Monday, 25 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/6.3, 1/2, ISO80, -2EV

Ricoh CX1 f/5, 1/7, ISO161,-1.3EV

Strobist ? Isn't that to do with off-camera flash, DSLRs, hotshoes, wireless, pocket wizards, cactus triggers, sync cords ? ...the list goes on. Answer yes. So how can CX1 be a part of that ?

CX1 is not a DSLR, doesn't have a pc socket or hotshoe for external flash triggering, so there's no way of connecting, and it definitely doesn't have wireless flash control built-in...we could live in hope !

But what the CX1 does have is, like most compacts, an onboard flash - and a reasonably powerful one at that. But it goes beyond the usual p&s brigade for two reasons :

1/ The internal flash has output compensation control. In the words of the brilliant Joe McNally, that means you're not going to nuke every subject you point the camera at can reduce the level to fill-in, or even -2 ... hardly noticeable, but there.

2/ CX1 also has a 'slow synchro' flash mode - so you can pick up the ambient light as well as adding flash to your exposure.

Having used the D3 the other evening, with 3 x SB-800s (one on camera as master, two off-camera 'slaves'), and being inspired by some of what I've read so far of 'The Hot Shoe Diaries' (McNally), I thought the least I could do was try using a couple of SB-800s in
'SU-4/slave' mode, to see what I could get. In a way ridiculous that each cost more than the CX1, but as I have them, wanted to use them !

With a CTO gel in each to warm things up, here are a couple of examples of indoor 'strobist'/off-camera flash usage, where the CX1 flash comp, set to -2, triggered both SBs in sync. The strobes are of course then each manually set for the required power output to taste. I'm pleased with the results so far, and it's a great way to set-up different-looking shots quickly & easily. More to come...