Quick Look at the Sony HVL-F60M Flash with LED Video Lights

Sony has started releasing cameras and flashes with hot shoes that abandon the previous proprietary Minolta-style hot shoe which means the Sony HVL-F60 pairs well with the NEX line, the RX line, and the A99. This is also our first flash gun that is suitable for both photographers and videographers thanks to the inclusion of a mini LED panel on the flash head.


In addition to operating as a normal flash, the Sony HVL-F60M sports a mini LED panel with 15 levels of brightness. It turns on with a simple “Light” button right next to it.


Adjusting the LED power is painfully simple – simply scroll up and down with the omni wheel.


The interface for normal flash function is pretty nice, too.


The body of the flash pivots 90º to either side.


This is my Mogwai on break enjoying his root beer. These were all shot on the A99: 60mm focal length, f/2.8, 1/80th of a second, and ISO 800. I was about 2.5 feet away from him using the LED. 1200 lux is achievable at nearly 2 feet, 300 at 1 meter. It will last about 1 hour on 4 AA batteries.


  • Versatility. Even if you aren’t a videographer, the LED option is neat. It can replicate small window light and is easy enough for a complete lighting neophyte.
  • Menus are bright and easy to navigate/read.
  • Accepts an off-camera cable and external battery pack.
  • Built-in bounce, high-speed sync option (up to 1/2000th), TTL.
  • Can be optically fired from your camera’s built in flash and the HVL-F60M can, in turn, fire other flashes.


  • No PC sync cable port.
  • It’s kind of huge.
  • The tilting is in clicks of 90º, 60º, 45º, and 30º and not in between.
  • Can’t be used on your older Minolta-style hot shoes unless you have an adapter. Check this compatibility chart for more info.
  • The off-camera cable and external battery pack ports are only compatible with Sony’s FA-CC1AM and FA-EB1AM, respectively.

We’d recommend this flash for any Sony user, especially if you have been looking for something powerful for the little NEX or RX cameras. For the video users, the specs on the LED indicate that you can light your subject at about 6′ away on ISO 3200 and f/5.6. Just how WELL it lights your subject at that distance is uncertain and probably up to personal taste/artistic vision. Rent it and tell us your findings!

Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. See her lighting tutorials here. She is a Marketing Associate Manager at BorrowLenses.com. She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. Before focusing on studio portraiture, she shot motorsports for X-Games, World Rally Cross, and Formula Drift. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.

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BorrowLenses is an online camera gear rental service that started in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007. We offer a wide selection of camera gear ranging from camera bodies, lenses, lighting and accessories. We make it easy to rent gear by shipping your order straight to you.