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Sony HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series

B&H # SOHVLF20AM Mfr # HVLF20AM
No Longer Available
Product Highlights
  • Guide No. 20' at 50mm, ISO 100

This surprisingly compact Sony HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash is meant to be a trusty standby for novice photographers who have found the output on their pop-up flashes lacking. The HVL-F20AM essentially doubles the output of most pop-up flashes while not adding any great bulk or hindrance to a camera's operation. The flash has a hinge that allows it to compress downwards on the camera, eliminating the need to fumble with mounting and unmounting a hotshoe flash as it is needed.

Simplicity is further established by the elimination of complex displays and button interfaces. The HVL-F20AM operates with a tug and a twist. Raise the flash from its compressed position to activate it; a simple switch on the side changes the flash from its indoor mode to an outdoor one. Take a picture, then pop the flash back down when finished-it is that easy.

Unique design eliminates the need for an on/off button. Flash is activated by raising the head into shooting position. When not in use, the 1" (24mm) thick flash can sit unobtrusively in the camera's hotshoe.
Two power settings: one suited for indoors, the other outside. When in the inside mode, the flash covers a 27mm angle of view. When set to tele, the flash moves to a 50mm angle of view.
ADI flash metering and automatic white balance compensation with lenses that incorporate a distance encoder.
TTL flash operates with select Sony cameras which provide control over auto-zoom, high-speed sync (HSS), power level switching, wireless flash, bounce flash, modelling flash, and multi-burst functions.
Mount Shoe
Guide No. 20' (6.1 m) ISO100 at 50 mm position
Vari-Power Not Specified By Manufacturer
TTL Dedication Yes
Bounce Head Yes
Swivel Head None
Zoom Head None
Recycle Time Not Specified By Manufacturer
Power Source 2x AAA Alkaline, Lithium Batteries
Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.0" / 9.5 x 6.4 x 2.5 cm
Weight 3.2 oz / 91 g Without batteries
Sony HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series
  • Carry Pouch
  • Sony U.S.A. Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series
     
    4.3

    (based on 34 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (19)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (9)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (2)

    88%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to use (19)
    • Lightweight (19)
    • Consistent output (9)
    • Durable (9)
    • Attach securely (7)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • General purpose (15)
      • Fill flash (12)
      • Portraits (6)
      • Outdoor events / games (5)
      • Birthdays (4)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Photo enthusiast (15), Semi-pro photographer (4), Tech savvy (4), Casual photographer (3)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (26)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Great Addition to NEX-7

      I bought this to supplement the pop-up unit on the NEX-7 & I'm glad I did. It cranks out much more light than the on-board unit & sits high enough when...Read complete review

      I bought this to supplement the pop-up unit on the NEX-7 & I'm glad I did. It cranks out much more light than the on-board unit & sits high enough when in use not to cast a shadow with longer lenses like the 18-200mm zoom. It lays flat over the lens when not in use & powers up when raised. Good addition.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      High price low quality

      Ineffective in an indoor setting, went to an indoor automotive center (GM collection). Just does not have enough to justify the price, very disappointed. Did not provide enough lighting to properly view...Read complete review

      Ineffective in an indoor setting, went to an indoor automotive center (GM collection). Just does not have enough to justify the price, very disappointed. Did not provide enough lighting to properly view the photographed cars. I had a Sunpak flash unit previously, and at half the price was far superior. Save your money, buy something else.

      Reviewed by 34 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-20

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      5.0

      Excellent flash unit

      By Andrew Johnnson

      from 19317

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Fast Recycling
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Fill Flash

        Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

        fill flash

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Small practical light for RX1

        By pianoman

        from Anaheim

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Fill Flash

          Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

          The light is well build
          Recycle medium to fast
          It does consume battery fast ,better use rechargeable battery
          wish it has a separate ON /OFF button and sometime forget it is in bounce mode ,cause picture dark.
          Wish it has a slave mode as well.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          the best of the best with the sony nex

          By abou xulibet

          from jersey city nj

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight
          • Powerful Output

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • General Use
            • Night Photography
            • Portraits

            Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

            its a must have tool with the sony nex 7
            to mount it it's very easy and simple
            the flexibility of feature on the flash you switch close or wide range so far so good

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            A Little Splash of Light

            By alansf

            from San Francisco, CA

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Slow Recycling

            Best Uses

            • Fill Flash

            Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

            I use it on my NEX-7 for fill. This is not a full powered flash. With a Guide Number of 20, it does not have a lot of power. But in a pinch it does a good job. The best use is to power and off camera flash.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Lightweight & easy

            By Editor Sue

            from SW Florida

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Few Adjustments
            • Few Features
            • No Swivel

