Hot shoe

A hot shoe is a mounting point on the top of a camera to attach a flash unit and other compatible accessories. It takes the form of an angled metal bracket surrounding a metal contact point which shorts an electrical connection between camera and accessory for standard, brand-independent flash synchronization.

The hot shoe is a development of the standardised "accessory shoe", with no flash contacts, formerly fitted to cameras to hold accessories such as a rangefinder, or flash connected by a cable.

The dimensions of the hot shoe are defined by the International Organization for Standardization in ISO 518:2006. Details such as trigger voltage are not standardised; electrical incompatibilities are still possible between brands.

Konica Minolta Dynax 7D hot shoe
Proprietary hot shoe used by Minolta and older Sony cameras (Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D)

Design

The hot shoe is shaped somewhat like an inverted, squared-off "U" of metal. The matching adapter on the bottom of the flash unit slides in from the back of the camera and is sometimes secured by a clamping screw on the flash. In the center of the "U" is a metal contact point. This is used for standard, brand-independent flash synchronization. Normally the metal of the shoe and the metal of the contact are electrically isolated from each other. To fire the flash, these two pieces are shorted together. The flash unit sets up a circuit between shoe and contact—when it is completed by the camera, the flash fires.

In addition to the central contact point, many cameras have additional metal contacts within the "U" of the hot shoe. These are proprietary connectors that allow for more communication between the camera and a "dedicated flash". A dedicated flash can communicate information about its power rating to the camera, set camera settings automatically, transmit color temperature data about the emitted light, and can be commanded to light a focus-assist light or fire a lower-powered pre-flash for focus-assist, metering assist or red-eye effect reduction.

The physical dimensions of the "standard hot shoe" are defined by the International Organization for Standardization ISO 518:2006.[1][2]

History and use

Before the 1970s, many cameras had an "accessory shoe" intended to hold accessories including flashes that connected electrically via a cable, external light meters, special viewfinders, or rangefinders. These earlier accessory shoes were of standard shape and had no electrical contacts; contacts were added to produce the hot shoe.

Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax use the standard ISO hot shoe with various proprietary electronic extensions.

In 2014, camera accessory manufacturer Cactus combined these electronic extensions into a multi-brand hot shoe on their wireless flash transceiver V6. With multi-brand ISO hot shoe, cameras and flashes from different manufacturers work together.

In 1988 Minolta switched to use a 4-pin proprietary slide-on auto-lock "iISO" connector. A compatible 7-pin variant, which allows battery-less accessories to be powered by the camera's battery were also made, but not widely used. Konica Minolta and Sony Alpha digital SLR cameras are based on Minolta designs and used the same connector, officially named Auto-lock Accessory Shoe, as well up to 2012. Since the electrical protocol remained mostly compatible, TTL and non-TTL adapters exist to adapt ISO-based flashes to iISO hotshoes and vice versa.

Sony also used a variety of other proprietary hotshoes for other digital cameras, including the ISO-based 6-pin Cyber-shot hotshoe, the 16-pin Active Interface Shoe (AIS) and the ISO-based 16-pin Intelligent Accessory Shoe (IAS). Some of their NEX cameras used a proprietary Smart Accessory Terminal (versions 1 and 2). In September 2012, Sony announced a new ISO-based 21+3 pin Multi Interface Shoe for use with their future digital cameras of the Alpha, NEX, Handycam, NXCAM and Cyber-shot series. This quick-lock hotshoe is mechanically and electrically compatible with a standard 2-pin ISO-518 hotshoe, but electrically compatible with the previous Auto-lock Accessory Shoe with extensions, so that passive adapters ADP-AMA and ADP-MAA allow to use digital-ready iISO flashes on new cameras and some new Multi Interface Shoe equipment on older cameras, while providing compatibility with standard ISO-based equipment as well.

Canon uses a non-ISO-based 13+1 pin hot shoe, named Mini Advanced Shoe on some of its camcorders.

