Metz plans to release a new flagship flashgun later this month with a full-colour touchscreen. The Mecablitz 64 AF-1 will be a fully-featured speedlight with TTL capabilities, master and slave mode, two flash tubes, a USB port, sync jack, stroboscopic mode and external power input.
The 64 AF-1 will either replace or retail alongside the current top-of-the-line flash from Metz, the Mecablitz 58 AF-2 (currently on sale for $400). It’s not clear how many camera brands will be supported, but you can bet on Nikon and Canon versions straight off the bat, with Metz usually being pretty good at covering Olympus/Panasonic, Pentax and Sony eventually too. (Update: and indeed that will be case!)
- Guide Number 64 at ISO 100
- Motorized Zoom 24-200 mm
- Wide-angle diffuser for 12 mm coverage
- Backlit touchscreen display with automatic rotation
- Tilt/swivel head: vertical -9/+90º and horizontal 300º
- Secondary reflector with two steps of light output
- Integrated reflector card
- Sync Connector
- All specific modes TTL cameras
- Automatic flash mode over 12 stops
- Manual flash mode with 25 steps of partial light output
- Flash strobe mode
- Wireless remote TTL master and slave mode
- Four individual program memories
- USB connector for software upgrade
- Power with four AA batteries or Power pack
- Includes case and slave foot
German manufacturer Metz is still the only company to venture into producing camera flashes with touch-sensitive controls, their first such product being the mid-range Mecablitz 50 AF-1. But while touch is a relatively new thing for speedlights, these days you can find it in everything from your camera and phone to your light meter, studio heads and video lamps.
According to an early listing from a Spanish retailer, the Metz 64 AF-1 will be available to pre-order for €429 (around $480 without tax). Will your next flash have a touchscreen or is the feature a bit of a gimmick? Let us know what you think in the comments below.