Though presenting solid attributes like an astounding 0.6 recycle time, a power range extending to 1/256, and a 60m guide number at ISO 100, the Sony A7 has an insane price and flash that could be better. Take advantage of our best flash for Sony A7 reviews to pair this camera with superb alternatives without emptying your wallet.
Taking substantial time to scrutinize numerous flashes for the Sony A7 was definitely worth it. Below is an in-depth analysis with comparison to make picking your best flash for Sony A7 easy.
Enticing with its attractive guide number of 60m at ISO 100, the Godox V860II-S makes it to the top of our list. Thanks to having the highest guide number on our list, the unit ensures adequate exposure irrespective of lens aperture settings and quick recycle times.
It may not be the fastest flash in recycling speed that you can attach to your Sony A7. Delivering a 1.5-second performance at full power, though, it still is a highly desirable operation for even event photography and our fastest choice.
Tilting through -7 to 90 degrees upwards and all directions sideways also leads our top picks in terms of the range of flexibility. This range of movement allows you to reposition it fast when you need to bounce to illuminate your subject.
It is one of the first flashes to incorporate a rechargeable removable lithium-ion battery. What do you get out of this?
Extended battery time ensures you can use it in lengthy shooting sessions, something event photographers appreciate. Even on a 12-hour shooting session, it’s almost impossible to empty the battery unless running on TTL in a dark setting the entire time.
Added to its outstanding battery resilience, the unit comes with overheat protection. You get a consistent performance the whole while without worrying about something frying in the process.
Able to support both TTL for automatic intensity calculation and manual mode, the flash allows you to pick suitable performance in any situation.
Sony flashes take things a notch higher in build quality by incorporating more metal in the hot shoes. While the Godox V860II-S may not have this level of sturdiness, it still has a fantastic design. Our main issue with it is the slightly high-end price.
What we appreciate most about the Godox Thinklite TT685S is how affordable it is compared to the Godox V860II-S and still has many resembling features like TTL mode.
Like our top choice for the Sony A7, it has the same guide number of 60m at ISO 100. That means you can achieve the same amount of exposure which is highly convenient when shooting far-off subjects.
Recycle times are a little slower than the Godox V860II-S. At peak performance, it takes the flash 2.6 seconds to be ready to flare. Though not that fast, the level is still suitable for hasty situations than the MEIKE 320S that almost doubles the rate.
The range of flexibility is also similar to the Godox V860II-S. It can rotate through 360 degrees sideways and -7 to 90 degrees upwards, hence ideal for fast bounce illumination.
What the Godox Thinklite TT685S beats the Godox V860II-S in besides the pricing is the weight. At 410g, it is 20g lighter than the former flash. While appreciable, the slight difference in weight won’t provide you with a noticeable difference in the quickness of your hand’s exertion.
The build quality is similar to the Godox V860II-S, with only a slight difference in the battery compartments. Like the former Godox flash, it comes with multiple accessories to enhance your lighting conditions. You get numerous color correction gels with velcro straps for attachment and a diffuser.
It has a multi-interface shoe that doesn’t automatically lockdown when you attach it to the hot shoe. It is, however, nothing to complain much about.
The Neewer NW635 comes at a similar price as the MEIKE 320S. Though both are the most affordable options we included, the Neewer NW635 offers better value for money, making it our best budget pick.
As expected, it won’t offer you the same level of performance as our top two picks. Some of the features like recycle times pale compared to the top options. It takes 3.5 seconds to recharge, a feature that may not favor quick action capture. Architecture, real estate, or portrait photographers may not have a big issue, though.
Like all our top flashes for Sony A7 cameras, the unit comes with a -7 to 90-degree horizontal tilting capacity. Its sideways adjustability is a tad less than our Godox options, though 270 degrees is still commendable.
While not as powerful as our first two flashes, its 58m guide distance at ISO 100 is quite mind-blowing. Considering how cheap the flash goes for, illuminating subjects far off is a crucial addition to the unit.
