Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Connecting A Sony To Studio Lighting

Studio lighting is generally triggered by a cable that has a "PC" connector on one end -- the end that connects to your camera -- and a guitar-plug connector on the other that connects to a monolight or the power pack for a studio lighting kit. At one time, that "PC" connector was fairly universal, provided on even entry-level SLR cameras.

In the era of digital cameras, the PC connector -- not anything to do with personal computers, just an older electrical connector used for decades in camera equipment -- has become a "pro" feature and is not usually available on entry-level DSLR cameras, and not even on some of the midline cameras.

You can compensate by putting a radio trigger on your camera's hotshoe, or triggering the studio lights by using your on-camera flash in a way that hits the lighting kits sensor.

It's best, however, to get an adaptor that will let you work directly with the PC cable. And it isn't expensive. For Sony DSLR's the way to go is the Seagull SC-5 Hot Shoe Flash Adapter to PC and Standard Hot Shoes for Sony Alpha / Minolta Maxxum Cameras. You slide it onto your flash hot shoe, and it has a PC connector on the side. Plug in the PC cable there and you can use studio strobes anywhere.

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