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Flash trigger for A7iii with Sony HVL-F46RM flash?

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I need to buy a flash trigger so that I can use my Sony HVL-F46RM flashgun off-camera with my Sony A76iii.

From what I can gather my only option is the rather expensive Sony FA-WRC1M that cost around £265 in the UK at the cheapest.

I’m not fussed about having full control from the trigger on camera, happy to walk back to the actual flashgun to change settings then walk back to camera to take photo. I’ll. Be working in full manual outdoors so don’t need TTL or any other sort of control, just something that will fire the flash when it is off camera.

Needs to be Sony A7iii compatible though, course, but just not the Sony one as I only paid £200 for the flash used, boxed, hardly used so spending £265 on the remote is nuts. There must be a cheaper option given I don’t need any fancy controls or features.

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Sony HVL-F28RM, HVL-F45RM or HVL-F60RM can be used as triggers too. So does your 46RM to control the before mentioned models. Finding a used one could make the $ pill easier to digest.


Some people appear to have satisfaction with the Godox system but i am not familiar with it.

There used to be more independent makers of remote systems like Phottix Odin but they are now difficult to find and since they were made in the era of the iISO hot shoe, they would require an adapter to fit the MIS shoe flash units, but it does work

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1 hour ago, michelb said:

"Sony HVL-F28RM, HVL-F45RM or HVL-F60RM can be used as triggers too. So does your 46RM to control the before mentioned models. Finding a used one could make the $ pill easier to digest."

That's an interesting idea, michelb. Don't suppose you know what the cheapest Sony flash is that I could use as a trigger, would the HVL-F20M work? Also, when you say trigger, you don't mean the unit on the camera has to actually flash to trigger the off camera one do you? 


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It used to be that the HVL-F20M (and AM version) could trigger WL flash but back then this would work for the optical WL system that appears (without notice from Sony) to have been phased out after they introduced  the radio WL system.


To summarize, and please pay attention to the full designation of each flash model since some may be attractive but may also have much lower features and compatibility.

There are 3 different protocols to control WL flash on Sony bodies:

- The original optical Minolta WL flash protocol that was introduced in 1991 that uses either a built-in flash or a control flash on the body to provide the WL commands of ready/trigger/stop. This same system was adopted with the initial Sony bodies after they bought out the Minolta camera division in 2006. Sony calls this protocol Ctrl in the options menus of some of its more recent flash units. Models from that era by Sony all end up with the letters AM.

- Sony updated this WL protocol around 2008 that provide with the more advanced flash units as a controller, the possibility to control 3 groups of flash units specifying separate lighting ratios for each group (group 1 being the on body flash and the possibility of assigning the more recent flash units to either group 2 or group 3. This is called Ctrl+ in the options menu of these flash units. Here some models have their number end by AM and other with only M ( M is for the new MIS shoe that was developed to allow other accessories like microphones for video in the hot shoe

- More recently, Sony developed its own Radio control flash system after seeing the Phottix Odin, Pixel Soldier and other brands of radio controlled WL triggers. So you know about the Transmitter and receivers but some flash units also have both the capacity to either control of be triggered by radio control. These flash units have their model name end with RM.


the optical WL capable flash units are:

-HVL-F20M (or 20AM with adapter for MIS shoe bodies) as basic wireless controller (all flashes will be fired with no provision to create groups with different ratio for each group)

- HVL-F32M can also be used as a basic WL controller or WL receiver

-HVL-F36AM ( or Minolta 3600HS(D) can be used only as a WL receiver and not intermixed with the Sony WL protocol (Ctrl+)

-HVL-F42AM can be used only as a WL receiver and not intermixed with the Sony WL protocol (Ctrl+)

- HVL-F43M (or 43AM with shoe adapter) can be used as an advanced WL controller (Ctrl+) letting you choose a different lighting ratio for up to 3 groups ( on body flash, group 1 of WL flashes, group2 of WL flashes) or as a WL receiver.

- HVL-F56AM (or Minolta 5600 HS(D)has features similar to the HVL-F36AM plus Bounce AND Tilt head and Manual power level control

- HVL-F58AM ( with shoe adapter for MIS shoe bodies) has same WL features as HVL-F43M or 43AM

- HVL-F60M has same WL features as HVL-F43M or 43AM


When they introduced the Radio remote system, they introduced new flash units that had both optical WL AND WL radio capabilities (only one can operate at any given time)

The radio and Optical WL flash units are:

- HVL-F45RM that has features similar to the HVL-F43M but adds the capability to be used as both a radio WL controller or and optical WL controller. When this was introduced, it broke the optical WL capability with the HVL-F36AM, F42AM and F56AM so your WL receiving flash units need to be HVL-F43M (or AM in Ctrl+ mode), HVL-F58AM (also in Ctrl+ mode) or HVL-F60M (also in Ctrl+ mode)

- HVL-F60RM which has similar possibilities as the above HVL-F45RM and same limitations with the older flash units


Later the flash line-up was updated (?) but all lost the capability of using the optical WL system in place since Minolta invented that in 1991.

These radio only flash units are:




And these can control flashes whose model number ends with RM and should you go to the Sony WL receivers to install a Sony flacon them, the flashes that will offer full features with those are limited to the HVL-F43M (NO AM compatibility here) and HVL-F60M.

Please also note that the Radio control WL system is not compatible with all Sony bodies. Some older bodies do not have the necessary firmware to operate those. I think the compatibility started with the A7M2 and A6500. Anything older than those models will just tell you you installed an incompatible accessory in the hot shoe.


To read more on this i recommend this web page that can direct yo to 4 main topics relating to Minolta/Sony flash usage:




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