Sony has long had an inexplicable love affair with proprietary connectors, accessories, anything. From Memory Sticks to ATRAC Minidiscs to annoying headphone sockets on phones, Sony’s philosophy seems to be "if you can piss off a customer, why not do it?"
And so it is with the NEX mirrorless cameras. Excellent devices in almost every way, unless you want to use a flash, in which case you have to spring for one of Sony’s own specialty units. Still, this customer hatred is at least good news for third-party accessory makers, and NEX Proshop will now sell you an adapter that adds a proper hot-shoe and PC socket to your NEX camera.
The hotshoe will let you add any flash you like and have it fire in sync with the camera. It also means you can use various wireless remote triggers. More interesting is the inclusion of a PC (Prontor/Compur) socket, a common (yet crappy and badly-performing) standard which lets you attach an off-camera flash by cable.
I suppose there’s another way to look at this. Almost nobody uses off-camera flash, so by skipping the hot-shoe Sony could keep the NEX cameras tiny. Either way, this dongle will cost you $80. For that price, I reckon that NEX Proshop should have added a slave light sensor to the unit so it could also be slotted onto a remote flash and triggered by a camera’s internal strobe.