Question about Epson PhotoPC 3000Z Digital Camera

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External flash for the 3000Z

What is the best external flash for the 3000Z? I'm currently about to check out the Vivitar 283, but that flash was made for film cameras and I'm not sure if it is going to work satisfactorily with the 3000Z. All of the settings on the flash are related to the type of "film" in the basic camera. Any suggestions or recommendations?

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Re: External flash for the 3000Z

Actually, for an automatic exposure, self-contained (non-TTL) flash, manual mode is really the only mode that makes sense. And by that I mean full manual, not just the "Manual" mode selectable from the settings section on the mode dial. The "manual",selection on the settings menu, at least on the 850z, really should be called "full control" rather than manual in the film camera sense. I'm asumming that the 3000z is not all that different (except for the perplexingly absent shutter priorty mode). From "Manual" set in the setup screen, when you switch back to shooting, you can then select auto exposure aperture (shutter too on the 850z) priority, or full manual (although full manual without the flash is difficult to use - metering help on the 850z is essentially nonexistent - just the little EV! warning with no indication of whether you are over or under or by how much). My 283 fires in any of the "manual" modes, although it really does only make sense to use it in full manual because the flash control is built into the flash, not TTL on the camera. Here's how it works (again, set the camera to full manual mode) - if you set your camera iso to 100 (the default) then you can pick any shutter speed - yes, the camera seems to synch at ALL speeds - I usually shoot at 1/250. Then pick an aperature appropriate for the depth of field you want, and using the guide on the side of the flash, pick the sensor (the little twisty thing on the front of the flash) setting color appropriate for that aperature. At ISO 100 the settings are 2.8, 4, 8 and 11. I find that the 2.8 setting gives me about 1/3 stop overexposure - wish I could set the camear to f3.2 or so - but that I get great results with the 2nd power setting and f4.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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Re: External flash for the 3000Z

After checking out the Vivitar 283, I found that it (and any external flash) will only work in the "manual mode" with the 3000Z. I called Epson and they confirmed that their firmware is written for the flash to work only in the manual mode (will not function in the Program or Auto mode). Is this a normal thing with all digital cameras? Doesn't make sense to me. I would think that an external flash should work in any mode selected. And another question. When setting up a flash unit, how do you convert the values for the different types of film (which the flash units seem to be based on) to realistic settings when using a digital camera which doesn't use film? Most of my photos taken in manual mode were highly overexposed as I didn't know which settings to use on the Vivitar flash. Just learning though, and I suppose I will figure it out as I experiment more.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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Re: External flash for the 3000Z

I use the Sunpak 383 Super on my 850Z, and it works fine. For under $100, I couldn't beat it. I found the Metz that Epson recommends to be overpriced and over-featured for a point-n-shoot digicam.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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Re: External flash for the 3000Z

I can't say which flash is best but the Metz is excellent and worth the money if you plan to use external flash a lot. I bought a Vivitar 2800 at ritz for $50. It tilts and comes with filters and difusers. Used it on the 850 and now the 3000 with good results in manual mode at 1/60 and set the arpeture to the scale on the back of the flash. Has adequate power for my needs.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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Re: External flash for the 3000Z

Bought the Metz 32 Z-2 that was recommended by Epson. I did a great deal of searching/researching on the web, and eventually came to the conclusion (my personal conclusion...YMMV..as well as others) that it was worth the price. I've also had two (non-digitial) pros hold the metz name in very high regard. I like it so far although I haven't used it much for nice portraiture. I did use it at the beach one night in the *dark* from 10 meters (couldn't see *anything* on the LCD when snapping the picture) and a few turned out really nice. Some were not in complete focus, but hey, it was dark. I will say it is much larger than I expected. When mounted on the 850 it felt nice. But with the 3000 being a little smaller, it is rather large. With a teleconverter lens and the flash mounted together, the whole ensemble feels rather nice. I'd recommend finding one in person first. It does have about all the features one could want tho...

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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