Monthly Archives: January 2021

Using Multi Flash Firing with the Sony HVL-F28RM Flash and the Sony a7C Camera

After publishing my recent book about the Sony a7C camera, I have been exploring some of the camera’s features in more detail. In particular, I recently purchased the Sony HVL-F28RM flash, which was announced in 2020 but was not widely available in the United States until fairly recently, after the book was published.

One of the features available with the combination of the a7C and this new flash is Multi Flash Firing, by which the camera causes the flash to fire a rapid burst of flashes during a single long exposure by the camera, to create an image with multiple exposures of the same subject. This can be useful for recording a golf swing, a dancer’s movements, or other moving subjects.

Today I posted a short video that illustrates the basic use of this feature:

I provided the basic settings used in the video, but I will give a little more detail here. It took a considerable amount of trial and error to get the final image looking halfway decent. In order to coordinate dropping the ball with the firing of the flash, I used the Sony Bluetooth Remote, model number RMT-P1BT, so I could activate the shutter from the remote while I was standing in front of the camera to drop the ball.

I experimented with various settings for the flash interval and settled on 20 flashes per second. I also chose 20 for the total number of flashes. One important point I soon discovered is that there is a fairly sharp limit on how many flashes this flash will generate in this mode, especially at the higher flash power settings. There is a chart at page 23 of Sony’s user manual for the flash, which is available at helpguide.sony.net/ilc/2030/v1/en/index.html. The chart shows, for example, that the maximum number of flashes available is five, when the flash interval (flashes per second) is set to 8 or higher, and the flash power is set to 1/8, which is the highest setting available.

So, it can be hard to find a combination of settings that is within the capabilities of the equipment and yields a usable image. After experimenting, I ended up setting the flash power to 1/16, with a flash interval of 20 for 20 flashes, which is actually more flashes than the chart shows to be possible. I found that image to be the best one I could achieve under the conditions I was working with.

In order to see the ball clearly as I placed it in position for dropping, I connected the camera to a computer monitor using the HDMI output from the camera. I used manual focus, and set Live View Display on screen 8 of the Camera Settings2 menu to Setting Effect Off, so I could see the screen as I was setting up the shot.

Using a Bluetooth Remote Control with the Sony a7C Camera

In working with the a7C camera in preparation for publishing Photographer’s Guide to the a7C earlier this month, I came to appreciate the camera’s ability to have some functions controlled by a Bluetooth remote control. I have just published a short video that illustrates the basics of connecting the remote to the camera and some of the functions that can be controlled with the remote.

There is one interesting fact I didn’t realize until I made this video. I mentioned it briefly in the video, but here is a more detailed explanation. The action controlled by the largest, main button on this remote depends on the setting of the Movie/Still switch on the side of the remote. If it is set to Still, the large button operates the shutter release on the camera to take a picture, or a burst of shots, etc.

If that switch is set to Movie, you might expect that pressing the button would cause the camera to start or stop recording a video. That is true, but only if the Movie button on the camera is assigned to the movie shooting function. On the a7C camera, the Movie button can be reassigned to any one of numerous other options, such as ISO, white balance, Picture Effect, drive mode, Creative Style, and many others, using the Custom Key menu options on screen 9 of the Camera Settings2 menu.

So, if you have reassigned the Movie button, pressing the large button on the remote while the remote’s switch is set to Movie triggers whatever option is assigned to that button. The same situation is true for the C1 button on the remote, which carries out whatever option is assigned to the C button on the camera, and the AF-ON button, which carries out whatever option is assigned to that button.

Sony a7C Book Now Available in Paperback

As of January 14, 2021, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony a7C is available in a paperback version through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other online sellers. The book has the same contents as the downloadable versions that recently became available in Kindle, iPad (ePub), and PDF versions. The printed version has 264 full-size pages (8.5 by 11 inches, or 216mm by 280mm), with more than 400 full-color photographs and illustrations. The book covers all menus, controls, and features of the a7C camera, along with appendices, a full table of contents, and index. The retail price is $31.95 in the United States.

Sony a7C Book Now Available in Downloadable Versions

As of January 3, 2021, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony a7C is available for purchase directly for $9.95 from the whiteknightpress.com website, in a bundle of three downloadable versions: PDF, Kindle, and iPad/iPhone. The book is 264 pages in its print and PDF versions, and will be available in paperback form within the first few weeks of January. It also is available as a separate download through Amazon’s Kindle Store and through Apple’s Books Store and other online sellers . For more information, please see the book’s main information page at this site.