"Coolpix 990 has significant flash related bugs..."
It's apparent now that the 990 has several flash related bugs. I've had problems with flash exposures and I've found recent postings around the web and at the Nikontech site that point to repeatable errors:
- When using flash in fill mode (or any mode with bright ambient lighting) the camera selects a one stop faster shutter speed and underexposes the image by one stop.
- I've found the camera produces consistently underexposed images when used with an external SB-28 flash in the M-Rec mode and the internal flash disabled. I haven't tried using both internal and external flashes.
- The 990 sends no signal to a Nikon external flash to kick it out of standby mode. You must manually override the standby mode on the flash, or turn it to the always on position.
- I've discovered that exposure compensation doesn't affect exposure when the flash is used (making it impossible to compensate for the underexposure bug).
#1. "RE: Coolpix 990 has significant flash related bugs..." In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
I've been thinking about buying a 990 so I have this question regardging the use of the sb-28: Is this connected to the camera via cable of some sort? Would using the internal flash, and a remote sb-26 or sb-28 with su-4 remote trigger correct the under exposure?
#2. "RE: Coolpix 990 has significant flash related bugs..." In response to Reply # 1
Salt Lake City, US
The 990 has a connector for a Nikon TTL cord. I use an SC-19 to connect directly to the SB-28. The internal flash will trigger a flash on the SU-4 remote, provided the sensor can be oriented to the camera. I've also worked with the SB-29 connected by cord and my SB-22s on the SU-4 (camera's internal flash disabled). The underexposure appears to be a basic error in the way the camera works in the pseudo-TTL mode. I haven't played much with manual flash modes to force a better exposure, but that may be possible. I typically disable the camera's internal flash since it usually doesn't add to the product lighting setups I'm using.
One of the benefits I'm getting with having the 990 is being able to instantly preview lighting setups for my F100 or N80 without the benefit of modelling lights or Polaroid proofs. Unfortunately, I have to be cautious with using the digital previews since the 990 isn't providing reliable exposure control.