Voltages

An internal camera circuit shorts the center contact and shoe mount to trigger the flash. The magnitude and polarity of the voltage between the contacts on the flash in the open-circuit condition has varied between different flash units; this is of no consequence for a simple electromechanical contact on the camera so long as the energy is not so high as to damage the contacts. However, with more recent cameras with electronic triggering, excessive or insufficient voltage, or incorrect polarity can cause failure to fire, or damage the camera.[3]

The ISO 10330 specification allows for a trigger voltage of 24 volts. Some manufacturers, particularly Canon, ask for no more than 6 volts. Flash units designed for modern cameras use voltages which are safe and effective, but some older flashes have much higher voltages, up to hundreds of volts, which damage electronic triggering circuits.[4] Some use negative DC polarity, or AC.

iISO hotshoe contacts are only protected up to ca. 5 volts in some cameras. Minolta documented all their cameras' electronically controlled PC terminals and ISO hot shoes to be protected up to 400 volts.

It is possible to connect an older high-voltage triggering flash to a camera which can only tolerate 5 or 6 volts through an adaptor containing the necessary voltage protection circuitry, typically using a high power TRIAC. Such adapters drain power from the flash's trigger voltage and therefore often do not need a power supply of their own.

In order to avoid dangerous loops when connecting equipment in complex studio setups, better adapters offer voltage protection and galvanic isolation of the units. Such adapters will ensure that there is no electrical connection of any kind between both sides of the adapter, including ground. They use either transformers or opto-couplers to transfer a safe trigger impulse from the camera to the flash. They are powered by batteries, as their electronics cannot be powered from the flash. As an example, Minolta offered the PC terminal adapter PCT-100 (8825-691) for this purpose, which worked as a galvanic isolator and could withstand 400 volts DC or AC. The similar Sony flash sync terminal and ISO hotshoe adapters FA-ST1AM and FA-HS1AM also offer galvanic isolation as well, but only up to 60 volts DC or AC.

Flash servos and radio triggers, e.g. PocketWizard, can also provide electrical isolation, as trigger and receiver unit are physically separate. The camera is only presented with the low voltage used by the local trigger unit, and the remote receiver unit is designed to tolerate up to 200 volts from its flash port.[5] Slave flash, where the flash from a safe flash unit connected to the camera triggers an unconnected flashgun which, if connected, would present a dangerous voltage, is another way to use a flashgun which cannot be connected to a hot shoe; indeed, it can be used for a camera with built-in flash and no hot shoe.

The trigger voltages provided by some modern flashes or radio triggers can also be too low to reliably trigger electronic circuits in the camera or receiver. Trigger circuit voltages below ca. 2 to 2.5 volts may exhibit this problem, unless the triggering circuit is specifically designed to work with such low voltages.

Older cameras equipped with an electro-mechanical trigger contact may exhibit yet another problem. If they provide both an ISO hotshoe and a PC terminal, both are typically wired to the same trigger contact in the camera rather than triggered independently as in cameras with electronic triggering circuits. When only the PC terminal is used and nothing is connected to the hotshoe, a flash with high trigger circuit voltages connected to the PC terminal delivers this voltage on the normally unprotected middle contact of the camera's ISO hotshoe. If the photographer's eyebrows accidentally make contact with the middle contact, the electrical shock can cause pain or even injuries. One way camera manufacturers have used to avoid this problem was to use two independent trigger contacts, which, however, could cause flash synchronization problems. Another, as utilized by Minolta in all such cameras supporting a PC terminal, was to add a small switch on the side of the ISO hotshoe which disabled the middle contact until something was inserted into the hotshoe.

Modern cold shoes and other devices

There is still a need for accessory shoes without electrical function. They are used with off-camera flash units, mounted on stands and connected to the camera by cable or triggered by wirelessly.[6] Accessories which do not connect electrically to the camera can be inserted into hot shoes, without using the contacts. For instance a stereo microphone or electronic viewfinder can be used in the Olympus XZ-1 camera's hot shoe.[7] FotoSpot geotagging satellite positioning units utilize the accessory shoe for mounting to the camera.

