Flash Mode Button

Nikon D7000 flash mode buttonExplanation: This button has three different effects but note that not all of them are available in all operation modes:

1. Pop up the integrated flash with a simple push.

This works only for the advanced camera modes P, S, A, M, U1, U2 (and in the scene mode „Food“).
For them the rule is: If the flash is raised the D7000 will use it and if you want to shoot without flash you have to put it down again.

2. Choose flash synchronization together with the main command dial at the back.

Flash synchronization is the synchronization of the very short flash with the longer total exposure time. The options are:

 Default „fill flash“: The flash will be fired at the beginning of the exposure.
The exposure time is dependent on the ambient light and

 Additional red eye reduction: The AF assist lamp will light up for about one second to reduce the effect of red eyes, the shutter release gets delayed by this time.

 “Slow sync”: The exposure time is based on the background and not limited as in the first option „fill flash“, it can get as long as 30s – so you will get a bright background but also the risk of a blurred picture because of camera shake if you don‘t fix your camera properly.

The typical use of this setting are night shots with a long exposure so that you can recognize well the background and a person in the foreground that is lit brightly by the flash.

 „Rear curtain“: The flash is fired at the end of the exposure time.

In camera modes P and A the D7000 will automatically choose slow synchronization on top.

In the camera modes AUTO and SCENE you have only a limited choice of options for the flash synchronization.

3. Set a flash exposure compensation together with the sub-command dial at the front:

Flash exposure compensation means that the automatically determined brightness of the flash is increased or decreased. Only the flash intensity will change; aperture, exposure time and ISO sensitivity stay the same and consequently the brightness of the background in ambient light will not change.

As long as a flash exposure compensation is set a symbol (+/- with a flash) will appear in the viewfinder and on the LCD display at the top of the camera.

Flash exposure compensation is not available in the camera modes AUTO and SCENE.

Tips:

1. About flash usage:

Your own decision to take a photo with or without flash is one of the important steps on the way to better, actively designed pictures and one of the reasons to use the advanced camera modes U1 and U2.

As an owner of a D7000 you should experiment by taking pictures with and without flash if you are uncertain. Rules of thumb are:

  • Even in bright daylight the flash can be helpful to lighten shadows – so use it not despite of sunshine but because of sunshine and the shadows that it creates!
    Fill flash reduces contrasts and can improve your picture.
  • Also in low light it can be better to take a picture without flash to avoid that the flash disturbs the much more atmospheric ambient light.

2. About flash synchronization:

 as the default value is the best choice for most situations.

 is in my view annoying because of the delay that it causes. Red eyes are better removed afterwards in the computer.
Those who shoot standard party pictures where people pose for a while may like it but for any other pictures of people it matters that you can react fast to catch the right moment.

SLOW is appropriate if a dark background should get right exposure but causes long exposure times for which you should be prepared with a tripod or at least by putting the camera on some solid ground as a help.

REAR is a specialty for moving subjects because it lets traces of the motion appear behind the subject and emphasizes the movement.

3. About flash exposure compensation:

Flash exposure compensation is important when using fill flash in day light. Usually a reduced flash power (e.g. by -1.0) will result in better pictures because lightening shadows too much lets them disappear and looks unnatural.

And if you would normally prefer to take a photo without flash for better atmosphere but you have no tripod or other means to prevent camera shaking it can be a compromise to switch on the flash with a negative flash exposure compensation. But then don‘t forget to switch also to slow sync.