Tuesday, October 12, 2010

G12: Flash compatibility problem

Just when I was beginning to really like the G12, I stumbled across a problem while quickly trying various accessories with it.

One of the most viewed posts on this blog has been the list of compatible flashes that work with the G9. Actually, almost anything seems to work with the G9 although you do have to be careful about high voltage with older flash units.

I regularly use non-Canon flashes (I have Canon flashes also) because the G9 will sync at very high shutter speeds to non-Canon flashes. I've also used the Cactus wireless trigger and, more recently, the Yongnuo wireless triggers. The operating mode for high speed sync is manual exposure and manual flash. All these non-Canon accessories work fine on the G9. Unfortunately, they do not work on the G12.

Correction: My non-Canon flashes and accessories do "work" on the G12 but the G12 display screen blanks out as soon as it acquires focus (using half pressed shutter button). The screen doesn't really go blank, it shows the exposure without the effect of flash -- typically very dark. That is, the non-Canon flashes and accessories work but the G12 does not work very well. I may have a setting wrong but, if so, can't find it.

After email and telephone correspondence with Canon tech services, it appears that I'm the only one (first one?) to complain about the screen blanking problem when using non-Canon accessories (wireless and flash). Basically, the Canon position is that they are not responsible for performance with non-Canon accessories.

Although I understand the Canon position, the G3 and G9 actually work fine with the very same accessories. From what I've read, the G10 and G11 also work fine with non-Canon flash accessories. Using G series with non-Canon flash is a popular technique for getting high speed sync. I think this is a bug in the G12 firmware and will be corrected; however, the Canon emails and representative gave no hope of a firmware update. Therefore, after waiting a few more days while hoping for an encouraging email, I'll be returning the G12.

Too bad, I was really beginning to like it.


Daysi said...

Does the screen stay dark permanently after taking the picture? Or does it become normal after taking the picture? (Or do you have to turn the camera off and on to reset the screen)?

If it stays dark, that´s a pretty bad bug.

Military Arms said...

You're not the only one. I can't get my Alien Bees to trigger properly with the G12. It worked fine with the G11. Like you, when it locks focus the screen goes black. After messing with it, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't (triggering the flash).

Canon telling you they've never heard of the problem before is so typical of Canon. I wish I had a dollar for every time they did that. Heck, call them up and tell them you have a 1D mark III with focusing problems and they'll likely tell you that you're the first person ever to bring this to their attention.

I hope they fix it, it's a major pain in the rear.

Unknown said...

Interest blog post. I to have been playing with the G12 and reached the following conclusions.....

Clark Dever said...

I can't get my Pocket Wizard Plus II to fire with my G12 either.

Anonymous said...

The blank screen issue never got fixed on the G12. The G15 has just come to market and knocked down the price of the G12, so I bought a new G12 to replace a broken G9.

The G12 still has the blank-screen problem when it's locked focus in manual mode with a non-canon wireless flash trigger in the hot-shoe. It'll fire the strobes OK, and the resulting images are great, but the camera is virtually impossible to use with external strobes if you need to focus then compose the shot. It's a major flaw and reluctantly I'm going to have to return mine and buy an older G11 or earlier model.

Poor show Canon. Very poor.