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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Des Plaines, IL

    Cool Hvl-f20am

    The smallest SONY DSLR hotshoe flash is the HVL-F20AM.

    It offers itself in a convenient pocket-size and provides a reasonable "quick flash", but also a trigger flash for the larger HVLs ('58 & '42) for "wireless operation. While the APS-C sensor cameras benefit from the "built-in" flash, the Full Frames (α850 & α900) do not, so this is effectively it.

    The F20AM flash offers some flexibility with a "DIRECT/BOUNCE" switch on the left-side and a "TELE" rotating lens on the flash head. The "On/OFF" switch is directly connected to the hot shoe mount and it comes on when you raise the flash to operating position.

    Personally, after operating the α850 w/o any flash for a few weeks, this is a convenient, emergency-type unit, if you do not have the "big boy" with you. Don't expect miracles, but simply a small light source for indoor operation and fill-flash support. Outdoors, all bets are off.

    You are warned NOT to pack it mounted on the camera, due to torque considerations on the hot shoe. If you carry it, I would recommend putting it in your pocket or attached to your camera neck strap. Since I will be using the hot shoe more, with this small flash, I have "borrowed" my α700's "hot shoe cap keeper", since the α850 did not come with one in the neck strap kit. It is almost more important with this camera than the α700, because the α700 has the built-in flash already and removal of the 'hot shoe cap' normally only happens when you are attaching the larger flash, so I guess I am more than a little confused as to why they eliminated it ... because you probably will be constantly removing the 'hot shoe cap' on the α850/α900.

    It also uses "AAA" batteries ... so, yeah ... another size of rechargeables to have handy.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 09-23-2009 at 02:16 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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