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Old Dec 21, 2004, 9:01 AM   #1
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I am looking at getting the Nikon CP8400 with the Nikon SB-50DX speedlight (due to smaller size and price difference). In Steve's review he mentions the following "Using the hot shoe, the Coolpix 8400 can be fitted with an external i-TTL speedlight such as the Nikon SB-600 or the SB-800 (SB-50DX shown but usable only in Auto)."

For a newbie to photography in general (especially flash photography) what does using a flash in AUTO mean? I want to use the external flash for indoor people pics to remove red-eye especially for my youngest daughter who has green eyes and always gets "devil-looking red-eyes" with most point-n-shoot cameras which have a built-in flash (e.g. Canon S400).

My wife an I are not interested in post-processing and what to print up to 8x10" pics on our Canon i950.

THANKS!
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 11:24 AM   #2
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I don't recommend using the SB-50DX on the 8400 or 8800.

When trying it (on my one day old 8800) the SB-50DX got into a mode where it continuously zoomed back and forth, non-stop. I had to remove the batteries to get it to stop. After a couple trys on my 5700 it started to work again.

Dumb thing for Nikon to design it this way. So I ordered a SB-600. Which, I guess, is what Nikon wants me to do.

What a waste! If/when I sell the 5700, I'll have to throw in the SB-50DX.

The SB-600 arrived yesterday and I did some trial shots. Worked well. Got more consistent exposures than I did with the 5700 and SB-50DX. The internal flash pops up but did not flash in any of my test shots.

I try to avoid using a flash, but when I need it, I much prefer an external unit.

Gordon

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Old Dec 21, 2004, 11:49 AM   #3
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I forgot to mention that the manual for the 8800 (which should be nearly the same as the one for the 8400, since their only difference in the lens) recommends only the SB-600 and SB-800 for use on the hot shoe. When attaching with sync cable, the SC-28 and SC-29 flashes are recommended.

There is no mention of any other flash units in the manual. Since Steve, in his review, said that the SB-50DX would work on auto, I assume that he got it to work. It did not work for me.

Gordon
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 3:27 AM   #4
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Gordon_O:

I'm thinking about getting the Nikon flash for my 8800 too? Does it have its own focus lamp or assist illuminator? The built in one on the 8800 is not the best in low light. My daughter has a play coming up and I don't want to bother buying this flash if the focus lamp is not improved on the new flash. Thanks
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 4:15 AM   #5
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agiaccio wrote:
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For a newbie to photography in general (especially flash photography) what does using a flash in AUTO mean? I want to use the external flash for indoor people pics to remove red-eye especially for my youngest daughter who has green eyes and always gets "devil-looking red-eyes" with most point-n-shoot cameras which have a built-in flash (e.g. Canon S400).

The SB50DX can only do D-TTL and limited manual (M) mode and does not support the i-TTL mode that the 8400/880 requires. The Auto mode means you set an aperture value on the flash and allow the flash to do flash light measuring. Since the SB-50DX does not have the Auto (A) mode, you will end up with the manual (M) mode with your 8400, and, as a result, the SB-50DX becomes an expensive and virtually useless flash unless you are good at the manual (M) mode. See my 4500 user guide for flash operation details. The use of flashes is camera independent except for the TTL-related modes.

Buy a SB600 if lower output is sufficient. Maybe some Sunpak or Sigma models do support the needed i-TTL mode.

CK

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam

Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 and Panasonic FZ-10 User Guides
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 6:11 AM   #6
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Hi traderfjp

I use an SB800 on my 8800 but only the camera's autofocus assist lamp remains operational.

Obviously the flash range is greatly improved along with iTTL compatibility, zoom flash head and turn on from standby etc.

I went with the SB800 because it allows bounce flash with the supplied diffusion dome (results in this mode are outstanding)... the SB600 doesn't support this.

Hope this helps.

Bruce
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 9:48 AM   #7
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How does the 600/800 feel on the 8800?

Does it make it feel top-heavy?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 11:11 AM   #8
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Although it's not exactly svelte the 8800/SB800 combination is not as unwieldy as I originally feared.

The weight of the camera balances well with the flash attached, even with the flash head in bounce mode in landscape or portrait position.

The shot in the 8800 brochure gives an idea of the size ratio.

The handling might be further improved with the optional Battery Pack (MB-CP11) but then you lose out on portability.

Recommend trying it out instore before making a final decision.

Bruce
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 12:52 PM   #9
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brucegarrett wrote:
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The shot in the 8800 brochure gives an idea of the size ratio.
That pic is what raised the question.

Thanks for the response. I'm just waiting for my 8800 to arrive. Should be toward the end of the week.
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 12:31 PM   #10
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Why spend the money on Nikon flash when for $100 less the Quantaray QAF-6600 will do just as good a job!!! I'm very happy with mine.

Nikon p*sses me off as they make their flash so weak as to FORCE you to buy their VERY EXPENSIVE flashes!

BTW, had I known the Nikon internal flash would be so "weak" I wouldn't have bought the camera. I would have went with Minolta.
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