Entry Level Hotshoe Flash?

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Hey guys,
I'm looking for a hotshoe flash. I'm an amateur and think it could be a good investment, especially since I'm getting paid for my first birthday party in a few weeks. I've narrowed it down to a few different flashes, but I'd like someone with experience to tell me the realistic differences between them all. $50 is my max, less is preferable.

The most expensive
http://www.amazon.com/Neewer-VK750-Speedlite-Display-Cameras/dp/B00GE4MNQA/ref=sr_1_3?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1462121619&sr=1-3&keywords=neewer+flash

My top choice out of the two that cost $40
http://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Display-Speedlite-Cameras-Standard/dp/B010XCEABO/ref=sr_1_6?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1462121619&sr=1-6&keywords=neewer+flash

The other one that costs $40
http://www.amazon.com/Altura-Photo-AP-UNV1-Speedlite-Standard/dp/B00LNN13S6?ie=UTF8&colid=18PXRBGJ4R511&coliid=I1U5LCM2MITALT&psc=1&ref_=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl

Any input?

Thanks!
 

basroil

Honorable


Do you understand manual flash power? If you don't, you'll need to know what camera you have. If you have Nikon, you'll need an i-TTL compatible flash (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/515375-REG/Bower_SFD35N_SFD35N_Digital_Flash_for.html , http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1143915-REG/vivitar_vivdf3000n_df_3000_dedicated_ttl_flash.html , http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/897598-REG/Nikon_3710_SB_N7_Speedlight_for_Nikon.html)
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
I have a Pentax K-50. I've read it has its own TTL whatever you want to call it, but I planned on learning how to use manual flash. I've pretty much gotten manual mode on my camera down for taking pictures, so I figured manual flash couldn't be much harder.
 
Flash is great and all, but unless you're planning to photograph in the dark, I wouldn't be worried about it. You'll take nicer photos without flash.

You've probably seen flash vs no flash photos, and they're often dark vs "correctly" exposed. The problem is that they don't know how to expose properly.

 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
But sometimes the lighting, especially at things like parties which is where I'd be most likely to be paid, isn't good enough to not use a flash. Without one, often times you have to set the ISO too high or the shutter speed too slow
 
No, you can just adjust the exposure compensation. You do not have to rely on the shutter speed, or the ISO when properly exposing an image. And, even then, always shoot RAW, and you'll have more than enough information in the file, and it would take less than 5 seconds to bring it back to properly exposed in a program like Lightroom. You cannot bring back detail in a photo, when there are flash hotspots covering it. You will run into that a lot. Flash photography is more for the advanced crowd, or when you have a lot of time to experiment in a studio.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Yeah, I shoot RAW and I have fixed some pictures after the fact. But the thing is, they get too grainy if I'm trying to brighten them up that much. I just want to be able to get good, clean portraits (or other shots) that aren't grainy or blurry if I'm in low light
 
You did say a birthday part though. I expect lights to be on, hah.

Either way, you're going to have to experiment with a flash. You can't just look at things and expect great photos because you're using a flash. Your talent would have to stand still for a bit while you're photographing.

What do you mean by grainy? Don't use a high ISO, and grain and noise is a problem with most small sensor cameras. You can use the luminance effect to get rid of some of it.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
I just know that to get a well-lit picture, you either need a slower shutter speed or higher ISO, so it will either be grainy or blurry. Even if you brighten it after the fact on a computer, it'll get grainy
 
That's ISO. For isntance, exposure compensation +1 means twice as much light.

Bud, honestly you should practise with your camera more to get a understanding of how to expose different scenes. Your camera is almost always going to get exposure wrong in too dark, or too bright environment, it's going to try to find the average 18% grey.

What I mean by that is, if you shoot someone in a black hoodie, on a black background, your camera is going to try to force it towards grey. If you shoot white on white, it's going to try to force it towards grey.

Yes, a flash would be very helpful, but if I can shoot dimly lit rooms just fine, then you can too, with a bit of practise. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there, as well as free online courses.

By all means buy a flash, but color quality (CRI) is a factor too, so keep that in mind.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Okay. And I understand that exposure compensation means more or less light, but how? Does the shutter stay open longer?
I'll look into those videos, thanks
 

basroil

Honorable


Didn't you just say " pretty much gotten manual mode on my camera down"???? Clearly you need to learn photography a bit more before considering a new purchase. check out the strobist 101 , it's a great start for shooting with flash, and they have recommended kits too.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Yeah, I did say that. As in I no longer have to rely on automatic mode to take pictures in most situations. My camera has automatic EV, though, and I'm not sure how to manually control it. Regardless, I don't feel like not knowing what exposure compensation mechanically does means I shouldn't be able to buy a flash. I understand where you are coming from, though
 

basroil

Honorable


Basically, if you don't understand how EV works then TTL flash is pointless since you won't know when it will fail horribly. Check out strobist, that blog explains how metering for flash works and how you can estimate what the camera will use so you know when to watch out for issues. For manual flash use, that site is amazing, but you'll need to practice a long time to understand your particular flash unit.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
I'm fine with learning how to use it. I enjoy that, being able to see my pictures getting better as time goes on.
And I'm sorry if I'm coming off as stubborn, but I just talked to a teacher at my school who professionally takes pictures, and he was saying how much of a night and day difference there is when you use a flash properly. So I'm pretty set on getting a flash, but I just didn't know if anybody had any input on the ones I linked.
 

basroil

Honorable


Well, neewer is basically the rosewill for Amazon, so it's hardly a well known brand.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/517783-REG/Pentax_30465_AF_200FG_P_TTL_Shoe_Mount.html is $50 and 100% compatible with your camera (even TTL), and you can't really find better P-TTL ones without going above $100
 
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