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Sony HVL-F28RM is pocket-sized radio-controlled strobe for Alpha photographers

Sony HVL-F28RM
(Image credit: Sony)

Launched at the same time as the Sony A7C (opens in new tab) mirrorless camera, the was a danger that that many users of Sony mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab) could have missed the arrival of the Sony HVL-F28RM flashgun. Just like the Sony A7C, this hotshoe strobe packs a lot into a small package – and could be an ideal compact lighting accessory for anyone using a Sony A6000 series or A7 series camera, and will undoubted become one of the best Sony flashguns (opens in new tab) when it goes on sale later this year, or early next.

When compared to the HVL-F32M (opens in new tab), the HVL-F28RM is 12 smaller in terms of in volume and 7 percent lighter in weight. But unlike many small flashguns, the Sony HVL-F28RM offers a full feature set including a built-in radio transmitter and receiver for remote triggering. 

The new metal-shoed flashgun has a Guide Number of 28 (m/ISO 100) or 92 (ft/ISO100) at 50mm; it offers 25 separate manual power settings from full down to 1/256 power, in 1/3 stop steps. It has a tilt head with a choice of angles from 0° to 120° - and has a built-in wide-angle diffuser panel that allows use with a 24mm wide-angle lens. Unlike on the HVL-F32M, however, there is no swivel movement or zoom head.

There are minimal contols on the back of the Sony HVL-F28RM flashgun itself… (Image credit: Sony)
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… however many of the advanced features of the flashgun are set up straight from your Alpha camera's menu system. Flash compensation, light ratio, and other  flash parameters can be controlled directly from a compatible camera. (Image credit: Sony)
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The HVL-F28RM is powered by two AA  alkaline or NiMH batteries - which is said to deliver up  to 110 continuous flashes at full manual power. The unit measures  (65.1 x 83.5 x 91.4mm (2.56 x 3.29 x 3.6in) and weighs in at 219 g (7.8 oz).

The HVL-F28RM is able to operate as either a radio commander or remote as part of Sony's radio wireless system, including the FA-WRC1M Wireless Radio Commander and FA-WRR1 Wireless Radio Receiver. This system has an operating range of 30m (98 feet) and does not require line-of-sight. Also, it will support up to 15 flashes in five groups on one of 14 channels. Additionally, it offers full support for Sony's P-TTL / ADI metering system, including high-speed sync and ratio control.

The Sony HVL-F28RM is slated to go on sale 'later this winter' and will retail for $249.99 / £250.

Read more
Best Sony flashguns (opens in new tab)
Best flashguns in 2020 (opens in new tab)
Sony A6000 vs A6100 vs A6300 vs A6400 vs A6500 vs A6600 (opens in new tab)

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Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.


He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.