Quick comparison: Sony HVL-F43AM flash vs. Sony HVL-F42AM flash

Found in: NewsSpeedlightsSony
Apr 15 2011
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Sony HVL-F43AM
Sony HVL-F42AM

Sony HVL-F43AM is a new mid-range flash gun for the Sony Alpha line of cameras. The new flash is a significant step forward from the previous HVL-F42AM model that has been around for quite a while. HVL-F43AM has adopted some very important features from HVL-F58AM (the Sony's flagship hot shoe flash), such as wireless control and Quick Shift Bounce features.

The following is the list of advantages Sony HVL-F43AM has over Sony HVL-F42AM:

  • Slightly more power: Guide Number of 43 vs. 42.
  • Quick Shift Bounce system instead of the traditional swivel-and-tilt head. The unique Sony's approach to bouncing makes it easier to use a flash diffuser that can only be mounted on a wide side of the flash head.
  • Wireless master mode that allows to control up to three remote flash groups, whereas HVL-F42AM can only be a slave unit. (The list of compatible camera bodies includes DSLR-A900, DSLR-A850 & DSLR-A700.)
  • Improved controls, display, and overall ergonomics.
  • Better recycling time: approx. 2.9 vs. 3.7 seconds (with alkaline batteries).
  • More flash cycles: approx. 200 with 180 (with alkaline batteries).
  • Extended range of power settings in manual mode: down to 1/128th of the full power vs. 1/32th (2 additional f-stops).
  • 1/3 of an f-stop increment in manual mode instead of 1 f-stop increment (the total of 22 power levels instead of 6).
  • Modeling light.
  • Wider frame coverage with the built-in wide panel: 15mm vs. 16mm.

As you can see, Sony HVL-F43AM features quite a few improvements and can be a worthy upgrade for many photographers.

Below, you can find images of the new Sony HVL-F43AM flash and the excerpt of the Sony's official press release related to this flash.

Sony HVL-F43AM flash: front view Sony HVL-F43AM flash: back panel, controls, LCD
Sony HVL-F43AM flash: Quick Shift Bounce, 90 degrees left and right Sony HVL-F43AM flash: flash head can be positioned from -8 degrees (down) to 150 degrees (back)

From Sony's press release:

Sony introduces powerful, compact HVL-F43AM external flash for Alpha cameras with Quick Shift Bounce

13 April 2011

HVL-F43AM external flash With a powerful output of GN43 (105mm ISO100 m), the compact yet versatile HVL-F43AM flash from Sony is optimised for superb results with all A-mount cameras.

As featured on the HVL-F58AM, the innovative Quick Shift Bounce system allows flash head position to be adjusted instantly when switching between horizontal and vertical compositions. This maintains consistent shadow positions regardless of camera orientation, allowing easy creation of natural-looking ‘bounce’ effects.

Smart flash functions open up even broader creative lightning possibilities. Wireless Ratio Control makes it easy to select light emission ratios for up to three separate flash units*. This allows quick creation of sophisticated multi-point lighting effects without the need for complex professional equipment.

Ideal for everyday shooting and more serious applications, its dust- and moisture-resistant design makes the HVL-F43AM ideal for demanding assignments, indoors or outside.

Flash power levels are switchable in 22 increments, from 1/1 through to 1/128 level in 1/3 steps. High output power is complemented by a quick 2.9 second (approx.) recycling time. Despite the flash’s extensive functions, operation is refreshingly clear and simple via the high-quality LCD screen and direction buttons.

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