            Best Uses

            • Fill Flash
            • General Use
            • Photojournalism

            Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

            My built-in flash expired and I needed a replacement. A key factor was weight: as a photojournalist, I sometimes tote my camera around for hours and did not want to add to the weight. This little flash - although not as robust in terms of features as some - is remarkably lightweight and just what I needed. It has adjustments for direct versus bounce flash, and for normal versus telephoto. It lacks some of the adjustments you would ordinarily find in an external flash but for my purposes, this really does the job.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            3.0

            Good lightweight and easy to use flash

            By ShadowsInc

            from Arlington, VA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • General Use

              Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

              Good lightweight and easy to use flash and great price.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              High price low quality

              By Automaniac

              from West Michigan

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use

              Cons

              • Insufficiant Powerrange
              • Weak Output

              Best Uses

                Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                Ineffective in an indoor setting, went to an indoor automotive center (GM collection). Just does not have enough to justify the price, very disappointed. Did not provide enough lighting to properly view the photographed cars. I had a Sunpak flash unit previously, and at half the price was far superior. Save your money, buy something else.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                3.0

                Flash for NEX-7 Camera

                By 48 hours

                from Scottsdale Arizona

                About Me Parent

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Uses Power Quickly

                  Best Uses

                  • Birthdays
                  • Special Events

                  Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                  Recent purchase ( 2-3 weeks ) . Provides ample lighting BUT would prefer a much more robust design for the flash mounting area. It gives the impression/feeling that the mounting is loose on the camera and will break prematurely. Not good for a camera in this price range

                  Alternative flashes are way too large and heavy for this NEX-7 camera

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great Little Flash Unit

                  By rcbser

                  from Omaha, Nebraska

                  About Me Parent, Tech Savvy

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Attach Securely
                  • Even Light Source
                  • Long Lasting
                  • Powerful

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Birthdays
                    • Night Video
                    • Special Events
                    • Weddings

                    Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                    Excellent small flash unit. It is just the right size. Works very well without all the bulk and weight of the larger flash units. It is not just for begiunners it is so much better than the pop up flash of the camera. It works great for 90% of normal indoor photos.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Addition to NEX-7

                    By PhotogDog

                    from Neew Kensington, PA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast, Tech Savvy

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attach Securely
                    • Even Light Source
                    • Works well for portraits

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Birthdays
                      • Special Events

                      Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                      I bought this to supplement the pop-up unit on the NEX-7 & I'm glad I did. It cranks out much more light than the on-board unit & sits high enough when in use not to cast a shadow with longer lenses like the 18-200mm zoom. It lays flat over the lens when not in use & powers up when raised. Good addition.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Little Flash for NEX-7

                      By PhotogDog

                      from New Kensington, PA

                      About Me Tech Savvy

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attach Securely
                      • Even Light Source
                      • Works well for portraits

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Birthdays
                        • Special Events

                        Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                        I bought this flash to supplement the pop-up unit on my NEX-7 & it was a good decision. The on-board unot has a guide number of 6 so it isn't cranking out much light beyond small room distance. In addition, depending on the lens being used, the pop-up unit casts a shadow since it sits so low. The HVL-F20AM puts out a lot more power, has a bounce switch and lays flat over the lens when not in use. Good addition!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        PERFECT TO KEEP IN AN EMERGECY

                        By HOWARD

                        from CORAL SPRINGS FLORIDA

                        About Me Technically Challenged

                        Pros

                        • Attach Securely
                        • Even Light Source

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                            IT IS TRUE THAT IT IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE BUILT IN FLASH..I AM USING IT ON MY SONY A33 AND SONY A380....SO LIGHT YOU DON'T NOTICE IT....THE BOUNCE WORKS WELL, HOWEVER I SEE NO DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT WHEN TELEPHOTO IS USED COMPARED TO NORMAL...IT TAKES 2 TRIPLE A BATTERIES AND SO FAR I HAVE TAKEN 62 PHOTOS WITH IT AND THE BATTERIES ARE STILL GOOD. SINCE IT IS A SONY PRODUCT IT WAS MADE TO FUNCTION WITH THEIR PRODUCTS SO IT FUNCTIONS EXACTLY AS THE BUILT IN FLASH DOES.....ON THE 2 CAMERAS THAT I USE IT ON MY FASTEST SHUTTER SPEED IS 1/160 SEC. EXACTLY AS THE BUILT IN FLASH OPERATES. IN THE MANUAL AND S (SPEED) MODES IT AUTOMATICLY SETS THE HIGHER SHUTTER SPEED.......