References

  1. ^ "ISO 518:2006 - Photography - Camera accessory shoes, with and without electrical contacts, for photoflash lamps and electronic photoflash units - Specification". International Organization for Standardization. 12 May 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  2. ^ "ISO 518:1977 - Photography -- Camera accessory shoes, with and without electrical contacts, for photoflash lamps and electronic photoflash units". International Organization for Standardization. 1977. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Strobist: Don't fry your camera".
  4. ^ "List of strobes and voltages".
  5. ^ "Pocket Wizard owner's manual for PW II Plus, page 14" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Strobist looks at the Frio cold shoe - "Frio Cold Shoe: Locked and Loaded"".
  7. ^ "Olympus". Retrieved 2 June 2015.

External links

Canon TLb

The Canon TLb is a 35 mm single-lens reflex camera introduced by Canon in September 1974. It features a Canon FD lens mount, and is also compatible with Canon's earlier FL-mount lenses in stop-down metering mode. The TLb was a cheaper version of the Canon FTb for the export market, as was the slightly later TX. Compared to the TX, the hot shoe was omitted, although the camera included a PC terminal for flash sync. The TLb was later (April 1976) sold in Japan.

Canon TX

The Canon TX was a 35mm single-lens reflex camera manufactured by Canon of Japan from March 1975. It featured a Canon FD lens mount, and was also compatible with Canon's earlier FL-mount lenses in stop-down metering mode. The TX was a cheaper version of the Canon FTb for the export market, as was the slightly earlier TLb. Compared to the TLb, the TX had a hot shoe for flash.

Compared to the FTb, the TX had a top shutter speed of only 1/500. The meter was center-weighted rather than the 12% partial meter of the FTb. It also dispensed with the self-timer and MLU of the FTb, although it did retain the depth of field preview lever and support for stopped-down metering. The TX also did not support the CAT (Canon Auto-Tuning) flash system.

It was also sold in the US as the Bell & Howell FD35.

David Goldsmith (lyricist)

David Goldsmith (September 3, 1962 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American theatre and film music lyricist.

Dein Perry

Dein Perry (b. Newcastle, Australia) is an award-winning Australian actor, dancer and choreographer best known for his work with Tap Dogs and the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Hot Shoe Shuffle

Hot Shoe Shuffle is a 1992 Australian musical produced by David Atkins. A jukebox musical, the score mostly includes American big band and popular songs of the 1920s to 1940s.

The musical concerns seven Tap Brothers, Spring, Slap, Buck, Wing, Tip, Tap and Slide, who learn of the death of their long-absent father. Their father has left them a large inheritance, however to receive it they must rehearse and perform his legendary ‘Act’ – the Hot Shoe Shuffle. They must also include their long-lost sister, April, in the act. The original cast included David Atkins, Rhonda Burchmore and Jack Webster.

It is one of the most popular Australian musicals of all time, being the first one to have a successful run on the West End. The West End production at the Queen's Theatre was nominated in 1995 for the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, and choreographers Atkins and Dein Perry won for Best Theatre Choreographer.

The show was partially rewritten for a revival in Houston in 1998.

IISO flash shoe

iISO (intelligent ISO) flash shoe (aka "reversed" hotshoe) is the unofficial name for the proprietary accessory flash attachment and control interface used on Minolta cameras since the i-series introduced in 1988, and subsequently Konica Minolta and later Sony α DSLRs and NEX-7 up to 2012. Sony called it the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe (AAS). In order to speed up and enhance attachment, detachment and latching, it departs from the conventional circa-1913 mechanical design that is now standardized as ISO 518:2006 and used by other camera systems, including Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, and Leica.

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR

The Minolta 110 Zoom SLR is a 110 format single-lens reflex (SLR) camera produced by Minolta of Japan between 1976 and 1979. It was the first SLR in 110 format. It had an unusual, flattened shape. Other 110 SLRs were shaped like SLRs in larger formats, but the 110 Zoom SLR took the flat format of the typical 110 pocket camera and added a larger lens and prism hump to it. 1979's replacement, the Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II, had a more conventional shape.

