World’s first: Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1 flash with touchscreen

One product got unnoticed during the Photokina 2012 show - the new 52 AF-1 touchscreen flash from Metz (a world’s first). The flash unit will come in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica and Sony versions. The estimated price is around €250. Full specs and features can be found in the press release:

The first hotshoe flash unit with touchscreen display Mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital – the 2012 photokina innovation

The mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital is the flash product innovation of 2012 from Metz. All the benefits of the previous model, mecablitz 50 AF-1 digital, have been retained and numerous further developments have also been added to the new model. The new sophisticated design of the 52 AF-1 housing represents the systematic further development of the 44 AF-1 design family. The guide number has been increased to 52 for ISO 100/21° and 105 mm focal length. The newly developed touchscreen display is, quite simply, the highlight of the 52 AF-1. The 52 AF-1 is the first compact flash unit in the world to be equipped with an illuminated touchscreen display which rotates through 90°. This is particularly practical for operation and taking portrait shots. Like all mecablitz system flash units, the new flash unit is available in different versions and perfectly tailored to digital cameras made by the leading manufacturers.

User-friendly touchscreen display

Metz is exhibiting a compact flash unit with integrated touchscreen display for the first time at photokina 2012. It is very easy to operate the 52 AF-1 illuminated graphic display by directly touching the display indicators. For portrait shots, the display thinks with you and rotates the touchscreen display by 90°. That means that the settings can still be optimally identified in this format and the different functions of the mecablitz 52 AF-1 can be practically selected by touching the display.

Numerous application possibilities

With the new mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital, the options for image composition are almost limitless. It allows precise light output tailored to each individual subject and provides plenty of power for all shooting conditions. Performance and reliability have been further optimised through improvements to the high performance flash tube. Numerous manual fine tuning options extend your creative photographic freedom. Virtually limitless possibilities are opened up for individualised lighting thanks to a fully swivelling reflector system which also contains a flip-out reflector card and a diffuser. As well as the newly integrated master function, a slave function and servo function are also available. These allow the new premium flash unit to be used in different operating modes, depending on the camera model. With the servo flash release, no camera master function is required to use the flash as an additional creative light source in the room. The camera-specific wireless TTL remote mode of the respective models comes into play with the master/slave function.

High performance compact flash with USB connection

Thanks to the Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital USB interface, updates can be easily installed via the Internet. Due to its high guide number of 52 for ISO 100/21° and 105 mm focal length, the 52 AF-1 digital not only possesses a great deal of power, it also lends itself perfectly to being used for bouncing flash. The real highlight – a flip-out reflector card which is integrated into the both vertically and horizontally tilting and swivelling reflector. The 52 AF-1 has a metal base (not applicable for the Sony model) and can be quickly and conveniently fixed to the camera’s flash shoe.

Different versions for Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic/Leica, Pentax and Sony

It goes without saying that the respective camera manufacturer’s sophisticated flash lighting technology can also be employed with the appropriate version of the mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital, in addition to numerous other special functions, such as high speed synchronisation. Thus the 52 AF-1 digital offers E-TTL and E-TTL II flash mode for Canon, i-TTL/i-TTL-BL flash mode for Nikon, P-TTL for Pentax, four thirds TTL mode for Olympus/Panasonic/Leica and ADI flash mode for Sony.

Metz mecablitz – technology “made in Germany”

Metz flash units represent high performance technology and reliable quality. We have been manufacturing in Germany for over 60 years. As such we hold a unique position – Metz is the only manufacturer of camera flash devices to develop and manufacture products in Europe.

Technical specifications for the mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital

Flash output

  • High max. guide number 52 for ISO 100/21° and 105 mm
  • High flash number [e.g. 240 full flashes with NiMH rechargeable batteries (2100 mAh)]
  • Flash delay 0.1 – 3.5 seconds (depending on energy source and flash output)

Basic configuration

  • Vertical (+90°) and horizontal (300°) swivel reflector
  • Illuminated touchscreen display with automatic swivel function (90°)
  • Motor zoom for 24 – 105 mm illumination
  • Integrated wide-angle diffuser for 12 mm illumination
  • Flip-out reflector card
  • Modelling light (permanent light to check shadow)
  • Integrated autofocus flash metering
  • Flash readiness indicator and correct exposure display on unit and on camera
  • Flash range display on graphic display
  • Automatic unit shut-off
  • Metal base with quick lock (not Sony)

Ready for the future

  • Firmware update via integrated USB socket

Camera-specific system flash modes

  • E-TTL / E-TTL II flash mode (Canon)
  • i-TTL / i-TTL-BL flash mode (Nikon)
  • P-TTL flash mode (Pentax)
  • Four thirds TTL flash mode (Olympus / Panasonic / Leica)
  • ADI flash mode (Sony)
  • Camera-specific TTL remote operation (master/controller/slave mode, depending on camera type)
  • Servo flash mode

Standard flash modes

  • TTL flash mode (digital only)
  • Manual flash mode with 22 partial lighting levels
  • Servo flash mode with learning functions
  • HSS – high speed synchronisation
  • 1st and 2nd shutter curtain synchronisation
  • Manual flash exposure correction for TTL flash mode
  • Automatic fill-in flash

Power supply

  • 4 x AA alkaline-magnesium or lithium batteries
  • 4 x AA NiMH rechargeable batteries

Included as standard

  • Operating instructions
  • Belt pouch
  • Slave stand
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  • Matthias

    Ok, but which Sony hotshoe?? New or old (and Hasselblad;) ?

    • spam

      Probably old since “•Metal base with quick lock (not Sony)”

  • MarkR

    Anyone who’s ever used a Metz flash knows that their two button menu system was in desperate need of an upgrade. The flashes themselves are fantastic, but getting to the feature needed by wading into menus could be frustrating.

  • What

    But will they work with gloves on?

    • fjfjjj

      It looks like a resistive touchscreen. If so, then yes.

  • http://donhorne.com Don

    My initial concern is on the durability of the touch screen.

    • Pinpoint

      Why?
      Do you have claws instead fingers?

  • Nacho

    vs 50 af- is touch screen and capabiliti of funcion like master??

  • JC

    This is stupid. Having a touch screen on your flash means that it’ll be a studio queen and just sit in the studio. Why not have the options for one with a normal LCD and functional buttons/dials that I can move without having to look at it?

    Lower battery life and lower durability. I’m not sold.

  • http://Userfriendly?Idoubt! Vlad

    Touch screens suck:

    – They don’t give you any haptic feedback, you never know if you pressed the button or not without looking at the screen
    – They are hard to impossible to operate in gloves
    – There are nearly unusable when you are moving fast or subjected to a physical stress. In such situation it requires concentration to hit the right button.
    – Even when your hands are not shaking you have to look at the touch screen to press the right button. With real buttons, you don’t always have to, because you can feel them.

    I’m not aware of ANY advantage of a touch screen besides saving space on the device surface an allowing to integrate a bigger screen. This advantage may be crucial on a smartphone, but not on a camera.

    • SkintBrit

      Would a touch screen not offer better weather sealing? Your unlikely to be using your flash in the pouring rain, but in sandy/dirty conditions I would expect a touch screen that can be wiped clean, to be usefull.

  • RC

    I don’t see a port for a direct connection to the capacitor for rapid charging. I will not buy a flash that does not have this feature.

  • Vladimir

    Ich bin für eine detaillierte Anleitung in der russischen Flash METZ 52 AF 1 Digital-Canon suchen
    volodya60@013.net.il

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