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                            • No

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                            4.0

                            small but useful

                            By Larry

                            from Albuquerque, NM

                            About Me Tech Savvy

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attach Securely

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                Very convenient to leave on the camera and lift up when needed. It is not very powerful- about twice the power of the camera's (Sony A580) own flash. Despite the limited power I find it very helpful in taking informal, unposed portraits of family members. In short, it is a helpful tool that is not really needed but useful

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                4.0

                                "Built-in" flash of choice for the A900

                                By Klipsen

                                from DK

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Pros

                                • Attach Securely
                                • Bounce reflector
                                • Very Compact
                                • Wireless trigger

                                Cons

                                • No ratio control
                                • Only one wireless channel

                                Best Uses

                                • Fill Flash
                                • Wireless trigger

                                Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                A fine little fill flash which, thanks to its bounce setting, is also very practical on cameras with a built-in flash, like the upcoming NEX-7.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Wonderful

                                By bbb

                                from Wisconsin

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Attach Securely
                                • Durable
                                • Good Color Value

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • General Use
                                  • Indoors
                                  • Low Light
                                  • Night Time
                                  • Outdoors
                                  • Special Events

                                  Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                  Indoors & out

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Great purchase

                                  By debmck

                                  from Burlington,ON

                                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy To Use
                                  • Lightweight
                                  • Versatile

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Fill Flash
                                    • General Use

                                    Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                    This is easy to use and a great improvement to the built in flash for my Sony A390 .... an excellent purchase option to bounce light creates nice indoor pictures without harsh shadows.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (0 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    1.0

                                    The Flash that doesn't work

                                    By NoPe48

                                    from Norway, Europe

                                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Lightweight
                                    • Versatile

                                    Cons

                                    • Weak Output

                                    Best Uses

                                    • General Use

                                    Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                    [...]Batteries was included and were placed in the flash from Sony (I believe). It looked like they had been there for a while because one of the batteries was leaking. New batteries where placed in the flash but it would not work. I tried to clean it and the result is that it is possible to turn it on and the "CHG" lamp is lighting, but when I press the release button on the camera (a900) the lamps become black and with no flash. That's the situation now. Not a picture with the flash so far.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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                                    5.0

                                    I WOULD BUY AGAIN

                                    By STEVEO

                                    from BOWIE MD

                                    About Me Pro Photographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Durable
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Lightweight

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                        PERFECT FOR THE SONY A55

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

                                        Share this review

                                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        4.0

                                        Great controler for other Sony Flashes

                                        By realistgva

                                        from Switzerland

                                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Easy To Use
                                        • Lightweight
                                        • Powerful Output

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Fill Flash

                                          Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                          I bought this flash to control my HVL-F58AM in wireless mode for macro and portrait shots.
                                          The whole setup is very easy and works well.
                                          From my very first tests I would say that the this flash generated a little too much light in some of the cases and I had to cover the flash or diffuse the light more to get the effect I wanted.
                                          The flash does what wanted it to do and it does this without too much weight.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

                                          Share this review

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Great Flash

                                          By Zorian

                                          from Florida

                                          About Me Pro Photographer

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Consistent Output
                                          • Easy To Use
                                          • Fast Recycling
                                          • Lightweight
                                          • Versatile

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                            • Fill Flash
                                            • General Use
                                            • Portraits

                                            Comments about HVL-F20AM Digital Camera Flash for Sony Alpha Series:

                                            This is a great little flash. It does a good job on fill with outside shots. It is small and easy to put in your pocket or camera bag. It uses the old and new Sony Flash protocols at the same time and remotely triggers the 58, 42 56, Sony flashes. It has pretty good distance coverage, better than I had hoped for. There are only 2 flashes that will fire mounted on the A850. The HVL-F20AM or the HVL-58.

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                                            • No

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                                            Batteries & Power

                                            Show more >

                                            Required item: Batteries are not included, and are required to power your flash.

                                            Duracell -  AAA 1.5V Alkaline Coppertop Battery (2-Pack)
                                            • You Pay: $1.69
                                             

                                            4

                                            PACK

                                            Watson AAA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (1000mAh) - 4-Pack
                                            Watson -  AAA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (1000mAh) - 4-Pack
                                            • You Pay: $7.50
                                             

                                            Softboxes

                                            Show more >
                                            Vello -  Universal Softbox with Colored Gels Kit for Portable Flash (Small)
                                            • You Pay: $20.75
                                             

                                            Bouncers

                                            Show more >
                                            Vello -  Light Bouncer Kit for Portable Flashes
                                            • You Pay: $14.95
                                             

                                            Reflectors

                                            Show more >
                                            Vello -  5" Snoot/Reflector for Portable Flash
                                            • You Pay: $22.50
                                             

                                            Sync Cords & Flash Remotes

                                            Show more >
                                            Vello -  TTL-Off-Camera Flash Cord with Sony/Minolta Type Shoe - 6.5' (2 m)
                                            • You Pay: $29.95
                                             
                                            Vello -  TTL-Off-Camera Flash Cord with Sony/Minolta Type Shoe - 3' (1 m)
                                            • You Pay: $16.95
                                             
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