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Old Jan 9, 2008, 11:16 PM   #1
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I have a 2 year old and one on the way. For the last two years I have loved using my Kodak Z730 to capture everything Julia does. It shoots instantaneously in low light conditions! I guess I wanted a camera with more megapixels so I recently purchased a Canon A570 and am extremely disappointed. The thing takes between 5-8 seconds to take the shot. I called Canon today and they say that because it uses 2 AA batteries, it takes the flash a while to reload.

I know my Z730 uses a Li-Ion (1050 mAh) Rechargeable Battery. Is the battery really theentire issue? Is there something else about certain Kodak cameras that I should be looking for (I also have a Kodak Z710 and I hate it for the same reason as the Canon)? All of the cameras that used the Li-Ion (1050 mAh) are now discontinued so there must be a new battery out there with more power, right?

I am returning the A570 tomorrow and would love to know what I should be looking for.

Thanks so much,

Krista:G
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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In order to take the kind of pictures you want, you need a quick-charging flash, which means a rechargeable lithium battery. But you also need a camera that can focus quickly in low light, which means an AF assist lamp. To get both features, you'll probably have to pay over $150. For Canon cameras, you may want to consider the ultracompact SD series, which start at about $175 (online) with the SD1000.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 6:28 AM   #3
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Thanks,

I'll look at that Canon today.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 1:34 PM   #4
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A double AA camera with fairly quick flash recycle time is the Kodak Z1275. Steve, in his review, http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...z1275_pg5.htmlgive a typical flash recycle time of 1.7-2.5 sec.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 9:24 PM   #5
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another thought. If it's very important you might want to consider one of the digicams that accepts an external flash. Recycle time will be better. But, of course it's larger and more expensive.
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 12:17 AM   #6
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I don't believe that battery type alone determines which flash has a shorter recycle time. Flashes vary in strength...some are more powerful than others. More powerful flashes generally consume more energy than weaker flashes. Flashes vary their output based on the distance to the subject...the further the subject, the longer the flash duration, therefore the longer the recycle time. Small cameras generally have smaller flashes than large cameras. Small flashes generally are weaker than large flashes. Small cameras generally have smaller batteries than large cameras. Small batteries are generally less powerful than large batteries. Four batteries have more power than two batteries. Still with me?

Let's look at your camera...the A570 has a maximum effective flash distance of 11.4 feet (which isn't very far). It was tested to have a recharge time of 5.6seconds...however (according to the reviewer), it could take as long as 10 seconds if the batteries are weak. Therefore, if you shoot a picture at 11.3 feet, it will take longer to recharge than if you took it at 6 feet, since the flash must remain lit longer to illuminate your subject at the longer distance. The two AA batteries will lose their charge more quickly than a camera with four AA batteries (one half the mAh capacity) - make sense? Let's compare a larger camera with four AA cells... The Fuji S8000 has a maximum effective flash distance of 28.8 feet (more than twice that of the A570). It was tested (by the same reviewer) to have a recharge time of 2.8 seconds (half that of the A570).

Assuming the 2.8 second time was at maximum distance (and I can't tell from the report), then if you were to shoot the S8000 at 11.4 feet (the maximum range of the A570), the recharge time should be even less. Whew!

I don't know how many P&S cameras powered by a Li-Ion battery would have a much faster recycle time than 2.8 seconds. It is interesting to note that the Panasonic FZ18 (flash range of 19.6 feet) was reported to have a flash recycle time of 2.3 seconds. One should also consider the cost of the Li-Ion batteries vs. the NiMH AA's.

This was in no way an endorsement of the S8000, nor was it a criticism of the A570...it was merely an illustration of my theory on flash recycle time...for what it's worth.

I agree with John, that a camera that accepts an external flash may be a viable solution, at an additional expense.

The Hun

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Old Jan 11, 2008, 7:03 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks for all of that! I will look though all of the reviews and go out and test a bunch of them. There is not a review for my favorite little Z730 Kodak, but I swear that thing is quick (1-2 seconds)--but I do notice a flash as I puch the button and one after. Is that the assist flash?
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 9:15 AM   #8
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starfishthreads wrote:
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--but I do notice a flash as I puch the button and one after. Is that the assist flash?
Assuming you don't have red-eye reduction turned on then the first flash is the focus assist flash and the second is the actual exposure flash (camera needs to be focused before exposure.)
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 12:59 PM   #9
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"There is not a review for my favorite little Z730 Kodak, but I swear that thing is quick (1-2 seconds)..."

Some cameras permit you to take a picture before the flash has a chance to fully recharge, some do not. Taking a flash picture before the flash fully recharges usually results in an underexposed picture (too dark). That's why some cameras won't let you do it. I couldn't find anything on your Z730, but the P712 is a good example. It has a maximum flash range of 15.4 feet. It has a shot cycle time (non flash) of 1.37 seconds. It has a flash cycle time 0f 5.5 seconds (it has a Li-Ion battery). However, it will enable a flash picture to be taken prior to flash recharging. Therefore, you could take a flash picture every 1.37 seconds with the P712, however, they are liable to be quite dark and/or blurry.

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Old Jan 11, 2008, 9:14 PM   #10
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I do experience a dark photo every once in a while, but not that often. In the sports mode, I can take around 5-6photos in my dark living room every 1/2 second until it has to think for about 2 seconds. It is really amazing. My mom has camera envy. I may just buy her the same camera used on Ebay or something. I just wish I could find its counterpart with more megapixels.
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