Sunday, 28 September 2008

Metz on my Coolpix - newer isn't always better

I've had my Coolpix 5000 for some years now, and it still pulls rabbits out of the hat when it comes to being a versatile imaging tool. I recently bought a Metz 32 CT-3 (an old favorite flash of mine, used for many years before going EOS and then A-TTL) and sure enough works atop the little coolpix like a bought one!

I grew up using flash which required me to use a table on the back of the flast to calculate the right exposeure (distance - film ISO - aperture f-stop) so when "auto flash" came along it seemed to take all the hassle out of things cos all I had to do was set my aperture to match what the flash "thought" it was an it just worked. Especially in combination with a camera with an Av setting it almost perfect.

Sitting it ontop of my EOS 10D helps understand the scale, actually it works fine here too and if you've used any of the EOS EZ flashes it has more punch with a wide lens than any of them, because they fudge the guide number with an internal zooming mechanism. A flash like a 550EX may be GN55 at 105mm but when you put on a wide angle they're back to about 17.

If you think this looks 'chunky' on top of my 10D wait till you put a Canon flash ontop of your Rebel..

Anyway, the Metz is great as it has fully featured abilitys, like swivel left and right (as seen below)

or the front of the flash element can pivot all the way to straight up like this.

Which enables you to get bounce flash from almost any angle or situation.

Of course all this is now available for you on the Coolpix too. Who says that 'compact cameras' have to be limited.

Its funny, the flash is nearly bigger than than the camera. So I can now get excellent lighting with bounce flash (which all these are) and certainly better lighting options than the coolpix built in flash.

This image below shows how much more 'even' and natural the lighting provided is compared with the flash pointed straight at the subject like a search light.

So a 20 year old flash on top of my old Coolpix gives it even more versatility than it had before. Its small when I prefer to have only the compactness and it can take an accessory flash to give it professional punch when I need it.

People often buy DSLR's because they perceive that they are some how more versatile. The soon find that the dinky flashes that pop up on their DSLR are not better than the ones that compacts have and end up buying and expensive system flash (which are often bigger than this flash unit).

Why don't they keep making stuff like this?

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