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Nikon's D7000 Sync Dial Goes To Eleven

I'm just getting familiar a new Nikon D7000, which we are using to get some video on the Flash Bus tour. The camera gives some good files -- both stills and 1080HD video.

Just out of curiosity, I taped over the back two contacts tonight to see if I could overclock the sync a little. And I had a pleasant surprise…

First off, the camera cannot know there is a flash on it -- i.e., no crosstalk via the internal data channels -- or it will bump you into energy-robbing FP sync mode after an admittedly impressive 1/320th full-sync option.

But if you cut off the data flow by taping the back two contacts, or using a neutered SC-17, the camera will give a pretty clean sync at 1/400th up to about 1/4 power. And if you do not mind losing 1/6th of the frame at the bottom, you can go to 1/500th.

The latter compromise is not as bad as it sounds -- usually in this situation there is a strong ambient component, and it can easily go unsynced at the bottom of the frame.

You lose some energy from the flash as you walk up power levels from there, but it can be useful for you for outdoor flash shots nonetheless -- especially if your aim is to stay away from the sensor dust f/stops.

And yeah, I know this is salt in the wound those the Canon 5d MkII users who might not even get the advertised 1/200th sync. Sorry.

But just think how much worse you'd feel if the D7000 had turned out to be the mythical 16MP reincarnation of the no-speed-limit Nikon D70s.


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