Which Flash is Best for which Camera?
Whether you are determining which camera you are going to buy, or you are trying to determine what type of flash to purchase for a camera you already own, your decision could drastically affect the quality of photos you are able to produce. You will want to be diligent and do your homework before making any decisions regarding your digital camera. Below you will find a list of different types of cameras and which types of flashes will work best for them.
For the most part, you will not have any decision making ability when it comes to the flash you will be using with the vast majority of point-and-shoot cameras. This is due to the fact that most point-and-shoot cameras come standard with a built-in flash and no ability to attach an external flashgun. This can be both beneficial and detrimental, depending on what type of photographer you are. For the most part, individuals who use basic point-and-shoot camera models want their cameras to take most of the decision-making out of their hands, and they appreciate a dedicated flash that will work the way they expect it to.
SLR and DSLR Cameras
Aside from using the built-in flash that comes standard on most low to mid-range digital cameras, flash photography incorporating an external flashgun is probably the most common form of flash photography. Many digital cameras will come packaged with an external flashgun that is proprietary for that camera model. If the manufacturer of your camera makes dedicated external flashguns, it is often a good idea to purchase that brand of flash, since it will be made specifically for your brand of camera. Hot shoes are made to be used with all brands of flash, however, if your manufacturer does not make external flashguns, or if you simply prefer a different brand of flash, you have the flexibility to go with your personal preferences.
One of the greatest benefits of shoe mounted photography as opposed to using a camera's built-in flash is the greater flexibility that comes with the ability to adjust your flash based on your surrounding conditions. In some instances, you will undoubtedly want a stronger or weaker flash intensity, depending on surrounding ambient lighting conditions. The use of a shoe mounted flashgun can give you the flexibility to deal with these changes in condition.
Another one of the biggest benefits of shoe mounted photography is that external flashguns typically come with swiveling heads. This means that the flash itself can be adjusted to create different flash effects. If you want indirect light on your subjects, the flash can be angled up to create a more natural lighting effect. This can be greatly beneficial when determining the proper composition of your photographs.
One thing to note when discussing different flashes is that flashguns do not typically vary in terms of how bright the flash itself is. Instead, different flashes will vary based on how long the flash itself is illuminated when you press your shutter. The longer the flash emits light, the brighter your photograph will generally be, but the light itself is no brighter than a different flash.