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Old Feb 20, 2006, 12:39 PM   #1
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Hi

Having touble deciding on a camera with a good flash. Most reviews are showing less than good coverage for the flash all escept the Olympus stylus 600 and 800 reviewed by Steves. The other cameras I am looking at are the Canon 450/550 and the Kodak v550 or newer 603. The specs on the Olympus show at lest 8 feet and extended to 13 feet with a change in settins. Any body know where I cam get comparisons real time for thid stuff ???
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Old Feb 20, 2006, 6:56 PM   #2
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if you are talking onboard flash then ck out the fuji s7000. good coverage and good to 27feet. it'll also flash sync to 1/10,000sec. i think the review will say with off camera sync 1/1000 is tops. but i've many a nice image at 1/10,000 and a manual vivitar 3500..
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Old Feb 22, 2006, 8:52 AM   #3
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You'll find flash ranges in the specifications you'll see in the reviews here.

Also, make sure to read the Conclusion Section of the review any camera you consider. That's where you'll see some discussion on things like flash range.

You'll see two sets of numbers for flash range for most models in their specs. The first set of numbers is the flash range at the wide angle end of the lens The second set of numbers is the flash range when zoomed in all the way.

If you're in between the widest and longest zoom setting, the flash range will be somewhere in between the two sets of ranges.

The reason you have two sets of numbers with most models, is that most zoom lenses tend to lose a lot of light as you zoom in. As a result, flash range diminishes, too.

Also, pay attention to how a camera manufacturer rates their flash range. Some rate them at ISO 100, so each time you double the ISO speed, flash range increases by about 1.4x.

Some rate them using Auto ISO. In other words, the camera is increasing ISO speed to get the rated range. This is the most common way you'll find for a flash rating in camera models reviewed (based on Auto ISO). Different camera models with have different Auto ISO ranges, too. Some may vary it up to around ISO 200, and some may go a bit higher with Auto ISO.

With one of the Olympus models you mentioned, a separate set of flash range numbers was also published for it's HIGHEST ISO speed (ISO 1600). You'll have noisy/grainy images and/or loss of detail from in camera noise reduction trying to most cameras that way. The Olympus Stylus 800 quoting ISO 1600 flash range, doesn't even allow you to use full resolution image sizes at ISO 1600 (because downsizing the images is a way to mask the noise).

Noise increases with ISO speed.

You've got to watch those marketing types when they publish specs.

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Old Feb 22, 2006, 9:31 AM   #4
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thanks JC very helpful at least the Olympus is boasting 11 to 13 feet rather than 6 to 8 feet most other manufacturers are showing I might be making more of it than it should be I am still not quite sure this is one of the specs of the cameras that we just cant pull out easy to compare.
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Old Feb 22, 2006, 9:39 AM   #5
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Actually, they're showing a much longer range for the Olympus Stylus 800 (even without using ISO 1600). Check out it's specs in the review here.

But, unless you really need the higher megapixels for larger prints (and there are always tradeoffs trying to get more photosites into a given sensor size), I'd personally avoid any subcompact model with that many megapixels.

A lot of models can reach out to around 12 or 14 feet at their wide angle lens position with no problem, dropping down to around 8 feet when zoomed in.

If flash is a big concern though, I'd suggest getting a larger camera with a hotshoe for an external flash. As a general rule, the closer a flash is to a camera's lens (as in subcompact cameras), the worse the redeye is going to be.

The best way around that is to get the flash further away from the lens (i.e., an external flash).

What conditions are you planning to use a camera in? I'd give forum members a better idea of how you plan on using one to get more useful responses.

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Old Feb 22, 2006, 1:06 PM   #6
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hI

I understand I have a few 35 mm Nikon, Cannon, Minolta. I am really looking at the Kodak v550 or new 603 and the Canon 450 / 550 . Like most people I will use this camera to stick in my pocket you know partiew , weddings that type indoor stuff. the problem is evan in Steves review the flash coments are a little week mostly because of short range. so I was impressed with the review on the Olympus 600 when he insisted it had great focal distance from the flash around 11 feet. I have found with my older ultra that in large rooms you lose to much with a week flash . tough to go back and re take a one time shot. the pixels are not that important thats why I fvor the v550 its only 5 meg as is the 450.



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Old Feb 22, 2006, 1:41 PM   #7
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JimD-

The Kodak V-550 is a great little camera, I know as I own one. When I need more flash coverage/distance I simply attach my slave flash and the slave flash is triggered by the V-550's flash and I then (with the Slave Flash) has as much light as I need. Here is how the set-up looks. The slave flash cost $28.95.

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Old Feb 22, 2006, 1:53 PM   #8
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HI MT

Hey thats great , how is this camera in a large room like a Church of hall when you try to get the Bride on the way dow the run way or at the alter or on a dance floor you know that type of pic ??

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Old Feb 22, 2006, 3:14 PM   #9
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Looking at that... Is there ever a problem with shadowing with the flash to the left? Why don't they design one that sits under or above somehow?
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Old Feb 22, 2006, 4:19 PM   #10
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JimD-

By boosting the ISO a bit, I can easily take photos out to about 20 to 24 feet.

VWoman-

Neither flash interferes with the other, and there is no shadowing using the setup as pictured. Because neither the V-530 nor the V-500 have an attachment port other than the tripod screw point, this is the most practical and least expensive way to mount a slave flash.

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