External Speedlite Control And Anti Flicker
Alright, if you're gonna have a flash attached to the camera you can control a bunch of things about how that flash operates through this sub-menu in the camera settings. So in here, if you want you can disable a flash that is attached to the top of the camera, you could of course always just turn the flash off but if you wanted to disable it electronically from the camera it can be done. You can change the metering system that the flash uses to achieve proper exposure. You can choose the sync mode that the camera is using when you are in the aperture value mode, remember if you're in aperture value, the camera is choosing the shutter speed. So, one option would be for the camera just to choose anything that's available within the flash synchronization range which is 1/250th down to 30 seconds. Another option is to choose something that isn't in the what we would call the normal handheld area 1/250th to 1/60th of a second or you could just have it choose it's maximum shutter speed of 1...
/250th of a second. And so, whatever you find best for the type of photography that you're doing. The flash function settings are the functions that you would normally control directly in the flash, you can jump in and you can control those straight from the camera. So let's look real quickly at what those are. First off, the way the flash meters, you can do ETTL which is it's standard automatic metering system, this is basic the mode of the flash. You can also do it in full manual, so you get to control how powerful the flash is. You could set it to full power or half power, quarter power and so on. There's also a multi-strobe mode where the camera, or excuse me, the flash will fire multiple strobes while the camera is open for one shutter speed. There's wireless option where you can hook-up multiple flashes and have them fire at different powers at different ratios and different locations and this will allow you to get in there and control that. The flashes also have zooms, in many cases that match your lens and so you can change the angle of coverage of your flash. You can change the synchronization whether your synchronizing with the first curtain or second curtain. If you do a lot of action photography you'll probably want to play around with the second curtain sync there's some very interesting and fun results you can get with that. There is the flash exposure compensation and we've talked about this before, about lowering the power of the flash, so that your subject has a little more natural skin tone and isn't overpowered with flash. And then there's flash exposure bracketing where you can shoot a series of photos with different power settings with each of the flashes that fire in that series and so that you can get a different look with a group of different images. And so all of this is in the flash function settings sub-menu within a sub-menu. You can also get into the custom functions of that flash if it has customs functions and you can get in there and you can control some of the specifics about the way that that flash operates and the way it reads data and so forth. And so all of that is in the external speedlites control which doesn't do much good until you have a flash attached to your camera. Alright, next up is anti-flicker shooting and this is really interesting and I've changed my philosophy on previous cameras that have had anti-flicker now that I've had a better chance to use it out in the real world. So let me explain the problem here and that is, with fluorescent lights they're not consistent in their power, they flicker between a low and a high power and in a matter of one second, it will fluctuate either 100 or a 120 times, so it kinda has this peak that it's wavering between low and high intensity on the light during this entire period of time. Now if you recall, this camera can fire at 14 frames a second, 16 frames if we want to talk about being in the live-view mode but the normal shooting 14 frames a second, where do your photos happen to fall on this spectrum of low to high power. Well, it's a bit of random luck as to where that happens to land up and so you can see if you shoot through one second of photographs whether it's at 100 or 120 hertz, you're gonna end up with a variety of images that have different brightness values to them. When you have the flicker mode turned on, what it's gonna do is rather than prioritize taking the photo at the next possible instant it will delay it ever so slightly so that it hits the peak of the next cycle in the flickering of the flash unit and so it's quite possible that you won't get your maximum frames per second, you won't get your 14 frames but you'll still be very fast in the nine to 12 frames per second and if you've ever had to edit and deal with large groups of photos that were all slightly different in their brightness, you would understand the pain and hassle of that. So as an example, here is a light that has flicker to it and so I took four images and let me go back and forth between these four images and chances are you'll notice a little bit of brightness difference especially between say, image two and image four here and so I just happened to catch photos of it either at the peak or at the bottom of it's brightness. So if we turn the flicker reduction on and look at four photos taken just at a random rate, you'll see that it's not quite identical but it is very, very, very close and so this is something that can save you a lot of hassle in dealing with images and so I think it's probably best for most people just to leave this turned on and let the camera fix that sorta problem at the very, very slight cost of a couple frames per second. And so, the other option is you can leave this disabled and leave the flicker warning, which we'll see here in a little bit, turned on so that it comes on in the view finder and then you an choose whether to turn this anti-flicker shooting enabled or disabled but I think for most people enable is the smart choice.
Bonus Materials with Purchase
Canon® 1Dx Mark II Recommended Settings
Canon® 1Dx Mark II Fast Start Class Slides