The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Started Jul 25, 2014 | Discussions
Xanmato Forum Member • Posts: 81
The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide
53

Hey guys,

I wanted to make this thread in order to help people understand why certain flashes like the Yongnuo fail to trigger reliably on the Sony a6000. It will also explain why this is not a mistake by Sony, but rather an unfortunate side effect for third party devices.

So, what's the reason why your flash doesn't work without performing voodoo or using a pipe wrench on the lock tightener? As some of you may already know:

It is simply a matter of grounding.

Sony decided to paint the hotshoe black for cosmetic reasons, which standard hotshoe accessories use not only as a mount but as the grounding point as well. Since there is paint covering the shoe, a ground connection cannot be made. Without a complete electrical circuit, the flash will not fire. The paint is applied by a method called powder coating, which makes the paint stubbornly durable when it comes to wear.

So why do Sony multi interface devices work flawlessly? Some of the hotshoe connectors are plastic?!

Sony was very clever in the design to embed a grounding pin on each side of the device's shoe. You can see below on the microphone, where the pin sticks out near the back of the shoe. You may notice that the hotshoe mount does not have paint on the side lip. This is where those grounding pins make contact, I have highlighted the lip in red:

What's that yellow highlighted part?

That chunk of metal is intended to be the backstop for the multi interface shoe devices. It also serves as a block to stop standard hotshoe devices from jamming or crushing the multi interface pins. We are lucky that Sony left this unpainted as it is a valid grounding point. This is why the flash units tend to work when you push it in hard or keep pressure on it, because it is touching those blocks.

So how do I fix this?

Honestly, the easiest fix is to remove some paint inside the grooves with something like sand paper. A toothpick dipped in acetone (not dripping) can remove paint cleanly and with precision if you are concerned with keeping it looking nice. The ramp pads are a good place to remove paint as the spring pressure will help secure a good electrical connection. The more bare metal that is exposed, the better the connection will be.

With an exposed metal hotshoe, 3rd party flashes should have no problems firing reliably. I hope this helps some of the confused and frustrated a6000 owners out there.

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Sony a6000
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Tuloom
Tuloom Veteran Member • Posts: 4,141
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

This is a great post.

Thanks.

neo4is New Member • Posts: 1
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Hi Xanmato,

Great, thanks for your sharing.

Nikolausz
Nikolausz Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Thanks for sharing this important information!

nevercat Veteran Member • Posts: 3,193
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide
5

Very clearly explained, thanks for that, this is what this forum is all about: helping each other so we can get the best out of our cameras...

roddypittman
roddypittman New Member • Posts: 13
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Thanks for your efforts & the helpful info. Really appreciate the easy to understand explanation that even a newbie like myself can make use of.

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Dstilio Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

thank you.

really this can help reduce my frustration from times to times...damn Sony...

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Anthony Linh Pham New Member • Posts: 16
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Can TTL function can use on this flash?

TJ61 Senior Member • Posts: 1,516
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide
4

After hesitating due to reports of trouble, this information gave me the confidence to buy a Yongnuo 560III flash for my a6000.  I tried the flash without doing anything to my camera first, and sure enough, no flash.

Then, I double-sticky taped a piece of 320 grit sandpaper to a thin, stiff, narrow metal ruler, and sanded down the underside of the side rails of the hotshoe until I no longer saw black paint coming off.  Since then I have not had a single misfire.

Thanks to the OP for figuring this out and posting!

 TJ61's gear list:TJ61's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Schwaeble Regular Member • Posts: 367
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Thanks for posting. Don't even have the camera, just squatting for in case I decide for it after all. Just wondering: So that piece of hotshoe-edge that would get the paint removed - is it stainless steel?

Gennaro New Member • Posts: 4
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Could you please post some pictures of what you did?

SmoothGlass Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Gennaro wrote:

Could you please post some pictures of what you did?

He already described it!