The 110 Zoom SLR provided aperture priority autoexposure; fully manual exposure was not available. Light metering was with a CdS meter mounted on the front of the camera. An exposure compensation dial allowed the photographer to compensate for unusual lighting situations; it also allowed the use of film speeds other than the ISO 100 and 400 auto-selected by the cartridge tab, by applying the appropriate compensation factor.

The lens was a fixed 25–50 mm f/4.5-16 manual focus zoom with macro focusing down to 11 in (280 mm). This gave a field of view range approximately equivalent to a 50–100 mm zoom lens on a 35 mm format camera. There was a built-in, pop out lens shade. The filter thread diameter was 40.5 mm. Minolta sold UV, yellow and 1B filters.

Available shutter speeds were 1/1000 second through 10 seconds, with a 1/150 second X-sync speed and support for bulb exposure. There was no built-in flash, but a hot shoe on the top allowed an external flash to be attached. A tripod socket was provided.

Minolta AL-F

The Minolta AL-F was a rangefinder camera launched by Minolta in 1967.

The AF had an automatic mode for flash photography ("Easy Flash"). Therefore, it had a guide number selector. A hot shoe for the flash gave further ease of flash usage. For manual exposure selection it offered shutter priority mode with preselection of five exposure times from 1/30 sec to 1/500 sec. The frame viewfinder was coupled to a superimposed rangefinder and had a mechanical horizontal parallax correction. For vertical parallax only a parallax arrow. The CdS exposure meter's aperture value proposal for the automatic aperture was visible through the finder, at the right side of the viewfinder image. The lens, a Rokkor 1:2,7/38mm, had only 4 elements in three groups, and a Seiko shutter. The meter's "eye" was placed within the filter ring of the lens.

Multi Interface Shoe

The Multi Interface Shoe (a.k.a. MI Shoe or MIS) is a proprietary camera hotshoe introduced by Sony in 2012, replacing an assortment of other proprietary hotshoes used by Sony in various types of cameras in the past.

Nikon F55

The F55 (or N55 as it is known in the U.S.) is a 35mm film SLR autofocus camera introduced by Nikon in 2002. It was targeted at a new and lower price-point than the F65 (previously Nikon's cheapest autofocus SLR). The F65 continued to be sold alongside the F55. The camera is made in Thailand.

It is unique among recent Nikon autofocus SLRs in that it does not support autofocus on Nikon lenses with "AF-S" silent wave motor focussing, or the "VR" optical stabilisation features found on some lenses.It features several different operating modes, including seven program modes that are subject specific, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual.Included with the F55D variant is a date/time-imprinting facility, ("Data imprinting,") but at the cost of a slightly larger camera body.

Nikon FG

The Nikon FG is an interchangeable lens, 35 mm film, single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. It was manufactured by Nippon Kogaku K. K. (Nikon Corporation since 1988) in Japan from 1982 to 1986.

The FG was the successor to the Nikon EM camera of 1979 and the predecessor of the Nikon FG-20 of 1984. These three cameras comprised Nikon's first family of ultra compact 35mm SLR camera bodies. Although the FG had a much less advanced shutter than the more expensive Nikons of the day, it had a very sophisticated electronic design compared to earlier electromechanical Nikons.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 is a superzoom bridge digital camera by Panasonic. It is the successor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30.

While the FZ30 was a major upgrade of the FZ20 both internally and externally, the FZ50 differs relatively little from the FZ30. The main differences are:

Higher resolution 10.1-megapixel CCD

Venus Engine III processor (with its characteristic unusual noise reduction algorithm)

2.0-inch flip-out 207k high resolution LCD (FZ30 has 235k)

TTL Flash hot-shoeThe camera is known for its high-quality optics and effective optical image stabilization system. Many professional reviews have commended it for its excellent pictures at ISO 100, but it has a reputation for excessively "smeary" noise reduction at higher ISO settings, a problem that can be ameliorated by using the RAW capture mode. It uses proprietary lithium-ion batteries. There is no storage built into the camera; an MMC, SD, or SDHC memory card is required. High-speed SD cards up to 2 GB and SDHC cards up to 32GB are supported.

