I don’t use flash very much, even indoors. I prefer to use available light. But when I was testing the Kodak EasyShare Z710, I tried a few images with flash on vs. flash off. The camera adapts the flash to the circumstances, within reason, which should let it provide fill.
The first pair of photos was of a subject that didn’t need flash, as it was well lit. I was just curious to see how the subject turned out. Here it is in available light. A little of the yellow in the sprinkler timer is blown out from direct sun.
Here it is with flash, looking a lot flatter. The grass is dull, but nothing is blown out.
I walked past the garden department of a local hardware store and photographed these Halloween-themed planters in available light. Some of the leaves have lost detail because of the sun reflecting off them.
Using fill flash evened out the dark tones in the pots and brought out more color and detail in the leaves. I think this is a clear win for the flash.
Finally, I shot this dusk scene of a gas station in available light. The Z710 defaults to EI 64 but adjusts that up in lower light. It doesn’t have much headroom, maxing out at EI 400. The camera chose EI 200 for this shot, unfortunately leading to a 1/20 sec. shutter. You can see some blurriness in the image from shake.
With flash on, the scene is sharp. The camera still chose EI 200, but a 1/100 sec. shutter. Notice how the dusky sky is apparent in this photo but not in the available-light photo. Unfortunately, the flash lit up that reflective handicapped parking sign.
The Z730 made it easy to do this comparison. The flash pops up by default and the camera uses it when it thinks it needs it, but turning it off is a matter of pushing the pop-up flash down.
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