HVL-F42AM Physical

by mohd sulhan

Physical & Handling
– How the flash felt in the hands

The HVL-F42AM is one of the latest flash in the Alpha-Mount DSLR system. Here in this review, I compared the HVL-F42AM against the HVL-F56AM which was previously the highest spec’ed flash in the alpha mount system.

Physically, this flash is obviously smaller as compared to the higher powered HVL-F56AM.


Fig. 1 – The two flashes side by side (Front View)

Weighing at 340g without batteries, it’s slightly lighter than the HVL-F56AM /5600H(D) which weighs 370g probably due to the smaller motorized flash head module and less the LCD module. It could be seen here fully straightened side by side comparison of the two flashes.


Fig. 2 – The two flashes side by side (Rear View)

Its height is about 20mm shorter in overall length. Due to its smaller size, putting the flash on and off the camera feels a little easier then the HVL-F56AM.


Fig. 3- The two flashes side by side (Side Angled View – Left)

The HVL-F42AM is slightly “slimmer” in its main body thickness and this helps in better holding in one’s palm too (fits better on my Asian hands –  for me at least).

The flash mount release button is now slightly wider rectangular shaped and it felt better when pressed.  On the left side of the HVL-F42AM, there is only the flash mount release button and nothing else. Clean and simple.

Battery Compartment:

Fig. 4 – The two flashes side by side (Side Angled View – Right)

On the right side of the flash is the battery door.  Sony redesigned the battery compartment and door of the HVL-F42AM and have it slide downwards and up to open.  As compared to the HVL-F56AM and the HVL-F36AM which have a door that slides downwards and outwards. The disadvantage that I personally experience here is the need to hold up the battery door on the HVL-F42AM as you load the batteries – as the door swings downwards.  For the previous design, it opens like a book and stays open while you load the batteries.  Just a personal thought.
Flip-Out Wide Angle Diffuser

Fig. 5 –  Wide Angle Adapter (Rear View )

One improvement that is present here is the in-build Wide angle Flash diffuser on the HVL-F42AM. This little piece of wide angle diffuser comes as a separate piece on the HVL-F36AM. Many users loose this important piece of item. Great that on the HVL-F42AM they have implemented it similar to the HVL-F56AM.  Also to highlight that the Off-Camera Flash “Feet” is still used here in the newer flash.

That’s basically the short overview of the flash physically. And next we’ll look into the User Interface of the flash.

Next:HVL-F42AM User Interface 1

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