The Sony Nex cameras are known for their excellent wireless flash capability. But did you know you could make it work with the built-in Pop-Up flash?
The “normal” way to do wireless is to use at least two external Sony flashes like the older HVL-F20AM ($128) as a trigger and the new HVL-F43M ($398) as a slave. (I still haven’t seen anything to indicate that the new HVL-F20M can function as a wireless trigger.) So there you are $526 into it … a bit expensive for my blood.
Well, I just discovered that the Nissin Di466 ($138.50 on Amazon) can function as a remote flash while using the Nex-7’s pop-up flash. Very cool! I actually got this flash to use with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and it is advertised to be compatible with Olympus and Panasonic Four Thirds cameras. On those cameras it will also work “on camera” whereas with the Sony it will not. Still, $140 for a wireless flash “system” sure sounds better than almost $530! 🙂
One caveat: The Nissin will not work in TTL mode like this so you must shoot in manual flash. The camera can be in any mode that will fire the pop-up flash, but you may need to adjust the Nissin’s output.
It’s so easy, too. Just pop-up the camera’s flash, set the Nissin appropriately and fire away. You don’t even need to change the flash mode to wireless (actually, it’s not even available).
I’ve had the Nissin Di466 for a few months and it has worked great. It has simple controls and excellent recharge times with good batteries (4 AAs required). There only four buttons and three indicator lights so it’s a piece of cake to use. There’s an On/Off Button and the Pilot Button/Light which shows its “ready to fire” status and also doubles as a test flash button. Then there’s an exposure compensation Rocker Switch which you use to either compensate exposure or set the manual exposure value. The other tiny button lets you switch between Auto, Manual, and Slave (two modes, S1 and S2). With the Nex-7, I use S1 so it knows to fire when it sees a flash and doesn’t try to communicate with the camera.
There is another advantage to using this flash for wireless … it fires almost instantaneously when you press the shutter button. As good as Sony’s system is, there is one slight problem. When using Sony flashes in a remote operation, there is a delay of approximately 1/2 to 1 full second from the time you press the shutter until the photo is actually taken.
Good results on a budget just aren’t all that hard to accomplish if you just look around a little bit and see what’s available.
Note: This flash will probably fire wirelessly with just about any camera and flash. I got it to fire by just using another flash (off camera) and doing a test fire and … boom … it fired!
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