It has a switch to the left of the power on/off switch that sets the camera for "Auto" or "Program." When the camera is in the auto mode the flash is always in "Auto Flash" the camera controls the flash as needed. In the program mode you can set the flash manually for 1) auto, 2) on, 3) slow synchro - slows shutter speed to brighten background, or 4) off. The slow synchro actually gives very even lighting to the scene or you can just turn the flash on and the exposure is balanced between the subject in shadow and the background.
I'm not certain, but we have taken pictures in dim light which have turned out really well. We have then turned on the flash mode for comparison and the picture is even brighter and crisper looking . This camera takes amazing pictures in most situations! Hope this helps.
It depends on how you have the camera set. This camera is like several different cameras in one - you can set it on full automatic or you can set it on full manual, either one with the flash ON or OFF as you desire.