I absolutely love my Olympus C-7070 for taking virtual tours. It is light weight and compact for the results it produces. And it is a powerhouse camera producing crisp images with a long lasting battery life. But what happens when you stress out a compact zoom to its limit? BOOM – the flash blows! It scared the crap out of me with an explosion merely inches from my eye ball! Yup, finally happened to me this past week. But realistically its not like I didn’t see it coming – after all, on that camera I have probably shot over 1,000 virtual tours with shots blasting out one after the other non-stop, and most using the flash.
So if you add in that each tour captures at least 100 photos with 1000 tours, that’s roughly 100,000 photos taken with that flash. Now I’m no light bulb scientist, but if you stress out any bulb that hard and nearly every day, its bound to blow. And it did. Luckily I had taken all 5 tours for the day and only had 1 panoramic and 2 stills left to take. I simply set up the camera on the tripod and used existing light. But what would have been better is to have an external flash! So now my hand is forced to have one. But realistically I am glad. The external flash gives much more control of the lighting with angles and also has a separate power supply. Sure the camera will not be as nimble, but at least I had my camera up and operational the next day. Although I do have other cameras as backups.
The moral of the story is use the flash on your camera as a backup, not the primary flash. Then if your external flash runs out of juice or breaks during a shoot, you at least have the built-in flash as a backup.
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