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.
After buying a Yongnuo flash and finding its wireless capabilities “hit and miss”, Marcell of fiberstrobe decided to try out something he saw on a forum: using a fiber optic cable as a sync cord. The Yongnuo YN460-II can function as an optical slave, so the basic idea is to channel light from your camera’s flash into the light sensor of the strobe. To solve the problem of light leakage, Marcell also created an accessory using LEGO bricks, cardboard, and duct tape to fox the fiber to the sensor and protect it from direct sunlight.
DIY fiber sync cord (via DIYP)
In addition to two new entry-level DSLRs, Canon is also releasing two new entry-level flash units, the 320EX and 270EX II. The 320EX includes a built-in LED light designed to provide illumination for video recording DSLRs, can be assigned to one of four channels, and can be wirelessly controlled with the newly announced T3i/600D. The 270EX II is a compact, lightweight flash that swivels in four positions ranging from 0 to 90 degrees, and can be wirelessly triggered but does not have channel capabilities.
Both units will be available in April, with the 320EX priced at $250 and the 270EX II priced at $170.
If cameras can have external flashes, why can’t mobile phones? The iFlash is a flash module that allows owners of older iPhones to illuminate dark scenes with a blast of LED light. iPhone 4 owners can also use it to gain some additional light.
The Strobella is a small shoot-through umbrella that you mount to your flash unit using a velcro elastic band. The website states that it “doesn’t just softens the shadows but can reduces them significantly.” Hmm…
David Hobby over at Strobist is a fan:
This one is very hard to post with a straight face [...] I would only say that any umbrella of this size should rightfully have a stiff, fruity drink under it — with a tropical sunset as a backdrop.
The Strobella costs about $13 bucks if you live in Europe, and about $15 if you’re elsewhere. Yay for random camera attachments that will give you weird looks!