Buying a digital SLR

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Re: Buying a digital SLR

Postby CaffeineConsumer on Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:55 pm

I know this is a serious gravedig, but it's sorta important information for anybody using older (non-new) strobes on dSLRs.

The strobe is triggered by an electrical contact which is shorted inside the camera when you shoot it, which allows a pulse to pass through the hot shoe (or the PC sync cable, if you're using one of those). On older strobes, this voltage was often 200V and sometimes as high as 600V. For modern SLRs, this is potentially lethal; the sensitive electronics and all that shite doesn't always survive more than a few volts.

I do know that Nikon's cameras are safe to 250V and probably more, whereas Canon's gets fried at something like 12V (don't ask me why). I'm not certain about other brands, but I'd be damn careful.

You can measure the trigger voltage with a multimeter or try to google it. You can be pretty certain it's a high voltage triggered flash if it occasionally hurts if you trigger it with the test fire button when you are touching the hot shoe - but that's not a certain, nor a very comfortable method.

PS: although this sounds scary, it's only dangerous to the camera and not you unless you disassemble the flash (and you won't if you don't know darn well what you're doing!!); while it's several hundred volts in that shoe, it's only a few milliamps or something, which is not dangerous to humanoid beings at all. Saying that you've got, say, 1000V passing though your body about as meaningful as saying you're hit by 60KMH. 1g at 60KMH is logically not as dangerous as 5000 tons at 15KMH (assuming you don't run away from that 5000 ton object) - and 60A at 110 volts is thus more dangerous than .1A at 400 volts.
Considering that we are all geeks, y'all probably know such basic things about electricity, but I mentioned it for the sake of completeness and because I like to talk about such things and because I'm not actually 100% certain I'm right (I want someone to correct me if I'm wrong)

- C₈H₁₀N₄O₂Consumer
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