More Catchup: External flash shots with Sony F707. (And connector dimensions!) (UPDATED)|
(Monday, February 4, 2002 - 17:05 EST)
Another catchup item: I've finally posted a test shot taken with Sony's nice little HVL-F1000 external flash unit on the F707. While I'm generally no fan of proprietary flash connections, I have to admit that the HVL-F1000 has some things going for it, most particuarly that it apparently offers true TTL (through the lens) flash metering when used with the F707.
The lack of TTL metering is one of the real deficiencies of prosumer digicams generally - virtually all use area sensors to meter the flash. Area sensors work OK if your subject and background have the same reflectance, but not at all if you're zoomed in on a light subject against a dark background (for instance).
The HVL-F1000 seems to do a nice job overall. Given my dislike for closed systems though, I went as far as to carefully measure all the critical dimensions on the F1000's sync plug. This is an unusual four-circuit miniature phone plug, a configuration I've not seen before. The flash itself uses a serial protocol to communicate with the camera, via circuits A and B on the connector diagram at right. (Click on the picture below for a large-scale drawing.)
|Sony's HVL-F1000 flash sync plug.|
Click here to see an example of what the F707 can do with the HVL-F1000 in my standard indoor flash test. (Very nice.)
UPDATED 2002-02-04 18:43ET: (Dave here) - several readers wrote to correct me on the "TTL" nature of the HVL-F1000 flash. (It appears it isn't, I said that it was.) I admit, I'd just slavishly repeated what Sony told me on the topic. I was just about to ship the unit back (I'm way past due) but will pull it out of the box, do a few tests, to determine definitively whether it's TTL or not. Stay tuned... (Also, *thanks* to those of you who wrote in to alert me to my silly goof with the URL to my own story. Too many cameras, too little sleep, I think... ;-)