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Thread: Flash settings for GRD 3

  1. #1
    totallynatural
    Guest

    Flash settings for GRD 3

    Hi,

    I recently bought a GRD 3 (well November) and am very happy with it. I have recently been asked to take some pictures for my cousins fathers 70th birthday and would be grateful for some advice.
    This 'party' is going to be inside and I envisage having to use the onboard flash. I normally shoot 100% (well 99%) natural light and at high iso's if need be. I personally do not mind grain however I can safetly assume the pictures my cousin would like to be cleaner.
    I therefore ask for any help re. Best settings for using the flash indoors for casual portrait shots (with a natural fill light look, not compact camera style bright subject dark background). I have used the flash on my GX100 in the past but found it pretty unreliable. I have played a bit with the GRD flash but with limited success (usually blown out pictures). I unfortunately no longer own a D300 and Sb400 speedlight as would have comfortably used that.

    Any assistance will very much appreciated.
    Many thanks
    Matt

  2. #2
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: Flash settings for GRD 3

    1st - it is not a good idea to depend on a new camera if you are taking pix of something you will not be able to retake if necessary. A back up camera you are familiar with is a good idea.

    2nd - the GRD3's built-in flash sucks. It has very limited use. I bought the Ricoh GF-1 to to use with my GRD3. The GF-1 is big, makes the camera top heavy, but it works with the GRD3 to get proper exposures -- TTL. The colors and saturation with the GRD3 and GF-1 combination are phenomenal. The GF-1 does not come close to the features found with strobes/flashes from Nikon and Canon. There is also a Sigma flash that will work with the GRD3 (see the GRD3's instructions) but I have not tried it. Now I am looking for the Canon flash cord that supposedly works with the GRD and the GF-1 to get the GF-1 off the camera and onto a frame. No rotating head on the GF-1 makes it necessary to get it off camera to shoot in portrait orientation.

    As far as settings, I use either the default auto mode (that green camera icon on the mode dial) or the [A] mode. Using the built-in flash is hit or miss, use a 2-sec shot verification setting to see what you got, dial down the flash comp if necessary and retake the pic. I do not use the red-eye reduction feature for either internal flash or the GF-1.

    You might want to play around with your GRD3 in manual [M] mode with the built-in flash. You select an aperture and shutter speed to match ambient lighting, then the flash kicks in with fill light to take out any shadows. I've always had to dial down the flash output when using the camera this way. And again, the flash has limited range, but the pix are more natural looking with the subject punched up just a little.

    Where I am headed with the GRD3, but haven't done it yet, is to set up a profile that allows me to use the up/down zoom button (on the top right corner of the camera back) to dial up or down the flash comp.

  3. #3
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: Flash settings for GRD 3

    Just a quick update on using the GRD3 with flash -- I just received an email from Ricoh support indicating they have been able to reproduce a phenomenon with the GRD3 and flash where (with my camera) any pic taken at f:4.0 using TTL flash (built-in flash or external flash) is seriously over exposed. F:3.5 and f:4.5, either side of f:4.0, exposes correctly. They suspect a firmware error, not hardware.

  4. #4
    totallynatural
    Guest

    Re: Flash settings for GRD 3

    Many thanks for your help. I agree that the built in flash is not stunning. I've been practising a fair bit over the past couple of days and have noticed the massive exposure problem with f4. I occassionally get a bright green image.
    I've mainly been trying manual, metering for the ambient light and using flash as fill. I've been using the flash set to manual and it's lowest setting. I have been getting some ok shots this way.
    The one mode I've not tried is auto (without flash i mainly use M or S) which I will try. I think I will give my cousin a call however and mention I'm not 100% happy using this camera for the task, especially as I am yet to be convinced by the results I am getting with the flash. I think I could probably with (a lot) more practice get flash shots which she'll find acceptable but would rather not risk it.
    I may look into getting the GF1 (or sigma) later in the year.
    I have never been a fan of built in flash except for emergencies and always relied on my canon or nikon speedlights.
    Many thanks for your help on this. (apologies for any typos I'm typing this on my iPhone without my glasses)

  5. #5
    totallynatural
    Guest

    Re: Flash settings for GRD 3

    Many thanks for your help. I agree that the built in flash is not stunning. I've been practising a fair bit over the past couple of days and have noticed the massive exposure problem with f4. I occassionally get a bright green image.
    I've mainly been trying manual, metering for the ambient light and using flash as fill. I've been using the flash set to manual and it's lowest setting. I have been getting some ok shots this way.
    The one mode I've not tried is auto (without flash i mainly use M or S) which I will try. I think I will give my cousin a call however and mention I'm not 100% happy using this camera for the task, especially as I am yet to be convinced by the results I am getting with the flash. I think I could probably with (a lot) more practice get flash shots which she'll find acceptable but would rather not risk it.
    I may look into getting the GF1 (or sigma) later in the year.
    I have never been a fan of built in flash except for emergencies and always relied on my canon or nikon speedlights.
    Many thanks for your help on this. (apologies for any typos I'm typing this on my iPhone without my glasses)

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