I'm shopping for some used flashes, and I'm curious the subtle difference between a couple of models that come up in search hits.

Sony HVL-F43M
Sony HVL-F43AM
Sony HVL-F32M
Sony HVL-F42AM

Here's a closeup example of some labeling differences, maybe it's just a regional thing? What's the significance of the M vs AM Sony HVL F43AM vs F43M


The older AM models had the iISO/Auto-lock foot that preceded the Multi-Interface foot and shoe. Minolta introduced it in 1988 and Sony continued with it on some (but not all) of their cameras until 2012. Some cameras that used the auto-lock shoe were the α33, α55, α58, and NEX 7. Some people called it the "reversed" hotshoe.

Pictured below is a camera shoe with which the AM model flashes are compatible.

iISO shoe

The newer M models have feet for the Sony Multi Interface Shoe (MI or MI S). Sony cameras since 2012 use this shoe.

MI shoe

There are adapters available from Sony that allow using flashes with one foot with cameras with the other shoe. Any automatic capability of the flash is maintained. ADP-MAA allows one to attach an iISO flash to a Multi Interface camera/shoe. ADP-AMA allows one to attach a Multi Interface flash to an iISO camera/shoe.

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The "M" model is newer and is designed to work with Sony's "Multi Interface Shoe", which is a proprietary hotshoe design Sony came out with in 2012. So the "M" designation probably relates to that.

There is a side-by-side comparison of the F43M and AM models on B&H's site here. The AM models seem to be discontinued and the M models are much more full-featured units.

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