Hi-speed sync

Albert Pedrosa

ONE of the limitations of a focal plane shutter, both used by mirrorless and DSLR, is that it can only allow shooting with strobe at 1/200 shutter speed and below. The maximum shutter speed that the camera can allow with strobe is called flash sync. Should you decide to shoot faster than the flash sync, you’ll see a block of line in your shot.

Well it’s quite easy to digest that — as long as you’re below the flash sync, you’re safe. However, what if you want to shoot at a faster shutter speed? What if you want to open up your aperture to create a shallow depth of field and increase the shutter to control the exposure while using strobe to fill in the light?

This is where hi-speed sync comes in. It’s a feature found on most camera mounted flash. It allows the camera to shoot at higher than flash sync shutter and avoid the block of line in your shot. The solution is to let the flash fire multiple times in coordination with the shutter speed settings in your camera.

The more expensive speedlite normally has this feature. But because speedlite is small in terms of power or light intensity, it cannot battle a strong lighted outdoor environment. Mounted speedlite is also limited as to where you want the light coming from since it has to be mounted to a camera for the hi-speed sync to work.

The only way to do it is to get a high powered strobe that can do hi-speed sync while independently positioned from your angle of choice. The setup should be able to wirelessly trigger the free positioned hi-powered strobe and wireless hi-speed sync functionality should be available. All these and more are found in the Phottix Indra battery powered strobe.

It has other features, too, like the TTL metering where the strobe in coordination with your camera decides the best lighting intensity needed for the shot. There’s a group of strobe management and control offering all the adjustment wirelessly from your trigger mounted in your camera.

Perfect for shooting portraits. Beauty dish mounted on a Phottix Indra500 set on hi speed sync. 1/1600sec, f/1.8

The first time I used it in an actual shoot, it was a disaster. I had to switch it back to its dumb version because I can’t get it to work intelligently. It was actually me missing to read the manual and failing to test it before using it in a paid job. Moral of the story: read the manual, and getting acquainted with the equipment is a must before anything else.

After reading the manual and a lot of testing, it’s a worthy piece of equipment when you’re crazy about lights. The build is impressive and it looks like they’re now trying to create a system of equipments with compatibility. Yes it carries a hefty price tag, but it’s a good alternative to a more expensive system like Profoto.

There’s really no end when learning photography. Got my Phottix Indra 500 from Macys Camera shop. Check them out.

Keep on shooting, everyone!

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