Do I need an external flash?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Grasher, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Grasher macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2009
    I'm trying to decide whether to buy an external flash to use with my Sony A200. At the moment I pretty much never use the flash as I prefer to use available light from a window or just shoot outdoors. However, my wife is now pregnant with our second child and I want to get the best possible photos of the baby when they're born so I'm thinking of getting an external flash to use either bounced off the ceiling or with a softbox head on it.

    My question is: do I need this or would I get equal/better results from using available light and a reflector (which I have). I've already had a look at strobist and a few other sites so I'm happy that I understand the technical part of it sufficiently. I'll be shooting with a f1.8 50mm prime so I already have a (reasonably) fast lens.

    All advice appreciated.
  2. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Get a flashgun by all means (those little built-in flashes are pretty hopeless: no power and in just the the wrong place...). But for those baby or 'mother & baby' shots, I'd be thinking more of using available window light: soft, directional light that flatters rather than overwhelms. And flash can be very intrusive... especially in the quiet moments you may want to capture...
  3. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    Although I prefer shooting with a large aperture using available light, in certain cases, there simply isn't enough light available, or it's coming from a direction that doesn't work for the shot (e.g. strong backlight). Having the option of bouncing the flash off a wall/ceiling is much better than being forced to use the built-in blind-your-subject(s)-and-make-them-look-awful flash. Using it wirelessly off-camera gives you even more control.
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    A reflector requires the primary source to be in the right place, or the subjects to move to the right place. A flash allows you to put the light where you want it, and if done well doesn't scream "artificial." Build a "better bounce card" and practice with it if you don't want to spend ~$50 on a soft box. Also, Google "Dragging the shutter." I'd also recommend a copy of "Light: Science and Magic."


Share This Page