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Old Oct 8, 2004, 11:11 AM   #1
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anybody have any experience using a minolta z1 with a minolta 3600hs flash...im taking alot of pictures outdoors in the night at rock shows and stuff....need a little advice on settings to get the most from my flash....here are the pictures i took last week with the camera on manual...just seems like the flash isnt as bright as it should be...not much different then the actual camera flash...any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated....check out this link for the pics http://community.webshots.com/user/industryelevyn4
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 11:46 AM   #2
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Check out this post:


I am using a Z3 with a 5600 flash-- similar setup to yours.

Advantages of the external flash:

-More powerful: Your Z1 on-board flash has a guide number of 12. The 3600 GN is 36. The useful distance for the Z1 flash will be about 20 feet max. The 3600 will probably provide enough light to capture scenes at twice that distance (try some experiments). Both the 3600 and the Z1 flashes will controltheir light output using focal distance info they get from the camera. So for shots where you are less than 20 feet from the camera, you will see no big difference between the Z1 flash and the 3600.

-External flash- external batteries: For situations where you are taking a lot of flash pics in one session (like you did at the rock concert), this is a big advantage. You will not be draining the Z1's batteries to recharge the flash.

-Bounce flash: You can tilt the 3600.In aroom where there is a white or off-white ceiling, you can point the flash upand get a much more natural light for indoor shots.

-Works on many Minolta cameras: If you want to buy afilm camera at some point, the 3600 will also work for many of the Minolta models.
Disadvantages of the external flash:


-Paying for features you cannot use:

-Auto focus assist: The 3600 has a built in auto focus assist light (that's the red light under the main flash head). Some Minolta cameras can pulse this light to assist the auto focus in low light situations. The Z series cameras cannot use this feature.

-Remote flash: The 3600 can be removed from some Minolta cameras, set up in an off-camera location, and then can be triggered remotely by the camera. The Z series cameras cannot use this feature.
Whether you are getting your money's worth out of the 3600 or not depends on the kind of flash photography you are doing. If you are doing a lot of longer distance, repetetive flash work, and you like the bounce flash idea, then the 3600 will be of value. If you are doing the occaisional flash shot within 20 feet and you don't care about bounce flash, then save your money-- the on-board flash will work just fine.

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Old Oct 14, 2004, 11:56 AM   #3
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Oh, almost forgot-- regarding settings--

Auto focus on the Z series cameras does not do well in low light situations, so I usually set it on manual.

I set the camera for S mode (shutter priority), then I set the shutter speed based on the kind of action I am trying to stop.A longer shutter time is better because it allows more of the ambient light into the lens so that background details are not as blacked out. For the kind of pics you were shooting, I would probably set it at 60. If you go much slower, you start getting into camera shake issues.

ISO 100 is about the highest you will want to go. In low light situations, the higher ISO settings will noisy up your pics pretty bad, although they can be cleaned up somewhat with NeatImage. See Jim C's posts on noise for an excellent explanation on why.

Set sharpness on the plus setting to help offset focus issues.

Good luck!
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