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XWing0949

Is the X-T1 (or any other Fuji X Camera) capable of high speed sync for flash photography?

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My apologies if this has already been discussed and answered, and if it has, could you kindly point me to the appropriate discussion? Thanks.

If not, here goes....

I really want to get and switch over to an X camera, namely the new X-T1, but I'm not sure if it is capable for doing what I need?

The image quality is great (as with all the other Fuji X cameras for that matter) and there are a lot of great features, but I do a lot of outdoor portraits and overpowering the sun with a flash is huge part of what I do throughout my work day.

In natural light, I'm sure the X-T1 (and many other modern cameras) can do well provided you have the right angle of light to illuminate the subject (and scene) propoperly. But, being outdoors and often not having enough shade (or shade with the right background), you'll either have more often than not an image which has to be darker than you want or have highlights blowout to balance the subject.. You're working with less than ideal conditions and a good flash and good shutter speed performance is a much if you want to balance out your photos and make them look professional and not amateurish because you didn't have the proper equipment to make the shot work.

I am surprised nobody uses flash for more challenging light conditions (and I'm not talking low light high ISO stuff) such as proper lighting and exposures in outdoor portrait photography where you really have to use a flash to get the image to look right. And, if somebody does uses flash for the purposes I'm talking about, I have not come across such a talk before. Studio lighting is one thing, but I'm talking about conditions that are less than ideal and you have just yourself and limited resources to keep taking photos throughout the day.. no other equipment, just make the best out of the environment with camera and flash.

The X-T1 (and presumably other Fuji X cameras) is suppose to give you a more professional feel and use, and in a number of ways it does, but strangely the flash options (and shutter sync, another matter) are seemingly more than a little bit underwhelming and may not be a powerful enough tool to work outdoors in the daytime as I am describing.

I've been looking over Youtube, the internet, and even forums and downloaded pdf manuals for the X-T1 and other Fuji cameras & accessories to see if there is more information that can help me see if any of the X cameras can have the flash performance I require, but so far the information hasn't really surfaced or has been really "dodgy" and still not clear. If I've concluded with any answers from my research so far, then it has been the X-T1 (and just about all other Fuji X cameras) are not capable of high speed sync with flash... not even sure if Fuji makes a flash capable of HSS? Maybe I missed something and perhaps a number of X camera users who have done a lot of outdoor photography and have real experience using it in the way I am specifically asking could shed some insight into this matter?

I wish the max sync speed could be 1/8000 instead of 1/4000, but I think I can work with 1/4000, still. However, I think the limitations is more with the flash sync speed. I know the flash sync speed is limited to just 1/180 (and similarly with nearly all other current X cameras except perhaps the X100/X100S).

Is the X-T1 (or X-E2, X-PRO1, ect.) capable of high speed sync with any external Fuji flashes (ex. EF-42) or any flashes for that matter so I have some possibility of using a flash to lightup my subjects properly against a bright background during the daytime?

I think that's the main performance obstacle I am trying to overcome and researching to see if I can make the X-T1 (or any other X camera) work for my needs.

Hope you can provide some insight, comment or feedback on this. Thanks!

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The X100/X100S have leaf shutters that synch with flash at all speeds.

The rest of the DX sensor Fuji X cams do not.

Vic

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There are reports that you can actually sync at 250, for what it's worth, but beyond that, you've hit the limits of regular focal plane shutters. Some camera and flash combos (e.g. a high end Nikon set) are able to overcome that with a system for very precisely flickering the flash as the gap in the shutter travels across the sensor but Fuji hasn't done that.

The leaf shutter Fujis have extremely fast sync. That's the X100/X100S and X10/X20.

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Yeah, I know the X100/X100S have the leaf shutter and that's great it can do some nice fast shutter speeds for flash (or just to help reduce some of the some light if shooting wide open).

For the record, I used to own a X100. Loved it, but the focusing ;( ... just wasn't quite the performance for my personal needs. Other than that, I may have kept it.

I wouldn't mind another X100.. probably get the X100S, but i would prefer an X camera with more lens options.. though, it's nice with the wide converter and the new 50mm equivalent teleconverter will be a nice addition.. still, I would prefer even more options, especially to be able to use that nice 56mm lens.

I also had a X10. IQ was actually quite good and very impressive, but I didn't like the OVF and the lack of an EVF and basically needing to use as a point and shoot and handling less than ideal for what I liked.

