Mecablitz 52 AF-1 is world’s first touchscreen hotshoe flash
More and more cameras these days have a touchscreen interface, from the Nikon Coolpix S800C to the Samsung Galaxy Camera. German manufacturer Metz have now brought the touchy-feely experience to flashguns with the Mecablitz 52 AF-1.
The 52 AF-1’s control panel is back-illuminated and will cleverly rotate 90° if you turn your camera from landscape to portrait orientation. The touchscreen is just another way to adjust your settings — so don’t expect a full-blown version of Android and Angry Birds just yet — but the unit has a competent feature set including TTL, high speed sync, full manual mode, an optical slave cell and metal hotshoe foot.
The tilty-swivelly flash head can zoom electronically from 24-105mm, or widen up to 12mm with the flip-out diffuser panel; plus there is a built-in reflector card to bring out catchlights in the eyes of your subjects. The metric guide number is 52, with a recycle time of 3.5 seconds. While there is no external battery connector to speed this up, you do get a mini-USB port for future firmware updates.
The Metz 52 AF-1 will be available in dedicated models for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Four Thirds (Olympus, Panasonic and Leica) at an estimated price point of €250. For more information, visit Metz’s web site.
So, are touchscreen speedlights a good idea? Would you buy one, or are you waiting to Apple to bring out theirs? Share your thoughts in the comments below.