Sony DSLR-A100 Flash
Sony A100 Flash
In Program AE, Full Auto, and Aperture Priority exposure modes, pressing and holding the AE Lock button activates a Slow-Sync mode setting, which balances the flash exposure with the ambient lighting. The exposure is based on the ambient light, and the flash power is based on the aperture setting. Results with indoor and outdoor shots that include light fixtures can be dramatic and pleasing.
The A100 offers two methods of flash metering. Its default mode is called ADI, which stands for Advanced Distance Integration. In this mode, it bases its flash exposure on the lens aperture and distance feedback from the autofocus system, as well as on the light reflected back from a pre-flash. By determining how far away the target subject is, the camera knows how much flash power is required to illuminate it, and is less likely to be fooled by subjects that are unusually light or dark overall. Alternatively, the Pre-Flash TTL (through the lens) method bases the exposure determination solely on a small metering flash before the main exposure. Used in conjunction with the spot autofocus option mentioned earlier, the ADI flash metering should be more accurate with small subjects against a different colored background than the pre-flash method.
The A100 also has a top-mounted hot shoe for attaching an external flash unit. The shoe design and contact arrangement are set up for Sony's own dedicated flash units, but I imagine that compatible models are available from the major third-party flash manufacturers (Sunpak et. al.).
There is no external flash sync terminal (the so-called "PC" style connector) for third-party flash units.
Sony A100 Remote, Wireless Flash
Sony A100 Flash Test Results
Coverage and Range
A bright flash with good coverage up close, but a fair bit of falloff at maximum wide angle. Our standard shots required about average positive exposure compensation.
|18mm equivalent||70mm equivalent|
|Normal Flash +1.0 EV||Slow-Sync Flash +1.3 EV|
Flash coverage was a bit uneven at the maximum 18mm wide angle lens setting, but much more uniform at telephoto. In the Indoor test, the A100's flash underexposed our subject somewhat at its default setting, requiring a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment (though this appears just a tad bright). The camera's Slow-Sync flash mode produced a more balanced exposure at +1.3 EV, though with a stronger orange cast from the background incandescent lighting. Most cameras we test require a +1.0 EV flash exposure adjustment on this shot, so the A100's performance here is pretty typical.
The A100's flash remained bright, with good coverage throughout the test range. Exposures were also good with the optional wireless flash, which produced a much more balanced exposure. Range with the kit lens was about 11 feet at wide angle, but only 7-8 feet at maximum telephoto.
|Manufacturer-Specified Flash Range|
Our standard test method for flash range uses a fixed setting of ISO 100, to provide a fair basis of comparison between cameras. We also capture two shots using the manufacturer-specified camera settings, at the range the company claims for the camera, to assess the validity of their claims. In the shot above, the Sony A100 seems to perform exactly as the spec sheet says: The flash guide number is listed as 12 meters at ISO 100. With the kit lens at wide angle and maximum aperture of f/3.5, this corresponds to 12/3.5 = 3.42 meters = 11.2 feet.
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