The construction is excellent and similar to the Godox Thinklite TT685S in terms of the battery compartment. It, however, comes with fewer buttons which may make usage simpler.
Its inclusion of an external diffuser to smooth the light is commendable at this price point. You also get a sturdy carrying case in the mildly-decorated packaging to ensure minimal pricing.
Our biggest complaint on the Neewer NW635 is just how heavy the unit is, especially when you have to shoot a 12-hour event. At 694g, it is the heaviest flash on our list, so you may consider using your Sony A7 on a tripod with it attached or off-camera as a slave flash.
The MEIKE 320S is another excellent flash for your Sony A7 if you like affordable accessories.
Its most noticeable advantage besides affordability is how small it is than the rest of the options. If you need something that takes as little space as possible in your bag, this might be your best option.
Another of its benefits is how light the unit weighs. At only 150g, it is over four times as light as the similar-priced Neewer NW635. If you have many busy shooting days, this compact and light mass flash is a convenient asset to pair with your Sony A7.
While delivering a good performance, much of its operation is a ton down from the rest of our best options. The degree of movement, for instance, is noticeably lower. You get the same range of vertical adjustability.
Sideways tilting at 150 degrees in the least horizontal flexibility on the list. While not much of an issue, it limits the level of position you can achieve with it.
We appreciate the inclusion of TTL mode even at this operation. Gurus may not be too fond of the automation, though, for newbies or when shooting something like gymnastics, the function is most welcome.
Its guide distance of 32m at ISO 100 is the least on our list. The flash may not illuminate objects very far, though illuminating house interiors or portrait photography is just as superb as you would get with a higher guide number.
What we least admired, though, is the extra-long recycle time. Waiting for five seconds before the flash is ready to fire is such an extended period. This flash, while being affordable, is not a great budget option for capturing fast-changing scenes like dancing sessions at full power.
For a relatively affordable flash for Sony a7 that can overcome some of the challenges of the MEIKE 320S, consider the Yongnuo YN560 IV. It may be a little more expensive than our cheapest options, though with reasonable better performance.
Infused with powerful components to enable the right exposure of subjects 58m aways, the flash performs impeccably when you need much lighting.
Its guide distance isn’t the only similarity with the more affordable Neewer NW635. You also get a similar range of movement both vertically and horizontally. Bouncing its lighting from the numerous positions you have access to allows you to tweak your conditions for the perfect illumination.
We especially liked the faster recycle duration. Though not the fastest on our list, its 3.0 recharge time at full power is much better than our cheapest options. The wait for the following exposure is, therefore, a bit bearable in averagely-paced situations.
Onto the dislikes, the Yongnuo YN560 IV is quite the tedious load to carry around all day. With its weight at 530g, it’s the second heaviest on the list. You may need to use it off your Sony A7 to avoid tiring your hands during busy shoots.
It also lacks TTL support making it challenging to adjust your settings during event photography quickly. To top it up, you may also find it a bit tough to use the controls at first.
It may not be the first option for newbies. Seasoned photographers may, however, appreciate the affordability, flexibility of the manual controls, and switching from a strobe to an ordinary flash.
Designed with various better features than the Neewer NW635, the Neewer NW400S seems a better choice for photographers interested in this brand.
You won’t fail to miss the 2.2-second maximum recycle time, the second-best on our list and only after the twice-as-expensive Godox V860II-S. That’s an immense feat, spending even lesser time waiting for your flash to fire than the pricier Godox Thinklite TT685S.
It tilts 270 degrees sideways and -7 to 90 degrees upwards like the Yongnuo YN560 IV and the Neewer NW635. You, therefore, can select a more appropriate position to direct your lighting than the less flexible MEIKE 320S. When trying to photograph objects that are in constant movement, the included TTL functioning is a savior.
While it uses two AA batteries, unlike alternatives like the Neewer NW635, with four, it still offers long-lasting performance. With the automatic shut off after 90 seconds attached or one hour as a slave, these batteries provide energy-saving operation.
