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Old Feb 22, 2010, 5:29 PM   #1
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Default Good flash for A230?

I saw this flash on Amazon, and I'm wondering if this would be good?

http://www.amazon.com/Bower-SFD296S-...6628744&sr=1-1


Also, do you think it folds at all? The reason that I ask is that I store my cameras in Pelican cases and irregular shaped objects do not fit well.
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 6:25 PM   #2
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I not sure it is really a good flash, bower are pretty low end. But it is a bounce flash so it will fold.
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 8:06 PM   #3
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Ok Thanks.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 5:38 AM   #4
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That's an old style Auto Thryistor type flash, (it's not *really* a dedicated flash, other than the flash foot may fit into the hotshoe). ;-)

IOW, it won't be able to communicate with the camera, except for triggering purposes.

The way you'd use that type of flash is with manual exposure on the camera, setting the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture.

That flash has two auto ranges. For example, if you selected the red range you see on the back and look at ISO 400 on the scale, you'd set your camera to ISO 400 and f/5.6 using manual exposure. Then, select a shutter speed that's appropriate for the amount of ambient light you want to contribute (usually around 1/100 second using something like f/5.6 and ISO 400 would be a good starting point for indoor flash photos). Then, when you take a photo, the flash will fire and terminate the flash burst when it sees enough reflected light (using the tiny built in sensor on the front of it) for the settings on the scale (i.e., the aperture and ISO speed settings being used).

IOW, that's not a dedicated flash like you'd find in a model like the Sony HVL-F42AM that understands the camera settings being used. So, you'd need to use manual exposure with that one, setting the flash and camera to match for settings.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 4:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
That's an old style Auto Thryistor type flash, (it's not *really* a dedicated flash, other than the flash foot may fit into the hotshoe). ;-)

IOW, it won't be able to communicate with the camera, except for triggering purposes.

The way you'd use that type of flash is with manual exposure on the camera, setting the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture.

That flash has two auto ranges. For example, if you selected the red range you see on the back and look at ISO 400 on the scale, you'd set your camera to ISO 400 and f/5.6 using manual exposure. Then, select a shutter speed that's appropriate for the amount of ambient light you want to contribute (usually around 1/100 second using something like f/5.6 and ISO 400 would be a good starting point for indoor flash photos). Then, when you take a photo, the flash will fire and terminate the flash burst when it sees enough reflected light (using the tiny built in sensor on the front of it) for the settings on the scale (i.e., the aperture and ISO speed settings being used).

IOW, that's not a dedicated flash like you'd find in a model like the Sony HVL-F42AM that understands the camera settings being used. So, you'd need to use manual exposure with that one, setting the flash and camera to match for settings.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write that. This is a big red flag. That flash is out of the question now.

So, any suggestions out there for a good flash? I would like it to be compact if possible, and under $100.

edit: I also want a bounce flash.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 4:38 PM   #6
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That's a really tall order (the under $100 part). Most budget dedicated flashes that will mount on a KM or Sony dSLR are not going to work properly (even though their listing may claim that they're compatible). Most were originally designed for Minolta film cameras and will have serious exposure issues on a newer dSLR model.

If I were on a really tight budget, I might try this one at $89.95:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Series_1.html

But, I'd go with the next model up (DF-383) if possible ($129.95).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Series_1.html

These are both relatively new flash models (released last year). Vivitar doesn't really make them. Neither does Sakar (their parent company now). They're marketed under a number of other brands. But, they're a newer design and apparently the DF-383 works OK on a dSLR with acceptable exposure accuracy (but, I don't know anyone that's tried the DF-283 yet).

Here's a brochure with a larger image of it:

http://www.vivitar.com/products/176/...c%20Sheet.jpeg

But, it's build quality is probably not going to be the greatest. You also won't have much control if you want to do anything other than a full auto flash (basically, you get an on/off switch on the back). It also doesn't have HSS (High Speed Sync), which means you'll need to stay within the camera's X-Speed limitations (fastest shutter speed of 1/160 second). But, you'll also have that same limitation with other budget flashes. If you want those kinds of features, your best bet is to save for a while and move up to a Sony HVL-F42AM.

The DF-383 has more features and more choices for exposure options on it's back. But, it still doesn't support HSS. It's $129.95 right now:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Series_1.html

You'll see some discussion of that one in this thread (with links to specs, etc.).

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/so...sony-a300.html

rduve just bought one for use on a KM 5D (and your Sony should behave in the same way with one). See this thread for details:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/so...sh-issues.html
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Old Feb 24, 2010, 10:27 PM   #7
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Thanks for the links Jim. Maybe I should rethink my budget...
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:26 PM   #8
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Ok, I'm getting more serious now. What would the advantage be if I go with the 383 over the 283? Just the small distance change?
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:36 PM   #9
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The DF 283 is very limited (basically, you get an on/off switch on the back, and that's it -- no display, no menu options, etc.).

The DF 383 is a more full featured flash (manual power settings, menu system with LCD display on the flash's back, able to work as a dumb slave, etc.). So, it's more than just a distance issue.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 1:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
The DF 283 is very limited (basically, you get an on/off switch on the back, and that's it -- no display, no menu options, etc.).

The DF 383 is a more full featured flash (manual power settings, menu system with LCD display on the flash's back, able to work as a dumb slave, etc.). So, it's more than just a distance issue.
Ok, thanks. I'll get the 383 then.
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