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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Sony HVL F60 Overheats Useless for Professional
from Denver, CO
Comments about Sony External Flash/Video Light:
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.
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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)
Good Flash With A Significant Design Flaw
from Northern Virginia
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.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
A High Powered Guide Number Creates Opportunities
from Mid-South, USA
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.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)
I purchased recently the HVL-F60m flash for my A77. I already have the F43 flash, but I was attracted to buy the F60 because of its higher range and video light. Like most of the reviews, this flash heats quickly and even though I checked on Sony support website, there is no tips on how to prevent this issue. 10mins to wait for cooling down, is probably a bit slow, so not convenient for event shooting
(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)
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).
(18 of 18 customers found this review helpful)
I am not to happy about this flash it has a major defect an over heats even when on 1/2 power shooting with higher ISO it can not keep up with my older HVL-43am flash Sony needs to do something quick about this problem! So frustrated with Sony...
(5 of 11 customers found this review helpful)
no backwards compatibility
if you're stuck in sony/minolta hot shoe land, don't expect this to work with your radio triggers...why sony continues to antagonize their customers is beyond me...i had to send it back
(29 of 29 customers found this review helpful)
Good, but could be better.
from Dallas, TX
The two big differences between this, and the HVL-f58 are the new foot, and the led video light. The new foot isn't exactly the ISO standard. It has some material removed, making it an odd shape, and seems delicate when mounting to stands. Extreme caution should be used when using clamp type cold shoes. Also, the fit isn't quite right and subsequently it doesn't seem to work with some radio triggers. Of course, there are no TTL radio triggers that currently mount natively to the foot. The video light basically looks like an led flashlight on subjects, so you'd have to be pretty desperate (or want the Blair Witch look) to actually use it. It's placed on the underside of the flash head, and the flash is disabled when the light is turned on, which makes it useless as a modeling/focus assist light. The HSS is limited to when the flash is pointed forward, bounce flash is limited to 1/200. While I sort of understand this, why not let the photographer decide when the flash isn't powerful enough? The control and grouping is nice, but as noted elsewhere, it takes a solid 1/2 second for the flash to actually fire when using optical wireless, which can be a real problem when shooting things that move. Why this, and the camera aren't wifi is beyond me. The flash cost as much as a laptop, and it seems like such an obvious place to take advantage of that technology. Even bluetooth would work if the concern is power consumption. I'm probably just dreaming here, but that level of control would take this from an expensive, nice flash, to something more competitive for the end user.
(28 of 34 customers found this review helpful)
Great flash with a bright LED light
from San Diego, CA
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.
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