I currently work with the OM-D E-M1. Though it has 1/8000, I never really need to go that high and use it. It also does have a higher flash sync of 1/320, but it's still too slow for the outdoor portraits I do. But, at least the Olympus flash and the E-M1 have HSS which really makes my outdoor portraits possible and look good.

Hmm... that's too bad about the X-T1 (& X-Pro1 & X-E2, etc...) I really wish Fuji would get their shutter and sync speeds up then it would be the most idea well rounded camera from them and tempt me to get one again.

The only other choice is to use an ND filter, but it's going to be pretty strong and I don't know about blocking that much light.. framing and focus will be pretty challenging and the fact you have an extra layer in front of the lens is not preferable, as well.

Any other ideas?

Doesn't sound like there's much options or hope using any current Fuji X camera (other than an X100/X100S) for the specific purposes I require... Unless some firmware updates, but I doubt it'll open any of the physical/mechanical limitations of the camera(s) themselves when it comes to highest possible shutter speed.

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I know what you mean. I am also limited by the 1/180 sec max flash sync. The ND filter coupled with the OVF is a workaround since it would still give you the option to "see" without the filter. But it would require that you bump up the power on your flashes to compensate. I wish this was just a firmware issue and not a mechanical one so that a simple firmware upgrade could fix it but I doubt it.

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How about X-Pro1 with ND filter and use the OVF which won't be filtered?

Thanks, but you're not going to get critical focus like that though just strictly using the OVF.. besides, framing/composition will be off.. might possibly get something unwontedly cropped off, also.

I know what you mean. I am also limited by the 1/180 sec max flash sync. The ND filter coupled with the OVF is a workaround since it would still give you the option to "see" without the filter. But it would require that you bump up the power on your flashes to compensate. I wish this was just a firmware issue and not a mechanical one so that a simple firmware upgrade could fix it but I doubt it.

Same comment about the ND filter, you could "see", but you won't be able to confirm focus and of course parallax error to make sure your frame & composition is right is also not reliable if just using the OVF, unfortunately.. Only way, that will remotely work like this, is to stop down to allow for more DOF and be extra generous with framing/composition and crop later.. kind of defeats the purpose of trying to get subject isolation and nice bokeh outdoors, though.

Yeah, not likely any firmware will fix this and as much as I (and other have) praised the X cameras for their great IQ, this specific area seems to be missed and never truly addressed.. I guess there's no real fix or way around it and it is unfortunately a failing in the X cameras overall.

Pros use flashes, right? I strongly urge Fuji to up their development in this area of the X cameras. It's badly needed in more applications than just my one here.

Sure, I use to be a strong believer in wanting a nice IQ camera that's cool and compact like the X cameras (or even my MFT OM-D's) and just go around shooting with available light to make the best picture possible.. I really didn't want to bulk up my kit and have too much attention drawn to me that screamed photographer with big bulky gear and accessories. BUT! I've realized a good powerful flash (or flashes) can be your friend and make your photos look even better. You really need to use them when possible & applicable. It makes a great difference and in a large number of circumstances, you just can't get the right exposure balance and impact without one, my outdoor photography case in point.

I try to keep my gear size down when not shooting a job, but when I do get paid, I have to whip out and use the extra gear and accessories to get the shot I want. Being a bit of a newbie at this, I'm learning not to be afraid to get and use what I need when I need it.

I'm very happy with my E-M1, it really is a very capable camera and can do exactly what I need it to. And for the time being, does a lot more and better overall than any current Fuji camera.

Why do I look to get another Fuji X camera again if I have that? Well, I really do miss the slightly better IQ and unique rendering of my Fuji X100 (and I believe all the newer X cameras basically produce the same images I remember). I feel the styling and analog controls is really nice and cool, but admittedly a bit more limiting at the same time as you cannot customize them like you can with the E-M1. I even think the performance in the AF/MF department is a lot better than it use to be and workable now (still not as fast and slick as my E-M1, but good enough). But, I realize how important flash is to photography, especially with my current type of work, and sadly that's a very important piece of the puzzle missing from the X cameras.. they just can't do enough with flash the way they are now, unfortunately.. save that of the X100/X100S, but as I stated I'd like to have the full range of Fujinon interchangeable lenses available to me.

I'll just wait until Fuji gets their hardware more in order so that a suitable shutter speed with usable flash synchronization is available in later X model iterations.. hopefully in a X-T2 (crap, will have to wait at least another year & half to two for another X-T gen) or an X-Pro 2 (hopefully it's coming sooner than later and around the corner... it's been way too long since they've updated their "flagship" camera).

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... or, if either the price for a X-T1 (or X-Pro 1) has gone down enough or I find the calling to get another X camera (despite a strong personal drawback) is to loud to ignore, I may pick up another X camera someday to maybe use for one of it's most heralded qualities, low light and clean high(er) ISO performance. I don't currently do a lot of low light photos, but I can see the justification there to have one for that purpose... if not for personal use and fun.

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It is the nature of a focal plane shutter. No way around it in the foreseeable future. The shutter must be fully open for the flash to work. Contemporary materials have moved it up into the range of 1/180th to 1/250th. It could be worse, the otherwise lovely Pentax67 focal plane was limited to 1/30th.

Until someone invents something other than a built-in focal plane shutter, Fuji will not get their hardware more in order, nor will Nikon, nor will Canon, nor will Sony, nor will Pentax. It is simply a physical limitation of the focal plane shutter design. Above 1/180th the shutter turns into a moving slit which gets narrower as the exposure becomes shorter.

Perhaps in a decade or so, some type of consumer-level electronic shutter may emerge, but there are no rumours that this is even being developed. A LCD panel of great density that could go from fully opaque to transparent and back in 1/8000th of a second would do the trick.

The only other solution would be a leaf-shutter in every lens, which I have on a number of film cameras. Worked beautifully, but was a very expensive solution. When I was shooting film in the sub-tropics, fill-flash was vital with faces for several hours in the mid-day. 35mm SRLs were for the most part useless, so it was a choice of medium-format or the cameras that set the type for the X100. They had leaf-shutters good to 1/500th of a second. The X100 will sync at full power to 1/2000th of a second. It has by far, the best fill-flash setup of any camera in history.

If interchangeable lenses are required, Mamiya does have a medium-format digital solution with three lenses with leaf shutters and a choice of backs. None of it is particularly integrated. The most sophisticated solution is provided by Hasselblad (rumoured to be manufactured by Fuji) but be prepared for considerable sticker shock. Pentax and Leica have focal plane shutters limited to 1/125th. So it comes down to your choice—Mamiya or Hasselblad.

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Thank you @Larry for the detailed explanation. This is an eye opener for me. I always thought it had something to do with the physical limitations of something in the camera and not the firmware. This confirms it. It also confirms that the limitation with X-sync will remain in the foreseeable future of my X-Pro1. :-(

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I always thought it had something to do with the physical limitations of something in the camera and not the firmware. This confirms it. It also confirms that the limitation with X-sync will remain in the foreseeable future of my X-Pro1. :-(

It IS a physical limitation. The shutter actually moves and is limited by its strength, and the power the camera can exert on it without destroying it. Inertia would also come into play, since the shutter needs to reach its working velocity immediately or uneven exposure becomes a problem. It is anything but a simple device, and certainly represents the state-of-the-art at present.

With high-ISO setting becoming cleaner and cleaner, there is much less incentive for companies to spend a lot of R&D funds on higher sync speeds. Flash is primarily confined to studios where high sync speeds are irrelevant along with high-speed scientific instrumentation.

In general photography, it was vital back in film days when ISO100 was considered fast and grain was enormous. I have always loved the beauty of ambient light and spent countless hours practicing with multiple flash to make it totally resemble the light is was supplementing. My flash heads and light stands have rarely left their case in the past decade or two.

I just made a letter-sized print from an X-Pro1 JPEG shot at ISO25,600, and noise is barely visible. Easily the equal of Fujicolor 400 film in a 35mm camera. My D700 has built-in flash, and I have never gone beyond just testing it. Nor do I miss it on my X-Pro1. On the other hand, I treasure it for incredibly accurate fill with my X100. Since the tube is so close to the optical axis, there is rarely a discernible secondary shadow, and shadow detail looks natural, though in abundance. If for no other reason than its astonishing fill-flash, my X100 may be mine for life.

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I love natural and ambient light in general. In most of my portraits I rely on that type of light completely. However, there are times when I do want to "kill" ambient light and in my DSLR I would have just flipped into 1/250 shutter speed and used flash to light my subject. Sadly, I can't do the same with my X-Pro1. Btw, I absolutely love my X-Pro1 and use it by default, only shifting to my DSLR where specific needs arise.

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The difference between 1/180th and 1/250th is only 0.5EV. Just within the threshold of visibility. Simply not significant.

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There are independent flash units that provide HSS or high speed sync with any camera. They basically do the same thing Nikon or anyone else does, pulse the flash to cover the shutter movement. Some flash units and triggers can Hyper sync where the trigger pulse to fire is delayed just enough to make use of the tail end power output of certain flash units. These are usually studio units and Pocket Wizard promotes this.

I'm using the newer Profoto B1 cordless units and they are saying they may do high speed sync in the future. I think some phottix and yongnuo units can do it but they too might be camera specific. You have to look around and on occasion just give it a try.

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There are two things required for High Speed Sync or H mode, to occur.

A) A strobe that is capable of doing the 50KHz pulsing for the duration of the shutter travel. B) a trigger in the camera hot shoe that can switch the camera into FP-sync mode. i.e. make the camera think there is an HSS capable speedlite in the hot shoe.

Unfortunately, the only triggers commonly available from Yongnou, Phottix, Godox, and others that support this feature are Canon and Nikon specific.

Unfortunately, until someone builds an FP sync trigger for Fuji X system ND filters are the only option for large aperture strobe photography in bright ambient conditions. And that approach works.

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And realistically, sunny 16 is still a valid guide. ISO 200, 1/180 shutter means F16 for bright sunlight. That's not too small an aperture for most portraits with longer lenses. Not ideal but acceptable. At 5 feet focus distance, a 56mm lens on an X system camera has about 1.5ft DoF at F16. The background will be out of focus, not as smooth as at F1.4 but manageable.

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The answer seems quite simple to me. I must be missing something, but why are shutters not fully electronic by now?Do we actually need a mechanical curtain to act as the light gathering limiter? Why not have the camera brain simply begin and end recording the image encompassing the time the flash illuminates the subject? isn't this one of those Duuuuuh things?

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The X-Pro1 will sync at 250th fact! The same is sadly not true for the X-E1. If in any doubt try shooting at a white background.

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God it's a pain on the X-E1. Not only does it fail over 1/180, the shutter speed wheel only shows 1/125 and you have to push buttons to adjust it higher. Add to that the fact that any time the camera shuts off (sleep timer of power switch) the manual alterations reset to 1/125 and I end up feeling like the limit really is 1/125.

Adding the max flash sync speed onto the shutter dial, regardless of whether it's a logical "stop", is one of the many small improvements that Fuji has made to the newer cameras that show they are at least paying attention (like the +-3 exp. comp. rather than +-2, both of which require no special programming, just sensible physical design).

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I currently use the Fuji system for about 5% of my work. If it supported HSS that would be 50% and possibly more.

I see a possible solution which could be implemented by Fuji and is probably a reasonably simple firmware upgrade. A number of third party flashes and speedlites (Godox AD180/360 and Godox V850 for example) support HSS. These are camera independent ie. you can set them to use HSS without being connected to a physical camera or trigger which supports HSS. The Yongnuo 622C (Canon specific) triggers will allow a Canon camera (there is also a Nikon variant) to trigger at HSS. In normal usage the camera needs to know it has a HSS compatible flash attached, this is mimicked by the Yongnuo trigger. The key thing about this implementation of HSS is it triggers the flash when the shutter is triggered and does not wait for the shutter to be fully open ie. at the start of the shutter travel the flash is triggered. This ensures the flash fires continuously for the duration of the exposure regardless of shutter speed or the state of the shutters (slit or fully open).

It would be relatively easy I'm assuming for Fuji to add a Flash timing option to the menu and give the user the choice of 'Standard Flash Trigger' or 'Early Flash Trigger'. The 'Early' option would pull down the centre pin on the flash shoe when the shutter button was pressed fully regardless of shutter speed or state of the shutters. This in turn would allow a wireless trigger to trigger an external flash. The flash would be set to HSS mode and once triggered would operate.

Seriously, I would move a lot of my system to Fuji if this was done.

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On ‎16‎/‎01‎/‎2015 at 7:32 AM, BBSpecial said:

The X-Pro1 will sync at 250th fact! The same is sadly not true for the X-E1. If in any doubt try shooting at a white background.

The X-E2s syncs at 1/250 sec though Fuji continues to mark 1/180 with 'x'!  I found that accidentally the other day!!

On ‎05‎/‎10‎/‎2014 at 1:13 PM, Henrik said:

The answer seems quite simple to me. I must be missing something, but why are shutters not fully electronic by now?Do we actually need a mechanical curtain to act as the light gathering limiter? Why not have the camera brain simply begin and end recording the image encompassing the time the flash illuminates the subject? isn't this one of those Duuuuuh things?

Fuji does not permit flash with electronic shutter!

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