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Sony updates its flashgun range with two new pro/semi-pro hotshoe strobes

Sony HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM flashguns
(Image credit: Sony)

At the same time as launching the Sony A7 IV, Sony has released two new flashguns for enthusiasts and professional photographers who need flexible lighting control, wireless triggering and touch, consistent performance.

The Sony HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM follow on from the previous F60RM and F45RM models, and are designed for image quality and consistency, speed and durability.

They feature “intelligent” communication between the camera and flash with face detection and auto white balance control with compatible cameras.

Sony’s wireless flash system also includes FA-WRC1M commander and FA-WRR1 receiver units for flashguns which don’t have wireless capability, and supports flash distances of up to 30m, even in strong sunlight and with obstacles in between. Up to 15 flashes can be assigned to up to 5 groups.

Sony has also redesigned its shoe mount to offer improved weather resistance, thanks to a new rugged side frame and shoe sealing.

Sony HVL-F60RM2 key features

Sony HVL-F60RM2 on the Sony A7 IV (Image credit: Sony)

The Sony HVL-F60RM2, an update of the existing F60RM, is a professional radio controlled flash with a Guide Number of 60 and a zoom head offering a 20-200mm focal range, which expands to 14mm with the supplied wide panel. (The Guide Number is admittedly, a moot point, given that it’s quoted for the HVL-F60RM2’s maximum 200mm zoom setting.)

The HVL-F60RM2 offers high-speed continuous flash shooting with the Sony A1, with up to 200 consecutive flashes at a frame rate of 10fps. Using the camera’s electronic shutter, it can deliver 20 flashes per second for more than 1sec, or more than 10sec using the optional FA-EBA1 external flash battery.

Battery life is 240 flashes, with a recycle time of just 1.7sec – or 0.6sec with the FA-EBA1 battery pack.

The The HVL-F60RM2 also has a Quick Shift Bounce feature for switching quickly between horizontal and vertical orientation. ‘TTL memory’, an in/out sync terminal for flash metering and triggering, and comes with a mini-stand, case, green and amber color filters and connector protect cap

It should be available just about now at a price of $599 / £549 /  AU$849.

Sony HVL-F45RM key features

(Image credit: Sony )

The Sony HVL-F46RM is a slightly smaller flash and an update of the existing HVL-F45RM. It has a zoom range of 24-105mm, and 15mm with the optional wide panel, and a Guide Number of 46. 

As with the HVL-F60RM2, this is quoted for the flashgun’s maximum zoom setting, in this case 105mm. Because of the way Sony has quoted these figures, the two new flashguns may prove to have a very similar output at the same zoom settings.

Like the HVL-F60RM2, the HVL-F46RM supports continuous flash at 10fps, this time for up to 60 consecutive flashes. The battery life is 320 flashes, which is 50 more than the previous model, though the recycle time is the same at 2sec.

Both the HVL-F60RM2, the HVL-F46RM have improved operation algorithms to give what Sony says is 1.7x greater overheating resistance than before.

The Sony HVL-F46RM comes with a mini-stand, case and connector protect cap. It should be available from mid-October at a price of $399 / £369 / AU$649.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.