Btw you don't need to sandpaper off that much, just a little bit to make contact. A few scratches will do just fine as long as the bare metal pokes through those scratches. Take care not to scratch the actual connectors though.

dynola New Member • Posts: 16
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

alluminium i suppose.....

newenglandrocks Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

Is anyone having problems with the silver a6000 cameras? I just looked at mine and the contact is not painted black.

Albert

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bozzeyed New Member • Posts: 1
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide
1

I have recently purchased the A6000 and all seemed fine until I tried the Sony fit nissin i40 flash. The flash fails to fire on the camera. The camera is the silver variant and so it doesn't,t have the painted hotshoe issues like the black model. The flash works perfectly on other Sony camera. Is this a general fault with this camera.

dynola New Member • Posts: 16
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide

mine camera is black.....

Clint009 Regular Member • Posts: 177
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide
1

To get another fact about the hotshoe problem (only on the black body)

"Sony ILCE a6000 Hot Shoe for flashes fix Updated -How to."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKc3b49GRKU&index=11&list=PLbTQxOS4wmCPWhEekslsnnUpuTCH94SXO

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TJ61 Senior Member • Posts: 1,516
Re: The Sony a6000 Hotshoe connectivity guide
4

Clint009 wrote:

To get another fact about the hotshoe problem (only on the black body)

"Sony ILCE a6000 Hot Shoe for flashes fix Updated -How to."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKc3b49GRKU&index=11&list=PLbTQxOS4wmCPWhEekslsnnUpuTCH94SXO

Except he misses the whole point of sanding the underside of the socket rails, which is why he has to twist his flash to make contact. Although he admits he has no idea why twisting helps, it could be that this forces contact with the lower surface that he has sanded.

If you look the mechanics, you'll notice the clamping mechanism (the rotating knob), pulls the hotshoe foot of the flash into contact with the underside of the socket rails.  That makes this the best place to sand for contact.  Sanding the bottom CAN work, but depending on the flash, you don't necessarily have contact with that surface, which is why his results are not great.

This diagram might help:

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Sony a6000 Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
fotowbert
fotowbert Veteran Member • Posts: 3,247
Sony a6000 hot-shoe and YongNuo's ground
4

TJ61 wrote:

Clint009 wrote:

To get another fact about the hotshoe problem (only on the black body)

"Sony ILCE a6000 Hot Shoe for flashes fix Updated -How to."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKc3b49GRKU&index=11&list=PLbTQxOS4wmCPWhEekslsnnUpuTCH94SXO

Except he misses the whole point of sanding the underside of the socket rails, which is why he has to twist his flash to make contact. Although he admits he has no idea why twisting helps, it could be that this forces contact with the lower surface that he has sanded.

If you look the mechanics, you'll notice the clamping mechanism (the rotating knob), pulls the hotshoe foot of the flash into contact with the underside of the socket rails. That makes this the best place to sand for contact. Sanding the bottom CAN work, but depending on the flash, you don't necessarily have contact with that surface, which is why his results are not great.

This diagram might help:

Excellent description TJ61 of the Sony a6000 hot-shoe and YongNuo's expected ground connection.

Careful examination of your hot-shoe accessories will reveal where the ground contact is located. Many use the surface shown by the OP that Sony has left unpainted. YongNuo and some others use the underside of the hot-shoe rails for the ground which unfortunately Sony has painted.

The YongNuo locking ring pulls their metal foot up against the underside of the rails. Once tight there should be no contact with the surface shown scraped free of paint in the video.  Having to twist the flash in the hot-shoe to get it to work even after removing all that paint is an indication he hasn't gotten to the root of the problem.

Removing the paint from the underside of the rails will be more tedious but the good thing is those surfaces don't show. Once free of paint an application of Deoxit contact restorer would be a good idea.

  • John
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"[If you don't sweat the details] the magic doesn't work." Brooks, F. P., The Mythical Man-Month, Addison-Wesley, 1975, page 8.

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Keith Meinhold
Keith Meinhold Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Sony a6000 hot-shoe and YongNuo's ground

Oh, if I had only seen this thread weeks ago, would have save me much time.

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