It is not as compact as the MEIKE 320S though still small-sized and light, to ease handling it. The finish and construction are also good, with few easy-to-use buttons and an easily legible LCD with a red-backlight
Its guide distance of 36m at ISO 100 almost tails amongst our top options save for four meters. That makes it inconvenient when aiming for far-positioned subjects. The flash still covers a wide area and offers adequate exposure for portraiture, small to medium buildings, and more.
To get the most from your Sony A7, you should not only look out for the guide number of the flash, but also consider whether you’re choosing TTL or Manual, the weight on your hands, and the degree of rotation, among other features. Learning how to buy the right flash for your Sony A7 is based on understanding these features.
Typically, flashes get rated with guide numbers at ISO 100. The guide number indicates how far the flash can expose a subject. Picking a flash with a higher guide number means that you can capture images with your Sony A7 from a vast distance.
You should consider striking a balance between how much power you use versus how far you place your subjects. Shooting at full power drains your battery faster.
At ISO 100, here is how our top picks compare in terms of guide numbers:
All our top picks apart from the Yongnuo YN560 IV have TTL support. Is TTL support a crucial attribute?
Photographers who shoot still subjects such as real estate may not need TTL as much as event photographers. TTL mode automatically calculates the ideal lighting conditions for your flash to perform. That makes them essential in quick action and for beginners.
TTL may, however, have a bias when it comes to bright colors, lowering intensity that is necessary for your Sony A7 to picture the subject in well-balanced exposure.
Manual mode allows you to set the conditions more accurately once you know your way around. Note that TTL flashes come with manual mode allowing you to be flexible.
The recycle speed dictates how frequently your flash can fire. Recycle times are especially crucial if you photograph quick-adjusting subjects say sports, wildlife, or event photography. Landscape, architecture, portrait, real estate, and other reasonably static applications are alright with slower recharge speeds.
A notable aspect is that recycling speeds change depending on your power settings. Let’s say you use your flash at its lowest power; most units will be ready to fire again in 0.1 seconds.
The most crucial performance to look for, though, is how long it takes at maximum power. Say you were using the MEIKE 320S on your Sony A7 to capture quickly-unfolding events, you may be at a disadvantage.
What are the recycle times of our top picks for the Sony A7 at peak performance?
Depending on the flexibility of your work, you can pick an option that best suits you, though the Godox V860II-S is perfect for almost all situations. It is vital to pick manufacturer-recommended batteries to achieve the expected recycle speed performance.
How heavy a flash is may not make much of a difference during short sessions or when using a tripod. For event photographers though moving about often to get the juiciest details, the weight of your flash is something worth considering.
Let’s assume you paired the Neewer NW635 with your Sony A7. Combined, the total weight of the camera and the flash are at 1168g. Add a lens on top at, say, 500g, and the total weight goes beyond 1.5kg. That’s excess weight to carry around in a 12-hour event shoot.
You can also decide to use a lighter flash on your Sony A7 and have the heavier flashes serve you off-camera.
Here is a recap of what weight you’ll be adding to your Sony a7 with our top selections:
Hot shoe flashes are excellent because of the ease of bouncing them. Not all hot shoe flashes come with bounce abilities, though. As you pick a flash to attach to your Sony A7, looking at the tilt range is crucial before purchasing.
The rotational extent of a flash head determines the diversity of your options for bouncing. Ensure the flash you pick can point upwards as well as adjust and face both left and right, given these are the directions you’ll likely often use.
How flexible are our reviewed flashes for Sony A7?
|Godox V860II-S||0 to 360 degrees||-7 to 90 degrees|
|Godox Thinklite TT685S||0 to 360 degrees||-7 to 90 degrees|
|Neewer NW635||270 degrees||-7 to 90 degrees|
|MEIKE 320S||150 degrees||-7 to 90 degrees|
|Yongnuo YN560 IV||270 degrees||-7 to 90 degrees|
|Neewer NW400S||270 degrees||-7 to 90 degrees|
Is there any more you need to find out amongst our top flashes for the Sony A7? Spanning different prices and a diverse range of features, we believe our all-inclusive list has something that meets your expectations.