Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?

Started Jul 9, 2012 | Discussions
fujifan
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Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?
Jul 9, 2012

Hello everyone. Just a quick question for the hardware/flash experts. Does the new series of DSLTs have the flash sync terminal port (round metal connector on the side, at least on my A700)? I have a sony fa-cc1am (off-camera cable for 58AM), but haven't used it yet. I am considering selling my A700 and upgrading to one of the DSLTs, but want to leave the option of using off camera flash (in wired or wireless modes) for studio setups. I looked at the side pics of A77 & A57 bodies and do not see anything similar, unless it in included under what's called Remote rubber cover. Anyone has either or both and can confirm for me?

Also, how useful is the cable to begin with, and what are the advantages over wireless? I assume maybe for non-Sony flashesh, or other serious studio work? Anyone using it? Thanks.

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duprey26
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Re: Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?
In reply to fujifan, Jul 9, 2012

I don't know about the A57, but my A77 definitely has a flash sync terminal. I do studio work and it has been a requirement of any camera of mine for a long time. I use the flash sync terminal to trigger Elinchrom Skyport radio trigger system for the studio lighting. This was the easiest solution for the Minolta/Sony proprietary flash terminal. The other advantage of going this way is that I can connect the Elinchom transmitter to my flash meter as well to nail exposure. This is becoming less important with digital, since I can just fire a test shot and adjust from there, but still sometimes useful for tricky ratios.

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antares103
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Re: Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?
In reply to fujifan, Jul 9, 2012

The A77, A700, A850, and A900 are the cameras to date that have a PC terminal. However, I would promote the use of a remote triggering system, which bypasses the need for a PC terminal. As well, there are plenty of hotshoe adapter solutions that provide a PC terminal, including a passthrough hotshoe so you can still mount a Sony speedlite and have a PC terminal.

That said, the SLTs are full time live view, which means the view finder sees what teh image will look like at the current light and exposure settings. Since the camera will typically see a dark image without the flash, the view in the viewfinder will remain dark. Only the A77 and possibly the A65 have provisions to gain up the view finder so you can see in studio.

Also, the cable you mention fits right to the hotshoe, and does not need the PC connection you mention, nor will it have any issues with gain (my above statements are based on studio flash which is what the PC connection is for).

The rounded end of the cable you have would go to the speedlite. The SONY HVL-F56AM and the HVL-58AM and the Minolta 5600HS(D) are the only flash units fully compatible with the camera that have this connection. You can get an adapter to convert the foot of other Alpha shoe flash units to accept this cable.
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VirtualMirage
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Re: Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?
In reply to fujifan, Jul 9, 2012

The A77 definitely has one, the A57 does not. Neither does the A65.

I've got a Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 that I have used with the sync cable maybe once or twice on my A77. I have since bought a cheap hot shoe adapter that accepts the standard ISO hot shoe so I can use a wireless trigger to pop my strobe.

I'd say the only time you will probably use the sync port is if you want to start using some studio strobes. Even then, most people invest in a wireless trigger to avoid having a wire to trip on. But if funds are low to begin with, the cable will get the job done in a pinch until you are ready to invest in the wireless triggers.

But when working with studio lights and the A77, don't forget to go into the Menu and set the Live Display to not show a preview of what the image will look like. Otherwise, your EVF or LCD will look really dark when trying to compose the shot (whereas the shot will come out just fine providing you metered properly).
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fujifan
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Re: Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?
In reply to antares103, Jul 9, 2012

Thanks for the feedback and clarification. I did notice that the cable fits the hotshoe of Sony. So I guess my question is should I still keep the cable or include it with my A700 if I decide to buy the A57 as I won't be able to connect it to my 58AM? And if I decide to do a studio strobes, I would be better off investing in the radio trigger?

A77 would be the best of the current bunch for use in the studio or can A57 be used as well? What are the limitations? Thanks... kind of having a hard time deciding which cam to buy... like the smaller bodies (A700 was a little on a bigger size/heavy), but do want the best funtionality.

antares103 wrote:

The A77, A700, A850, and A900 are the cameras to date that have a PC terminal. However, I would promote the use of a remote triggering system, which bypasses the need for a PC terminal. As well, there are plenty of hotshoe adapter solutions that provide a PC terminal, including a passthrough hotshoe so you can still mount a Sony speedlite and have a PC terminal.

That said, the SLTs are full time live view, which means the view finder sees what teh image will look like at the current light and exposure settings. Since the camera will typically see a dark image without the flash, the view in the viewfinder will remain dark. Only the A77 and possibly the A65 have provisions to gain up the view finder so you can see in studio.

Also, the cable you mention fits right to the hotshoe, and does not need the PC connection you mention, nor will it have any issues with gain (my above statements are based on studio flash which is what the PC connection is for).

The rounded end of the cable you have would go to the speedlite. The SONY HVL-F56AM and the HVL-58AM and the Minolta 5600HS(D) are the only flash units fully compatible with the camera that have this connection. You can get an adapter to convert the foot of other Alpha shoe flash units to accept this cable.
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antares103
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Re: Sony flash sync terminal port on new DSLTs?
In reply to fujifan, Jul 9, 2012

Using that cable to a 58 series flash is possible with all Alpha mount cameras since the introduction of the new hot shoe in the late 80's. It will still be fully functional with any of the DSLT's, and presumably the NEX7. I would keep it, and I use my Minolta verison all the time.

With that not being a factor, if studio photography and Sony cameras are in your future, I would suggest looking at the A65 as a minimum, and only after verifying it will auto gain. No, It does not have a PC port, but that is really a small potatoes concern due to the plethora of adapters and radio remotes on the market. If this camera had a real vertical grip, it would be my next APSC camera. But to be fair, I have limited hands on experience with any of the SLT's.

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