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Most recently, I was looking for a compact flash for my Sony a7 III as it can be useful in various situations, for example, to get a more balanced color during daylight or as a controller for other flashlights. I created a list of my flash units which I would consider to buy (have not tested them).
Compact Flash comparison table
|Flash / Video Light||Weight|
|Manfrotto Lumimuse 8||177 grams / 6.2 oz.|
|Nissin i40S||205 grams / 7.2 oz.|
|Metz M360||221 grams / 7.8 oz.|
|Aputure F7 (my personal choice)||260 grams / 9.17 oz.|
|Aputure AL-MX||280 grams / 9.87 oz.|
|Sony HVL-F45RM||318 grams / 11.2 oz.|
|Godox TT685S HSS 1||410 grams / 14 oz.|
|LimoStudio 160||700 grams / 24.7 oz.|
|Neewer CN-160||1050 grams / 37 oz.|
weight: 318 grams / 11.2 oz.
recycling time: 2.5 sec.
batteries: 4 AA
The Sony HVL-F45RM is probably the first choice if you have already a Sony camera. It can operate as a radio wireless receiver or commander beside sitting on your camera. Further, it can wirelessly support 15 units and comes with a dot-matrix LCD. The flash can also be tilt from -8 to 150° and rotates left and right to 180°. The output of the flash is 400 lux and is dust- and moisture resistant.
You can get the Sony HVL-F45RM on Amazon.
The Aputure AL-MX is the smallest camera light from Aputure and offers a 30% boost kick over 60 seconds interval if you are when you might need more light for a shorter period. One benefit of this light is that I can charge it through is USB port which might come handy especially if you have a USB Power Bank with you.
The video light comes with 128 LEDs, has a beam angle of 120 degrees and a color temperature range from 2800K to 6500K. However, if you need a more versatile light, then I would rather recommend the Aputure F7 over this light even so it weights more.
You can buy the Aputure AL-MX on Amazon.
The Aputure F7 is the light that I am using myself. Similar to the Aputure AL-MX I can charge it through its USB port. You can also power it with a Sony NP-F battery attached to its back. The F7 comes with 256 high-CRI led lights, has a beam angle of 45 degrees, and a color temperature range of 3200K-9500K. I can adjust the brightness of the F7 from 1 to 100%.
You can buy the Aputure F7 on Amazon.
weight: 205 grams / 7.2 oz.
recycling time: 0.1 – 4 sec.
batteries: 4 AA
Nissin i40 has a video light function which could be a great feature if you are a blogger. The flash also comes with a softbox, tilts upwards 90°, and left and right 180°. Further, the flash offers a manual zoom and a 24-105mm auto-zoom mode. It also comes with a Fill-in reflector and Light diffusing panel.
You can get the Nissin i40S on Amazon.
weight: 190 grams / 7.5 oz.
recycling time: 0.1 – 3.2 sec.
batteries: 2 AA
The Metz M360 has a zoom range of 24-105mm and comes with a video light function. The flash can rotate left and right 180° and features an OLED Display & Micro-USB Port. The flash can be operated wirelessly either in TTL or servo mode. There is also a reflector card built into the flash.
You can get the Metz M360 on Amazon.
Godox TT685S HSS 1
weight: 410 grams / 14 oz.
recycling time: 0.1 – 2.6 sec.
batteries: 4 AA
The Godox TT685S HSS 1 offers a zoom range of 20-200mm and comes with a built-in wireless radio system. The flash can output 230 full-power flashes with 2500mA Ni-MH batteries.
The flash is compatible with the Sony Wireless Lighting System and can operate as a slave or master unit. Further, it can also be controlled by Sony’s own flashes e.g. HVL-F43M and HVL-F32M.
The only limitation is that the Flash won’t offer the focus assistant.
You can get the Godox TT685S HSS 1 on Amazon.
The LimoStudio 160 comes with a 160 pcs LED continuous light and 4 color filters and a battery for video light and a charger. There is also a hardshell case included to keep the parts together and transport them safely.
You can get the LimoStudio 160 on Amazon.
weight: 242 grams / 8.57 oz.
batteries: AA Ni-MH or Alkaline battery
The Neewer CN-160 comes with 160 individual LEDs, 3 filters and is dimmable with a color temperature of 5600K.
You can get the Neewer CN-160 on Amazon.
Manfrotto LUMIMUSE 8 LED
The Manfrotto LUMIMUSE 8 LED is an ultra-portable LED light for vloggers and comes with a set of snap-fit filters which can be stored in a carrying case. Manfrotto also offers a set of filters that can be purchased additionally to the ones included with the LUMIMUSE 8. There is also a hot shoe mount and a 1/4″ thread to attach it to a tripod. The LED outputs a color temperature of 5600 K.
You can get the Manfrotto LUMIMUSE 8 LED on Amazon.