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Sony HVL-F20AM Flash
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Intro   Specifications   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

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Sony HVL-F20AM

Sony HVL-F20AM Flash (4.3 oz./121g measured with 2-AAA alkaline, about $150).

This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to this flash at Adorama or at Amazon when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep reviewing these lenses when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.


May 2013    Sony   Zeiss   Nikon   Canon   Fuji   LEICA   All Reviews

Sony HVL-F20AM

Introduction       top

Intro   Specifications   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

The Sony HVL-F20AM is a small flash for Sony Alpha and Minolta MAXXUM cameras.

It uses the bizarre "slot" mount, also called "AutoLock." Newer Sony DSLRs with regular hot shoes like the Sony A99 come with an adapter to use this flash.


Specifications         top

Intro   Specifications   Performance   Compared   Recommendations


Power        top

Sony specifies GN 20 meters (65 feet) at ASA 100.


Weight        top

4.260 oz. (120.7g), actual measured with 2-AAA alkaline.


Case        top

Black sack included .


Quality         top

Made in China.


Packaging        top

Box, Sony HVL-F20AM

Box, Sony HVL-F20AM.


Performance       top

Intro   Specifications   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Shot with the Sony A99, exposure and color is usually excellent.

Yay Ryan! 23 May 2013

Yay Ryan! (Sony A99, Minolta MAXXUM AF 20mm f/2.8, f/8 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 100, Sony HVL-F20AM flash.) bigger.

It's clever: the whole flash flips up and down so it doesn't stick up when carried or stored. When you do this, it's also the power switch!

That's right: the only power switch it to flip it up for ON, and down for OFF.

Even if flipped up and ON, it turns off with the camera power switch.

It's easy to flick the flash up and down for shooting. Watch it, though; when put in a bag, it's natural to want to straighten-out the shoe, which would turn on the flash.

The A99 has a regular hot shoe, and comes with an adapter for this flash. It works great, but oddly, I've never seen the ready light in the finder.

My biggest complaint is that two AAA cells are too little power, be they alkaline or Ni-MH. They will get warm with use! Recycle time can take quite a while at longer distances. Ditto with Eneloop; with only two AAA cells for power, this flash can't belt out as much power as can flashes with AA cells. The two cells die quickly, be they alkaline or Ni-MH.

There are two lights on the back: one meaning it's turned on (green), and the light you really want to be on, the orange CHG light, which means it's ready. Just like governments and economies, when the cells run out juice, the CHG light turns red.

It goes to sleep when your camera does. When it wakes, it's usually still charged from before ,so there is less waiting to recycle for the first shop after it wakes.

It bounces vertically (only). To flip up the reflector, slide the switch on the side and the tiny reflector rotates internally.

There's also a wide diffuser, activated by rotating the lever on the other side. It's reminiscent of the Nikon SB-20 and Philips and Braun flashes of the 1980s.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

For daily use with the Sony Alpha and Minolta MAXXUM cameras, this is a swell little flash. I'd try it with Ni-MH Eneloop for better performance than Alkalines.


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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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