any hot shoe flash on camera?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by vietarmis, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. vietarmis

    vietarmis TPF Noob!

    Nov 14, 2005
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    Are all flashes that use hot shoes able to mount on to any camera with a hot shoe on it?

  2. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

    Nov 22, 2004
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    Newcastle, Australia
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    Depends if the flash is designed for that camera or not - it also depends on the voltage of the flash and the voltage tollerance of the camera.

    Big Mike will be along soon to Ellaborate some more. :)

    Take it away Mike! :D
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Yes and no!

    They will probably be physically able to fit, but there are a number of issues to consider:

    Trigger voltage (these can vary I understand)
    TTL metering (this generally only works with certains flashes and certain cameras which are designed for each other)
    Auto Flash metering/power adjusting (same as above, but essentially the opposite)

    Some flashes are very basic and just chuck out a wodge of light. Others are infinitely complex with IR range sensors, light meters, computers etc. all built in to work with the camera's onboard kit and adjust as necessary. Most occupy the middle ground and have a manual way of sliding a thingy to give an amount of light based on subject distance and aperture.

    Some cameras are very basic and just have a couple of connection points which trigger the flash and need to be set manually to their sync speed (usually within 1/60 to 1/500th).

    The best thing to do is post the exact model of flash and the camera you wish to use and we may be able to tell you if they work together.

    The quickest thing to do is just try it, as I am under the impression that if the voltage trigger levels don't match it usually results in nothing happening, rather than an explosion or the damaging of your equipment. This advice is subject to you taking responsibility for any explosions or damage which occur and should not be followed.

    Hope this helps,

  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2003
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    That sounds about right to me.

    The best option is a dedicated flash that is made to work with your camera. Newer cameras and flashes use TTL (Through the lens) metering. That means that the camera measures the light that comes into the lens and quenches the flash when enough light for the exposure has reached the film/sensor.

    Another good option is a flash with an Auto Thyristor. Pretty much the same idea, but the flash itself has a sensor to meter the reflected light. You have to match the settings on both the flash & the camera for this to work properly.

    I have a few small flashes, I'm not sure it they are auto or not. They just chuck out a wedge of light (as Rob says). With digital, it would be easy to test what camera settings would work best.

    As mentioned, you have to be careful of trigger voltage. If the flash trigger is too high, you might fry the circuit in your camera. Here is a list of trigger voltages

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