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Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras

B&H # SOHVLF20S Mfr # HVL-F20S
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $148.00
Product Highlights
  • Extended Flash Range
  • Easy Intuitive Operation
  • Shadowless Indirect Lighting
  • Built-In Diffuser
  • ADI Flash Metering System
  • Compatible With NEX-3/5/5N
  • Not Compatible With NEX-6/7

Sony's HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras is a lightweight, easy-to-use flash that has double the range of the NEX built-in flash. With Indoor/Outdoor settings and accurate, automatic TTL (Through The Lens) exposure when used with your NEX 3, 5, or 5N camera, you can get soft bounce lighting indoors and accurate fill-flash outdoors. A built-in diffuser helps light wide-angle photos, and a Tele setting extends the flash range for subjects further away.

Note: This flash features a proprietary flash connection that is compatible with NEX-3-series and NEX-5-series cameras. It also uses the camera's battery as its power source.

Extends Flash Range Beyond Camera's Included Flash
Though compact and lightweight, the HVL-F20S flash has a maximum range twice that of the included flash units of the NEX-3, NEX-5, and NEX-C3 cameras. This is represented as the guide number (GN) of 20 with a 50mm focal distance.
Easy Intuitive Operation
Unlike most external flash units, the HVL-F20S has no dedicated ON/OFF switch. Instead, power is automatically switched on simply by raising the flash unit into the shooting position. In addition, a switch on the side of the unit offers Indoor and Outdoor settings, making it easy to obtain flash illumination that suits the shooting situation. A charging lamp indicates when the flash is ready to fire.
Bounce Flash Enables Shadowless Indirect Lighting
When set to Indoor shooting mode, the flash points up to bounce light off the ceiling for shadowless illumination of your subject. When set to the Outdoor shooting mode, the flash directs light directly at your subject.
Built-In Diffuser for Wide and Telephoto Shooting
With the built-in diffuser, the flash illumination covers a wider angle of view or if users want to shoot at a greater distance, they can rotate the dial on the side of the flash unit to the Tele Position. While the Tele setting reduces the width of flash coverage, it extends the range to illuminate more distant subjects.
ADI Flash Metering System
The ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) flash metering system offers the optimum flash metering and automatic white-balance compensation regardless of the background conditions or the subject's reflectance. ADI flash metering works in combination with α NEX cameras and lenses that incorporate a distance encoder. When used with these lenses, the camera calculates a guide number to control TTL (through the lens) flash metering. This guide number is calculated according to distance from the subject, ambient light and pre-flash reflectivity of the subject and the background.
Mount Shoe
Guide No. 20' (6.1 m) ISO100 at 50 mm position
Angle of Coverage Not Specified By Manufacturer
Vari-Power Not Specified By Manufacturer
TTL Dedication Yes
Bounce Head Yes
Swivel Head Not Specified By Manufacturer
Zoom Head Not Specified By Manufacturer
Recycle Time Approximately 0.1 - 5 seconds
Dimensions (WxHxD) 2.4 x 2.8 x 2.1" / 6.0 x 7.1 x 5.3 cm
Weight 2.3 oz / 65 g
Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras
  • Soft Carrying Case
  • Wide Panel
  • Protective Connector Cap
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    SonyHVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras
     
    4.5

    (based on 44 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (24)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (19)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Lightweight (22)
    • Easy to use (21)
    • Good power output (19)
    • Attach securely (15)
    • Durable (14)

    Cons

    • Heavy / bulky (5)

    Best Uses

    • General purpose (23)
    • Fill flash (15)
    • Indoors (15)
    • Low light (15)
    • Night photography (13)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (25), Casual photographer (12), Semi-pro photographer (4), Pro photographer (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (43)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Impressed.

    -it works with the 18-200 without an extender, any focal length

    -the bounce works like 'traditional' flashes do

    -the diffuser softens the light

    -it...Read complete review

    -it works with the 18-200 without an extender, any focal length

    -the bounce works like 'traditional' flashes do

    -the diffuser softens the light

    -it works well for portraits, better than original flash

    -it is much stronger - can get better exposure levels than original flash

    -it still does the preflash

    -turning it on and off is same as original flash (flip up/down)

    -the flash has two positions: direct and bounce. You can attach the diffuser for direct mode, and bounce will bypass the diffuser. If you like you can rotate the diffuser for bounce as well.

    The documentation suggests:
    Tele: 35mm - Guide number: 20
    Wide: 16mm - Guide number: 14
    Wide w/ external diffuser: 12mm - Guide number: 7
    Bounce (all modes) - Guide number 20

    All numbers are actual FL numbers (doc shows EFL numbers as well).

    Basically, I see the flash 'area' as corresponding to the 16mm+UWA (=12mm), the 16mm and a 35mm 'prime'. Bounce depend on ceiling and height and will automatically be wider.

    In Tele (direct) mode it suggests that subjects can be photographed at ISO 100 and f/4.0 up to 5m (15ft) away. A table shows that at ISO 1600 and f/2.8 shooting up to 28m (95ft) is feasible.

    Also, in direct mode the White Balance is automatically adjusted (not in bounce mode).

    Other remarks:

    -this unit is not dustproof, splashproof nor waterproof

    -not recommended for use with large A-mount lenses on A-mount adapter (large lens on adapter may shade flash area)

    -the unit is plastic and may get hot. It is made from a similar material as the original flash unit.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Nice add on

    The flash that came with the Nex5n was definately sub par. This flash is considerably larger, and more powerful than the original. The bounce is a nice feature, but it is not adjustable...Read complete review

    The flash that came with the Nex5n was definately sub par. This flash is considerably larger, and more powerful than the original. The bounce is a nice feature, but it is not adjustable i.e. in landscape mode, you can bounce off the ceiling, and in portrait mode, you can bounce off of a wall.

    The flash does a great job, but I have had issues getting it to mount properly and work. Several times I've had to remove it and re-mount it before the flash would fire. I do not have these issues with the original flash.

    Even with the issues, it is a worthwhile investment as it does a much nicer job than the original.

    Reviewed by 44 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    Vast improvement

    By Snap Happy Mom

    from Joplin, Missouri

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • General Use

      Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

      Provides much more flattering, brighter light. Very pleased with purchase.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Great product for NEX 5R

      By Elvin

      from Orlando, FL

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • none

      Best Uses

      • Fill Flash
      • General Use
      • Night Photography
      • Portraits

      Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

      Great image quality taking portraits when using bounce flash.
      Nice pictures for indoors too using SEL16mm wide lens.
      TTL makes it easy to take pictures.
      When connected to camera, it fit well, sturdy.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      HVL F20S

      By Patrick

      from Mahe, Seychelles

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Powerful Output

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Night Photography
        • Portraits

        Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

        The best Flash Solution for NEX system. Purchased this and never used the default flash that came with the NEX. Perfect for portrait and night photography. The bounce feature works wonders.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        LOVE this flash

        By Pamela

        from Pittsburgh, PA

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Fill Flash
          • General Use
          • Night Photography
          • Portraits

          Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

          works well...love the built-in bounce feature.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Not for dramatic lighting

          By cayman

          from cape town

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                I bought this flash to bounce off walls and take pictures with dramatic lighting - i.e. all the light coming from one side. This flash does not perform like that. The lighting is more diffused but you will get exactly the same shadow as from "direct" mode

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Work as expected

                By Tam

                from Fremont, CA

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Bulky

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                  HVL-F20S is way more powerful and useful than the original equipped flash. It offers the control to bounce.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  I like the product

                  By Rodrigo

                  from Lima, Peru

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Powerful Output

                  Cons

                  • Bulky

                  Best Uses

                  • Night Photography

                  Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                  It was the solution for my Sony Nex-5N camera with the widest lens because the standard on get some shadows on the pictures

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  It's a big flash

                  By AY

                  from Ottawa, ON

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Powerful Output
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Fill Flash
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                    Like most people who owns SEL18200 lens, with the standard flash comes with the NEX camera, it's so frustrated every time when you take a indoor flash photo, i.e. the shadow. But now, with this external flash purchase, I enjoy it very much.
                    One thing to my surprise is that the size of the flash. Before getting the item, from the product picture, I was wondering it doesn't look much higher than the standard flash. In fact, it's a lot higher, because the size is double if not triple, you can't tell from the picture till you receive it.
                    I need to buy another a little bigger camera bag for this.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    The HVl-F205 has whiz and bang

                    By Yisachar

                    from San Antonio, TX

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Usable Only With Sony

                    Best Uses

                    • Fill Flash
                    • Night Photography
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                    I use my NEX-7 Mainly for weddings and night paties and reunions, the improved results are impresive, the result now, is consistently of high quality. I am completly satisfied.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    I love it.

                    By goramsey

                    from Cedar City, UT

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Fill Flash
                      • General Use
                      • Night Photography
                      • Photojournalism
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                      I had a party to photograph. This flash is just what I needed. Flash fill is great. Does what it is supposed to. Could not ask for more.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      very practice accessories

                      By Serg

                      from Quebec, Canada

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • General Use

                        Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                        very satisfaction

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        An improvement over the tiny kit flash.

                        By Mike from Brooklyn

                        from Brooklyn

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Lightweight

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Fill Flash
                          • Night Photography

                          Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                          Well, for sure this flash is more powerful than the tiny flash that comes with NEX cameras, but it could still be better.

                          I should mention that I have an NEX-5N, which unlike the NEX-7 does not have a hot shoe. This bigger flash connects the same way the small one does: via the proprietary port on top (the same one the viewfinder connects to).

