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Old Apr 17, 2010, 9:28 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info Antony. I did receive a reply from England over night and they told me the same thing and include the correct plug. Is there an International plug kit?

Can anyone speak to the build quality of the cameras when it comes to the doors and covers? One thing I always liked about my Kodak P Series was the docking. I am not hard on gear as a general rule but have always found it is more difficult to break a door or cover that is never opened.

I have read all of the A550 reviews that I could find (there are a bunch of them) and would be interested in hearing from people who own them as they can speak directly to any physical deficiencies. It seems the F58AM flash unit is to heavy for the hot shoe and requires the use of a handle (which handle?). It is funny but I remember the film guys (and gals) saying the same thing 35 years ago.

I appreciate all of the input

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Old Apr 18, 2010, 5:05 AM   #12
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The power cord that connects from the included Sony charger is relatively standard. It's sometimes known as a "Universal Power Cord", and sometimes referred to as a "Figure 8" power cord. This is the type it uses:


Basically, the charger is able to take either 110 or 220 volt input, so as long as the end plugging into the wall outlet is correct, you should be fine. You also find connector converters. But it's probably easier to use the right cord with one (especially since you can get one for under $5.00 with free shipping from Amazon.com, if you don't already have one sitting around somewhere you used with an older device).

BTW, I've also got one of these cheap chargers that works fine with my Sony NP-FM500H batteries. It's $7.99 with free shipping, and this Ebay vendor shipped it promptly:


I got one a while back to use a second charger, and I've had no problems with it. It works just fine. The light on the charger changes from red (while it's charging) to green (finished charging). It seems to work just as well as the Sony charger when sensing if a battery is fully charged or not.

It's a different design in that the AC plug is built into the back of the charger (you plug in directly into an outlet versus using a cord with it). The included cord is only for use with a cigarette lighter socket (and I've never even used the cord with it). It's a slower charger (like the one that comes with the camera). But, some fast chargers are known to cause higher battery temperatures which can impact battery life. So, I prefer slower chargers anyway. From my perspective, after a days use, I'm going to plug any discharged battery into a charger at night. So, I don't care if it takes 4 hours to charge. ;-)

As for using a Sony HVL-F58AM in the A550 hotshoe, I wouldn't worry about it. I've used one with a Sony A550 and didn't notice any issues (although I wasn't trying to measure shoe flex with a micrometer or anything like that, I didn't see any problems using that combo). If the Sony engineers anticipated any problems with it's weight, I doubt they'd list it as a compatible flash model. ;-)

If you don't need a flash as powerful as the HVL-F58AM, you may also want to look at the HVL-F42AM.
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