Alongside the release of its new A7 IV camera system, Sony also announced the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM, a pair of hotshoe flash units designed to make the most of the new imaging capabilities inside the A7 IV.

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The HVL-F60RM2 flashj has a guide number of 60 and 20–200mm coverage, while the HVL-F46RM has a guide number of 46 and 24–105mm coverage. Both flashes have improved continuous shooting performance, topping out at up to 200 continuous flashes at up to 10 frames per second (at 1/32 flash output level) for the more powerful HVL-F60RM2 and 60 continuous flashes for the HVL-F46RM.

Sony says the flashes, when used with a set of four Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries, can fire up to 240 times with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2 model, while the HVL-F46RM tops out at 320 flashes with a two-second recycle time (both datapoints are dependent on using Ni-MH batteries).

Both of the flashes work alongside the improved communications of the Alpha Lighting System, including P-TTL flash control metering for every frame in ‘Mid’ and ‘Hi’ continuous mode—something previously limited to the ‘Lo’ continuous mode. Other features include the ability to control the flash settings directly from the menu in compatible camera systems, automatic white balance correction based on the color temperature information from the flash and flash control that’s linked to the camera face detection.

Other features include a more ‘robust’ build quality and improved physical connection when used with Sony’s new Multi Interface show, which helps to seal the connections to be more dust and moisture resistant. Sony also says the flash release time lag has also been minimized, but doesn’t specify by how much. Both units feature wireless radio communication and can control up to 15 flashes and or receiver units in up to five groups.

The HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM flash units will be available in November 2021 for USD$550/CAD$750 and USD$400/CAD$550, respectively, at authorized Sony retailers throughout North America.

HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM: Powerful Flashes to Evolve Alpha Lighting System

The HVL-F60RM2 with GN 60 and 20-200mm[xi] coverage and HVL-F46RM with GN 46 and 24-105mmxi are powerful wireless flashes to offer precise control, enhanced high-speed and intuitive operability. They are designed to meet the needs of both professional and advanced content creators when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the Alpha 7 IV, to offer the ultimate Alpha Lighting System by the detailed communication between cameras and external flash.

Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 consecutive flashes at 10 frames per second[xii] for the HVL-F60RM2 and 60 times for the HVL-F46RM. The optimized flash algorithm ensures both flashes are overheat-resistant, and a set of four Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries can power up to 240 flashes with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2 and up to 320 flashes with a 2.0 second recycle time for the HVL-F46RM[xiii].

When used in combination with an Alpha camera, they allow users to experience the unique communication and system benefits of the Alpha Lighting System that sets a new standard for mirrorless camera lighting systems. For example, with the Alpha 7 IV, P-TTL flash control metering for every frame in Mid, and Hi continuous mode has become possible in addition to Lo continuous mode. The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.

With the Alpha 1, the HVL-F60RM2 achieves a phenomenal up to 20fps of continuous shooting[xiv] and approximately 20 flashes per second can be produced for more than 10 seconds with the external flash battery adapter FA-EBA1 (sold separately). When the Alpha 1 is used with Sony’s flashes, including HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM, users can sync up to 1/400 second shutter speed to expand expressive capabilities when shooting in full-frame mode. In addition, with the silent electronic shutter of the camera, silent flash shooting is possible when absolute silence is required.

Other system benefits of HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM with an Alpha camera include:

  • Flash parameters controlled directly from the menu of a compatible camera[xv]
  • Flash control linked to camera face detectionxv
  • Automatic correction of white balance based on the color temperature information from the flash

Both flashes also feature improved robustness and operability. The Multi Interface shoe with Sony’s unique metal shoe foot with rugged side frame significantly increases strength and reliability. Shoe sealing helps the flashes to be more dust and moisture resistant[xvi]. The HVL-F60RM2’s original rotating head mechanism, “Quick Shift Bounce,” that enables flexible positioning and optimum lighting control has also been improved to prevent unintended change in the bounce angle.

They support wireless radio communication and can control up to 15 flashes and/or receiver units in 5 groups via wireless radio communication for enhanced lighting control versatility.

[xi] 35mm full-frame equivalent.

[xii] 1/32 flash output level using Ni-MH batteries

[xiii] When using Ni-MH batteries. Sony tests

[xiv] Alpha 1 electronic shutter in continuous Hi+ mode. Flash output level manually set to 1/32.

[xv] Visit Sony support webpage for functional compatibility information.

[xvi] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof. Dust and moisture resistance will vary also according to the body to which the unit is attached.