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Old Apr 8, 2004, 6:49 PM   #1
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Default Nikon flashes w/ coolpix 4500

Hi all-

I am relatively new to digital photography, but I have read a lot and continue to expand my limited knowledge. I have purchased a Nikon CP 4500. This camera is great, but I had some trouble with taking aquarium pics. I know now that I need an external flash. Since my main concern is taking pics of fish, I care more about being able to have the flash away from the camera than to mount it with the bracket. The best accessory combo I can come up with is: SB-80dx connected to an SC-18 sync cord. this gives me some length to move the flash around and I don't need shoes or mounts which will weigh down the flash. I haven't bought anything yet b/c I am concerned this might be overkill and, of course, I want to save money if I can. There are concerns with all things, but I hope I can get some experienced input which will guide my purchasing.
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Old Apr 8, 2004, 8:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Nikon flashes w/ coolpix 4500

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFalfa
The best accessory combo I can come up with is: SB-80dx connected to an SC-18 sync cord. this gives me some length to move the flash around and I don't need shoes or mounts which will weigh down the flash. I haven't bought anything yet b/c I am concerned this might be overkill and, of course, I want to save money if I can. There are concerns with all things, but I hope I can get some experienced input which will guide my purchasing.
The 4500 only supports the basic Nikon TTL, and, as a result, any Nikon TTL-compatible flash can be used with your 4500. If you prefer a Nikon flash, the SB22s is the cheapest one with good capability and small enough size. The SB30 may be small and of light weight, its power could be too weak for group shots. A more expensive one is the SB50DX. Unless you really need high flash power, going with the SB80DX may not be a good idea due to ONE single reason: your 4500 will not recognize most features a SB80DX can provide. If you do not mind to use a non-Nikon flash, then you have even more reasonable and cheap choice. For example, the Sunpak PZ5000AF has the same output power as the SB80DX but with only 50% of the SB80DX's price. A smaller Sunpak is the PZ4000AF for a little more than $100. A cheap one that was very popular among early Coolpix users (e.g., 950, 990, and 995) is the Sunpak 433D for about $80. In summary, if you don't have a plan to upgrade to a Nikon DSLR, buying any Nikon TTL compatible flash would be find. If you intend to upgrade to a Nikon DSLR very soon, consider SB600 and SB800.

See the External Flashes section of my Coolpix 4500 user guide. The External Flashes section of my 5700 user guide may provide you with more information.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/25600/4500/5700 User Guide
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 3:23 PM   #3
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Is it true that I don't need an adapter for the SB-80dx? I liked that b/c it meant less I had to buy in accessories...only the SC-18. I know I would need the as-10 to connect the sc-18 with other flashes. The alternative would be buying the as-e900 and the Sc-17, which would cost about the same, but would be a lot more cumbersome. I originally thought about the Sun-pak, but became apprehensive when I heard some horror stories about using non-Nikon flashes and heat issues, overloads, etc. with the end result being either buying a Nikon flash anyway, or a broken camera. Does the Sunpak PZ4000 AF (or PZ5000 AF) have similar features to the Nikon flashes? After reading your guide, I would like the 3 modes and bounce and swivel. and last but not least, do they all require a shoe for mounting. Thanks for taking the time to help me.
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 3:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFalfa
Is it true that I don't need an adapter for the SB-80dx? I liked that b/c it meant less I had to buy in accessories...only the SC-18.
I guess what you meant was the wireless capability of the SB80DX (and SB50DX, too). The wireless capability requires the on-camera flash to fire in order to trigger the SB80DX. Frankly, this capability is not very reliable with Coolpix cameras because the SB80DX came after the 4500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFalfa
Is it true that I don't need an adapter for the SB-80dx? I liked that b/c it meant less I had to buy in accessories...only the SC-18. I know I would need the as-10 to connect the sc-18 with other flashes. The alternative would be buying the as-e900 and the Sc-17, which would cost about the same, but would be a lot more cumbersome.
All possible important combinations for a Nikon TTL flash setup are discussed on my external flash pages. If you insist to use the SB80DX in the wireless mode, you don't need any adapter. But, don't complain about the not so reliable wireless flash exposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFalfa
I originally thought about the Sun-pak, but became apprehensive when I heard some horror stories about using non-Nikon flashes and heat issues, overloads, etc. with the end result being either buying a Nikon flash anyway, or a broken camera.
Most of these are basically due to the problem of the user rather than the flash. Those people would encounter the same problem when they switched to Nikon flashes. However, they perhaps no excuse to complain further. I and many people here and elsewhere have been Sunpak, Sigma and perhaps Metz products for years. If all of those horror stories were true often, Sunpak, Sigma and Metz may have gone out of business long time ago. As I said in my previous post: you should buy a Nikon TTL compatible model. Without doing so, you risk damage your camera and/or obtain poor flash images.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFalfa
Does the Sunpak PZ4000 AF (or PZ5000 AF) have similar features to the Nikon flashes? After reading your guide, I would like the 3 modes and bounce and swivel. and last but not least, do they all require a shoe for mounting.
Take a look at this page for all Sunpak current models: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...17&Submit.y=12 here for the SIgma flashes http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...10&Submit.y=15 and here for the Metz: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...11&Submit.y=11

It is better to use shot-mount for TTL flash with a Coolpix camera.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Colpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 7:58 PM   #5
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Wow! Thanks a ton. I really appreciate the help!
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