If you want to take your photography to the next level, you should invest in an external flash.
The external flash is much more powerful than the built-in flash and allows you to illuminate subjects from a greater distance. This allows you to expose wider shots.
Most avid photographers buy an external flash because it can make a big difference in the quality of their photos.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best camera flash units on the market today.
- Brand: new
- Compatibility : Canon, Panasonic, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and other digital SLR cameras
- Net Weight: 0.63 lbs
The Speedlite TT560 from Neewer is an excellent flash for amateur photographers. It has a vertical rotation angle of up to 90 degrees and a horizontal rotation angle of up to 270 degrees. So it can be used in all kinds of environments.
It offers eight levels of output power control, indicated by eight LED sensors on the back, as well as test flash and mode selection. It is powered by four AA batteries and has a built-in power saving function.
- The Neewer TT560 may look cheap with its matte black hard plastic finish, but it can be durable with the right maintenance. Compared to other external flashes on the market, this flash is very affordable. It is also easy to use, making it suitable for beginners in photography. While it doesn’t have the most advanced features, it offers all the basic functions you would expect from an entry-level flash drive.
- The TT560 is also equipped with a tripod mount, which is ideal for use as a slave unit. Overall, this camera flash offers value for money.
- What makes this camera not a beginner, however, is that it requires manual setup to get the right flash settings. Again, this is not difficult to understand after a little practice.
Brand: YOUNG HUO
Compatibility : Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Fujifilm and other digital cameras
Shipping Weight: 1.2 lbs
The YONGNOU YN560 IV is equipped with a large LCD screen. It has a powerful flash with a guide number of 58 at ISO 100 and 105 mm, and an auto zoom. The zoom range of this camera is 28 to 105 mm. In addition, this flash has an incredible recycling rate. It can produce three flashes in one second at low power and one in about two seconds at full power. The YN560 IV is equipped with a built-in wireless transceiver and supports wireless master function, slave function and multi-trigger sync mode. It also has an audio guidance system.
- The YN560 IV is one of the most affordable DSLR flash units on the market, but it offers some features and functions only found in more expensive flash units, such as the zoom function. It is relatively easy to use and is perfect if you are starting to use external flashes.
- This camera flash is not made of particularly durable materials and may not last as long as a more expensive flash. Another disadvantage of the YN560 IV is that it is purely manual. This means that it cannot receive exposure information from the camera and cannot automatically adjust the flash level. Although this can be considered a disadvantage, some photographers prefer to use a manual flash. In addition, this external flash does not have high-speed sync.
Compatibility : Canon, Nikon, Samsung, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifil, Sigma, Leica, Ricoh, Minolta, Digital Cameras with hot shoe and DSLR cameras
Shipping Weight: 0.96 lbs
The Powerextra Professional DF-400 has a guide number of 33 at ISO 100/1m and offers eight power levels, represented by eight LED lamps. The flash head of this camera can rotate vertically from 0 to 90 degrees and horizontally from 0 to 270 degrees. It has a flash recycle time of about three seconds and also has an auto power off function to save power, an auto backup function, a test flash and a PC connection. It runs on four AA batteries and also comes with a mini tripod and protective case.
The DF-400 offers a choice of three different modes:
M-mode – This mode allows you to adjust the flash brightness to your preference.
S1 mode – When you select this mode, the flash fires during the main shot. You should set the flash to manual mode without using TTL flash or red-eye correction.
S2 function – This function is similar to S1 function except that it can be used with a TTL flash system. If S1 mode does not synchronize the flash with the built-in backlight, try switching to S2 mode.
- The Powerextra Professional DF-400 is very popular with beginning photographers because it is inexpensive and easy to use.
- It does not offer some of the more advanced features found in other camera flash units. It’s also bulky compared to other flash units and feels like it’s made from cheap materials. Still, you get more than value for your money with this device.
