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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    36

    The Big Debate: Hot Shoe, or No Hot Shoe?

    Do you think a hot shoe is necessary on today's cameras higher end prosumer or ultra zoom type cameras (excluding compact cameras). For example only, the Panasonic FZ20 has one, the FZ15 does not.

    I'm in a major indecision mode, and a hot shoe was one of the features that I didn't think I could do without. (The reason I have this opinion is my current camera, the original small Cybershot P1, has a small flash and takes terrible indoor pictures -- because of that, I have wanted the option of a big a__ flash to make sure).

    I thought the Olympus 5060WZ was the perfect camera, but then didn't like its bulk and feel (and power switch), so now I'm back to square one. I liked the size and feel and features of the Canon S50, but it doesn't have a hot shoe, and with its size, I'm not sure I'll be happy with indoor pics.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Grafton, MA
    Posts
    1,714
    No question. If indoor photos are high on your list, than you need a hotshoe. I have yet to see a built-in flash that can keep up with a camera sufficiently. They are usually underpowered, and most cause horrible redeye. Both of those problems are present with the built-in on my DReb.
    www.jamisonwexler.com

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Question Re: The Big Debate: Hot Shoe, or No Hot Shoe?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrowning
    Do you think a hot shoe is necessary on today's cameras higher end prosumer or ultra zoom type cameras (excluding compact cameras). For example only, the Panasonic FZ20 has one, the FZ15 does not.

    I'm in a major indecision mode, and a hot shoe was one of the features that I didn't think I could do without. (The reason I have this opinion is my current camera, the original small Cybershot P1, has a small flash and takes terrible indoor pictures -- because of that, I have wanted the option of a big a__ flash to make sure).

    I thought the Olympus 5060WZ was the perfect camera, but then didn't like its bulk and feel (and power switch), so now I'm back to square one. I liked the size and feel and features of the Canon S50, but it doesn't have a hot shoe, and with its size, I'm not sure I'll be happy with indoor pics.
    John, I'm an "available light" kind of guy myself, but I can see where others might be more concerned about flash power. Personally, I get enough juice from the (FZ10's) internal flash to take the occasional party shots, groups, etc. Also, the redeye problem seems to be minimal as long as I can get my subject(s) to look at the camera! I didn't think one would ever need flash for an ultra-zoom, but a couple of months ago I saw a guy with a long telephoto and a very focused flash; he was throwing light at Egrets maybe 30 feet away! So I wouldn't argue against a hot shoe; I've never used mine, and if someone handed me a new FZ15, I wouldn't leave the box unopened just knowing it didn't have a hot shoe!
    Let a be your umbrella!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,418
    What debate? Are you likely to be using it?
    You have to be aware most pop-up flash reach no further than 3 metres (9.84 feet) on ISO100. So... if you are going to use the camera for taking photos of say, 20 or more club members, your subjects will have to stand further away than 3 metres, then some kind of external flash is needed. If you only take photos of your family I guess you can do without. However, external flash is the only solution to red eyes problem.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    752
    After realizing what a hot shoe can do for my pictures, I absolutely want one. There really is no debate!
    Jason
    http://www.jmodzikphoto.com
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    D200 - Tokina 12-24 - Sigma 30/1.4 - 50/1.8 - 55/3.5 Ai Micro w/PK-13 - 70-300 VR - SB-600 - Gitzo GT2530 + Markins M10

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    161
    Serious cameras should have hotshoes at the very least. I'm not sure an ultra-zoom should have one, if only because it would require a dedicated flash that knows about the zoom setting.
    A manual-focus slide shooter lost in the world of digicams.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    76
    It is an extra expense to buy an external flash, but if you are actually going to buy an external flash and use it then a hot shoe is great. Personally I don't like carrying big bulky cameras in most indoor enviroments (public at least) and will sacrifice picture quality for a compact size. The external flash will add quite a bit of bulk to you camera.
    Canon S2 IS, Canon A510

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the quick advice, Wutse/Tim. I managed to do what I wanted on a 20 quid Fuji digital. You can set the aperture to F4 or F8 on this camera to preview the shot. Image quality wasnt really important because the final shot would be on film anyway ( yes, I can hear you tittering!). I would be using two off-camera strobes and a backlight, which was why I needed the hotshoe digital to test the lighting setup.

    A nice article on studio flash techiniques is here. You will all want a hotshoe/PC after reading this!

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/St...dvice---Part-3

    Thanks again.
    Waz

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3
    Yep, Bill. You would definitely have lost texture in the bark and the fur if you had used on-camera flash on that shot. The odd thing is that we (old farts) were always taught that on-camera flash was a sin - you will almost always get red-eye. But most builtin camera flash units are placed exactly where you dont want them - bang on top of the lens! If you could at least twist the flash then you could bounce it off a wall but many just seem to be the pop-up-flash variety.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    Serious cameras should have hotshoes at the very least.
    Actually, not really. High-end studio users would likely use multiple strobe heads or softboxes with a dedicated power source, and "serious" wedding or portrait shooters would at least be using a handle-mounted system.

    Hotshoe flashes are only for convenience.
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

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