Sony HVL-43AM AF illuminator problem

Started Jan 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Sony HVL-43AM AF illuminator problem
In reply to SparkleHedgehog, Mar 22, 2012

SparkleHedgehog wrote:

When I have the Sony hvl-43am flash mounted on my nex 7 I can't get the flash to use its inboard af illumintor in any mode or setting.

Tried turning on and off the nex 7 illumintor and that hasn't worked.
camera is on af-s, aperture priority or auto doesn't solve it.

What's wrong? What am I missing here?!

From a technical point of view I presume it's simply normal.

The AF illuminator in the SLRs/SLTs and flashes are infrared illuminators that are perfectly good to work with phase-detect AF sensors while not being too visible to the naked eye.

Problem is that the NEXes focus with the main sensor, and like on all color imaging devices it is covered with an IR-cut filter (would give a strong red cast without that).

So even if the illuminator turned on, its light would not reach the sensor. Sony thus made the clever choice of leaving it off.

Plus the illuminator actually sends a light pattern that is PDAF-friendly but might not be that ideal for CDAF.
The illuminator on the NEX is simply a plain visible, yellow light.

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