Monday, January 14, 2008

Just How Fast Can You Go?

With High Speed Sync that is. That means syncing way faster than the camera manual says, like 1/2000 second instead of 1/250 second. I've been doing this - at least up 1/500 second - for years with my old Hassey. I hated that I lost that high sync speed with the new digital cameras like my first Fuji S-1.

Thankfully, my second digital camera - Nikon's D1x got me back to 1/500 second native sync speed. I loved it until I jumped ship and went with my early Canon 20D's. Now I'm back to 1/250 second native sync speed - too bad. As a wedding guy, I need to "knock the daylights" out of the shot but the new cameras just weren't doing it for me. I did learn to cheat the strobe - that just means syncing at 1/400 second even though the manual says I can only do it at 1/250 second. Check out my newsletter article on "Cheating the Sync Speed" right here to see how I did it.

But, how do you hit 1/2000 second? It has to do with the electronic shutter built into the camera. The trick is to disable all the TTL stuff on the camera by attaching the flash via a sync cable instead of the hot shoe connection. Now set the shutter speed way high and knock the daylights out of the shot. I saw this topic discussed over at the Strobist several months ago. He was doing it with a Nikon D70 - here is the link for his article right here. Mr. Hobbie just recently posted the definitive article on the subject naming which cameras offer that capability right here. Here is his list of cameras that fit the bill for the high speed sync:
  • Nikon D70,

  • Nikon D40 (but not the D40x),

  • Nikon D50, Nikon D1 (x and x bodies included),

  • Sony R1,

  • Olympus E-1 and E-3.

  • On the Canon side, apparently the 1D's do it as do the

  • Canon G7 and

  • Canon G9.
High Fives to the Strobist for the great info.

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