The camera has many SLR-like handling features — dual control wheels for aperture and shutter speed, manual focus (focus-by-wire) and zoom rings, and a flash hot shoe. It is among the largest non-SLR cameras built, and is positioned at the high end of the bridge-camera market.

Zooming while recording movies is supported since the zoom is manual. The camera also includes an "extended optical zoom" system providing greater optical zoom ability when shooting at lower resolutions, giving up to 19.3× zoom at 3MP. Essentially, this just crops the center out of the image in-camera, but can be useful for metering and framing purposes. Apertures from f/2.8 to f/11 are supported, though the largest apertures are not available at high zoom levels (f/3.7 at full zoom). Shutter speeds range from 60 s to 1/2000 s, although shutter speeds faster than 1/1000 s are not available at the widest apertures. Several different auto-focus modes are available. The AF-macro setting can be selected for all camera modes. Macro capability is not outstanding (5 cm minimum focal range at 1× zoom), and the tele-macro capability present on the lower-end Panasonic FZ models (the ability to focus down to 1 m at 420 mm) is not present; the FZ50 can only focus down to 2 m at 420 mm. However, the FZ50 is commonly used to record high-magnification macro images with an inexpensive conversion lens; the most commonly used lens for this purpose is the 8-diopter Raynox 250.

The FZ50 has a screw mount to accept 55 mm filters, and is compatible with a wide variety of Panasonic-branded and third-party lens converters which can provide greater wide-angle, telephoto and close-up capabilities.

The FZ50 can also record in a RAW format which is supported by Adobe Camera Raw and the free UFRaw plugin for GIMP and many other third-party programs; the camera comes with a special version of Silkypix for conversion. RAW files are recorded in around three seconds with fast SD cards, which is one of the best results among non-digital single-lens reflex cameras; however, there is no RAW buffer as on many digital SLR's. Unlike its predecessors, the FZ50 does not support TIFF format.

The zoom and focus mechanism is internal: the lens does not physically extend beyond the camera housing when focusing and zooming. Startup is under one second, as the lens does not need to be extended.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 is a Micro Four Thirds rangefinder-styled digital mirrorless camera announced by Panasonic on September 15, 2014.

The camera was designed to provide maximum usability and image quality in the smallest possible body.

It is slightly larger than the earlier GM1, as it adds a flash hot shoe, an electronic viewfinder and a rear scroll-wheel for adjusting settings. However, with a body roughly the same size as a pack of playing cards, it is still extremely small for a system camera.

It is usually sold with a 12-32mm pancake kit lens, or a double-lens kit including the 12-32mm and a 35-100mm telephoto zoom.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 announced in August 2013, is a Micro Four Thirds compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

It was Panasonic's first Micro Four Thirds camera with a built-in in-body stabilization system (IBIS) and has a built-in EVF (add-on EVFs are no-longer supported). Panasonic uses 2-axis in-body stabilization allowing the use of shutter speeds 1 to 2 stops slower than without stabilization, compared to the 4 to 5 stops of improvement offered by Olympus' 5-axis stabilization.

Features include:

Magnesium alloy body

New 16 MP Live MOS, Four Thirds sensor (25% better Signal to Noise performance, 10% better sensitivity, 10% better saturation level )

Venus Engine

ISO 200 - 25,600 (ISO 125 in extended mode, max. 3,200 in movie mode)

Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec.

AF detective range: -4 EV to 18 EV

Micro Four Thirds mount

Full HD video capture, including 1920 x 1080/60p (AVCHD or MP4 formats)

Full-time AF and tracking AF also available in cinema-like 24p video with a bit rate of maximum 24 Mbit/s

Built-in live view finder (electronic view finder, EVF), 90-degree tilt-able, 2.764M pixel resolution with 100% Adobe RGB color reproduction

Built-in 3", 1040K pixel tilting (45 deg. up, 80 deg. down), touch-screen LCD screen

Built-in flash (and hot-shoe)

Sensor-shift, in-body image stabilization (2-axis)

5fps using single AF with mechanical shutter / 60fps with electronic shutter up to 12 frames

