Question about Sony A100K and brand compatibility

Discussion in 'Sony' started by Steve Koterski, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. I recently purchased my first dSLR, a Sony A100K. This is not my first
    SLR, but it is my first digital SLR.

    My question has to do with this camera and compatibility with
    components manuafactured by other companies.

    Is a flash unit cited as Minolta-compatible work with a Sony A100K?

    I was looking at hardware ads in photography magazines. I was
    especially looking at flash units, but the question is general. Vendor
    citations of brand compatibility mention Canon, Nikon, Minolta, etc.
    But seldom is Sony mentioned. I think I read somewhere that the A100K
    is really a Minolta camera, sold by Sony (or something along those

    Steve Koterski, Jan 4, 2007
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  2. The Sony system is entirely - at the moment - identical to the final
    version of the Minolta flash system. Any Minolta or Konica Minolta flash
    units labelled (D) - as in 5600HS(D), 3600HS(D) - will work correctly
    with the Sony A100. So will independent units but Sigma's latest model
    is required (not the one before), Metz need an adaptor versio 7 not
    version 6 of the Minolta shoe, etc. Anything current should be OK,
    thousands of used and older guns with the same flash shoe are not OK and
    can only be used on full power or manual settings.

    Many cheapie flash units (Cobra etc) have not been updated for digital
    compatibility and unless something says it is specifically compatible
    with the Konica Minolta 7D, 5D and/or the Sony A100 it's not worth the risk.

    With DSLRs in general, since TTL off the film metering is impossible,
    flash is a bit hit and miss. Each maker has managed a nearly acceptable
    solution but all involve pre-flash measurement. In many ways, you are
    better off getting a hot shoe adaptor FS-1100 for the A100 - or the Hong
    Kong sourced eBay item which has the bonus of a PC sync socket:

    170065939163 (ebay item - buy it now under $15 - I have bought one of
    these and it arrived in about five days, perfect for the job)

    Find a good thyristor-auto gun, like a Vivitar 283 or a Metz 45 CT-1, or
    indeed any decent flash with a sensor cell of its own, and you generally
    get more accurate and predictable exposures plus no pre-flash, which
    means fewer problems with blinkers and pets

    David Kilpatrick, Jan 4, 2007
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  3. Great info. Thanks.

    I didn't even think about looking on eBay. Good suggestion. There was
    a thyristor twin flash (tilt & swivel, second flash, fair guide
    number) for $49. I might get one of those. The listing specifically
    cited compatibility with A100 cameras.

    It's ironic. I worked at eBay for four years and in that time never
    bought or sold a single item. Now, almost three years after leaving, I
    might buy my first item. <grin>

    I will also look at the other recommendations you made.
    Steve Koterski, Jan 4, 2007
  4. Steve-

    It depends. Some Minolta flashes such as the "xi" models use an older
    Through-The-Lens (TTL) flash exposure system that is not compatible. My
    old Minolta 5400xi flash produced grossly over-exposed pictures with the
    Sony Alpha. Such an older flash can only be used in manual mode with
    the Sony.

    Recent Minolta SLRs, as well as the Konica-Minolta 7D and 5D DSLRs use a
    newer a TTL system. I purchased a Minolta 5600HS (D) flash which seems
    to work perfectly with the Sony. The Sony flash is apparently a
    re-branded version of this flash.

    Fred McKenzie, Jan 4, 2007
  5. Thanks.

    When I look at advertisements for flash units, I will bear these
    factors in mind.

    That Minolta 5600HS goes for about $300. That's even more than the
    flash on the Sony site. Unfortunately, I am doing this only as a
    hobby, not as a professional. After spending around $1,000 on this
    camera already (camera, second lens, memory card, tripod, etc.), I
    don't have a whole lot of budget leeway left.

    Perhaps I will get a cheaper one for now and a better one like you
    recommend later.
    Steve Koterski, Jan 4, 2007
  6. Steve Koterski

    Alan Browne Guest

    Which is easy enough with some judgement. I have the 5600HS but I use
    it manually with the 7D and set it's power manually. Given the instant
    feedback (monitor and histo) I get better results than pre-flash TTL.
    Alan Browne, Jan 6, 2007
  7. Steve Koterski

    Alan Browne Guest

    What David said.
    Alan Browne, Jan 6, 2007
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