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Old Jul 31, 2004, 2:37 AM   #1
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When would I need an external Flash.
In which Situations is it necessary to use one?

I am currently thinking about buying a FZ3 (once it's available), but as it has no hotshoe, I am curious whether it will be likely that I miss the option of an external flash, or not.

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Old Jul 31, 2004, 6:27 AM   #2
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Depends on whether you're a casual shooter, or plan future advanced shooting once you learn more. Also, external flashes have more power than internal ones...most internal flashes are only good for about 15 feet or less.

Even if your camera doesn't have a hotshoe or other connection for flash, you can use an external flash called a slave which fires wirelessly when it "sees" your internal flash (or the flash of another camera) firing.

Here's my flash (Metz 34-CS2 digital) firing on the counter in the store:

You can either hold the slave in your hand, or attach it to the camera via a flash bracket which attaches to the tripod socket (there is no other connection to the camera):

The only thing with slaves is you have to think a bit more...if you had a TTL flash compatible with camera, what settings the camera chooses to take a picture will be sent to the flash as well and the flash would change its settings based on the camera's settings. But it doesn't look like TTL is available on any Panasonic DMC-FZx camera, so you would have to do some thinking anyway (if you select a flash with multiple power levels, you have to adjust power beforehand).

There are other slaves besides the Metz 34-CS2, I only chose it because of its small size and it's compatible with the preflash my camera fires (some do, some don't, but you need a compatible slave if your camera does fire a preflash)...the Metz is a little expensive to operate because it runs on two non-rechargeable CR2 batteries.
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