How a Camera External Flash Works

The camera external flash is something that a lot of people do not know much about. It is important to get a good understanding on how it works so that you will be able to use the external flash properly. This can be a very difficult thing for novice photographers to learn.


Because most people do not understand an external flash and how it works, there are several different misconceptions about them. One of the most common misconceptions is the brightness of the flash is determined whenever the unit is fired. The output of the flash is actually determined by the overall amount of time that the unit of the flash allows light to come through the strobe unit. What it all means is that it is the mixture of the shutter speed, along with the aperture, as well as the total light that is needed. This is all going to be determined by your camera. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that the overall quantity of the brightness of your flash unit that is put out is going to be constant. It is the duration of the flash is what will help to determine how much exposure is needed.

Pre Flash

Whenever you are working with your external flash, you will find that when it is on, if you take a photo and press the shutter release, there will be a pre flash. When there is a pre flash, the information that was just absorbed will go back into the actual camera. Once the information from the pre flash has been processed, then the camera will flash again for the picture. This entire process happens so quickly that the subject is completely unaware of the two flashes that just took place. Both flashes take place in just a matter of microseconds. The camera, as well as the flash unit, work together during the pre flash. They do this so that they will be able to get the ambient light determined.


There are certain settings that are on your camera that will help to decide the type of flash on your photograph that you will get. The P mode that is on your camera consists of a semi auto mode. The camera itself will continue to do auto exposure whenever it is being used in this mode. It is important to know that the fully automatic mode is very different from the aforementioned P mode. The biggest difference is that you can change the speeds of the shutter whenever you are in P mode. In fully automatic, no changes can be made. It is a good idea to play around with these modes so that you will be able to see the difference. That is usually the absolute best way to be able to learn the inner workings of your camera. Simply play with the settings and pay attention to the results.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: