Definition: Off-camera flash; Flash, off-camera

Definition: Off-camera flash; Flash, off-camera | Glossary entry

Off-camera flash; Flash, off-camera

Flash units that are not built-in to the camera are referred to as off-camera flash. They are mounted in one of two ways. On the hotshoe on top of the camera. Alternatively it can be mounted on a light stand or convenient surface. The off-camera flash communicates with the camera in one of three ways…

  • The camera emits its own flash or infra-red light to trigger the off-camera flash
  • There is a direct wire connection between camera and off-camera flash
  • A connection is completed by a radio signal trigger.

Some off-camera flash units are capable of Through-The-Lens (TTL) control where the camera senses the scene and adjusts the flash accordingly. Other units will need to be manually adjusted when off the camera. The degree to which the flash is programmable by the camera or the photographer is determined by the model and often price of the flash unit.

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