Mecablitz 52 AF-1 is world’s first touchscreen hotshoe flash

German manufacturer Metz have now brought the touchy-feely experience to flashguns with the Mecablitz 52 AF-1.

Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 touchscreen flashgun

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.

Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 touchscreen flashgun

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.

Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1

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.

David Selby
Based in Paris, France, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a quantitative analyst.
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