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A6500 (or A6300) External Flash Recommendation

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I have an A6500 and 18-200 Sony SLE18200LE lens coming and I am looking to understand any recommendation on external flashes.  My expectation is with the 18-200 lens length, using the on-camera flash likely will experience some shadows, and when the existing camera flash is not powerful enough, it would be good to have a larger flash available even if I am able to get some descent  shots. I have read about the Nissin i40 and my initial impressions is that I don't like it does not lay flat when folded out for storage and having manual dials vs LCD on the back.  Based upon some you tube videos, the i40 seems a little non-friendly to adjust.


I have not used a remote flash before, but if something is wireless, I could see the advantages of using that type of setup for some use, but it likely would not have to be a required feature as a non-professional, I think most of my use would be indoor family photos.


Sony has  four different flashes, and a couple of the larger (as most expensive) seems to be way over sized for the smaller footprint of the A6500.  Any first hand experience on existing setups would be appreciated.

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I shoot with an A7II but have played around with the A6300 a couple of times. If you're just interested in family snaps and the like and are looking for a bit more power than the built in flash, I suggest you take a look at Sony's basic HVL-F20M https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/925703-REG/sony_hvl_f20m_external_flash.html

It'll give you more power and the options to bounce flash off the ceiling and choose between wide and normal spread. It also folds down (off position) when on camera to reduce the overall size. Of course nothing is perfect... it takes AAA batteries so you'll only get 80 odd shots per set of two batteries; there is no on/off switch - you turn it on/off by folding/unfolding it; it can be accidentally switched on in your camera bag and drain your batteries if you don't remove them after each use and the build quality seem cheap.

I personally have it in my camera bag all the time for situations when I might need some fill and don't have my larger Minolta, Sony or Godox flashes on hand. Takes up very little room and comes in handy when I'm traveling light. I also carry four AAA Eneloop rechargeables.


With respect to something larger and off-camera functionality I'm really happy with my Godox flashes, nice bang for the buck! Something like the TT685 would be similar to the size of the larger Sony's you referred to, a little unbalanced on the A6500 to say the least. Using it off-camera with the wireless transmitter would be comfortably manageable on the A6xxx cameras. Godox apparently is coming out with a smaller (wireless ready) flash in the new year that may be more in line with your A6500. You may want to keep an eye out for it.


Just my suggestions, I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts / experience.


Best of luck with whatever way you go.



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As I mentioned in another post, I did a lot of research and went with the F43M. (NOT the F43AM)


It's not Sony's most expensive flash but it is the BEST!


I've used it on the A7, A6000, and A77ii. Its performance, is outstanding, and offers every feature you could ever want.


I've pushed it really really hard and the only time I ever got an over heating issue was after 3 HOURS of non stop shooting. I swapped out the hot batteries for cool ones and it went right back to working. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

At this time, I purchased the Nissin i40 primarily due to its smaller size and being more balanced with the A6500.  I am not overily impressed with two features on this flash though: that the flash cannot lay flat for storage and the amount of high pitched noise the internal flash mechanism makes during zoom movements (as compared to my Nikon Speedlite).  With that said, the great used price I paid for it, I will keep it until a better option exists.  Beside the entry level Sony flash (I think the FLVM 20 or similar) all of Sony's other flashes are much larger and expensive.  The Gotox looks interesting when it comes available, but with only 2AA batteries for source, not sure what the recharge and longevity will be compared to the 4 battery Nissin i40 I have now.

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  • 2 months later...

So how big is "too big" for the a6500?
I"m thinking of getting a large Flashpoint Zoom li-ion,  since it has so many great features - and power, but is it way too big ya think?  (for certain situations, like shooting events,)


I currently have the Nissin i40, which I dig (I can lay it flat!), and it's 4xAA's power, but it doesn't have laser focus assist (or work with diffusers that I already have for my Canon 580ex that will work with the Flashpoint)
I have the F20 Sony as well,.. got it first, which I kinda regret, not sure if I'll really use it for much since I have the i40.

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