In-camera flash settings: exploring your built-in flash options

In-camera flash settings: change the flash mode

Your digital camera’s built-in flash may do more than you think. Here is a quick look at some of the in-camera flash settings available to you and what they do. We used a Nikon D3100 for the purposes of this article. But whichever camera you use, it should have similar options within its flash settings menu.

In-camera flash settings: change the flash mode

Change the flash mode
Press the button on the side of the pentaprism to pop up the flash, and keep it pressed while turning the rear command dial – the camera cycles through the modes.

 

In-camera flash settings: flash compensation

Flash compensation
To adjust the flash strength, hold the flash button and turn the front dial. On cameras with one dial, hold the EV compensation and flash buttons and turn the rear dial.

 

In-camera flash settings: manual power

Manual power
By default, the internal flash uses iTTL auto exposure, but you can switch to manual using the Shooting or Settings menu and set the flash output manually.

 

In-camera flash settings: flash shutter speed

Flash shutter speed
On some enthusiast/pro models, you can set the exposure time in Program (P) and Aperture-priority (A) modes to allow for very low background light levels.

 

In-camera flash settings: repeating flash

Repeating flash
On more advanced models you can use the built-in flash to capture multiple images (of a golf swing, say) with the camera on a tripod, using the Repeating Flash options.

 

In-camera flash settings: Commander mode

Commander mode
This mode is only available on more advanced Nikon DSLRs. You can use the internal flash to control two or more external flash units wirelessly.

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