DigitalCameraReview.com
New pro-grade Sony flash coming in September
by David Rasnake -  6/19/2008

In anticipation of its forthcoming full-frame professional DSLR, Sony has announced specs on a new high-end flash unit, the Sony HVL-F58AM.

Sony HVL-F58AM

The most noteworthy feature of the new unit (which supersedes the current F56AM) is its Quick Shift Bounce head technology. The arrangement allows the flash head to pivot 90 degrees in either direction along the horizontal axis, positioning the head in an idea location for portrait-orientation shooting.

A larger LCD makes controlling on-unit functions easier than with previous Sony flashes. A zooming head adjusts the flash beam correctly to the lens's field of view, based on data collected through communication with the camera body. Field-of-view differences between APS-C and full-frame DSLRs are also supported, further suggesting this unit's anticipation of Sony's forthcoming full-frame pro DSLR.

Sony is the latest manufacturer to update wireless flash control protocols for its new strobe units. Up to three groups of F58AMs can be controlled wirelessly, allowing automatic power ratio control between multiple light sources.

A guide number of 58 at 105mm/ISO 100 provides more power than its predecessor. Faster recycle times are promised as well from the F58AM, which draws power from four AA batteries. High-speed sync is supported up to 1/4000.

The F58AM should be available for purchase in September. Expect a retail price somewhere around $500.