I originally posted this on DPReview here, but thought I would repost it here for my website readers, with some minor edits –
I have been trying to find a reliable way to trigger external flashes with the NEX, particularly so I can use my infrared converted NEX with flash. This way seems to work quite well, I am able to reliably trigger 3 flashes that I use for shooting in my small lightbox. I have tested shutter speeds from 1/5 – 1/160 with good results.
Here you see a wireless radio flash trigger taped to the NEX on-board flash and attached to a cheap optical slave flash trigger. I then cover this assembly with my Lensbaby pouch (just happens to be the right size) so it does not leak any light:
Just to show the NEX triggering its own flash for this shot – the flashes from above and the side were triggered by the NEX’s onboard flash, not by my trusty a700 which took the picture:
Here is a quick test shot with the NEX-5 triggering 3 flashes – 1 above in a softbox (Canon 430EZ), 1 on the right through an umbrella (Minolta 5600HS) and 1 on the left through umbrella (Minolta 5400HS). Just to prove its possible to trigger flashes with the NEX (I had been having trouble getting it to trigger an optical slave, but with the radio popper trick it works much better).
Here is the radio trigger I used:
And here is the optical trigger:
I am still hoping for Sony to offer real options for controlling flashes on the NEX, but this will do the trick for now.