Can I use an old fashion flash unit with a digital camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by magne.braaten@gmail.com, May 13, 2007.

  1. Guest

    I have just bought a Canon PowerShot G7, and this camera has a hot
    shoe. Does anybody know wheteher I can use an old fashioned flash unit
    with this hot shoe, or whether it could damage the camera? When I say
    "old fashioned flash-unit", I mean a flash unit made for an analoge
    camera (we are talking last century).

    Do you know? If you do, I would be grateful if you tok the time to let
    me know.


    Magne Braaten
    , May 13, 2007
    #1
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  2. wrote:
    > I have just bought a Canon PowerShot G7, and this camera has a hot
    > shoe. Does anybody know wheteher I can use an old fashioned flash unit
    > with this hot shoe, or whether it could damage the camera? When I say
    > "old fashioned flash-unit", I mean a flash unit made for an analoge
    > camera (we are talking last century).
    >
    > Do you know? If you do, I would be grateful if you tok the time to let
    > me know.
    >
    >
    > Magne Braaten

    http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html
    Have a look at this list. If your flashgun has a trigger voltage higher than
    24 volts, don't use it with your G7.

    Dennis.
    Dennis Pogson, May 13, 2007
    #2
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  3. wrote:
    : I have just bought a Canon PowerShot G7, and this camera has a hot
    : shoe. Does anybody know wheteher I can use an old fashioned flash unit
    : with this hot shoe, or whether it could damage the camera? When I say
    : "old fashioned flash-unit", I mean a flash unit made for an analoge
    : camera (we are talking last century).

    : Do you know? If you do, I would be grateful if you tok the time to let
    : me know.

    Without knowing the specifics of the flash unit none of us can be
    absolutely certain, but in general yest the falsh will probably work, to a
    point. A flash unit with a hot shoe connection that fits the standard will
    fit a standard shoe. And most cameras with a hot shoe connection will be
    able to at least connect with the standard shoe. But some manufacturers
    tend to make camera specific modifications to their shoes that may or may
    not be standard to other cameras. For example a pentax flash has
    additional contacts that won't connect with anything on a canon camera hot
    shoe. So not all functions will work correctly. Also some older flashes,
    even for the correct brand, may not properly connect or even have all the
    functions of newr cameras. So a flash may not be able to take advantage of
    TTL functions, for example. The basic standard simply uses the large
    central contact connecting to the outer shoe frame to cause the flash to
    flash. But other contacts may have other functions such as sensing if the
    flash is fully charged, or for adgusting the flash output in coordination
    with the focus distance. These functions may be unavailable if the camera
    connections are not compatable.

    Not knowing the specifics of the two devices (flash and camera) it will be
    difficult to give a definative answer. But in general I would suspect that
    most any flash and camera will have at least some basic level of
    functionality. Its possible that if the flash is modified (by removing all
    but the shoe frame and center contacts) it could give you the default
    basic function with no further problems or advantages.

    One caution. I have heard that there are a few models of flash unit that
    present high voltages to unexpected contacts that may damage some
    inexpensive cameras. So You may want to check with the web site of the
    manufacturer and the flash unit to see if there are any compatability
    lists that could give you an idea if this is a problem with your
    particular units.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
    Randy Berbaum, May 13, 2007
    #3
  4. There are a couple of issues here...

