How do I know if external flash is compatible with my DSLR?

I have an Olympus E420 DSLR camera 10mp. Quite old, bought it in 2011.

I want to get a bounce head flash for it. I’m new to using accessories like this with my camera, but when I get really close to my subjects a shadow is cast over the whole photo. So is this what I need? And if so what one? I’m thinking of buying online to get a good deal? I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for so any help would be great.

My camera has one of those external slot things on the top in which to connect the bounce flash, if that’s what it’s called? I’m looking at this at the moment, but I want to be completely sure its what I need before I buy it.

Thanks in advance for any answers.

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4 Responses to “How do I know if external flash is compatible with my DSLR?”

  1. deep blue2 says:

    Yes that flash is ok for your camera and, being a modern flash designed for digital cameras has a perfectly safe trigger voltage. I have a slightly different version of that flash – the YN460 MkII and also the YN560 – again this only costs around £40 and is a slgihtly more powerful & adjustable flash unit.

    These flashes are manual flashes – you set the flash out put on them manually and use your camera in manual exposure mode.

    More advanced (& expensive) flashes use TTL technology, which means the flash measures & automatically sets the power output – this requires a compatible flash and it doesn’t always get it right.

    Learning to light with a manual flash will give you more consistent results.

    You can swivel & tilt the flash head for bouncing flash off of a nearby neutral surface. You can mount this flash in the hotshoe (as that ‘slot thing’ is called) but ideally, you should get the flash OFF camera to reduce shadows. You can get a set of radio triggers (I use RF602’s) for about £20 a set.

  2. Hourglass Imaging Photography & Design says:

    The part at the top of your camera that holds an external flash is a ‘hot shoe mount’. In order to be sure that the flashes you’re looking at are compatible with your unit, look up the specs on the manufacturing website. Typically they will list the different makes and models that they’re compatible with.

    For example, you list your model as "E420" and it’s in the title of the link you posted as well. They’re letting you know it will communicate with your camera.

    Having said that, camera equipment can be a large investment and you want to be sure you’re getting exactly what you need. If you’re concerned about getting a unit that will not work, go to your local specialty camera store and talk to the staff. Perhaps consider getting a unit with a warranty and a guarantee to give you peace of mind.

  3. snunicycler says:

    good question. It says it’s compatible with olympus and 2011 isn’t too old. I would assume it will be fine, your camera has a shoe mount on the top and that is what your flash needs.

  4. B K says:

    The bit on the top is called a hot shoe.

    Yes a bounce flash will help prevent harsh shows

    Your camera has TTL Flash capabilities. To be honest I would say for full compatibility you’d be better sticking with an Olympus flash – these third party type flashes usually have to be used manually – there is no auto exposure (the TTL won’t work).

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