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04-14-2013, 10:19 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Every camera manufacturer uses different logic to drive their cameras and that's before we even think about flash photography. Adding flash, you create an interaction between camera and flash unit that's going to be independent among manufacturers simply because each camera is different. Therefore, trying to drive to a common flash protocol may necessitate a corresponding drive to a common camera logic, too. At that point, what's the difference between Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc.?
A Metz flash on a Canon camera is the same hardware device as a Metz flash on a Pentax camera. The only differences will be the pinout on the foot and a device driver in the firmware (I don't know that this is so for a fact, but it would be extraordinarily poor software engineering if each hardware variant had completely different firmware rather than abstracting the hardware differences in a single module).

A common interface does not necessitate common implementation. Interface and implementation can (and should) be separate.

04-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
A Metz flash on a Canon camera is the same hardware device as a Metz flash on a Pentax camera. The only differences will be the pinout on the foot and a device driver in the firmware (I don't know that this is so for a fact, but it would be extraordinarily poor software engineering if each hardware variant had completely different firmware rather than abstracting the hardware differences in a single module).

A common interface does not necessitate common implementation. Interface and implementation can (and should) be separate.
But it appears the interface and implementation AREN'T separate. Maybe this is why it takes a very long time for Metz to produce a firmware update for a single camera.

My previous point is it may take a common camera control protocol across manufacturers before a common flash protocol becomes feasible. Who sees that happening?
04-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
Dude, I know that the internals and firmware of a Pentax and Nikon camera are completely different. Same applies to my laptop and a Sparc server somewhere on the Internet. This doesn't stop the server responding sensibly when my laptop issues the command "GET /index.html HTTP/1.1". That's because they use the same hardware and software-independent protocols to communicate. And that's because sometime in the past twenty years or so, lots of hardware and software companies gave up their proprietary ones.

Camera / flash communication isn't fundamentally different. One set of signals from the camera says "Aperture is F5.6", another set from the flash says "I estimate 1/16 power is enough". These are just bits-on-the-wire (or bits over the air) and there is no good reason why the aperture information cannot be indicated with exactly the same series of logic pulses independent of the hardware being used.

As to whether the camera calculating flash power for you is a good thing in-and-of itself is another question. Overall, I'd say yes. When I want a bit of fill because I'm on a picnic in the bright sunshine and my kid's doing something really cute, she's not going to hang around while I fire off a few test shots. I simply want it to work.
Sure but protocols and interfaces are IEEE standards and interpretation on both sides happens the same way, which is not true for cameras.
04-20-2013, 08:54 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Anyone know Esperanto?
Exactly what came to mind for me.

Actually, the languages spoken by the flashes can't be that far off, since it seems that third party manufacturers make quite a few options even for relatively obscure brands (like Pentax).

The big gap is in radio triggers which transmit the TTL info. I'm still not clear why that information isn't just passed through from one contact on the transmitter to the same contact on the receiver, requiring only a mechanical adapter to change manufacturers.

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