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Author Topic: Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?  (Read 7900 times)  bookmark this topic!
scotch196
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Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?
« on: March 11, 2009, 07:01:40 AM »

I recently bought a 450D, intending to use it for studio work among other uses. I photograph artwork, using studio flash, and thought the live view mode, with grid enabled, would be good for this. But it appears that an external, non-Canon flash will not work in live view.

It also appears that you have to have an appropriate exposure setting for the camera to "see" the subject. In other words, I can't use manual exposure as indicated by my flash meter - say 1/200 at F8 - as this is far too low for the ambient light and the live view is basically so dark it looks black.

I've only just started playing around with the camera, so maybe I'm missing something here? I thought studio work, using studio flash and manual exposure, would be the situation where live view would be most often used, but clearly not. So I'm wondering what's the real, practical use of live view?

I also shoot wildlife, where I'm unlikely to ever use live view, so the camera will still be used for that purpose - but I'm disappointed I can't utilise live view for my studio work.

If I've got this wrong or should be using different camera settings, I'd really appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

Many thanks,

Scotch
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Bob Atkins
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Re: Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 10:35:32 AM »

I can't address the specific issue you raise, but I can make a few comments.

I doubt that Canon ever designed the Rebel series with studio flash in mind. It's very much a consumer oriented camera, though they did put a PC socket on the 450D

LiveView is marketed as mainly a consumer P&S mode, which emulates the live view which all digicams have. It can also be uselful for manual focus in situations such as astrophotography and high magnification macro work. It's never really meant as a main mode of operation and, in fact, it can drain the battery pretty fast. I think there's also a time limit on it's use based on heating up the sensor.

I don't really see the need for it with studio flash work, though I guess you could use the grid since the 450D doesn't have an optional viewfinder screen with grid lines.

I don't see why you can't use an external flash with Live View but it's something I don't recall ever trying with my 40D. If I get a chance I'll give it a try and report back here.
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scotch196
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Re: Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 03:20:19 PM »

Thanks Bob, I appreciate your helpful comments and understand that I was probably expecting too much of a consumer camera. I'm not a commercial photographer, but do occasional product shots, mainly using a tabletop set-up with a couple of lights using a softbox/umbrellas.

I didn't put too much thought into how LiveView works, but believed it would be useful for this type of set-up where one could move things around and see the result in the LCD without having to bend down and peer through the viewfinder - as is possible with a point and shoot or on the groundglass screen of a medium format camera.

This scenario is still possible with the 450D, but only if you're using available light, as your exposure settings dictate what you see on the back screen. External flash connected via a hot-shoe adaptor doesn't work in LiveView on the 450D.

End result is not a train-smash; if I want to use LiveView, I'll use another light source or, if I need to use flash, I can do what I've been doing in the past and look through the viewfinder. One day when I have more cash I'll go for a higher-end product but it'll be more for the joy of it than real necessity.

Thanks again,

Scotch
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jodaco
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Re: Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 08:14:08 PM »

I don't have a 450D but on the 50D there's a setting to switch on/off exposure simulation. With this setting on the camera will attempt to show the actual esposure in Live View which will mean dark with your settings. With this setting off the camera will just show what it can see (doesn't care what exposure settings are). Perhaps this is your issue.
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lukeap69
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Posts: 34


Re: Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 12:18:06 AM »

i don't have 450D either but i have the 40D. it might have been exposure simulation as jodaco pointed out. i played with this function before and turned it off after i used in low light situation which what you might have experienced.
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scotch196
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Posts: 8


Re: Canon 450D in live view plus studio flash - can it work?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 03:07:49 AM »

Thanks for the replies. From what I can work out, the 450D doesn't have the facility to switch exposure simulation off. The manual says simply: "The LiveView image will reflect the brightness level of the actual image you capture. If the image is too bright, turn the dial to the right; if it's too dark, turn the dial to the left".

But if I can't use an external studio flash in LiveView, it doesn't matter that exposure simulation can't be switched off.

I'll simply look through the viewfinder as I've always done in the past. That way I can use studio flash with an exposure of 1/125 at F11 and still focus and compose the subject, even though correct exposure for the ambient light would be around 1/25 at F4 .

Cheers,

Scotch

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