Fill Flash

CP950 Fill in flash study

I am trying to get a handle on the fill in flash issue with the CP950. I did the following experiment. I took several shots with various flash conditions and white balance settings. Lets look at the results.

Picture

Normal shot. No flash. Matrix metering. Auto white balance. I chose this shot because the bright sunlight causes the rest of the shot to be under exposed. I included the white paper as a color check.

Picture

The flash was forced on. Auto white balance. Actually, this shot looks pretty good to me. The color is good, maybe a bit overexposed.

Picture

The flash was forced on. flash white balance. This looks a little yellow

Picture

The flash was forced on. Sunny white balance. This looked cold and had a bluish cast.

Picture

The flash was forced on. Fluorescent white balance. Pink cast.

Picture

The flash was forced on. Auto white balance. -2 Ev. Too dark.

Picture

The flash was forced on. Auto white balance. -1 Ev. (you can tell that this shot was made a little later than the others, the sun moved) I like this shot the best.

Conclusion. You can use fill in flash if you want to. I would follow the following rules.

1) The closer you get, the more -EV you should apply if there is other light besides the flash.  The camera does not compensate for the extra flash light in the exposure.

2) You may need to set the white balance yourself. Consider the light on the subject. If the subject will be mostly lit  by other light, that the camera can meter before the exposure, then auto white balance will do well. If the subject will be lit by the flash mostly, (dark subject) then you might want to force the flash white balance. (see #4)

3) Don't get too close. Probably about 5 to 6 feet is the closest.

4) Rick Davis (his site is here) points out that the auto flash balance is a compromise. For best results, with pure flash, you have to use the manual white balance set to FLASH.  This is absolutely true, in my test shots with the flash, only the manual white balance shots showed the correct white balance. See his site for examples.