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Sunpak PZ42X flash quick review


Box and contents
LCD lit up, showing manual mode settings



Specifications and general information.




About $145

Tested on

Sony A580

In the box

Flash and multi-language instruction manual, that's it.

Build quality

Very good all around.

Hotshoe style

Sony proprietary type for this model, others available.

Guide number

42 (138') ISO 100, @105mm zoom position, and 34 (112') at 50mm zoom.

Guide number accuracy

Maximum output seems similar to other models with same rating.

LCD monitor

1.6" X .8" (40mm X 20mm).  No color.  Pushing the "light" button illuminates the screen in ruby red for about 10 seconds.  Displayed items include; flash range indicator, zoom position, TTL/Manual , Power ratio setting, exposure compensation ±1.5, digital (aps-c) or 35mm (full frame) mode, (WP) wide panel down indicator, and auto or manual zoom setting.

Lights and switches

On-off slider, test/charge button, lighted mode and select buttons.

Power source

4 AA, 1.5V

Recycle time

About 8-9 sec at 1/1, but will fire at reduced output in 3.5 seconds. 1/2 power recharge is almost instantaneous at reduced output, full output requires about 7 seconds.  1/4 power recharge almost instant at reduced output, full power requires about 5 seconds.  1/8 and lower is instantaneous at full output level.

Flash duration rating

Not rated.

Power saving function

Yes, after fifteen minutes it goes into sleep mode, but will never turn off completely; wakes up after pressing any button on flash, or the camera's shutter button, but wait for flash to charge before using.

Adjustable power levels

Seven full levels only; 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 and 1/64.

Wide angle diffuser type

Built-in, pulls out and down, see first product shot, covers 20mm, (13mm APS-C) and shows on LCD when attached (WP).

Bounce card or reflector plate

Not included.

Bounce positions

45°, 60°, 75°, and 90°.

Swivel positions

Left, 180°- right, 120°.

Zoom positions

Full frame: 20mm with diffuser, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm and 105mm.  APS-C: 13mm with diffuser, 16mm, 19mm, 24mm, 34mm, 48mm, 58mm, and 70mm.  Will show many in-between lengths not listed in auto mode.

Zoom type

Internal, and fully automatic in auto mode.

Auto format zoom

Yes, but you have to manually select "35mm" or "digital" mode; "digital" means APS-C.

AF assist beam

Yes, red, works properly.

Custom functions

None listed.



White balance info


Modeling flash


Multi-flash emission


High speed sync

No support.

Wireless ability

None with Sony.

Sony ADI support


Red eye reduction

No, only works with other brands, not supported by Sony.


2.6"W x 6.5H x 2.2D   65mm x 165mm x 57mm   Maximum length 6.5" (165mm) including shoe mount.  Length and depth measured with flash flat.


8.8oz (249g) without batteries, 12.5oz (354g) with batteries.

Operating temp

0°-40°C,  32°-104°F


Will not work with Radiopoppers™ triggers with Sony cable adapter, and won't work well at all with Sony live-view mode.  


Doesn't function correctly (and is not usable) in Sony's live view mode; seems to default to full power blast for all shots.  Tested on Sony A580, but may work properly with other brands.  Recharge times are too long at higher power settings.  This flash is the same one Fuji sells for the X100 camera at a much higher cost, only the hotshoe style is different.

Good for

Fully automatic use with Sony optical viewfinder camera.

Not good for

People wanting to use it in Sony live-view mode, wireless optical use, Radiopoppers™ use, or HSS.


Not for Sony users.