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hello i am new here and i was hoping I could get some help with a flash question. my wife is taking some classes to learn how to use her a290 better and is looking to upgrade her flash with a speedlight. can anyone recommend a good flash/speedlight with out breaking the bank. she is looking to do some portrait and general pics of kids. any help you could give would be great.

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A290 has the older Minolta/Sony shoe so on the used market, you could find:


Minolta 3600HS(D) which is the same as the Sony HVL-F36AM ( these usually go for about 100-125$ on the used market)

Minolta 5600HS(D) which is the same as the Sony HVL-F56AM ( these usually go for about 200-250$ on the used market)

Sony also made 3 other models that would fit but they would be in the 150$ + range: HVL-F42AM, HVL-F43AM, HVL-F58AM


If buying used, ensure that the flash comes with the little stand that can support it in wireless mode. The 3600/F36 also came with a wide angle diffuser


All of the above would fit directly on the hot shoe of the A290


Beware, Sony changed shoes for flashes in the last couple of years. It is now called MIS shoe and flash model numbers end with the letter M instead of AM.

All of these would fit but with an adapter


If your wife does not intend to do advanced manual flash, the Minolta 3600HS(D) /Sony HVL-F36AM provide plenty of power for most usage, can be used in Wireless mode by using the built-in flash of the camera as trigger and will also work in WL with present and possibly future Sony cameras.


Other brands of flash units were available but many have incompatibility issues between older/newer cameras and could be a gamble.

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