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Old Jun 2, 2010, 6:01 PM   #1
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Default Which is better camera for my family

Between the Olympus sp-600 uz and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 which is the better camera for my family? It would be our only camera and used for general picture taking, we have children so there would be pictures of sports and awards ceremonies (low light conditions). I've read reviews of them both, but would greatly appreciate advice in the area before I invest. Alternatively, if there is a better camera in the same price range, please advise.

Thank you,
Chris-n-Angie
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 6:21 PM   #2
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If you need a more compact body the ZR1 is a very good camera. But if you want something larger with more reach the sp-600 is a good option. So is the panasonic FZ35.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 6:57 PM   #3
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chris-n-angie-

Welcome to the Forum. We're delighted that you dropped by.

The Panasonic ZR-1 is a very good camera. It has 8X optical zoom (25 to 200mm), is really pocket size. It does HD video, and you can zoom while filming. The Zr-1 has Panasonic's advanced OIS system and the new image processor that can be found on the much higher priced ZS-7 model. The ZR-1 has very good image quality.

I own one myself, and the only glitch that I have found is that the built-in flash unit is not very powerful. The ZR-1 has an effective Flash Range (the distance measured in feet from camera to subject) of 6 to 8 feet. That is not bright enough indoors for larger family groups so I purchased a $14.95 Zeikos brand Slave Flash that works perfectly with my ZR-1. It solved the Flash Range problem instantly. I have included a phone of my blue ZR-1 with the Zekos Slave Flash Attached.

The Olympus SP-600 unfortunately has not received very goo professional and user reviews. The main fault is less than average image quality and slow shot to shot times.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 10:24 PM   #4
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thanks for your help guys. going with your advice and getting the panasonic.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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Congratulations, chris-n-angie-

The ZR-1 is a great little camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 12:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
That is not bright enough indoors for larger family groups so I purchased a $14.95 Zeikos brand Slave Flash that works perfectly with my ZR-1. It solved the Flash Range problem instantly.
Sarah Joyce
Hi Sarah,

When you use the Zeikos flash with your ZR-1, could you share how to control exposure for the various distances? Like from 5 to 15 feet.

I bought an optical slave trigger for my Oly FL50 flash and I'm trying to figure out an easy way to get correct exposure at the different distances. I'm testing it with a ZS7.

Thanks,
Sky
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 9:27 AM   #7
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Good question Sky, I went with Sarah's advice and got a flash like the one in the picture. I'm not experienced at all with those, in fact I had never seen one before. Would greatly appreciate any type of instructions on how to best use it. I'm assuming that would only be necessary in certain low light conditions.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 11:41 AM   #8
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skylark & chris-n-angie-

Using a Slave Flash in this paeticular case is quite easy:

(1) Set the Camera to Auto ISO and WB to FLash if available.

(2) Be sure that you at a distance of 5 feet or more.

(3) Take a test shot.

(4) Evaluate the exposure of the Camera's LCD, usually it it pretty close.

(5) As required, use the Exposure Compensation feature to add or subtract a bit of light, and you are all set.

Notes: The camera's Auto ISO will change/compensate for your varying Flash Range distance. Do not use this setup inside of 5 feet as the camera's flash provides sufficient light, and you will be edging into an over exposure than cannot be compensated for by the Exposure Compensation.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 5:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
skylark & chris-n-angie-

Using a Slave Flash in this paeticular case is quite easy:

(1) Set the Camera to Auto ISO and WB to FLash if available.

(2) Be sure that you at a distance of 5 feet or more.

(3) Take a test shot.

(4) Evaluate the exposure of the Camera's LCD, usually it it pretty close.

(5) As required, use the Exposure Compensation feature to add or subtract a bit of light, and you are all set.

Notes: The camera's Auto ISO will change/compensate for your varying Flash Range distance. Do not use this setup inside of 5 feet as the camera's flash provides sufficient light, and you will be edging into an over exposure than cannot be compensated for by the Exposure Compensation.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks a lot for those tips Sarah. Once you set exposure compensation, does the auto ISO make up for the more distant shots? Or do you adjust EC for every shot?

Also, do you have your slave set to fire on the first flash (no redeye) or second flash with redeye set on the camera?
Not that I have a choice since the optical trigger that I bought only fires on the first flash but just wondering what I might be missing.

Thanks,
Sky

Last edited by skylark; Jun 4, 2010 at 5:59 AM.
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 10:39 AM   #10
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Sky-

Please keep in mind that the light power of the Slave Flash is also finite. It will go out to about 15 to 17 feet in Flash Range in a pinch, and then you have to accept that a higher ISO setting will be selected as you are at the maximum capability of the Slave Flash.
Some Slave Flashes (certain Vivitar and Digital Concepts models have "learning capability) however, I believe that the Zeikos Slave Flash fire on the first flash.

Sarah Joyce
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