Canon S90, manual exposure and sTTL setting

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Postby Aussie_dave » Thu May 27, 2010 4:22 pm

Forgive me if this is common knowledge or completely answered in other posts, but I'm getting the vibe that Canon compacts in manual mode don't adjust the internal flash intensity for the shot, which means you can't use ANY strobe's digital "sTTL" setting with the camera while shooting on manual. If that's true, what a disappointment! My S&S YS-110 on sTTL setting gives accurate, reproducible light intensity with the old Olympus C-5060 on manual. Don't tell me I have to start twiddling knobs and thinking for myself!

Thanks for the heaps of advice on settings! It's nice to have a place to start, and a backup plan if that goes all pear-shaped!
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Postby cyberon » Thu May 27, 2010 5:01 pm

Yes, Dave. That is correct. The Canon compact only shots flash in Manual mode when set to Manual. Maybe if enough people shout loud enough,Canon may issue a firmware update! :)
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Postby James » Thu May 27, 2010 8:18 pm

The S90 like all Canon advanced compacts does not have an automatic flash in manual mode.

If you are shooting an Inon D2000 or Z240 or other brand strobe with a built in exposure system then you can shoot the camera in Manual mode but run the strobe in External Auto. This is a very flexible way to shoot, letting the strobe handle the exposure for the subject and the camera can be set for background. Of course you have to match f stop and either bias exposure via the aperture selection on the camera or the strobe power knob.

Frankly I prefer EA mode for my D2000 to the sTTL mode. I just do not get the fascination with the sTTL, yes, it works, very well, especially for close ups, portraits and macro but so does EA mode. The EA mode allows you to shoot with the camera flash set at lowest power (in Av/Tv/M) for greatly reduced battery power consumption, reduced heat, faster cycle times.

As well, while on the subject, you can run the camera in Av mode with the camera flash set to automatic and then your sTTL mode should work fine. In this mode (Av with camera flash set to auto) the S90 will give a pre-flash so beware that your strobe will have to be set for a pre-flash which of course should be default/normal for use in sTTL.

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Postby scottg » Thu May 27, 2010 11:20 pm

James,

I was just curious, and this is slightly off-topic... on the Canon S90in Av mode with the flash on the shutter speed defaults to 1/60th. Is there anyway to change that 1/60th shutter speed with the flash on, that you know of?

Scott

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Postby James » Fri May 28, 2010 5:53 am

I don't know that that is exactly the case. I sat with m y camera, Av mode, flash in manual setting and low power and observed that the shutter did indeed reach speeds as high as 1/250 and 1/500. However, let me sit down again tonight or tomorrow and verify that and also see if setting the flash to auto vs manual has any interaction in that regard.

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Postby James » Sun May 30, 2010 9:22 am

I double checked both in Av and P modes and both with flash in manual and auto, yes, the S90 likes to go to 1/60 but it is certainly not a default, I get a range of shutter speeds by varying the aperture from 1/60 to 1/500 second in any combination from above. So, to say that 1/60th second is the default would be incorrect. Maybe I don't understand what we are saying or asking? :?

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Postby Ryan » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:03 am

In forced flash mode, the slowest shutter speed the camera will select is 1/60, but it will go faster as needed in av mode.

In Slow Synchro mode, the camera will select between shutter speeds of 1" and faster. This is the mode could certainly be used for shooting with UWL-04, you'd just need to watch the shutter speed and make sure it stays above 1/20 or so.
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Postby Aussie_dave » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:16 pm

So TTL works with Av mode, but Av mode is so very fond of shooting at 1/60. Is there any way to "encourage" the camera to use a faster shutter speed for a given shot? It would be nice when trying to capture some action, affect background colour, etc. In my experimenting (in air), in Av mode, forced flash on Auto, shutter stayed at 1/60 from f2 - f8, and from ISO 100 - 1600, macro or wide angle. It must be that the camera uses only the flash intensity to set the correct exposure in this scenario?

Pointing directly at a light bulb it did shoot 1/500, otherwise didn't budge. Granted, I didn't try it in bright sunlight, but that doesn't really mimic U/W lighting environment.

I like TTL for macros especially, because you can expect your first shot to have the correct exposure. There are situations where you only get one shot - ripping current, animal gone walkabout, long queue of "eager" photogs right behind/on top of you. It's nice to only worry about focus and composure (OK, strobe placement too), and not have to shoot - adjust - shoot - apologize...

Maybe compact Canons are only happy shooting with Inon strobes on External Auto. Now what do I do with my S&S YS-110 (and new YS-01 that just arrived!)?? Somebody told me if it was easy it wouldn't be fun. So I punched her. Sorry, Mum.
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Postby James » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:27 am

What do you get in Program?

Yeah, see, I set my S90 to Manual mode and set my D2000 strobes to EA mode and match f stop or usually two stops down seems best for my tastes and shoot my close ups (macro/flat port or even wide angle close focus).

I wonder if you shift your camera strobe to manual and low power and then try to fool the external strobe by shifting the power knob up or down would that help?

James
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