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Sony a5100 wired rig

There has been some attention given to the ability of recent Sony cameras to synchronize extremely well. I can confirm this. As far as I know, nobody has yet done definitive testing of the synchronization of a Sony pair, but I find it much better and more consistant than a pair of Samsung NX1000 camaras.

The wiring of the cameras is simpler. You just need to splice together the three wires of two remote shutter releases which are available inexpensively on ebay. Even cheaper is to splice two lead wires designed to plug your Sony camera into a fancier shutter release. Once the cameras are plugged in with this cable, both cameras will focus and shoot using the shutter button of one of the cameras.
Water lily
Water Lily

Rescue at sea
I took a couple of dozen images of this rescue opperation, and all of them had as good as or better synchronization of the helicopter blades. The reason it is not even better is that with a rig with the Left camera inverted, the shutters are moving in opposite directions, one upwards, and the other downwards. In this case, it would have been better to have the cameras mounted side by side, both upright. Of course in this situation I didn't have time to dissasemble my rig and remount this way.

Ploskovice Palace in Czech Republic

Colton Herta at Toronto Indy 2019

Pros of a Sony Rig
Sony alpha cameras have much better image quality than the Samsungs.
Better synchronization.
Easier to make cable.
No problem with the mode dial flipping modes by themselves.
There is no problem with with the images failing to be saved to the SD card.
These Sony cameras are newer and faster at everything than the discontinued Samsung cameras.

Cons of a Sony Rig
 
Sony alpha cameras have their remote port (the Sony standard "Multiport") on the lens side of the camera. This causes the cameras to have to be further apart. I have managed to make cut down plugs that allow my lenses to get as close as 83mm. This is compared to the Samasung's 68mm.
Flash synchronization is not possible on the a5100 because there is no flash shoe, as on the Samsung's. There is a flash shoe on the Sony a6100, but manual flash synchronization has not
, as far as I know, been tested on this rig. The a6100 also will have a much wider lens separation.

 
Synchronized Flash on a Sony Rig

The Sony a5100 only has a popup flash built in and no hot shoe. Popping up the flash on one camera causes the synchronization to be lost. This has led me to try to fire a flash from a remote cable where, when the shutter is triggered, it simultaneously triggers a delay circuit to fire the flash when the shutters have opened. The circuit is based on this web page. I have modified the circuit to adapt it to my twin Sony rig. So far, I have been able to get consistent synchronization in testing, but it has failed me in the field. I find that there is a problem with maintaining voltage on the external button cell, and have to replace it frequently. This is still a work in progress. I hope to modifiy it to work using the voltage and signal from the primary camera to make it work more effortlessly.
Here is the circuit at this point. Feel free to make one of your own and perhaps improve it. I am new to electronics, so any help is appreciated.

Fash Circuit Diagram



Contact me at: newportts@bellnet.ca

newportts@bellnet.ca