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Thread: A99 Help Please!

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    A99 Help Please!

    Okay, my pea brain can't figure this out. So those smarter than I am will have to help. Please!

    I've been goofing around with available light stuff with the A99 which has been fun.

    Then I got serious.

    90% of my work with 35mm DSLRs is using Manual exposure mode, and 50% of that is with radio controlled off-camera flash.

    So I went to shoot a quick studio table-top shot with powerful Profoto D1 AIR lighting, manually setting ISO 100 and an aperture of f/10 @ 1/250 to get a proper exposure ... put the AIR radio transmitter in the hot-shoe, turned it on and ...

    can't see anything through the viewfinder or on the LCD. Totally black at those manual settings.

    If you put the new HVL-F60M flash in the hot shoe and turn it on, the viewfinder is then viewable at open aperture.

    I tried my trusty Pocket Wizard ... no joy. Other radio triggers also failed to allow viewing ... all of them will fire the off-camera lights, you just cannot see what you are shooting at all.

    I then tried my often used wedding configuration of speed-light in the hot-shoe for fill, and a radio transmitter on a Kirk handle QR bracket to fire the key off-camera strobe ... which is connected via a PC cord from radio transmitter to the A99's PC outlet on the left side of the camera (see attached pic below) ... THANK GOD that worked, or I would have had to immediately send this camera packing.

    However, not being able to use manual exposure settings with any common radio transmitter is ridiculous. What was the point of returning to the standard hot-shoe if you can't use it with a radio transmitter?

    What am I doing wrong? I'm hoping it is a simple thing that I missed completely. If it is something simple, then I apologize in advance for the following:

    If you cannot use a radio transmitter in the hot-shoe there is no way Sony will succeed in winning over any semi-pro or pro-level shooter ... or any advanced enthusiasts interested in the already huge and growing off-camera "Stobist" movement ... including the zillion wedding, event, and portrait shooters that use off-camera lighting in some form or another. IMHO, without Manual exposure in conjunction with radio controlled off-camera flash, Sony stepped backwards from the A900 into rank amateur status ... in fact below that, because even a 5 year old Canon Rebel can do radio control with off-camera strobes

    If it cannot be overcome, it tells us exactly why Nikon and Canon have not adopted EVF for any serious camera that serves any market that uses off-camera radio triggered speed-lights and/or strobes ... which is more shooters than this forum may typically indicate.

    Advanced technology is considerably lessened if it means you cannot do the basics.

    Your thoughts?

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Marc, There is a simple solution.

    Go to "Set up" in menu and look at the "Settings effect". you will find it "on". turn it to "off" .

    This will brighten up the view.

    Make sure you turn it back on while not using flash! Otherwise, rain or shine what you see on the EVF will not match (WB) what the camera records!

    Have a great holidays!

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Thanks Vivek!

    Far from an elegant solution when shooting in the heat of a wedding where I switch back and forth all the time.

    I wonder if I can assign a user button with the proper settings for using the radio transmitter, then that would be okay.

    I'll try that later ... got a house full of Christmas guest coming soon.

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    We've got the same problem with live view and our D800, in manual mode as we would be using with our strobes, the LV is pitch black, have to change it to a different exposure mode to see anything. Every time we need to recompose, it's switch mode, use LV, switch back to manual mode and fire. Canon do this one right at least. Killing the viewfinder however is very moronic on Sony's behalf.
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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    We've got the same problem with live view and our D800, in manual mode as we would be using with our strobes, the LV is pitch black, have to change it to a different exposure mode to see anything. Every time we need to recompose, it's switch mode, use LV, switch back to manual mode and fire. Canon do this one right at least. Killing the viewfinder however is very moronic on Sony's behalf.
    Ben, Sony didn't "kill" the viewfinder or the LCD, it shows the actual effect of your manual settings ... which in the case of studio strobe settings in a dimly lit studio, or a dark reception hall, are way to dark to see what you are shooting.

    Vivek's suggestion to just turn off the "effect" when shooting with a radio transmitter in the hot-shoe works.

    Most of the time when working mobile, I am shooting with a TTL speed-light for fill in the hot-shoe and radio on the bracket like shown in my post. ... in the studio, I'll just set the "Effect" to off.

    You were right, skin tones are great right out of the camera ... as good or better than the A900.

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Glad it worked out, Marc.

    Again, you do have to remember to switch back and forth or it could be very frustrating.

