Sony has just announced their “flagship flash unit” the HLV-F58AM. You can’t buy yet, but it will be on dealer shelves in September.
We knew it was coming, but details were rather sparse. Now we know the new flash unit will have a guide number of 58 (when the head is zoomed out to 105mm).
Speaking of the zoom flash head, the new flash knows whether it is illuminating a full frame sensor (think Alpha A900) or a APS-C size sensor and will zoom accordingly.
The big display on the back looks easy to read, and there is a mini joy stick controller to change settings. Naturally it offers TTL, HSS and ADI, as well as manual settings. Sony says the High Speed Sync on the HLV-F58AM can use shutter speed os /500 to 1/4000 second.
The HLV-F58AM features Sony’s new quick shift bounce feature, which allows the entire body of the flash to orbit like a fan to the left and right, in addition to the usual bounce and swivel capabilities.
The flash also includes a modeling light and a stroboscopic setting that will fire multiple times during an exposure, creating an in-camera multiple exposure of moving subjects.
Sony also claims the new unit will recharge 55% more quickly than the older HLV-F56AM. There is also a claim that the electronic whine has been done away with. Sony apparently thinks that is a good thing, but I always relied on that high-pitched whine to know my flash was charging properly. I guess I will get used to it, but to me, that whine was a feature, not a bug!
Like all Sony flashes the HLV-F58AM supports wireless flash — and apparently it can serve as a controller as well as a slave. (More on that next time.)
Finally, Sony has also announced the price. Earlier this week I brought you news that the price of the older HLV-F36AM flash unit dropped to $199. Sony gives and takes it seems. The new flagship flash will be priced at $500 — not outrageous for a flash with all these capabilities — but much higher than the HLV-F56AM.