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Old Sep 9, 2007, 5:21 PM   #21
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Alex-

Its very good to see you again! As you know I am pretty experienced and have written more than a few lesson plans in my day including many on cameras as well those devoted specifically to flash guns. What you have posted, as usual is entirely correct. However, we have a dedicated flash available at just $(US) 120.00, that makes it more logical to use the dedicated flash rather than a manual flash gun. The OP is going on an African Safari and will have probably only one chance to take any of his photos. Therefore, we want to automate the falsh process as much as possible so the OP "nails" the flash shot the very first time.

David-

The two sample photos (built-in flash versus the Opteka EF-600DG) were done at a distance of 24 feet. We actually measured it to be sure. And the photo environment was typical dark as any garage usually is. We will stand-by for your next photo request, David. Bradley and I are always glad to help out.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Sep 10, 2007, 5:16 PM   #22
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Ok to look at the other side of things I researched the sunpak 383.
This is what I found:
1) It could hook up to the hot shoe
2) In the case of the fuji which doesnt have a hot shoe then there is an adapter that appears to thread into where a tripod would go?
3) On Amazon it costs about $83 (US) and with Fuji would need a flash adapter at $20 (US).

I am not sure where the electrical connection comes from as I have not gotten that far.

It looks like there is a table to cross reference with light/ISO, fstops, aperture, etc...

Are these basically correct?

I am not opposed to doing things manually so do not want to completely rule this out.

Sarah you mentiond a $150 (US) price for a flash was the flashgun what you had in mind for that or something else?

David
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 6:14 PM   #23
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David-

This of course is your decision. I am just attempting to assist with a variety of suggestions. In view of the fact that you can get a totally dedicated flash, the Opteka EF-600DG for $120 + whatever it costs to ship it to you, I thought offered a wealth of advantages, which I have attempted to demonstrate to you with a variety of photos. If you sit down and total up the cost of a 283 flash, with the necessary fittings and the compare it against the cost of the Opteka flash, which I have found in actual use to be a very dependable flash, the costs are nearly equal.

But the pivotal issue here is that you have a fully automatic, dedicated flash that offers a dramatically significant improvement in user convenience at very little increased flash.

I own and use a Fuji S-6000. IMHO, I feel that for your projected African Safari use, that the Canon S-5IS would serve you better. And once again the cost of the S-6000 is indeed slightly less than today's price on the S-5IS, $(US) 350.00. But once again you are getting much more convenience, such as IS which the S-6000 does not have.

As I said at the beginning, it is your choice. However, I am making the assumption that this is most probably a once in a lifetime event, and that you want to bring back the best possible photos. Am I incorrect in making that assumption?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 6:24 AM   #24
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Sarah, I have nothing against S5 IS - it's a nice camera, but there is no chance I would come even close to any Opteka products. And due to limited budget we aren't talking about a Canon ex430 or ex420 flash. The big drawback of the S6000 is the absence of a hot-shoe. Still Vivitar 283 or a used Sunpak 383 can be found on eBay for about $20-30, another $20 for a slave cell and you have a nice powerful automatic slave flash. In case David goes for FujiS9000 or S9100 there is no need for a slave cell, because these cams have hot-shoe (not dedicated though).

IMHO flash will not be used that much on a safari shooting anyway. It will be more day time shots, or available light shots (sunsets, sunrises etc.). Honestly, I wouldn't like to "flash" an elephant or a lion in the dark - you never know what the outcome will be :-). A light, but sturdy tripod will be more useful imo. Although I have to admit that I like flash photography and my tripod mainly collecting dust :roll:
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 9:44 AM   #25
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Alex-

That it excellent information. In the past I have also felt the very same way about Opteka products. However, a good friend purchased this flash and I helped him set it up and taught him to use both the tilt and swivel modes. After he had the flash for over a year, and it had performed so well, I decided to give it a try. It has actually been quite a good flash.

I have rotated it between my Canon 20D, XT, G-7, and S-5IS, so it has gotten a lot of use and it has worked flawlessly, to my amazement.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 5:06 PM   #26
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I must say thanks for all the input. I am getting more than I bargained for....in a good way.

When I first started looking at cameras, I was just considering out of the box the camera should be good to go. As I mentioned the only camera we own is a 35mm pentax which is 20+ years old. I could only imagine after so many years almost any of the new digital cameras should be able to take a better picture??? But perhaps plain old film cameras still have the best image and abilities....do not know.

