Accessory shoe

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Accessory shoe (middle) of an early Leica I , serial number 5193 (1927), still without flash contacts
Flash shoe of a reflex camera with a typical large center contact and additional contacts for additional flash functions
Proprietary lightning connector
Hot shoe attachment with ball joint and another hot shoe adapter

As accessory shoe (engl. Cold shoe ) or hot shoe (engl. Hot shoe ) refers to a device to cameras and camcorders , to the accessories, such as external flash units can be plugged, lamps, viewfinder, odometer or water scales with a special base or foot.


Originally equipped without any electrical functions, the standard hot shoe with center contact enables the flash to be ignited at the same time as the camera's shutter is triggered ( flash synchronization ) . This simple center contact works in principle with the X synchronization and was standardized in ISO 518.

Many manufacturers, especially of camera systems , have introduced additional contacts in the hot shoe that are used to control special functions or the extended communication between camera and flash (e.g. ready message or TTL flash control , AF auxiliary light , data transmission of exposure data). Flash units without special functions can usually be connected to such cameras, although it must be noted that older flash units use a high-voltage ignition circuit with up to several hundred volts (typically up to 400 V), which in modern cameras can damage the electronics being able to lead. Before connecting such a flash unit to a modern, electronically controlled analog or digital camera, it is essential to check whether the combination is electrically compatible . As a rule, the ignition circuit voltage of the lightning bolt must only be a few volts (typically no more than approx. 5 V).

It should also be noted that the extensions made by different manufacturers are only compatible with each other in exceptional cases (e.g. the Leica flash system of the "R" housing series is largely compatible with the Minolta TTL direct flash system, and also within the Minolta AF SLR camera group , Konica Minolta and Sony, there is extensive connection and protocol compatibility); When connecting non-adapted flash units from other manufacturers, only the flash is ignited via the center contact (through connection to ground), but further automatic functions controlled by the camera are not available in this case.

Additional accessories such as a remote release can also be connected to the accessory shoe ; use devices such as attachable finders, spirit levels, etc. E., But the shoe only as a mounting point and communicate with the camera via cable connections to the remote release connection. Sometimes the hot shoe also serves to stabilize the camera in a cage as a second holding point next to the tripod thread, there are also accessory plates for handles and the like that only carry the camera over the hot shoe. You should definitely clarify with the camera manufacturer beforehand whether the use of the latter systems or other accessory carriers might exert excessive forces on the shoe.

In some cases, there are also manufacturer-specific recordings for system flash units that are mechanically incompatible with the standard design.

In 1988, Minolta introduced the "i" series of AF single lens reflex cameras, a mechanically completely different flash shoe designed to allow easier, faster and more secure assembly and disassembly and to ensure better centering. The electrical signals remained compatible, and there are hot shoe adapters that allow accessories with conventional ISO shoes to be connected to new housings and vice versa. As part of the definition of the new hot shoe, it was also planned to supply attached accessories via special hot shoe contacts from the camera battery, although this has so far only actually been implemented with one housing and two small flash units. The hot shoe, sometimes called “inverted hot shoe”, was adopted by Konica Minolta in 2003 and by Sony for the Alpha system in 2006 . Since the end of 2012, Sony has been using an ISO hot shoe that is mechanically compatible with the standard.

For camcorders , for example, the accessory shoe can hold an external microphone or video light. It should be noted, however, that there are several designs, for example the intelligent accessory shoe, which connects electronic devices (microphone, lamp) to the camera, or the passive accessory shoe, which does not establish any electrical connection to the camera and is only used for attachment. Examples of such accessory shoes are the "intelligent accessory shoe" with 8 contacts and its successor, the "accessory interface shoe" with 16 contacts, both from Sony . As part of the NEX system, Sony introduced another proprietary accessory shoe (type "S") with 14 contacts in 2010, which, in addition to the flash signals, also carries signals for the power supply and for a stereo microphone.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Walimex pro Aptaris Coldshoe Mounting Plate. Retrieved January 13, 2020 .