External Flash / Video Light
Sony HVL F60 Overheats Useless for Professional
I am a professional Photographer, using the Sony A77 Camera. I just sent in a HVL F58 into Sony for repairs, and was informed that Sony did not repair the Flash, and I was offered an exchange price on the HVL F60 flash. when I received it I Googled HVL F60 to see if their were any advanced Ideas about the use of the flash. I was totally surprised by the numerous comments about the flash over heating and shutting down after as few as 20 full power flashes in a normal time period. I tested my flash and had the same problem with less then 25 exposures with the flash shutting down, (As a professional I would shoot as many as 400 images in a 2 hour period) trying to get the problem resolved I spent many hours and numerous useless transfers and disconnects trying to return the flash and getting a refund From Sony. This is the worst service that I have ever received in my 20 years as a professional photographer. This is very sad as the HVL F58 did not have that problem, and the Sony A77 is a spectacular camera. I resolved my refund problem with Sony and was able to find two new HVL F58 flash's at a Denver camera store. These were the last two they still had in stock. I hope that Sony will take these problem seriously before professional's quit buying their camera's due to the flash problem.
September 29, 2013
This flash is awesome!
I ordered my flash from Sony and had an event to cover that night. To my expectations, I thought I'd be good for the night... not at all, I started taking shots and after 10 or so minutes, it stopped completely. My unit wasn't responding correctly. I figured, it might have been some setting I started messing with.. turned out after finding these reviews.. it was common.. luckily I live near a Camera Repair Center.. lets just say they FINALLY gave me what i paid for. I went to Southern Photo in North Miami Beach, found them on Yelp and this flash has been worth the investment! DEFINITELY recommend them PLUS I got an additional warranty on my flash. SUPER happy on the outcome! I get way more shots and definitely get to enjoy it.
August 30, 2013
Good Flash With A Significant Design Flaw
The F60 flash is the successor to the F58, using Sony's new version of the "standard" ISO flash shoe (a questionable change that I won't go into other than to note that the shoe seems a bit delicate in design). It carries over the very flexible and unique flash head movements from the F58, and improves on the previous flash's menu system with a new system that is easier to access and understand. It adds a video light that is useless for me.
The big problem with the flash is that it overheats far too quickly. This problem did not exist with the F58 flash. It does not take much to overheat the flash, which can occur in normal shooting situations that would not tax the F58. The flash isn't even warm when the overheat symbol gives the bad news. You can sometimes clear the thermal warning by turning the flash off and on. If that fails, try opening the door to the battery compartment, let the batteries slide partway out, then put them back in and close the door. This usually works, but it does interrupt your photo shoot. Also, the thermal protection circuit may re-engage fairly quickly depending on your situation.
I saw Katie's June 14, 2013 reply, from Sony Electronics, to an earlier criticism of the overheating problem, and it is laughable. As another reviewer noted, there is no information about this on Sony's support website. It's a problem that should not exist in the first place. Whatever workaround may be possible means you have to take time away from photographing. This is not acceptable if you are shooting a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, portrait session or other event.
The problem is a clear design flaw in the flash and Sony should be far more responsive to what is a frequent and common complaint. Just read all the reviews.
July 26, 2013
A High Powered Guide Number Creates Opportunities
This flash unit has become a good and reliable friend to my A99.
I have become a big fan of the high speed shutter synchronization for daytime fill flash, especially with portraiture.
The guide number 60 flash has enough "oomph" to fill a dimly lit college basketball court.
The HVL-F60M is a pleasant addition to my existing collection of three HVL-43AM's (guide number 43). I plan to continue my experimentation with wireless ratio flash techniques with the added fire power as the controller on top of the A99.
I would recommend a second back-up unit for anyone that typically experience fast paced, intensive shoots, such as weddings.
Personally as a non-professional photographer, I like the fact that the SONY flash units appear to be proactively "wired" to avoid premature unit failure due to overly aggressive usage.
June 27, 2013