in the instruction manuals for each flash unit that supports the feature.

    I find FP mode output is typically satisfactory for fill flash at normal single and couple portrait distances in sunlight with the Olympus FL36, but working at larger groups and working at greater distances you might need at least one or two FL50 units to supply enough fill light power for short exposure times.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 6th September 2010 at 08:26.

  11. #11
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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Godfrey,
    Great reply. Should be a sticky.

    chris

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    (...)
    (Jonas:
    The Nikon D70 used an interesting hybrid electronic shutter system... ... Unfortunately, there remain many problems with such sensor-timed shutter systems as yet which affect image quality, so Nikon has abandoned this particular technology for the present.)
    Aha. So that's why I haven't seen the technology in later models. I wondered why the feature was removed. As I never had any interest inthe crop Nikon cameras I haven't followed any discussions on the topic. I remember it only because it was an interesting feature back in the days when I was about to my first DSLR camera.

    thank you

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    yes a very informative post godfrey, much appreciated.

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Bump!

    So is it possible to use a flash with a shutter speed faster than 1/160? I have a GH1 and GH2. As soon as I slide a remote connector on my hot shoe the camera is limited at 160.

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikTande View Post
    Bump!
    So is it possible to use a flash with a shutter speed faster than 1/160? I have a GH1 and GH2. As soon as I slide a remote connector on my hot shoe the camera is limited at 160.
    For a remote flash setup, you need a cable which has the appropriate Olympus-dedicated remote terminal setup going to an Olympus-dedicated flash unit. (I believe that Canon-dedicated flash cables have a compatible pinout, but you still need Olympus-dedicated flash units that understand the body's flash control protocol.)

    Alternatively you need an RF flash trigger setup with the appropriate programming to operate the Olympus-dedicated flash protocol. I don't know whether any exist as yet.

    Otherwise, see my note up-thread. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/243412-post10.html

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    Re: Higher shutter speed with flash GH1

    I ended up getting this to use with my oly FL50-R

    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    the pins are a tad too long which makes it bloody hard to insert. it was either that or i waas inserting it the wrong way lol. never the less i ended up grinding the pins down with a dremel and it works. A wireless option would be much better though but have still yet to find one.

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