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For example, I use a regular cropped DSLR (like Canon 400D (Rebel XTi)) and I use an external ON-camera flash (mounted on the camera's shoe).

How do I determine by looking over the description within the RAW file (or over the EXIF) whether this external flash has burned (or whether the external flash is simply ON or OFF)?

The problem is Lightroom always shows me "Did not fire" for any photos, and it doesn't matter if I have made a photo with an external on-camera flash that burned or with some that didn't burned (or simply is off).

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What version of LR are you using? The Rebel XTi is an older design and may not be fully supported by the current edition of LR. If Canon changed some of The EXIF associations in newer bodies this may be what is causing the problem. Even current versions of Canon's own EOS Utility and Digital Photo Professional don't fully support the Rebel XTi any more. –  Michael Clark Sep 8 '13 at 18:21
    
@Michael Clark, please read my comment below. The problem seems to be is not in Lightroom. Jeffrey's online EXIF viewer shows the same. –  Sunny Reborn Pony Sep 8 '13 at 20:19
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If you are not using an E-TTL compatible flash, the EXIF written in-camera will show did not fire. –  Michael Clark Sep 8 '13 at 20:36
    
@MichaelClark - LR4 at least can still read my EXIF data from my old XTi. Not sure about LR5 as I'm still stuck on Vista. –  AJ Henderson Sep 9 '13 at 13:37
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you are using a non-Canon flash that does not support the E-TTL standard, then the camera is writing "Flash: Did not fire" to the EXIF data. This is also true when using non E-TTL compliant triggers or when using the PC connector on Canon bodies that have one.

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I checked my catalog in Lightroom 4. It reports "Flash: Did fire" when I used a Canon 430EXII on a Canon body. It reports "Flash: Did not fire" when I used a non-Canon brand flash even when it is clear that the flash fired.

If you are using a Canon flash that isn't too old, this could be a problem with LR. If you are not using a Canon flash, I think "Did not fire" is the result. There are exceptions. If you are using a flash that is ETTL-compatible, the value would be correctly reported.

I checked my EXIF on photos where I used a pair of YN-622C triggers to remotely fire a 430EX and the EXIF shows that the flash fired.

The EXIF spec at http://www.exif.org/Exif2-2.PDF may be of interest although it doesn't answer your question directly.

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Well, I'm currently using YN-560II and it doesn't have TTL support. Do you think that the other Yongnuo flash having TTL will provide info correctly, as a brand Canon flash? If so, this is the solution. –  Sunny Reborn Pony Sep 8 '13 at 20:21
    
I have no first hand experience with that TTL Yongnuo flash so I do not know. But I do think that it will work as you expect. (apologies for the late replies - I'm still new to stackexchange) –  ubante Sep 18 '13 at 21:09
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That seems like a bug in Lightroom. The EXIF data should certainly show if the flash fired or not and in many cases may even have information on the flash power or guiide number. Canon's software should give you the most comprehensive view of EXIF data for example you used to even be able to see things like which focus points were used for the photo (I know, unrelated to your question, but just an example.)

Update: it occurred to you the "flash not fired" may be just for the on camera flash vs. the external flash. They exif data should have both but lightroom's default view may not show the external flash EXIF field. I used to have my external flash not attached, and I could control it and me on board flash independently.

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It seems to be that not only the Lightroom show such info. I've uploaded the RAW file to Jeffrey's Exif Viewer and it shows the same thing: img827.imageshack.us/img827/9237/91ha.png –  Sunny Reborn Pony Sep 8 '13 at 18:26
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I had not thought of a non TTL or Canon flash that could not communicate with the camera. –  David Goldwasser Sep 8 '13 at 21:41
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