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Sony HVL-F20AM

Flash for Sony digital SLR cameras

2 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 158HVLF20

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Sony HVL-F20AM

The HVL-F20AM works with compatible Sony Alpha SLR cameras. This external flash lets you shoot in low-light conditions from greater distances than your camera's built-in flash will allow. It attaches to the camera's accessory shoe. The 'F20AM makes it easy to get well-illuminated photos. Turn to the "indoor" setting when you want to bounce the flash off the ceiling for a softer look with fewer shadows. Use the "outdoor" setting to fire the flash forward and aim the most light possible at your subject.

Product Highlights:

  • compatible with Sony digital SLR cameras
  • "indoor" setting for bounce flash and "outdoor" setting for forward-firing flash
  • built-in diffuser for wide and telephoto scenes
  • TTL (through-the-lens) exposure works with Sony SLRs automatically for proper flash output
  • uses 2 "AAA" batteries
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Sony alpha series external electronic flash
  • Drawstring pouch
  • Operating Instructions (Eng/Spa/Fre)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Limited Warranty Information (US)
  • Consumer 1 Year Warranty Information (Canada)
  • Carrying note

Sony HVL-F20AM Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

Sony HVL-F20AM

DTC from LaPlata, MD on 10/9/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very happy works great



Great Flash!

Anonymous from Atlanta, GA on 4/2/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works great with Sony a35 camera! Love it!




Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The Sony Alpha-series HVL-F20AM compact external flash extends illumination range beyond your Sony Alpha-series DSLR camera's built-in flash. TTL (through the lens) flash exposure is automatically controlled by your Alpha-series DSLR camera for easy and intuitive operation. Though compact and lightweight, the HVL-F20AM has a maximum range twice that of the built-in flash units on the Sony Alpha-series 230, 330 and 380 DSLR cameras.

Compatibility: The Sony HVL-F20AM is designed specifically for Sony Alpha-series DSLR cameras.

Ultra-Compact Design: With a weight of only 90g (approx.) and a thickness of only 24mm (1-inch), the HVL-F20AM is so compact it can simply be folded down and left mounted on the camera when it is not in use, or detached and carried in a shirt pocket. When removed from the camera, the flash unit's hot shoe can be folded to the side, making the body even more compact. The HVL-F20AM comes with a soft drawstring carrying pouch to store the flash when not in use.

Easy Operation: Unlike most external flash units, the HVL-F20AM has no dedicated ON/OFF switch. Instead, power is automatically switched on simply by raising the flash unit into the shooting position. In addition, a switch on the side of the unit offers Indoor and Outdoor settings, making it easy to obtain flash illumination that suits the shooting situation. A charging lamp indicates when the flash is ready to fire.

ADI Flash Metering System: The ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) flash metering system offers the optimum flash metering and automatic white-balance compensation regardless of the background conditions or the subject's reflectance. ADI flash metering works in combination with Sony's Alpha-series DLSR cameras and lenses that incorporate a distance encoder. When used with these lenses, the camera calculates a guide number to control TTL (through the lens) flash metering. This guide number is calculated according to distance from the subject, ambient light and pre-flash reflectivity of the subject and the background.

Built-In Diffuser: The Sony HVL-F20AM features a built-in diffuser for wide and telephoto shooting. With the built-in diffuser the flash illumination covers an angle of view of 27mm at the default Standard Position setting. If you want to shoot at a greater distance, you can rotate the dial on the side of the flash unit to the 'Tele' Position. Although this reduces flash coverage to an angle of view of 50mm, it extends the range to illuminate more distant subjects.

Bounce Flash: Bounce flash enables shadow-less indirect lighting. When set to 'indoor' shooting mode, the flash points up to bounce light off the ceiling for shadowless illumination of your subject. When set to the 'outdoor' shooting mode, the flash directs light directly at your subject.

Wireless Flash Trigger (DSLR-A900 only): When connected to the Sony Alpha-series DSLR-A900 camera, the HVL-F20AM can also be used to trigger wireless flash setups. Please note, however, that this functionality is only available with DSLR-A900, and does not include luminosity ratio control.

Battery Power: The Sony HVL-F20AM operates off of two "AAA" alkaline or Ni-MH batteries (sold separately).

Flash Interval/Number of Flashes Alkaline Batteries Ni-MH batteries (930 mAH)
Flash Interval (sec) approx. 0.1-5 approx. 0.1-4
Number of Flashes (times) approx. 90 or more approx. 150 or  more


  • Zoom Flash Range:
    • Standard Position: APS-C Format (equivalent to the 18mm focal length range), 35mm Format (equivalent to the 27mm focal length range)
    • Tele Position: APS-C Format (equivalent to the 35mm focal length range), 35mm Format (equivalent to the 50mm focal length range)
  • Flash Length Range:
    • Standard Position: 14 (unit: m)
      Aperture (F) ISO100 ISO200 ISO400 ISO800
      2.8 1-5 10-7 1-10 1-14
      4 1-3.5 1-5 1-7 1-10
      5.6 1-2.5 1-3.5 1-5 1-7
      8 1-1.5 1-2.5 1-3.5 1-5
    • Tele Position: 20 (unit: m)
      Aperture (F) ISO100 ISO200 ISO400 ISO800
      2.8 1-7 1-10 1-14 1-20
      4 1-5 1-7 1-10 1-14
      5.6 1-3.5 1-5 1-7 1-10
      8 1-2.5 1-3.5 1-5 1-7

Our Product Research Team

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

We do not show this flash as a compatible accessory for the Sony A7 camera. A quick call or online chat with an Advisory should help you track down the flashes that are compatible. [ Jeff  Dec 12, 2013 ]  Staff