Review of the Sony HVL-F60RM Flash
Choosing the Best Flash for Sony
When I first started wedding photography, lighting was the hardest thing to wrap my head around. I was constantly trying to figure out what was the best flash set up for Sony cameras since my options were often limited.
Enter the new HVL-F60RM. In an effort to compare the two best options, I ordered these Sony flashes along with Flashpoint speed lights, AD200’s and an XPLOR 600. I expected to keep the Flashpoint due to the positive reviews and the price point. However, upon testing everything it was immediately obvious that Sony was still king and worth every shiny penny. If Flashpoint is at the top of your budget then you can absolutely achieve beautiful photos with them! It took me five years of shooting weddings full-time to feel comfortable spending this much money on flashes but I have absolutely no regrets! They make my life so much easier. Here’s just an overview:
Menu system: Without reading the manual, I had the Sony flashes paired and ready in two minutes. Now I’m even faster! The menu could not be simpler. On a wedding day this translates into more photos, less stress, easy night time photos, super speed and creativity. The Flashpoint setup was another story- it’s baffling and the menu might as well be in another language it’s so confusing. Flashpoint fans agree- the terrible menu system takes some “getting used to”. Flashpoint critics also agree- that shit needs to be totally reworked, ya’ll. ::side eye to Flashpoint HQ::
Build quality: Sony just feels better. They’re sturdy, moisture resistant and they secure with a satisfying switch and lock (no more turn-dial). The buttons are silent, the bounce card never sticks and the build quality is exceptional.
Cobra head: The F60RM moves smoothly in every direction, allowing you to position them faster than the stiff and more limited Flashpoint or Yongnuo units. Better flexibility, quicker photos. Sony offers no compromises, which is great because I never liked compromises anyway.
Video light: The F60RM has integrated dimmable video lights. They’re useful for adding sparkle to ring photos or lighting a night portrait to get your focus just right. Menu>Video light>On. It’s that simple. The dial adjusts it and one touch turns the light off.
AA batteries: Yes, this is a win!! Many have said that the Flashpoint/Godox battery-pack is better but I just plain ol’ disagree. The Eneelop Pro batteries last for an entire wedding and 5 hour reception with life to spare and my flashes fire 100% of the time. Honestly, we all have to charge batteries and we all have to carry them around in our bags. My batteries can also be picked up at the nearest gas station, though. When you’re dealing with weddings, backup plans are always a good idea.
TTL: I tested all the flashes and the Sony F45 and F60RM are the only two flashes that gave me clean lighting and completely reliable TTL. The Flashpoint gave me orange and red images, less light than I needed and were generally unreliable. To be honest, I was frustrated with them and couldn’t see a place for them in my workflow. It’s Sony all the way for me!
Overall, the Sony are leagues beyond in menu system and intuitive use. They work beautifully, they communicate with other Sony flashes instantly and they make me feel like Sony thought of everything. Even the padded case they come in fits the MagGrip! I don’t have to take the beast off of my flashes to store them! Anyone who uses MagMods knows how hard that thing is to get on.
In the end, as long as you’re okay with the price tag (and using round batteries instead of square ones) Sony is the clear winner and Flashpoint remains a great option for somebody on a tighter budget who is willing to put the work in to learn them.
Feel free to leave questions or helpful comments below!
For reference, here’s a line up of everything I have owned and tested: Metz TTL flashes, Yongnuo 560’s, Cactus triggers, Alien Bees and Paul C Buff wireless system, the entire Flashpoint system (aka Godox) up to the AD200’s and the XPLOR 600, Minolta 5600HS, multiple Sony flashes including HVL-F42, HVL-F43, HVL-F45, HVL-F60M and now five of the HVL-F60RM along with wireless commander unit. All of these have been used at weddings except for the Flashpoint system.