Check my sig. Sony SLT-alpha55.
I already know from testing that setting the camera in "auto" mode and taking a picture that "needs" flash will get the flash to pop up, so I can deploy it inside the housing.
But if it's not popped up fully, it may not flash. Experimenting by holding it down, I think it will still flash held down as much as 30-40% of its 'max' deployed height. Looking at pics of the Ike housing online, it *appears* to be way oversized for the (rather small) a55 body, so as long as I don't have the sync circuitry hotshoe plug in place, there *might* be room. Keyword: might.
I appreciate the Nikon link, though...it's hard to imagine the Sony circuit being much different, the question is just how accessible it is.
The Sony's got a couple of removable covers near the flash region base that let you access hex bolts which adjust autofocus by fine-tuning the translucent mirror angle (see: http://forums.dprevi...ocus-adjustment ). I can tell removing these two covers that near the 'left' cover (when facing the front of the camera) is where the microswitch that senses flash extension is located. I can barely see a couple of metal contacts down there, right 'next' to the region that the small hex cover exposes. But actually getting *to* them requires further disassembly that I've so far been too chickens**t to do.
So right now my plan is test the camera with the flash as extended as possible in the Ike housing...and hope. If that doesn't work...I've got to think hard about attempting to 'mod' the body (which will be a problem, as the Sony menus don't let you force flash "off" when it's extended in most shooting modes...they assume if you want it off, you close it) thus making it more or less useless topside. Or...I go with Ike strobes with TTL using the included electrical connection, or I go Inon for the lower weight/packing size like my current desire, but am forced to shoot with lighting in manual.
I'm really hoping "door number one" works without further body violation.
Well, I've confirmed the flash won't come up enough to fire inside the Ike housing. So now I'm considering cutting the front 'strut' of the internal flash (see: http://forums.dprevi...ocus-adjustment
) so that the bottom portion of it can freely rotate all the way into the "deployed" position even if the rest of the flash isn't really 100% raised. I think
that will permit it to fire while still somewhat depressed. (The little microswitch that can 'tell' if the flash is up seems to be buried down near where the front strut hits the camera.) If I bag and tape the camera to protect it from dust the cut shouldn't take but a couple of minutes with the right dremel tip, and hopefully won't be subjecting it to too much vibration or anything.
Cutting means I can't ever "deploy" the flash correctly again (no front strut means it's not supported right). But I should still be able to 'lower' the flash by tucking the stub of the strut in manually and then closing it down. Since I have an external flash for above-water use anyway I almost never use the built-in, so that part doesn't bother me. Resale also isn't a huge issue - guess I could always send it for a repair if I really wanted to resell.
So far all the discussion (aside from my hijacking) still seems centered on coming up with a micro trigger
flash only, not an actual mini-TTL-controlled flash for the Inons to mimic. The only other idea I've got to go optical and permit TTL slaving is to buy a really cheap-arse flash (there are some for like $40 for sony, $25ish used if you watch eBay, Guide # of 20 or so), eviscerate it, use a couple small button batteries instead of the 2 AAA's to get the right voltage, although nowhere near the same total capacity, and see if I can't get the bits all shoved in where I can use it. I *think* with the flash set on TTL control from the camera you can also use "flash EC" to drop the power down to minimum.
Am I crazy to go all this way just to try and optically trigger but also keep TTL as an option, in an Ike housing? The obvious easy substitute is to just go with one Inon that's electrically triggered (use the built-in Ike circuitry and port), and set the 2nd one to the TTL mimicry, so I only have to control 1 strobe in manual most of the time (but I keep the ability to set them independently if I choose to).
Edited by rtrski, 02 September 2011 - 06:51 AM.