Focus Peaking

22 creative effects, HDR

Panoramic mode, with filters

Silent Mode, electronic shutter mode

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Wi-Fi connectivity

Black / Silver versions

Introduction price: $999 in the US (body only)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (also DMC-LX15 in some markets) is a 20 MP 1" sensor compact camera in the Lumix range, announced by Panasonic on September 19, 2016. LX10 features an F1.4–2.8 equivalent Leica-branded zoom lens, 3" 1040k dot LCD, built-in flash, built-in wireless, and it can record 4K (Ultra HD) video at 30p or Full HD at 60p. The LX10 is more compact than the Panasonic LX100 or GX8 series by not having an electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lenses, or hot shoe. The camera is typically compared to the Sony RX100 series.

Video Capture Quality

The DMC-LX10 (PAL) version provides the following video capture quality H.264 - 3840 x 2160 p - 30p - 100MbpsH.264 - 3840 x 2160 p - 25p - 100MbpsH.264 - 3840 x 2160 p - 24p - 100MbpsH.264 - 1920 x 1080 p - 60p - 28MbpsH.264 - 1920 x 1080 p - 50p - 28MbpsH.264 - 1920 x 1080 p - 30p - 20MbpsH.264 - 1920 x 1080 p - 25p - 20MbpsH.264 - 1280 x 720 p - 30p - 28MbpsH.264 - 1280 x 720 p - 25p - 28MbpsAVCHD - 1920 x 1080 p - 50p - 28MbpsAVCHD - 1920 x 1080 i - 50i (sensor output 25p) - 17MbpsAVCHD - 1920 x 1080 p - 24p - 24Mbps(These video capture qualities are different to the LX15 NTSC version)The LX10 (PAL version) has Slow Motion video capability in FHD (1080p) captured at 100 fps MP4 providing a 25 fps output.

Ricoh GXR

The Ricoh GXR is a compact digital camera first announced by Ricoh Company, Ltd, Tokyo on November 10, 2009. Unlike conventional cameras which either have a fixed lens and sensor or interchangeable lens and a fixed sensor, the GXR takes interchangeable units, each housing a lens, sensor and image processing engine. This allows each unit to have these features optimised to one another and a specific task, whereas with conventional interchangeable lens cameras, each different lens must use the same sensor and engine. The sealed units also prevent dust from reaching the sensor, which can be a problem with other cameras where the sensor is exposed whilst a lens is being changed. A significant disadvantage of this system is the extra cost involved in having to buy a whole new sensor with every new lens.

The body holds a built-in pop-up flash as well as a hot shoe on top for an external flash unit. Alternatively, Ricoh's 'VF-2', an external electronic viewfinder, can be attached to the hot shoe which, offers 920,000 pixels and 100% field of view. The separate units slide onto the body via a stainless steel rail and lock into place. They can then be released by a lever on the camera's body. Both the body and lens unit use magnesium alloy exterior. Each lens unit has its own unique specifications relating to its sensor and optics, meaning that different lens units will change the features, behavior and performance of the camera body to varying degrees when attached.

Sony Alpha 290

The Sony α290 (DSLR-A290) is a Sony entry-level digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) introduced in 2010. The 14.0 megapixel α290 is available in the United States in two kit versions, one with a DT 18-55mm SAM (smooth-autofocus-motor) Sony lens and the other with the same DT 18-55mm SAM lens and a DT 55-200mm SAM Sony lens.

The Sony α290 has a 9-point AF system and takes all Sony α/Minolta AF mount lenses. The 14.0 megapixel APS-C (23.5 mm × 15.7 mm) sized CCD sensor has a max ISO of 3200, however when using ISO 800 the photos start to get noisy and 1600 and 3200 have very bad noise. The Sony α290 has a BIONZ image processor and can take approximately 2.5 frames per second. The Sony α290 includes Creative Style, or preset color settings; BRAVIA Sync with a built in HDMI plug, and anti-dust technology. The Sony α290's anti-dust system is a charge protection coating on a low pass filter and image-sensor shift mechanism. The α290 also features Sony's SteadyShot INSIDE in-body stabilization.The Sony α290 takes the Sony NP-FH50 rechargeable battery and can take about 500 photos on a full charge (according to Sony). The viewfinder on the Sony α290 has a 95% field of view and has .83x magnification (with a 50 mm lens at infinity) is arguably superior to its sister, the Sony α390, which is almost the same camera except its bigger-tilt screen and live preview.

