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Old Nov 17, 2006, 9:30 PM   #1
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Back in the stone age '80s I had a Pentax ME Super with lots of lenses, bounce flash, etc.. It was great! I think I'm on my 4th digital camera now. Last 2 were a Sony DSC-F717 and now a Canon A610. The DSC-F717 was to big to walk around with in some 3rd world countries I go to, so I got the A610.

Now I'm up to wanting a real flash. I remember using a mini-tripod on the ME Super, on a table taking indoor shots 70' away using a nice external flash and the subject didn't even know I was shooting them. I also miss a great zoom.

I'm not a pro. 8x10 would be a big print for me, and I'd only be printing them on Xerox Phasers at work.

I'm not really keen on using a bracket like the Digi-3000 on a non-shoe camera would need, so I'm wanting something with a shoe on it.

If I keep the NR at low will the Panasonic FZ50 be ok? With a beasty bounce flash I should be able to keep my ISO down to 100-200 and not get a lot of noise right? I've never had a camera with image stabalization, and I'm getting old and shakey, so that idea excites me! So is the FZ50 a good choice? Anything better? What's a good flash for it? Digi-3000, or since it has a shoe is there something better?

I miss doing double exposures with film. Digi cams can't do that right? Is that called photoshop now?

Sorry for all the questions from a geezer. I didn't mean to write a tome.. - Joe
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 2:15 AM   #2
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The FZ50 is a fine camera for low ISO work but it's quite large, more or less SLR size. Your options are limited if you want long zoom and a hot shoe, the manufacturers seem to want us to get SLRs now, more profit I suppose. I've succumbed to the pressure and just got a Pentax K100D, it's got image stabilisation (SR) and does high ISO very well also so it opens up photo opportunities once you have a couple of lenses, their 50-200 lens is excellent and low price and gives you 300mm equivalent. Have you still got your old Pentax lenses? They'll work fine and be image stabilised as well!

The smallest long zoom with a hot shoe I believe was the Olympus C770, no image stabilisation and only 4MP but it turns out very good images indeed but is slow to use. Perhaps a used 770 would fit the bill. You don't need IS if you're using flash though, the short burst of light freezes everything anyway. Another possibility is a Fuji S9600 or its equivalent the S9100, similar size to the FZ50 but no IS, probably better at high ISO though which compensates a bit. It's lens is more wideangle though with less reach than the FZ50.
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 4:35 AM   #3
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Hi JoeLansing

I have a Panasonic FZ30 and it is generally very good and has a hotshoe, although not one that offers TTL Metering etc.

Image noise can be an issue I agree, but there are various programs you can download than can help on this issue - Neat Image is one free one I have tried but I am still learning about it. Below is an image, taken on my FZ30 and filtered through Neat Image which I hope shows its capabilities, but like I said, I am just learning! The filtered image is below the ordinary one and was joined, (very quickly), in Paint, to hopefully illustrate what can be achieved. I hope it is of use.

Regarding doing muiltiple exposures, you are right, digital cameras do not offer this facility (well none I have seen anyway!) but it should be possible with programs such as Photoshop. I haven't tried it yet - I have Photoshop 7 which I am just getting to grips with!It can (apparently) do almost anything so combining 2 or more exposures should be a piece of the proverbial cake!

Sorry this post isn't much help is it! But I just thought I would answer you as best I could!

Regards and happy capturing

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Old Nov 19, 2006, 8:46 AM   #4
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Hi Joe.

I have my Fuji S9500/S9000 for almost a year now. It's neither small, nor cheap, but it has both the hot-shoe and a PC terminal for connecting a studio flash. Up to ISO 400 there isn't much noise, the handling is great and the lens (28-300 mm in 35mm equivalent) is of good quality. With 9MP you can print poster size photos of good quality. And yes, it even has a multiple exposure option.

The hot-shoe is of a non-dedicated type, so you can use almost any automatic flash, I use my 12 years old Vivitar 283 and it works great, both on and off camera. The sync speed goes up to 1/1000 second, even on much more expensive DSLR it rarely reaches 1/500 sec.

This was taken indoorsat ISO200, F5.6 at about 260mm zoom setting from a 10 meter (30 feet ?) distance with a hot-shoe mounted Vivitar:

This was taken outdoors with an off-camera Vivitar with white umbrella at ISO100, F4:

Hope this helps a little,


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