Reason for slow flash sync speed

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
PVCdroid Senior Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed

SQLGuy wrote:

PVCdroid wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

I shot an outdoor wedding yesterday for a friend and used an Opteka TTL for fill flash. The more I use my NEX-7 or 5N the more I realize that flash logic and shutter limitations are a serious downfall for Sony.

1/160th max shutter speed is way too slow. Fill flash on a sunny day is going to give you major blown highlights. There is no way around it as far as I know unless you go with a manual flash. The Opteka can't be blamed since even the pop up flash on the NEX-7 will limit any mode to a max 1/160th shutter speed.

Even if using a manual non TTL flash you are limited by the shutter capabilities which will beginning clip the flash exposure top and bottom of the frame at 1/250th and faster shutter speeds.

I really don't know how pros using Sony equipment get around this problem. I thought about using an ND filter but am not sure if that would have messed with the flash logic.

Any ideas from pros of how to deal with fill flash when using Sony cameras in outdoor settings would be greatly appreciated. I shot at F/8 but didn't want to use a smaller aperture for fear of diffraction. In the meantime I have some seriously overexposed images to fix in LR.

That's exactly what HSS is for. You need to pick up a flash that supports it. The NEX-7 will work fine with an HSS flash.

Note that 1/250th wouldn't have made much of a difference... as it's only 2/3rd of a stop or so shorter. If you were in full sunlight at F8 and ISO 100, you probably needed 1/320th to 1/400th.

An ND filter should have been fine with a TTL flash, since it is through-the-lens, which includes the filter, so metering would have been correct.

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A7 with kit lens and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

OK, I'll give an ND filter a try. I do like the $50 Opteka for its 45 GN power and it handles TTL fairly well. I really don't want to invest in a HHS flash for a few hundred at this point in time, especially with MI shoe vs. the NEX-7 Minolta style shoe. Sony should have lifted the 1/160th limitation in manual mode though imho.

Thanks, Pat


The ND filter recommendation was perfect. Just tried a HOYA NDX64 and can shoot with ttl fill flash as low as f1.8 in bright sun with the sel5018 on my NEX-7. The shutter speed was around 1/120 in aperture priority mode. Thanks for rattling my brain on this which I should have thought of before.
The ND filter came from a guy who sold me a 5n and Canon fdn 50/1.4. A step up filter I had around was used for the -SEL5018. That deal just keeps on giving.

I've rarely used ND filters and was surprised how well resolution and color are maintained.

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