A disadvantage to the Sony α290 is its proprietary hot shoe, or where an external flash unit attaches. The Sony α290, like all other Sony Alpha DSLRs, has the iISO flash shoe.

The Sony α290 officially succeeded the Sony α 230, and brought about the return of several features. It also includes a new "HELP" system, to assist new users. Like the α230, the α290 will take both a Memory Stick PRO Duo or an SD/SDHC card.

The camera weighs approximately 456 grams (16.1 oz) without the battery, memory card, lens and other accessories and has the approximate dimensions of 128 mm × 97 mm × 86 mm (W/H/D).

The Sony α290 has a standard USB 2.0 port along with its mini HDMI port. The camera sends a review image to HDMI output immediately after taking a photo. There is no need to switch to playback mode to review.

The flash on the α290 is a standard pop-up with a recycling time of approximately 4 seconds. The hot shoe is, like most other Sony Alpha camera, a proprietary iISO.The Sony α290 has a capability to work with infrared remote control and also wired remote. Remote control is sold separately, and is enabled through the Drive mode menu by selecting 'Remote Commander'.

The Sony α290 has a capability to take power from AC Power Supply, model AC-PW10AM. This power supply is sold separately.

Sony Alpha 99

The Sony Alpha 99 was announced by Sony on September 12, 2012. It was the flagship Sony DSLR camera and of the Sony Alpha SLT line until late 2016 when it was replaced by the Sony α99 II.

It features the 24.3MP 35mm full-frame Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, with the normal sensor range of ISO 100-3200. The selectable sensitivity is up to ISO 25600, which makes this camera able to capture still images in low-light environments. This camera can also combine six images together, to generate a single image with two additional steps of ISO sensitivity. This is also the first Sony Alpha camera to use the new Sony "Mult-Interface" shoe which is a standard ISO shoe with proprietary contacts at the front of the shoe. This allows use of standard ISO hotshoe accessories without the need for adapters as in previous Alpha models. The camera ships with an adapter to allow use of older Minolta-style hot-shoe accessories.

Like Sony's APS-c flagship, α77, the α99 has the ability to record Full HD 1080 video with up to 60p frame rate. In markets outside China, this camera also has built-in GPS that allows recording of position information into the photo. The α99 also uses a three-way tiltable LCD, as used on α77, this feature allows the photographer to view the LCD from any angle. Alongside the lens mount Sony has replaced the traditional autofocus mode selection dial with a "Silent Multi-Controller" which is a customizable dial with silent detents and a central button used for confirmation. The dial's function can be brought up with a press of the central button and then changed using the dial silently during movie or still recording. The dial's functions can also be changed on the fly by long-pressing the button and then selecting whichever function is desired.

For flexibility Sony α99 allows users to use Sony's crop APS-C DT lenses and consequently automatically cropping the image to the smaller frame.An updated version, the Sony α99 II, was announced at Photokina in September 2016.

The Hot Shoe

The Hot Shoe is a 2004 documentary film which also reveals the history and development of card counting. Director David Layton interviewed current and former card counters, including members of the MIT Blackjack Team, casino employees and gambling authors and combined it with behind-the-scenes footage of casino surveillance rooms and the MIT team preparing to hit the tables. Layton learned how to count cards and gambled with $5,000 of the film's budget as a "case study." The film reviews the mathematical aspects of card counting and key elements for winning blackjack.

Blackjack players interviewed for The Hot Shoe include:

Ian Andersen

Andy Bloch

Anthony Curtis

Peter Griffin

Tommy Hyland

Max Rubin

Ralph Stricker

Edward Thorp

Olaf Vancura

Stanford Wong

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