Over the days leading up to the 25th of December I’d like to give something to everyone who stops by my blog. These tips cover camera settings, flash, lighting, software and gear. I’ll be providing a pair of tips each day until 25th December.

#9 – ISO 400 for flash


ISO 400 for flash

When working with Speedlites, I set ISO 400 on my camera as my staring point. This is how I am able to have my flashes recharge quickly, and not empty batteries at lightning speed. In all reality for modern cameras the difference between ISO 100, and ISO 400 photos is negligible. However to a Speedlite the same ISO change means that instead of working at full power, just 1/4 power is needed. This is what gives more flashes per set of batteries and faster recycling times.

Many people who join my Speedlite workshops automatically set their camera to ISO 100, and wonder why batteries run out so fast. Though I really think that comes from the old school, “film era” when there was a noticeable difference between ISO 100 and 400. I’m equally happy to increase the ISO more if needed.

It’s no coincidence that EOS cameras with AUTO ISO, select ISO 400 if a flash is used. If you’re one of those people who uses manual exposure with ISO AUTO and sometimes adds a flash, you might want to re-read that previous sentence…


#10 – Automatically save edits to your RAW files in DPP

When you exit Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software it prompts you to save the changes to any RAW files you’ve worked. One small change to the preferences avoids that nag message and automatically saves the edits for you. Digital Photo Professional is often overlooked and really it shouldn’t be. To my eye DPP frequently makes my photos look better than other RAW converters.

DPP recipe autosave

So start DPP – or download it from Canon, install it, run it – and jump to the preferences. There it is right on the first page of General settings. Go to the Save recipe and make sure the radio button to automatically add recipe to files is selected.

The recipe goes in to the RAW file, so if you compared the RAW file to the original one on the camera card, it will be slightly different in size. However, if you copy the edited RAW to another machine, the edits move along with the file automatically.


Here’s a few more festive fifty tips

Festive fifty – day #3
Festive fifty – day #15
Festive fifty – day #8
Festive fifty – day #18

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag