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Sony introduces HVL-F43M flash with Multi Interface Shoe, video lamp

By dpreview staff on Jun 27, 2013 at 04:02 GMT

Sony has announced the HVL-F43M, a high-end flash unit that's based on the HVL-F43AM but uses Sony's Multi Interface Shoe, which can be found on the latest SLT, NEX, and R-series cameras. The HVL-F43M also features a LED video lamp for brightening up subjects for still and video recording. It retains the 'Quick Shift Bounce' feature of its predecessor, which allows you to rotate the flash head 90 degrees for portrait shooting. It will be available in July for $400.

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Press Release:

Sony Introduces Versatile New HVL-F43M External Flash

SAN DIEGO, June 27, 2013 – Sony today has introduced the HVL-F43M - a powerful, fully featured new flash that is compatible with all of the company’s latest cameras and interchangeable-lens camcorders equipped with Multi Interface Shoe.

The advanced new flash builds on the success of the acclaimed Sony HVL-F43AM and offers the same popular ‘Quick Shift Bounce’ system that allows instant rotation of the flash head when switching between landscape and portrait compositions. This maintains the same bounce angle in either shooting position for consistently-lit photos.

While the F43AM was compatible with the accessory shoe on older Sony A-mount cameras, the new F43M is now even more versatile. It’s equipped with a Multi Interface Shoe for 100% compatibility with Sony’s SLT-A99, SLT-A58, NEX-6, NEX-VG900, NEX-VG30, Cyber-shot™ DSC-HX50, DSC-RX1, DSC-RX1R and DSC-RX100 II models.

The brand-new F43M flash also adds a powerful LED video light that can add natural, even illumination to poorly-lit scenes, backlit subjects and more.  Additionally, it features a rugged dust and moisture resistant design for challenging outdoor environments.

The new flash is also compatible with wireless control for quick creation of sophisticated multi-flash effects.  Lighting ratios for up to three on- and off-camera flash units can be controlled and used to create exceptionally balanced, pro-style results.  Other smart functions include Auto White Balance adjustment with color temperature information, allowing for consistently natural-looking white balance under any lighting conditions.

Pricing and Availability

The new Sony HVL-F43M external flash will be available this July for about $400  and can be purchased at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Additional images

Comments

Total comments: 24
John Miles
By John Miles (9 months ago)

With the conventional shoe people can start buying Sony. Boy did they take their time working out that one!

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (9 months ago)

I know they are great cammies, but I can't feel the love for Sony as a camera co yet. They need to invest more in their brand mythos. Because I am all about the brand mythos. I mean, except that I won't get a Leica boner because seriously, $7,000 for a basic box? Nah.

0 upvotes
Benarm
By Benarm (10 months ago)

Th F43M looks superior to Canon's 320EX since F43M uses the red AF-assist beam for pre-flash, rather than blinding white LED.

1 upvote
pfzt
By pfzt (10 months ago)

I really like the Quick Shift Bounce System. That's downright exceptionally clever and useful. I wonder why Canikon couldn't come up with something like that. I want that for Canon right now!!

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (10 months ago)

Would be good if some 3rd party company came up with something similar, cause in did: it's a brilliant, extremely useful solution.

Comment edited 6 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Karl Scharf
By Karl Scharf (10 months ago)

Having two totally different and incompatible hot shoes within its current camera lineup is why Sony will always lag behind Nikon and Canon. Sad, very but true. All the great innovations and then they blow it on something basic, like a hot shoe!!!!!!!

6 upvotes
donaldxr
By donaldxr (9 months ago)

They're compatible via an adapter. You can use old flashes on the new cameras and new flashes on the old cameras. There's an adapter for each way. They are phasing out the old hot shoe. Supposedly, Sony's working on mirrorless DSLR bodies(A-mount), so that's why there's no updated a77/a65 this year.

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (9 months ago)

Sonyt tries to take a page from the Apple playbook!

0 upvotes
Bart Hickman
By Bart Hickman (10 months ago)

Sure would've been nice if Sony would start putting auto-flash support in their flash heads. Some subjects (blinking people and sensitive creatures/bugs) are more-or-less impossible to shoot with pre-flash and using manual flash is more difficult to quickly get the correct exposure.

2 upvotes
Hawaii-geek
By Hawaii-geek (10 months ago)

Is the Flash and LED WB the same? Does it Overheat like the 60m? Does it have a Flash delay. or flash delay in Wireless triggering. When is RADIO going to happen. Does it have standard IN-OUTS for radio triggers. Just curious
And easy Group and comps like CLS.
sb910 with RADIO Wireless , that's what I want. Just saying.

I have many crits of Sonys flash and system ... the MIS Hot Shoe is NOT one of them. More so when it is going across Still and Video lines ... that is a good thing.

0 upvotes
perry rhodan
By perry rhodan (10 months ago)

Yess! There it is. Waited just long enough buying my second AM. Glad I did. Gaining the led seems handy for vid and macro work also. Have 2 preordered (to get mc wireless with the nex6).

5 upvotes
thomas2279f
By thomas2279f (10 months ago)

Looks like a great flash and also caters for when shooting Video shooting and quite a good price.

3 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (10 months ago)

It's sad to see how Sony ruined the best hot-shoe implementation and replaced it with this seemingly-standard-but-not-really pos.

5 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (10 months ago)

Absolutely.
They should either have kept their usual hotshoe or switched to the standard one.

1 upvote
maximuscr
By maximuscr (10 months ago)

It is the standard one, just with a few extra connections that do serve very well for EVFs, Microphones etc.

In terms of form factor and compatibility with third party Standard-ISO Flash triggers for example it works as well as every canons or nikons shoe.

11 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (10 months ago)

Hmmm. While I agree that the Original Minolta hot-shoe is best implementation, I wonder what do you mean by saying the new/old Sony hot-shoe is not "standard" one?

Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus... all have different layout of connection pinns and only the mechanical interface is common (standard). So how the Sony standard ISO interface is not standard?

10 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (10 months ago)

It seems Sony can't win. They've been always heavily criticized for their proprietary or limited formats: BETA, DAT, Atrac, UMD, Minidisc, MemoryStick... And now that they are moving from the proprietary and limited hot shoe format of a long gone company to the widely accepted one, they are still criticized. Poor Sony.

11 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (10 months ago)

Antonio Rojilla - every hotshoe out there is proprietary. They moved from one proprietary hotshoe to another proprietary hotshoe.

5 upvotes
FreeRadical009
By FreeRadical009 (10 months ago)

@Antonio Rojilla:

Maybe the backlash is happening because Sony is just bowing down to the videographers instead of photographers and they got rid of a perfectly working shoe, which is much easier and quicker to set than the ISO one?

As usual, Sony reached the point where their standard was accepted and supported and then they say "You know what? Change of plans, we're going back to Kansas"

The 60 and 43M flashes are incompatible with anything but the most recent cameras. Yeah, you could use the flimsy wimsy adapter, but that's just more weight on the camera, plus another surface which I REALLY doubt will be able to handle the weight of the F56, F58 and F60 flashes.

Try setting an A77 with a F60 flash in portrait orientation with a Beercan mounted on a tripod and tell me if you'd feel safe to let the weight of the flash rest on a tiny damn adapter that may break off at any second when you could have used the camera hotshoe to begin with, which is far more resistant.

3 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (10 months ago)

The proprietary part is the interface, but you can mount lamps, torches, flashes, mics or optical viewfinders from a wide range of brands into any standard hot shoe without an adapter. Or can't you? You couldn't say the same of the old Minolta hot shoe. For example, you now have the option to put a Sigma, Ricoh, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander optical viewfinder on an RX1 or RX100 without adapter. Isn't this the definition of standard?

3 upvotes
maximuscr
By maximuscr (10 months ago)

exactly, Mr. Rojilla.

Sonys new Hot Shoe is no as propietary as the ones of Nikon and Canon. Before it was way more. Nw it is the mightyest hot shoe with this extra connections.

0 upvotes
Karl Scharf
By Karl Scharf (10 months ago)

Changing the hot shoe was a big mistake by Sony! A slap in the face to still image photographers.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (10 months ago)

The change had nothing to do with still vs video debate. Sony could have added the EVF and audio connections to the Minolta hotshoe.

Sony (rightly) decided to go with standard shoe that every other camera maker was using. They were criticized continuously in various reviews for non-standard shoe.

They had a choice. Either continuously get mocked every single time they release a camera for non-standard shoe, or switch and make a bunch diehard Minolta fans angry once. They choose switching.

In any case, it's outright idiocy to claim that it is still vs video issue.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (10 months ago)

" it's outright idiocy" you had a reasonable argument going until you blew it with this comment. Game over...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 24