What flash to pair with an A6400?

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FowlersFreeTime

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I think the time has come for me to embrace flash photography. I have been resisting and instead relying on wider apertures and photoshop editing, but its just not enough. I'll attach some examples from a recent birthday party I was taking pictures at. No flash and mixed lighting conditions indoors meant I had to embrace higher ISO than I normally would and lift more shadows in post (so time consuming!).

DSC07118_crop_5x7.jpg
^that's me on the right btw. I set camera to aperture priority and had my cousin take that photo.

DSC07085.jpg
The venue had a big window on one side, but the rest of the lights were either lights like you see in the background here^ or recessed can lights, giving everyone dark eye shadow effects.

What would you recommend for a modest flash setup? I'm looking for something I can chuck in a small camera bag along with my camera and (most likely) the same Tamron 17-70 lens.
 

BooBoo78654

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I use a Sony HVL-F32M with my a6000 and a6600 Sony 16-50. It's easy to carry and does a great job in TTL. Other flashes I looked at were too big and heavy for my requirements.
 

FowlersFreeTime

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I use a Sony HVL-F32M with my a6000 and a6600 Sony 16-50. It's easy to carry and does a great job in TTL. Other flashes I looked at were too big and heavy for my requirements.
I saw it on Tim's list of a6400 accessories but wasn't sure it was worth the price. I DO like that is seems to be quite compact.
 

BooBoo78654

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I bought mine used in mint condition for 1/2 the price of a new one. Weight and size were primary considerations for me because I travel a lot. I use mine for portraits using bounce mode.
 
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Reciprocum

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Godox v860ii is a great entry flash with tons of potential to grow as master unit for wireless multi-strobe setups (rim light, hair light, backdrop light etc) or to become your first OCF by just adding a radio trigger. But the 1/160 x-sync speed of your a6400 will be more of a limitation (still lots of ambient light coming trough) on a multi-strobe setup than the strobes you will use with it.

Godox hardware are much cheaper than Sony/Cannon/Nikon flashes too.

I started with v860ii then added a radio trigger and an AD200, AD300PRO, QT400 and QT600II.

Today, if suggesting a friend a two-light minimalistic setup, I would advice only the v860ii and one AD300
 

FowlersFreeTime

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A good suggestion and I like that it is rechargeable.
Is 1/160 the fastest exposure I can use with a flash on my camera? Sorry this is all new to me.
 

Reciprocum

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A good suggestion and I like that it is rechargeable.
Is 1/160 the fastest exposure I can use with a flash on my camera? Sorry this is all new to me.
If the flash you use is not HSS (high speed sync) capable then the answer is Y, the v860iI is HSS capable so you can go above 1/160 with it. But the faster you go into HSS territory the less power you will get out of your flash unit. On a totally darkened studio with a black background you can even freeze a jumping subject at 1/160 because is the flash duration that becomes the true shutter speed. And speed lights have earned that name because they do offer extremely short (1/2000 or shorter) flash durations ( my QT600 does 1/32000).
HSS comes into play outdoors shooting sunset backlit subject, where you still need to shoot 1/500 or more but want to fill the shaded side of the subject with some flash fill light.
 
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Reciprocum

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ahh thank you for the explanation!
This is the typical situation where you want your flash to support HSS: 1/160 would still let too much light in or force you to stop down and loose the blurred background effect. Using a radio trigger is also very usefull to be able to place your flash off camera axis and provide some side shade that adds to the depth.

Edit: this was done with the AD200 (200w) as v860ii's 60w would already be way to weak to "fight-the-sun" in HSS mode at 1/5000s.

SurfBoys-7M3_13745b M_.jpg


And an example of freezing motion with the short flash duration (1/250 shutter, the max x-sync of A7M3 would not have been enough by itself).
Pushing the shutter above 1/250 into HSS would have cut the available flash power and force to open diafragm (loosing DOF and sharpness) or raise ISO.
FAL-4y-7M3_36749-Preview_m.jpg

Edit2: sometimes you want to use HSS flash even in bright outdoors, just to darken the ambient/sky. The more powerfull the flash the more darkening of the sky you can get. A1's 1/400 x-sync speed helps alot because it delays the time were you have to kick in into HSS mode and hence maximizes the (non-HSS) situations where your flash can deliver 100% of the light it is capable of producing.
FAL-3y-7M3_21097-Archive_m.jpg
 
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Reciprocum

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Afonso Santos
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A good suggestion and I like that it is rechargeable.
Is 1/160 the fastest exposure I can use with a flash on my camera? Sorry this is all new to me.
Make that suggestion the "v860iii", a bit of power increase and few more features than the "v860ii"
Now I want my v860ii to have an "accident" ...
 

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