                          The range is much better with this flash, but the bounce option could be better. Even standing in my living room with a white low-lying ceiling, the flash did not bathe the entire upper-half of my subject in even light. I had to increase the ISO a bit (200 or 400... I forget which).

                          That's not too bad, but anywhere else, where the ceiling's higher? It would only work at higher ISOs.

                          It's too bad you can't at least connect it to a chord and hold it off to the side of the subject. I know the NEX system is supposed to be really compact, but it also happens to be a really high quality system, and a better flash would certainly make the system truly great all-around.

                          But the bottom line is that at least it's stronger than the kit flash, and rarely produces red-eye. At least there's that. I should also mention that if you put the camera on 7 frames per second, you'll get at least two shots with flash. A cool thing to have. You have twice the opportunity to get the right shot. But use the flash a few times over 10 seconds and you'll have to wait to recharge.

                          Until something better comes along, I'd recommend this. The price is right.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Flashy

                          By Monique DeLeon

                          from Houston Texas

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

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

                          Cons

                          • none

                          Best Uses

                          • All

                          Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                          useful for events at our college
                          taking snap shots of our students in action or at host events

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          Good flash

                          By FGN

                          from Glendale, Ca.

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Lightweight
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Good amateur flash unit

                            Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                            Good unit. Excellent results within it's spec parameters. High location means no lens shadow with the lenses I have.
                            Light, operates off camera battery. No heavy flash unit straining top of camera.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            3.0

                            Nice add on

                            By Joe from NJ

                            from Aberdeen, NJ

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            See all my reviews

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • Powerful Output

                            Cons

                            • Slow Recycling
                            • Tempermental

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Night Photography
                            • Photojournalism
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                            The flash that came with the Nex5n was definately sub par. This flash is considerably larger, and more powerful than the original. The bounce is a nice feature, but it is not adjustable i.e. in landscape mode, you can bounce off the ceiling, and in portrait mode, you can bounce off of a wall.

                            The flash does a great job, but I have had issues getting it to mount properly and work. Several times I've had to remove it and re-mount it before the flash would fire. I do not have these issues with the original flash.

                            Even with the issues, it is a worthwhile investment as it does a much nicer job than the original.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Great product

                            By Atila CEYRAN

                            from Turkey

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Fast Recycling
                            • Powerful Output
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                            • Bulky

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Night Photography
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                            I bought this flash unit to use with sel18200 lens. It was really annoying to use 18200 with standart flash due to lens shadow on the pictures. Now it is really fun to take photos. The bounce function really great for indoors also tele option helpfull for outdoors. The only negative feedback may be its size because it is hard to fit the camera at the same bag that you use before with the flash mounted. Since I am using it with 18200 lens size not a problem for me. Mount port is really firm. I definetly suggest this to my friends.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Decent flash

                            By AtulGaikwad

                            from Wichita, KS

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • Small

                            Cons

                            • Slow Recycling
                            • Weak Output

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                            It is a nice upgrade from HVL-F7 flash. Moderate power, but not enough to fill a big room or bounce off a high ceiling. 2 diffusers are provided; 1 is inbuilt and 1 is external. Both works fine. Too many restrictions on the usage, as it allows either straight or 75 degrees up. So we have to adjust ourself to get proper bounce.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            great product..

                            By johndecade

                            from wooodridge, illinois

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                            • Bulky

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Night Photography
                            • Photojournalism
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                            at first i have no intention of buying this external flash coz my nex5n is great in lowlight and im thinkin putting this flash on my nex would make my camera awkward lookin...but readin the good reviews on this flash on how it would make the quality of my images to a whole level and also b&h had this on sale last 1st week of May so i decided to order...well as of now i very pleased w/ its performance and i have no complaints except that sometimes i really have to push it down and securely fasten the screw..it took me 4 tries before the camera recognize d flash and also i have to remove the flash if i have to put back the camera on my carrying case...but overall im glad that i bought this external flash it really do perform great making my images amazingly much clearer.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            Just as advertized

                            By Al D.

                            from Delta BC. Canada

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                            • Bulky

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Night Photography
                            • Photojournalism
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                            If you read the short summery of the product, you get all the info you need. Work's as well as it can, not worse, not better, your are getting what you paid for. All & all I am happy with my hvl-f2os external flash.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            great for bounce

                            By pt dave

                            from Buffalo, NY

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

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

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Fill Flash
                              • General Use

                              Comments about Sony HVL-F20S External Flash for NEX Still Cameras:

                              This unit is small enough to make sense with the nex series cameras but yet powerful enough in most indoor situations. Bounce feature works well even with typical cathedral cielings in most homes. Direct flash is a bit overpowering even with diffuser, corrected with flash compensation in camera.

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                              • No

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