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Sony HVL-F20M

Flash for Sony Alpha DSLR cameras

Item # 158HVLF20M

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Item # 158HVLF20M

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About the Sony HVL-F20M

Put the most flattering light on your subject

This compact, lightweight flash extends your range up to 65 feet, so you can capture detailed images even in low-light situations. The flash rotates up to 75 degrees upward, so you can bounce light off of overhead surfaces to avoid washed-out faces and harsh, unnatural shadows when photographing people. When connected to a Sony Alpha camera and lens with a distance encoder, the HVL-F20M offers Advanced Distance Integration (ADI) to calculate optimum flash metering and white-balance compensation. It's a smart flash that will help you take your photography to the next level.

Product highlights:

  • powers on automatically when you raise your camera to shooting position
  • up to 75-degree upward angle for bounce flash
  • covers up to 65 feet at ISO100 with 50mm lens
  • powered by two AAA Batteries
    • fires 90+ times per battery charge
  • made of durable polycarbonate plastic
  • built-in diffuser disperses light in a wider pattern for close-up photography
  • 2-1/2"W x 4-1/2"H x 1"D
  • weight: 3.7 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # HVLF20M

What's in the box:

  • Flash unit
  • Multi-interface Shoe Connector protection cap (installed)
  • Soft storage pouch
  • Operating Instructions
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Sheet (US)
  • Warranty Sheet (Canada)
  • Warning sheet (regarding storing camera in a bag with the flash on)

Customer reviews

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Sony HVL-F20M reviews

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Compact & Light

Mark from Fayetteville, AR on 5/4/2018

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Sure, it may be a little on the expensive side but I love how compact it is. I bought it to replace the built in flash that shorted out on my RX10M2. It only takes two AAA batteries so it's light enough that you don't notice the extra weight. I've taken several hundred photos with the flash and the batteries hold up well but I'm using high capacity batteries. Since it's Sony, it integrates perfectly with the in-camera flash controls. It powers off with the camera or will auto shut off after a set time. It has the option to bounce the flash, which is new to me since I always used the built in flash! I really try not to use the flash unless absolutely needed, with a constant F2.8. It's a perfect replacement, love the size and weight. I'm glad I didn't go with a bigger unit!

Pros: Easy on/off, compact & light, bounce feature, integrates with the in-camera flash settings

Cons: None for me

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0 of 0 found this helpful


ltoda2nd from California on 1/17/2016

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Great little flash for my SONY Alpha 7 ii. Needed a fill-in flash but did not want a bulky large flash. Great for indoor snapshots. Light because all plastic. Not sure how long the 2 AAAs will last. Auto-shut off to help save power and easy to carry around.

Pros: light, small, does the job for the price.

Cons: plastic housing, 2 AAAs for batteries.

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More details on the Sony HVL-F20M

Mark G.

Product Research


Compatibility: The Sony HVL-F20M electronic flash is designed for use with Sony alpha-series (α-series) digital cameras equipped with the Multi Interface Shoe. Current compatible models (as of October 2014) include: SLT-A99, SLT-A58, ILCA-77M2, ILCE-3000, ILCE-6000, ILCE-7, ILCE-7R, ILCE-7S, and NEX-6. It is also compatible with the Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V, DSC-HX50V, DSC-RX1R, DSC-RX10, and DSC-RX100M2 digital cameras.

Mounting: The unit fits into the Multi Interface Shoe found on new Sony α-series digital still cameras and camcorders. With the optional ADP-AMA Auto-lock Shoe Adapter, you can use the HVL-F20M on Sony cameras with the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe.

Flash Range: The HVL-F20M has an effective range up to 65 feet (20m). It has a Standard and Telephoto switch that lets you customize the flash output to the focal length of the lens you're using. In the standard position, the range is equivalent to the focal length of an 18mm lens (APS-C format) or 27mm lens (35mm format). When the switch is in the Telephoto position, the range is equivalent to 25mm (APS-C) or 50mm (35mm) lens. Guide numbers are 14 (standard) and 20 (tele).

Bounce Switch: The HVM-F20M can fire directly at the subject (flash tube at 0°), or bounced off the ceiling (flash tube at 70°) for softer shadows. A slide switch on the side lets you switch between the two positions. For outdoor shooting, the Direct flash setting lets you illuminate subjects that are out of reach of built-in flashes.

Wireless Operation: The HVL-F20M can be used for wireless flash photography as a controller (emitting the control light) for an off-camera flash. The HVL-F20M, however, cannot be used as an off-camera flash.

Power Requirements: The HVL-F20M is powered by two Alkaline or Ni-MH "AAA" rechargeable batteries (not supplied). Fresh alkaline batteries provide enough power for more than 90 flashes. Fully-charged Ni-MH batteries (930mAh) can power approximately 150 flashes or more. The power lamp of the flash unit lights red when the batteries need changing.

Overheat Protection: The flash has Overheat Protection that suspends operation until the temperature of the unit falls back to normal. When overheating is detected, the Power lamp flashes red at one-second intervals. You can also manually turn off the flash unit for approximately 10 minutes to allow the unit to cool down.

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Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
Perfect compact flash for my needs, and great reviews from other photographers. [ GARY  Oct 26, 2018 ]
My built-in flash no longer works! This is a cheaper option, for the moment, than sending the camera for repair, which costs $349.00. I tired a flash from Best Buy, the only one they had, and it was way too big and bulky, and it didn't interface well with the camera. This Sony Unit seems to be the smallest, lightweight solution for the moment, until I get my camera fixed. Plus, I need it by Saturday, in a pinch. [ Mark  Apr 09, 2018 ]
Small "just in case I need it flash" for the Sony RX-10 mk ii. It will fit in my pocket as opposed to the other bigger Sony flashes. [ JONATHAN  Nov 14, 2017 ]
battery operated will not drain camera battery. and its cheap. [ florante  Oct 21, 2016 ]
It is very portable and easy to carry around [ Moonfoan  Sep 28, 2016 ]
Cost [ Francis  Mar 03, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

This flash can be on the camera and use as master controller for wireless flash to other slave flashes ( Canon only or any other slave flash brand like canon or Nikon?
[ quang  May 20, 2017 ]
1 answer
The Sony HVL-F20M electronic flash is designed for use with Sony alpha-series digital cameras equipped with the Multi Interface Shoe--it can also be used for wireless flash photography as a controller (emitting the control light) for an off-camera flash. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. Hope that helps!
[ Larry  May 29, 2017 ]  Staff

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