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  1. #21
    wiltw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Possibly - but still something which should never have happened. If I was a camera designer there would be no way that I would consider designing a camera which was not compatible with existing flash equipment.

    I will accept then that there were some cameras made with such incompetent design that a standard flash currently available could damage them but it really is inexcusable as it only take a £0.03/$0.02 component to trigger a flash with up to 400v trigger voltage.

    I still think it was a design issue forced by marketing to increase sales.


    Steve.
    Canon was not alone in this issue. Even the ISO specification is only up to 24V !!!

    From Botzilla...http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

    "Cameras
    "Canon US has verified (to me, and here) that the Powershot G doesn't like voltages over 6V.

    "Similarly, Nikon has specified 12V for their speedlight circuits... (though reader Steve Francesoni called Nikon.uk to check, and their tech rep said that his N80 was good to 250V — so there may be more complexity to this story). I've heard some rumours that some Coolpix models have been restricted to 5V! (see below for more details)

    "Marco Fortin-Metzgen checked with Olympus Europe on his C4040 — that digicam has a trigger voltage of 10V, so Olympus too recommends strobe triggering in the 3V to 6V range.

    "Pentax users may want to read this related story from Gene Poon.

    "Ron Alexander claims his Fuji is astonishingly tolerant of high voltages... interesting (This has since been verified by Rob Scrimgeour of the FujiGroup.net forum — their members got a message from Fuji also stating the 400V center pin limit).

    "(According to some opinions, high voltages can even endanger mechanical cameras, albeit after years of use)

    "The ISO 10330 specification ("Photography -- Synchronizers, ignition circuits and connectors for cameras and photoflash units -- Electrical characteristics and test methods," 1992) says that all ISO-compliant cameras should be able to accept trigger voltages up to 24V. Though a Canon engineer is the nominal head of the ISO workgroup, for some reason Canon continues to insist that their cameras tolerate no more than 6V (make that Canon USA — an email from Canon Canada says: "There is not a maximum voltage requirement for the hot shoe terminal on the PowerShot G1." Go fig!). For that reason I've tagged strobes that trigger at voltages between 6V and 24V as "your call." Depending upon who you ask — the camera or strobe manufacturers — those strobes are acceptable or they are not.

    "The ISO spec doesn't really seem to hold a lot of weight!"

  2. #22

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    I agree with Steve.
    I think we should keep in mind that it is an industry, making these thingies to sell.
    Allow people to keep on using their old stuff, and you cheat yourself out of sales.
    So it makes more sense to produce new cameras that need also new flash units than new cameras that can use the old stuff.

  3. #23
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    So it makes more sense to produce new cameras that need also new flash units than new cameras that can use the old stuff.
    I think the more likely scenario is that they make the new equipment so it will work with the older high voltage flashes but they tell everyone that they are not compatible using scare tactics to sell newer flashes.

    That way they get the best of both worlds - more sales but a robust camera that will not be sent in for repair if someone does use an old flash on it.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    I think the more likely scenario is that they make the new equipment so it will work with the older high voltage flashes but they tell everyone that they are not compatible using scare tactics to sell newer flashes.

    That way they get the best of both worlds - more sales but a robust camera that will not be sent in for repair if someone does use an old flash on it.
    I don't know...
    Burn a camera by using an old flash, and you have to get a new camera and a new flash. Even more sales...

  5. #25
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Burn a camera by using an old flash, and you have to get a new camera and a new flash. Even more sales...
    Good point!!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  6. #26
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    My reasoning for thinking this flash voltage stuff is mainly mythology:

    The in camera circuit component which will fire the flash will most likely be an SCR which will be rated to at least 250v, more likely 400v (they are not available rated lower than this). The other option would be a transistor which would probably be fine in excess of 30v despite the 6v, 12v, etc. warnings. The actual cost of fitting an SCR or a transistor would be just about the same so there is no advantage in fitting the lower voltage rated transistor in terms of profit on the sale price of the camera.

    The camera designers are not idiots and would understand totally the difference between a transistor and an SCR as I have outlined above.

    This leaves two scenarios:

    1. They designed in a transistor because they were told to.
    2. They designed in an SCR because they knew it would be the better, more robust option.

    If scenario 1 were true then the fact that they were told to fit an inferior component against their better judgement is outrageous.

    If scenario 2 were true then there is some mis-information being put about. Also outrageous.

    The only way of knowing the truth is to get one of the alleged 6v only cameras (a broken one) and pull it apart to see what is connected to the flash contacts. Any volunteers?!!!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs View Post
    Just thought I'd mention that I shoot almost 100% of my sessions / jobs with a Bronica ETRS, 75mm 2.8 lens, 120 back, and a handheld light meter. And that's it. No fill flash, almost never change lenses, no winders, no gizmos, no reflectors or other modifiers, nada. Oh, and a roll of Scotch tape. lol.

    You only need what you need. Some people need more gear to suit their chosen methods than others; as long as it works for you, you're fine.

    - CJ
    Thanks for the perspective Cheryl. I love your work, it really backs up what you are saying.
    My other camera is a Pentax

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    My reasoning for thinking this flash voltage stuff is mainly mythology:

    The in camera circuit component which will fire the flash will most likely be an SCR which will be rated to at least 250v, more likely 400v (they are not available rated lower than this). The other option would be a transistor which would probably be fine in excess of 30v despite the 6v, 12v, etc. warnings. The actual cost of fitting an SCR or a transistor would be just about the same so there is no advantage in fitting the lower voltage rated transistor in terms of profit on the sale price of the camera.

    The camera designers are not idiots and would understand totally the difference between a transistor and an SCR as I have outlined above.

    This leaves two scenarios:

    1. They designed in a transistor because they were told to.
    2. They designed in an SCR because they knew it would be the better, more robust option.

    If scenario 1 were true then the fact that they were told to fit an inferior component against their better judgement is outrageous.

    If scenario 2 were true then there is some mis-information being put about. Also outrageous.

    The only way of knowing the truth is to get one of the alleged 6v only cameras (a broken one) and pull it apart to see what is connected to the flash contacts. Any volunteers?!!!


    Steve.
    I do not know the exact details, but I had a Nikon F100 with a metz 36-af3N flash. everything worked fine. however when I tried to install the flash on a D300s, the camera played all sorts of wierd stuff. also I got my hands on a Sakar flash with only the center contact and my F100 was in same trouble as the D300s, metering modes switched at random, display went on and off, viewfinder displayed weird things.

    So from personal experience, there is more to the hotshoe contacts than just the trigger contact.

    neither camera took any damage, but it was enough to keep me cautios about flash compatibility.

  9. #29
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haplo602 View Post
    neither camera took any damage, but it was enough to keep me cautios about flash compatibility.
    That's a reasonable cautious approach to take but I don't recall any worries or scare stories (true or otherwise) before digital arrived.

    It was just assumed that you plugged the flash into the camera and got on with it.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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