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Glad it worked out, Marc.

    Again, you do have to remember to switch back and forth or it could be very frustrating.
    Well, when you use the new 60 flash in the hot-shoe for fill, you do not have to switch it over ... it does it automatically, and returns to "effect on" when you switch the flash off, or remove it.

    So other than pure studio work with a radio transmitter alone (for which I rarely use a 35mm DSLR), I really won't need to switch it at a wedding or similar application because I've tended to use the bracket with the transmitter on it, and the flash in the hot-shoe ... and this flash switches it over.

    So (with your help), once I understood that you can turn the effect off, in reality the A99 is the best of both worlds.

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Glad it worked out, Marc.

    Again, you do have to remember to switch back and forth or it could be very frustrating.
    Well, when you use the new 60 flash in the hot-shoe for fill, you do not have to switch it over ... it does it automatically, and returns to "effect on" when you switch the flash off, or remove it.

    So other than pure studio work with a radio transmitter alone (for which I rarely use a 35mm DSLR), I really won't need to switch it at a wedding or similar application because I've tended to use the bracket with the transmitter on it, and the flash in the hot-shoe ... and this flash switches it over.

    So (with your help), once I understood that you can turn the effect off, in reality the A99 is the best of both worlds.

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Marc, There is one more thing...

    I am sure Sony meant it well with this "feature" but I find it frustrating.

    Even if you have a system flash on the camera, with the "settings effect" "on", only after the flash wakes up you will see the EVF bright. If you try to make a shot (ie., try to look at a subject through the EVF or via the LCD) while the flash isn't fully ready (due to battery recycle delay, for example), darkness sets in (assuming only poor ambient light is present).
    Last edited by Vivek; 24th December 2012 at 14:52. Reason: Correction

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Marc, There is one more thing...

    I am sure Sony meant it well with this "feature" but I find it frustrating.

    Even if you have a system flash on the camera, with the "settings effect" "on", only after the flash wakes up you will see the EVF bright. If you try to make a shot (ie., try to look at a subject through the EVF or via the LCD) while the flash isn't fully ready (due to battery recycle delay, for example), darkness sets in (assuming only poor ambient light is present).
    Maybe a chance to return the favor ...

    Mine isn't doing that Vivek,

    As soon as I turn on the 60 systems flash, the viewfinder is bright, and never changes even with a long recycle.

    This is with the "Setting Effect" on ... but the view is as if it was off. The 60 flash automatically does this without going into the menu.

    When I turn off the flash, the viewfinder automatically reverts to ON like normal and it's business as usual.

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Looks like it is time to upgrade the flash unit! That is good to hear!

    Thanks for the clarification/correction, Marc!

    Miraculously, the price of the HVL-F60M seems to have eased here (down by ~200 Euros)!

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Glad you sorted in Marc.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    I just saw this thread and wanted to chime in that this is a feature of the 21-pin interface that Sony added to the ISO hotshoe on the A99. If Sony makes the pinouts available to 3rd party trigger makers, we might see this feature on other devices.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    I just saw this thread and wanted to chime in that this is a feature of the 21-pin interface that Sony added to the ISO hotshoe on the A99. If Sony makes the pinouts available to 3rd party trigger makers, we might see this feature on other devices.
    I use Phottix Stratos-II radio hot-shoe units that provide pass-through TTL for the on-camera speed-light while triggering any off-camera light with any of the Stratos-II receivers ... (a Sunpak 120J using a Nikon receiver with standard ISO shoe, or the Sony 58 speed-lights using the Sony shoe-mount Stratos-II receiver).

    I kept one A900 so I can continue to do that since I'm sure it'll be a month of Sundays before the new 600 system will have that ability ... if ever.

    -Marc

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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    That's going to happen sooner than you expect Marc. I spoke to the President of Phottix at PhotoPlus and he said that work was well underway to create an updated model of the Odin & Stratos with Sony type ISO hotsoe support.
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    Re: A99 Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    That's going to happen sooner than you expect Marc. I spoke to the President of Phottix at PhotoPlus and he said that work was well underway to create an updated model of the Odin & Stratos with Sony type ISO hotsoe support.
    That is REALLY GOOD NEWS!

    I use those all the time. Seems Sony is coming on strong if folks like Phottix are getting on the job quick ... I had to wait for quite a long time before there was a solution for the older Sony mount with pass-through TTL.

    Thanks,

    -Marc

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