With Sarahs explaination of flash photography I have learned another aspect that will help me take better pictures!

I have learned quite a bit in the few days since I have posted here. A big plus...now I am a bit more informed to make a better decision on the camera.

I was a bit confused about the flashgun how it worked but talked to a co-worker and he said that it is triggered off of the cameras internal flash as it goes off. But also if you happen to be next to another person with a flash that flash would make the slave flash go off.

Algold what is the slave cell you mention in addition to the SunPak? I am aware of the extra part that the allows you to connect to the camera tripod .
Btw I did not mention in earlier post that the photo of the girl was very nice as well.

Also I believe I understand the concept of hotspots....looks like there are a few techniques to reduce this?

I had looked at the 9000 or 9100 (perhaps a bit out of budget) but was worried about image degradation from the increased MP and not much if any increase in sensor size....I had read somewhere I believe it was a review about the S5 IS that you can reduce the MP manually. I believe he said that he dropped it to 5MP? I think these are higher cost cameras than the 6000 but if worthwhile to look at I can take another look.

Reading in the fuji forums here isnt there an issue with a command dial problem? 9000/9500?

David


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Old Sep 11, 2007, 5:58 PM   #27
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david-

I would avoid the Fuji S-9XXX camera due to the serious problem they have had with the command dial failures. As I understand things we are now back to a clean slate. Thus, here are the cameras that I would suggest you consider, as the Canon S-5IS seem to have been dropped from consideration.

Cameras:

Canon S-3IS
Sony H-2/H-5-OfficeMax is closing-out the H-2 at $199.99
Fuji S-6000

Slave Flash Units:
Vivitar DF-200
Phoenix D91-BZS

A slave flash is triggered when the camera's built-in flash fires. Thus a slave flash would be usable on any of the camera mentioned above

Please go to: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/1...e_Flashes.html

I am all for making things as simple as possible.

Sarah Joyce
for more info. By using a Slave Flash no adapters are necessary, and both the Vivitar and the Phoenix Flashes cost less than the Sunpak 383
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 6:20 PM   #28
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David,

I haven't heard of any Command Dial failures in the S9100, only the S9000. Therefore, if you desire the S9xxx, forget the S9000 and get the S9100. I you like the zoom range, manual zoom ring and focus of the S9100, and are concerned about the megapixels, consider the S6000...identical lens, with 6 MP. The S6000 also is better in low light than the S9100...it's also cheaper.

If you desire a camera with IS, then forget about both the S9100 and S6000. I don't really consider the lack of IS an issue with a 300mm lens.

the Hun


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Old Sep 11, 2007, 8:42 PM   #29
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Sarah, for me the S-5IS is still in the running.

Out of the cameras I listed on my original post it was 2nd to last of the ones to choose from. The one that was last was the S-6000. I had considered it as the best do to image quality and manual zoom control but was worried with the lack of IS.

But with advice from various folks that replied to my questions and other sources, I had narrowed it down to the S5 IS and the 6000. Kind of ironic that the bottom 2 emerged as the top 2 :-).

I looked at the Sony H-2 and H-5 and the photos I saw looked very nice. I also threw in the Fuji S5700 / 700 from the fuji forums here that had some excellent photos. But I think to keep my peace of mind :-), I will keep it to the 3 cameras unless you guys think I should reconsider. If so please give reasons why.


To be honest the more pictures I look at I am having a hard time knowing which is best. Especially considering some may or may not be post processed.

Cameras:
Canon S-3IS
Canon S-5IS
Fuji S-6000

I hope to see the S-6000 this Saturday. If not I can see the printed output. My plan is to get a cheap 512MB or so card and see if I can take some snap-shots from each camera and bring it home. I suppose I will have to get a USB reader...more research :lol:. I believe either Best Buy or Circuit City will allow this so I can at least get the Canons. Not sure of the camera shop for 6000.

the Hun, thanks for the opinion of the IS for the 6000. Do you happen to have an image at max zoom long distance type shot that isn't processed to eliminate blur etc... that I may see?



David

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Old Sep 12, 2007, 3:58 PM   #30
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David, just keep in mind that Fuji uses xD memory cards and Canons use SD memory cards. Looking at the example print outs won't give you much, because you can take great shots with any of these cameras when you know their limitations and use them where they are strong. The best way is to handle the cameras you are considering to buy and shoot some test shots to see if you are comfortable with the cam and it's controls and the image quality suits you.

Happy shopping,

Alex
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