Metz 52 AF-1: The World’s First Hot-Shoe Flash with a Touchscreen Interface

The world of camera gear is getting really into this whole touchscreen thing. Touchscreen interfaces appeared on a bevy of cameras at Photokina this month (especially when paired with Android OS) and even on a new light meter, the Sekonic L-478D. The latest guest to crash the party? The flash.

The new Metz 52 AF-1 is the world’s first hot-shoe mounted flash unit to offer a touchscreen interface. Granted, the screen isn’t as flashy as the touchscreens found on the devices mentioned above — it won’t be winning any beauty contests anytime soon — but it gets the job done.

The back-illuminated control panel intelligently rotates based on the orientation of your flash. Turn it sideways for a portrait photo, and the menus will rotate 90-degrees to ensure that the controls are easy to read and access.

Features include a head that rotates 90-degrees, a guide number of 52, a recycle time of 3.5 seconds at full power, a built-in reflector card, TTL metering, high speed sync, full manual mode, optical slave mode, and a metal hot-shoe foot.

It’ll be available in different models depending on the camera you need it for, and is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, and Four Thirds. While the release date hasn’t been revealed, the unit will cost around $325 when it hits store shelves.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not photographers will give this new flash unit interface a warm reception. While it does make seeing your controls a tad bit easier when shooting at night, you lose the convenience of buttons, switches, and dials.

(via Lighting Rumors via The Phoblographer)

  • Jazz Benigno

    i wonder how the batteries would last long compared to a regular flash

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    While I appreciate the versatility of touch screens they kind of force you to operate your gear by sight rather than by touch. Being able to change settings without taking your eye off of the scene can be really important in some situations…

  • lynvingen

    Advanced “intelligent” touch screen – with an OS/2 interface straight out of 1987..

  • Mr Sheen

    The Nissin MF18 has a touch screen also

  • sierrarobba

    I want buttons in my camera and flash.Not stupid screen everywhere.

  • Guest

    Will the touch screen work if you’re wearing gloves in cold weather?

  • brob

    not everything needs to be a touchscreen

  • Max

    Touchscreens everywhere. God damnit. I hate having no tactile feedback. They should develop touchscreens with feedback.