Rated 3 out of 5 by Jeegar Well built; Like the LED light but overheats quick
I got new A99 bundle with this flash and it overheats in no time. I took pictures of my friend's baby shower ceremony and after every 20 shots or so it will shut down for 5 to 10 mins. Flash is meant to be used for indoor invents but it's impossible to use it for live events.
I would probably return the whole package with A99 because of this issue.
June 17, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5
by bunta Great flash with a bright LED light
The LED light built in is very intense and can be adjusted to as bright or dark as you need. Great for those who don't want to add more equipment to their camera and you can easily go from video to photos in the press of a button.
The TTL function works perfect. Takes all the guess work out of trying to adjust the lighting. The best part is taking the flash off the camera and placing it on a tripod or table and shoot wireless without having to use a pocket wizard. This flash is a huge step up from the generic flash I bought several years ago and even more of a leap from the stock flash.
There are so many features that I haven't even scratched the surface yet. I just set it to wireless and TTL. Place the flash where I want there to be light and then start shooting. It's so simple and fun to use.
The only con I have is that the cheap plastic breaks easily. Right out of the box, my hot shoe locking lever was broke and I could hear little pieces of the plastic from the lever bouncing around in the flash. I haven't exchanged it for a new one, but the flash is heavy and tries to slide itself free once in a while, so this may be a big problem if that heavy flash comes falling off.
November 16, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5
by Oldmanriver 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
Rated 1 out of 5 by silencisnotawkwarddotcom Overheating is huge issue
There is no way to use this. In even common situations you are overheated before you can get the job done. I have used other flashes all day without even one incident. 200 shots in a row. This one even at lower power overheats in just 40 shots. This is of course of known by Sony. Before they even tell you how to use the mode, they tell you what the overheat symbol is. The cost on this is stunning. It is not radio wireless, just normal flash wireless. 60 dollar flashes do the same thing this does without overheating. Standard hotshoe? uh no. This only works in an adapter, or on the A99. Nothing standard about the very odd, weak and flimsy copper pins on the front of the show. This will not be a flash to last. This is simply not something that is going to cut it. Again, Sony. Just hang in there. Your innovations are great. Just take a breath. 1. Build quality, 2. Usability 3. Features. keep that in that order and you can own this industry. Your cameras have doubled in usability each build. Just apply that to more than theory.
February 23, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by BartMexico Wonderful in theory, useless in practice
Using this flash HVLF60M with the wonderful Sony A99. The unit is very well integrated with the camera, a winning team - in theory.
In practice, the unit "thinks" it overheats after about 20-25 shots and shuts down. Neither the flash nor the batteries feel hot, so it seems to be a software glitch or a poor sensor... Bouncing the light seems to make it worse. Once it shuts down it is dead for 5-10 minutes.
When I expect to make series of photos, I now use a METZ Mecablitz 58 AF2, which by the way is a lot cheaper, but doesn't have the advanced integration with the A99 of the Sony HVLF60M. For multiple flash arrangements, I also use 2 of the the Sony HVLF43M's which don't have the overheat problem.
So in short, the HVLF60M is a great flash in theory, but it doesn't work when it counts. And Sony doesn't seem to be doing anything about it.
May 11, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by ultranewbie Terrible product - Shame
I was one of the first adopter of the Sony A99 and the Flash HVLF60M back in 2012. Both products have potential, but both products were defective on the first day I received them. My Sony A99 produced blurry images and I had to sent it in for repair. The HVLF60M is no better, perhaps the worst flash I have ever used.
On the first day, the flash had problems with overheating with about 20 shots on 1/4 to 1 power ratio. As a photographer, I cannot have down times like this in a shoot. Second, at a corporate event, the flash over heated outdoors with only 5 shots because the weather was hot that day and affected the flash.
Last year, the flash malfunctioned while I was In New York in Time Square during New Years Eve. The weather was freezing cold and the flash simply "quit" on me without being used much while my Nikon and Canon peers kept on shooting.
This year, I was at a wedding reception, the flash begin to randomly fire without being used while on manual mode. On manual mode, the flash would fire while I was zooming with my lens and flash would go off multiple times. As a result, my flash overheated and I missed numerous shots and I had to take out the battery for the flash to cool off.
The process to cool the flash is unique in itself because you have to take out the batteries, leave the unit off for about 3 minutes, dismount the unit off the camera, and leave the battery door open for heat ventilation. The flash requires multiple resets before I get one good reset for me to resume shooting. By the time the flash came back online, I have missed many shots and, sometimes, the event was simple "over." I felt embarrassed many times and I had to explain to my "other" peers.
I just don't understand why a such a great product has such faults and unreliability. I take care all of my equipment and this flash is simply the worse ever.
Just recently, the flash got worse, the unit became less responsive on manual mode and the flash would fire randomly and overheat as a result. I have tried the flash on my RX100II, Sony A99, and Sony A77. The results were the same. The flash just would not function at all. Furthermore, the flash would fire randomly by itself on manual mode.
The flash is only usable on auto mode, which is unacceptable because there are many situations the AI would not be able to judge correctly and being on "Auto" mode would limit the latitude of my shots.
The flash has been notorious with overheating since its release and numerous photography forums have documented the problem. Over time, the defects of this flash will get worse and render you unit unbearable.
The bottom line, DO NOT PURCHASE this flash if you shoot a lot and depend on it for indoor work. I have upgraded and used Sony equipments for years (Sony A100, Sony A700, Sony A99, CZ24-70, HVLF40, and VGC99AM) The HVLF60M is simply the worst flash and Sony product I have ever used.
I am very upset from the whole experience because I am forced to "buy" another unit due to defects of this flash. I am not fault at all; instead, I am being punished for buying the Flagship flash along with the Flagship camera and the Flagship lens.
If you are to buy the unit, buy the 4 year warranty as well and exchange for a new one every year because you are going to need it.
The HVLF60M is a shame.
September 6, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by AlexTardif Overheats... no question about it
Got this as part of the A99 grip/flash package. Very nice build and feature but... it does overheat, as countless people have pointed out. I don't care what no-sayers and Sony says: I was shooting an event recently and after 12-15 shots (spaced about 10-20 secs apart) the flash overheats and you're dead in the water for good 5 minutes or so. Very frustrating. There is no way I would be able to rely on this as a professional - Sony - acknowledge the problem please and issue a resolution, this is unacceptable for such an expensive unit. Oh, and this think is very power hungry, I get about 100 shots before it's done...
February 14, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Lucidx Expect more than 20 shots over 5 minutes? Don't!
Despite all the good aspects and features, it is all moot due to the significant thermal design flaw. Either this flash was not designed to disperse any amount of heat or the heat sensor is much too sensitive (perhaps both).
I own two of these flashes and they both exhibit the same problem. After a low number of shots (approx 20), this flash shuts down and will not operate for another 5 to 10 minutes. When I say 20 shots, I don't mean 20 fires in under a minute, I've experienced this when the shots were spread out over 5 minutes of shooting!
I've never experienced this with any flash from Canon. Unless Sony issues a fix (highly unlikely) or at least admits there is a problem worth looking into, stay away from this junk (unless you only need to take a couple of shots an hour).
June 14, 2013