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Old Dec 17, 2009, 4:40 PM   #1
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Default Am I Dreaming?

As are many others, I too am looking for a new camera. We currently have a Cannon sx100 IS. The camera is nice, especially in good lighting, but we haven't been able to get any good photos in poor lighting, and the flash recharge takes FOREVER! Here is what I am looking for in a new camera:

Requirements:
-Be under $275
-Min 8x zoom
-Good flash distance, but fast recharge
-Excellent quality pics
-Be able to zoom during movie recording
-Good grip

Would be nice:

-Manual focus
-Rechargeable battery (tired of AA's)
-Macro
-Wide angle lens

So am I dreaming?

I like the Sony H-20, but is it the best fit? Or is there something that fits a little better? I really appreciate the help!! Merry Christmas! (Just a week away, yikes!)
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 5:02 PM   #2
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The sony h20 is probably your best bet. The only thing that it is really missing from your list is the wide-angle lens since it only starts at 38mm.
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 7:09 PM   #3
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I think you are reaching just a bit, but the Fuji F70 has most of what you want except for manual focus, and I'm not sure what 'good grip' means.

the Hun
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 9:01 PM   #4
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wildlifeben-

Welcome to the Forum. We're glad you dropped by.

At that price point, the best choice really is the Sony H-20 which has the best automatic mode in class, the best built-in flash unit in class, HD video, and you can zoom while filming. You have just about everything on your list. The H-20 is a great camera.

I ordered and returned the Fuji F-70EXR (no offense Rinnie). I felt that while the camera had great features, the operation was too complex for the average shoot. The EXR system requires too many choices.

Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Default Flash Recharge

Thanks for the comments. By "grip" I mean it has a place to grasp the camera, unlike the cameras that you have to hold with only your thumbs and index fingers.

I made it over to Best Buy today, and tried out the H-20, but the flash recharge took nearly 8 seconds before I could take another picture. That just seems way too long. I would really like to keep it to 5 seconds or less, if possible. This is by far the most important feature to my wife (after price). Is there anywhere I can compare flash recharge rates with different cameras?
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 11:15 PM   #6
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wildlifeben-

You will often find the flash recycle time in the professional reviews. As I own and have a lot of experience with the H-20, I can tell you that 8 seconds is a very unusual flash recycle time. Was the camera store powering the H-20 with external power?

I just did three shots in a row with my H-20 and the flash recycle time was never more than 4 seconds. It was 3 seconds on the first flash shot.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Good to know

The model on display was on a power cord, but I would think that would shorten the recycle time, wouldn't it? Maybe not. Did I read correctly somewhere that the flash is adjustable? That you can change the power of it? If so, that would be a nice feature. If not, can an external flash be added?

Love the Garfield pic, by the way!

Last edited by wildlifeben; Dec 18, 2009 at 12:18 AM.
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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wildlifeben-

Yes, using a power cord that was supplying under voltage would slow down any camera's actions quite measurably. Yes, the flash output of the Sony H-20 is easily adjustable through the Flash Compensation menu. Yes you can add a slave flash like the DigiSlave-3000 that will provide an external flash as well as the ability to easily use bounce flash as well, Ben.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 1:42 PM   #9
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ben,

Flash recycle time increases as the distance to the flash subject increases. The flash, when used in automatic mode, shuts itself off as soon as a reflection is received from the subject. A full power flash recycle time for the F70 is around 7 seconds.

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Old Dec 18, 2009, 2:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinniethehun View Post
ben,

Flash recycle time increases as the distance to the flash subject increases.
Distance is PART of it. Recycle time is related to how much flash power is used. Larger distance requires more power but so does the difference between the camera's exposure settings and ambient light levels. So, the darker the scene, the more you need higher ISO / wider aperture /slower shutter and/or more flash output.

So, if you didn't change the distance to subject and you dropped the ambient light levels by a full exposure the flash has to output more power to expose the subject properly.

Quote:
the flash output of the Sony H-20 is easily adjustable through the Flash Compensation menu
One note here. Flash Exposure Compensation is very much like Exposure compensation for non-flash work. What FEC does is: camera meters the scene and determines the amount of flash needed for proper exposure. By using FEC you are telling the camera to output more or less flash power than it thinks is necessary. It's a useful feature, but remember the camera doesn't magically get the shot right by you using this. In other words, if the metering of the camera is correct and you dial in -2/3 FEC the resulting shot will be underexposed. And, of course remember - you don't get extra power by this feature. IF the camera's metering already has determined that full flash power is required - dialing in +1 FEC won't improve the shot any.

This is also completely different than the ability to set flash power manually as you could on some external flashes where you could set the output to 1/4 power say (at which point you're into complex flash photography because you the photographer are then completely taking control of balancing flash with ambient light - not something 90% of photographers want to do).
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