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Old Jun 17, 2006, 1:02 PM   #1
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I'm told that my Kodak P850 has a hotshoe... and it seems to be considered a good feature... I'm assuming that the hotshoe is that wierd thing on top of the viewfinder but it doesn't seem to serve any particular purpose... so what is it and why is it a good thing?
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 1:18 PM   #2
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Hot Shoe - A flash connector generally found on the top of the camera that lets you attach a flash unit and trigger it in sync with the shutter.
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Your Kodak comes with an ISO Standard Hotshoe. So, a non-dedicated flash with a standard foot will work with (it fits into the hotshoe).

An external flash can get you better photos compared to the built in flash. You can bounce the flash from the ceiling or wall for more diffused lighting and less shadows if you get one with swivel and tilt ability, and help avoid the "deer caught in the headlights" look to photos.

Getting the flash further away from the lens also reduces the chance of redeye.

In addition, you can increase your flash range substantially, depending on the flash you buy.

Because it's an ISO standard hotshoe (versus one that's proprietary to a manufacturer with extra pins used for communicating with a camera), there are many strobes that will work with it. One popular model that would work with your Kodak is the Sunpak 383 Super.

This particular Sunpak is an Auto Thyristor type flash. Basically, you select from one of 3 Aperture Ranges, then set the camera's aperture to match (using manual exposure on the camera). The flash then controls it's own output for the exposure, based on how much reflected light it sees for the selected Aperture Range.

Some flashes have this feature, and some don't (Automatically control their own ouput based on a built in sensor that is measuring reflected light during the exposure). But, you have MANY choices that would work with your camera, and you could find a pretty decent flash on the used market for around $20 or so that would improve your photos compared to the built in flash.

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