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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Cassandra  Ann Smith

member since: 10/2/2006
 

Flash Lag


There seems to be about 5-10 seconds between shots when I use my flash with my Canon XTI. Is it something I am doing or is there a way to use the flash faster?

7/12/2007 10:54:38 AM

 
A C
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/6/2004
  Wow, I don't have that problem with my Canon Rebel 300D ... unless the batteries are dying. I purchased a Duracell 15-minute battery charger and I replace my batteries OFTEN. I need to pick up a few more sets of rechargable batteries so I can shoot, shoot, shoot with only small breaks to change the batteries.

7/12/2007 11:06:52 AM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  If you're referring to the built-in flash, yes, that's normal and not there's nothing you can do to speed it up. If you're using an accessory flash in the hot shoe, stop using alkaline batteries and switch instead to NiMH rechargeables, or Lithium batteries. Alkalines gradually lose voltage over time, where the rechargeables remain level until exhausted. Alkalines also have greater internal resistance and so cannot provide as much current.

7/12/2007 11:55:28 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Cassandra,
Strobes make a lot of light and so they use a lot of energy. The strobe uses a capacitor to store up enough power to make the strobe work. There are a number of battery solutions that work well. In addition to those mentioned, you may be able to use a high-voltage battery pack, such as the Quantum Turbo. This will allow you to use the strobe at about 1 second intervals. Unfortunately, these units are expensive, but they do work very well. You might check the Quantum Web site to see if they have a power pack for your strobe: http://www.qtm.com/.
Thanks, John Siskin

7/12/2007 7:10:02 PM

 
Kristopher Hollingsworth
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/18/2007
  Another alternative to the Quantum Turbo that has worked very well for me is the Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E3. If you're shooting with a Canon 580EX (1 or 2), 550EX, 540EZ, 430EZ, MT-24EX and MR-14EX flash unit.

They also have a new one out the CP-E4 that's about ten dollars more and a little more dust/water sealed and ruggadized to match the new Canon 580EX2.

The quantum solutions will run you around $450-600 from the prices I see on B&H. The Canon Battery Pack with a spare quick-load catridge, 16 NiMH batteries, and some rapid chargers will run you a little under $200. I'll usually shoot 600-1000 photos at an event swapping out the catridges about half-way through and have had no problems with this solution. You can also always extend the life of this solution by adding another catridge. The only downside is the Quantum will also power the flash unit itself, with the Canon Battery Pack, you have to also maintain four AA's in the flash body.

7/17/2007 7:31:04 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  The Quantum unit is more than twice as fast as the Canon product, but the cost is high. The cost and speed are related to the high voltage system in the Quantum.
Thanks, John Siskin

7/17/2007 3:18:59 PM

 

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