Help please very dissapointed and confused In complete contrast to my well exposed bright no flash outdoor photos I have been getting mostly everytime underexposed too dark indoor flash photos with my D40 and onboard flash, even and mostly with closer shots of my cats / and people at say 4ft to 10 ft using usually 5.6 in A priority,
lens set usually at between 18mm and up to about 55 mm indoors in a normal lit 20ft X 18 ft living room , Most picture are not bright enough and have to be lightend in picassa and still do not look LOL as good to be truthfull as the the better exposed ( brighter ) indoor flash shots I get with my old p&S canon A610 or fuji f30 compacts .
The D40 is set on 200 iso( but using the auto up to 800iso option set in the menue ) lowest shuter speed at my usuall 125, Lens 18-135 0r sometimes 18-200VR, both same results too dark results,Thank you for any advice or solution .
My experience is that Shutter priority works much better for flash than Aperture priority. I use a Gary Fong Puffer whenever I use the built-in flash and generally set the flash compensation to +1. I take a test shot, check the histogram and adjust from there with the exposure compensation or sometimes just switch to manual. Make sure the flash is set for iTTL in the menu.
The guidenumber of the built-in flash is 11(meter/100iso). At aperture 5,6 this gives you the longest distance of 2 meter, that is about 6 ft. At iso 200 this should give you the max distance 8-9ft.
What background colors does your subjects have? If very light background, the exposure will be darkened. Then you have to compensate because the lightmetering "thinks" the white should be grey. (Try using a black background and see)