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Old Wednesday 18th September 2013, 22:48   #1
Wimpy
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Flash or Not?

Hi all

Well the trip to Costa Rica is well in the planning and I now have to start thinking of my equipment.
I have never experienced rain forest/jungle but I realise that the light conditions may well be variable.
I heard of people using flash to enhance their images under these conditions. Now I'm not a flash user and it will be a steep learning curve.

So the question is, do I need to take one and if so what are the recommendation for a speedlite? I am not prepared to pay Canon prices as the purchase would have a limited use after the holiday.

Oh just to add this is a "holiday" to CR with some birding as and when it evolves as against a full-on birding holiday.

My equipment will be my Canon 550D and a 100-400mm IS lens plus my Sony RX100.

Thanks in advance
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Old Friday 20th September 2013, 14:26   #2
seaspirit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimpy View Post
I heard of people using flash to enhance their images under these conditions. Now I'm not a flash user and it will be a steep learning curve.

So the question is, do I need to take one and if so what are the recommendation for a speedlite? I am not prepared to pay Canon prices as the purchase would have a limited use after the holiday.
e
I would defenitely take a flash! I would kick myself finding out during the trip that I could use one ......

Every TTL flash unit will speed up the learning curve. If the light gets dim put the ISO up, set the shutter speed to the camera's fastest native sync speed (1/250 or 1/320) open the aperture (reads M-mode) and let the flash do its magic.
A number of companies offer fully compatible units with a much friendlier pricetag. Buying (and selling after the trip) 2nd hand is another option.

Here's another possible way. Seems new on the market, no reviews yet, but looks like something that will work like a better beamer on a real flash.
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Old Friday 20th September 2013, 19:48   #3
Jim M.
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Originally Posted by Wimpy View Post

So the question is, do I need to take one
Spent 10 days in CR couple of years ago and got lots of nice bird photos with no flash. It's not that much different than photographing birds in forests in temperate climates--some birds are skulkers and some will be out in the open. That said, you will likely encounter a number of situations in which flash would result in a significantly better photo. Nevertheless, personally, I don't like flash at all--annoying to anyone else in the vicinity and it can be disruptive to wildlife (though is not always so).

Best,
Jim
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Last edited by Jim M. : Friday 20th September 2013 at 22:39.
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Old Saturday 21st September 2013, 14:16   #4
Wimpy
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Thanks both for your comments.
I think I might buy a reasonably priced unit just in case. I have seen some god reports of the YONGNUO OEM YN-560 III and it won't break the bank. At least I will be ready for all possibilities.

"SeaSpirit" thanks also for the quick lesson on possible setttings.

Roger
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