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Old May 10, 2005, 7:24 PM   #11
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I picked up my Vivitar DF200 flash unit this afternoonandjust now"played" with it anddid a few test shots and so far, so GREAT!Mind you that this unit does not mount to the hot shoe on top of the `20. It is a "slave" unit. It fires based upon the built in flash of the 20. When the built in fires, so does the slave. The slave has a light sensor built into it, which detects the camera strobe. When the sensor detects the flash, the slave fires instantly. In my few test shots, the colors were rich, and entire scene was well lit.

I used my `20 , with the just the built in flash, the other weekend in a beer joint where a favorite local band was playing that night. I followed the directions as per the `20 owners manual. I was not not all that impressed with the results of the built in flash. It was okay for about the first ten feet or so but the light seemed to fall off fairly rapidly after that.

The DF200 does come with a mounting plate, and small tri pod, which screws into the tri pod screw hole under the camera. I`ll be sure to pick up an "L Bracket" in the next day or so. An "L" bracket goes for about $15 or so. This bracket elavates the flash unit above the camera and makes it more comfortable to hold than the one supplied with the DF200.

This weekend I`ll have a lot more time to play with my new toy.

I`ll still keep my trustyol' Vivitar 285 handy, just in case....

Have fun, JH :G
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Old May 10, 2005, 9:45 PM   #12
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OK dj! Glad you settled on my favorite camera - the FZ20. Just to let you know, I also picked up a cheap FZ1 for a keep in the car camera. These lenses are the best I've used. and the OIS is indispensable at long FLs. I've shot handheld with a TCON 1.7X teleconverter ontop of 12Xand gotten sharp results! That's about 730mm equiv.! I have shopped mostly on ebay and saved a bunch.

Now for the shopping list - a large capacity SD card. I bought a 1G hispeed PQI brand and it works great. Next a card reader - I'm using an"8 in ONE" USB2. a spare aftermarket battery. A Parmarral PD55 adapter barrel to use my TCON17 on. A Nikon 6T macro lens and ring to fit the PD55. A 55mm rubber lens hood. A 55mm linear polarizer, and a 55mm lens cap for it. I had a Vivitar 285 strobe that works fine with it, but I've taken just test shots with that. I like available light pics better. Your priorities may be different - I use it mostly for scenery. :-) Tom
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Old May 10, 2005, 10:32 PM   #13
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a couple of people have mentioned card readers... i got one on ebay for $0.99 plus $5 shipping... kinda silly, i know, but for $6, i have a device that lets me read and erase my SD cards much faster than using the camera and cables, plus it doesn't wear down the camera battery while i'm reading or browsing images. and i can write to the SD card with it, which is handy for getting prints made... i can copy images to one of my SD cards (i use the 16MB card that came with the camera) and take them to the print lab. since i never print anything smaller than 5x7, and seldom more than 10 images at a time, i have no trouble fitting that small number on that little card, and it saves having to burn a CD just to transport half a dozen JPG files to the print shop. afterward, i erase and reuse it. the card reader makes that possible.

here's the kind i got, it works terrific...

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