Other Digital Camera Accessories

Hot shoe covers

Written by Gail Bjork

When fitted correctly, a hot shoe cover protects the hot shoe contacts from dust and moisture, the main contributors to the corrosive effects of elements.

If you have a camera with a hot shoe, consider getting a hot shoe cover. This tiny, inexpensive accessory provides benefits for both the camera and the user.

When fitted correctly, a hot shoe cover protects the hot shoe contacts from dust and moisture, the main contributors to the corrosive effects of elements. It also prevents them from becoming scratched. In addition, the hot shoe frame will be protected from bending in the event of abrupt contact with a solid object.

A side benefit is that a hot shoe cover prevents snagging when the camera is pulled in and out of  a pocket or pouch.

Some hot shoes disable the built-in flash

It’s important to note that some hot shoe covers can disable the built-in flash, such as cameras that have microswitch under one of the hot shoe rails. Putting anything like a Nikon cover on a Canon hot shoe will disable flash, not to mention it will not fit correctly.

Custom hot shoe covers

A custom hot shoe cover, like those made by Richard Franiec, allows the camera internal flash to work without removing it. However, you cannot use custom covers with any other camera than the one specified. Each is tailor made for a given camera model to assure perfect fit and function.

For example, a hot shoe cover designed for Canon Powershot G cameras could fit the Rebel line camera but it will disable the onboard flash. Covers designed for Canon models won’t fit Panasonic or Leica cameras and vice versa. Each camera needs a cover specifically designed for it.

Unique custom covers

Richard’s custom hot shoe covers are specifically designed not to disable the built-in camera flash when inserted, making them unique in the hot shoe cover world.

His custom covers are precision machined from black Delrin, dense material from nylon family that is known for its wear resistance due to natural lubricity. The material is used in many applications as a metal substitute. Delrin has very low thermal and electrical conductivity. Due to the specific properties it was chosen as ideal material for the application.

I use Richard’s custom hot shoe cover on my Canon XSi. It’s a perfect fit with enough give to easily slide on and off when I want to remove it. It will not slide off by itself. Aesthetically, it gives my camera a more finished look.

Two tips about hot shoe covers

  • Some very cheap, third party hot shoe covers claim to be made for a specific camera but may not fit correctly. Without a proper fit, they will constantly slide off the hot shoe or fail to completely protect the contacts. If you want a hot shoe cover and the camera maker provides one (Canon does not) buy one made by the company or from a custom hot shoe cover manufacturer like Richard.
  • Hot shoe covers are small, so when you remove it, get into the habit of putting it in the same place every time, whether inside a pants pocket or compartment in your camera bag.

For more information on custom hot shoe covers, visit Richard’s site.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

1 Comment

  • Richard Franiec’s S90 custom grip is one of the first accessories that I purchased for my new S90.  What an enormous difference it makes (Canon are you listening?) shooting with this wonderful camera with one hand was virtually impossible before I installed “Richard’s Grip”.  It sure validates the old saying “good things often come in small packages”.  S90 owners – Get a grip, you won’t regret it.