As some of you may have read in my review of the Panasonic GX1, it has a small pop-up flash that can be held back to provide bounce flash for more flattering light. When I wrote the review, I hadn’t yet really explored all the abilities of this little feature, as I tend to use my external flashgun for bounce when I need it. Originally, I somewhat dismissed it after trying it with a few slower lenses and such However, recently I’ve found this little guy to come in quite handy.
One thing that you may not know is that the pop up flash can actually be locked into the bounce position. Just pull it straght back and gently press the rear of the housing into the back depression of the pop-up well, and the flash will lock into place. Now you have a flash that will bounce to the ceiling for horizontal shots, or bounce left or right for vertical shots. It’s not as versatile as a dedicated flash gun, of course, but it provides much softer light. I have also found that at ISO 320, the pop-up flash is quite usable in most rooms for lenses f/2 and faster. Slower lenses can be used, but ISO levels would have to be raised as well.
Once you learn how to work around its limitations, soft light can be yours even in your pocket! The shot below was taken with the GX1 and the pop-up flash bounced to the right, with the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 wide open at f/1.8.