    1. If the flash is an older unit, the voltage on its terminals might
    damage the camera.

    2. The digital camera may have a "red eye" feature. This can trip off
    some slave units.

    If you are comfortable with issue #1, give it a try, and see what the
    results are. Myself, I bought a small flash unit (Sunpak, about $30)
    for my Olympus C-5000. I can run it from the hot shoe, or as a slave
    unit. I ended up giving all my old film equipment and a flash to my
    grandson...
    professorpaul, May 13, 2007
    #4
  5. Bill Yowell Guest

    "professorpaul" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > There are a couple of issues here...
    >
    > 1. If the flash is an older unit, the voltage on its terminals might
    > damage the camera.
    >
    > 2. The digital camera may have a "red eye" feature. This can trip off
    > some slave units.
    >
    > If you are comfortable with issue #1, give it a try, and see what the
    > results are. Myself, I bought a small flash unit (Sunpak, about $30)
    > for my Olympus C-5000. I can run it from the hot shoe, or as a slave
    > unit. I ended up giving all my old film equipment and a flash to my
    > grandson...
    >
    >

    Wein Products has two items which apply. The HSHS will protect the camera
    from high voltages. There is also a digital HS which both protects from too
    high voltage and senses the second flash for use with a slave unit. Many
    (most?) digital cameras' flash units trigger an exposure setting flash ahead
    of the main flash. This is not the same as a red eye reducing flash and is
    so close to the main flash that you generally will not be aware of it.
    However, a slave flash without the digital hot shoe will trigger with the
    pre-flash and thus will not illuminate the picture. If you are using a slave
    flash, take your picture in a mirror with both the camera's flash and the
    slave flash. You may be surprised, as I was, that the slave flash, while it
    fired, doesn't show up as flashing in the picture.

    No, I have no connection with Wein; don't even know for certain that these
    products are still available, but if they are, they are worth their cost.

    Bill Yowell
    Bill Yowell, May 14, 2007
    #5
  6. "professorpaul" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > There are a couple of issues here...
    >
    > 1. If the flash is an older unit, the voltage on its terminals might
    > damage the camera.
    >
    > 2. The digital camera may have a "red eye" feature. This can trip off
    > some slave units.
    >
    > If you are comfortable with issue #1, give it a try, and see what the
    > results are. Myself, I bought a small flash unit (Sunpak, about $30)
    > for my Olympus C-5000. I can run it from the hot shoe, or as a slave
    > unit. I ended up giving all my old film equipment and a flash to my
    > grandson...
    >
    >

    You may have problems if you are using digital SLRs.

    For example, with the Canon digital SLRs you need a Canon EX flashgun.
    The older EZ flashguns will not work because they sense the light reflected
    off the film in their film bodies. This reflected light this isn't available
    in their digital bodies.

    Regards, Ian.
    Fred Anonymous, May 17, 2007
    #6
  7. writes:
    > I have just bought a Canon PowerShot G7, and this camera has a hot
    > shoe. Does anybody know wheteher I can use an old fashioned flash
    > unit with this hot shoe, or whether it could damage the camera? When
    > I say "old fashioned flash-unit", I mean a flash unit made for an
    > analoge camera (we are talking last century).


    Yes, but with some caveats. Here is a page about buying a flash
    for a Canon camera with E-TTL, such as the G7:
    http://hannemyr.com/photo/flash.html

    Btw, I have a Powershot G5 and use it regularly with an older,
    non-dedicated, flash. It works great and for main flash it
    actually gives more precsie exposure than Canon's 580EX.
    --
    - gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://hannemyr.com/photo/ ]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sigma SD10, Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gisle Hannemyr, May 18, 2007
    #7
  8. TryinToHelp Guest

    On Mon, 14 May 2007 09:32:43 -0500, "Bill Yowell" <> wrote:

    >Many
    >(most?) digital cameras' flash units trigger an exposure setting flash ahead
    >of the main flash. This is not the same as a red eye reducing flash and is
    >so close to the main flash that you generally will not be aware of it.
    >However, a slave flash without the digital hot shoe will trigger with the
    >pre-flash and thus will not illuminate the picture.


    You just need a slave-trigger that's designed for digital cameras with pre-flash
    exposure settings and red-eye reduction modes. They have circuitry to detect and
    ignore the initial flash output.

    Like this one from Adorama for $33.50:

    http://www.adorama.com/SZ23504.html
    TryinToHelp, May 21, 2007
    #8
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