Brand: CanonCanon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
Compatibility : Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Shipping Weight: 1.1 lbs
The Canon Speedlite 430EX II is the successor to the Speedlite 430EX and one of Canon’s mid-range DSLR flash units. It offers a very powerful flash, rated at 34, which is close to professional level. The camera supports all the latest Canon flash features including Touch Zoom, High Speed Sync and more. Great features include ETTL II flash metering, 24mm-105mm auto zoom, full flash control, focus assist and one-touch quick lock. The 430EX II also features a wireless TTL slave function with three groups and four channels.
- The Speedlite 430EX II is made from highly durable materials and has a solid metal base for added durability. It has everything you can find in an accessory flash. It offers excellent performance in the range and can be used in any camera mode with different shutter speeds. The ETTL II flash exposure system automatically adjusts all settings, from flash strength to flash zoom.
- Some important features of this camera flash have been omitted, such as the wireless control mode, PC sync port and external power supply. These features are very common today and are available in much cheaper camera flash units than the 430EX II.
Compatibility : Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Shipping Weight: 1.35 lbs
The Altura Photo Professional Flash Kit includes the Altura Photo AP-C101 Speedlite, a wireless flash kit with a transmitter and receiver, a hard flash diffuser, a protective cover and a MagicFiber lens cleaning cloth. The Speedlite Altura Photo AP-C101 has a large backlit LCD screen and synchronizes with the camera to display zoom, aperture and other settings. This unit offers very high flash power with a guide number of 68 m and an ultra-fast recovery time of four seconds. It has a 180-degree zoom and rotary head and offers a zoom range of 24 to 105 mm in seven steps. The AP-C101 has several modes, including TTL mode, manual mode, strobe mode, slave 1 mode and slave 2 mode.
- The Altura Photo professional flash kit is very affordable and can be a good buy for both amateur and professional photographers. It does not disappoint in terms of performance and offers a very good range. It also communicates very well with the camera. Another good thing about this flash is that it has better power consumption than many other DSLR flash units on the market. This way you will rarely miss important recordings.
- One of the drawbacks of this bright camera is that it goes into standby mode too quickly. In addition, the TTL system may not be as effective at exposing photos as the flash units in high-end cameras.
Compatible : Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Shipping Weight: 1.32 lbs
The Nikon SB-700 is a camera from the middle segment, equipped with a flash with a guide number of 28 at ISO 100. It offers a recycling time of 2.5 seconds for alkaline batteries and 3.5 seconds for lithium batteries. The head can be tilted from -7 to 90 degrees and rotated 180 degrees. This unit is equipped with a sensor that allows it to work wirelessly with other flash units. It also features a remote control, infrared autofocus light, FP sync, irregular TTL mode and emergency A mode. You can choose from three modes, iTTL, manual and GN.
- The SB-700 offers several useful interface extensions and is a good all-rounder. It handles waste faster than its predecessor, the SB-600. In addition, this flashlight is capable of reading filter types and sending data to your camera.
- The SB-700 is quite expensive, and it is designed specifically for new Nikon cameras. The guide number is relatively low considering it’s a high-end camera flash. Some of the features and functions of this flash may be described as superficial. For example, updating the firmware is totally unnecessary because you can update the firmware yourself. It also has the same range of light patterns as any other camera flash on the market.
Compatible : Nikon SLR camera
Shipping Weight: 2.6 lbs
The Altura Photo Studio Pro flash kit includes two Altura Photo AP-N1001 Speedlite flashes, two rigid flash diffusers, a wireless flash trigger with one transmitter and two receivers, a trigger for CableNote and two protective covers. The AP-N1001 offers outstanding flash performance with a 68m Guide Number and 4-second cycle time. This is a special camera lamp that can be operated either manually or automatically. It has a large backlit display that is clear and easy to read. This flash has a flash distance scale and an optical sensor that allows off-camera flashing. The included wireless flash release provides a remote triggering function. It has an operating distance of up to 100 feet and a flash sync time of up to 1/250 second.
- The Altura Photo AP-N101 Speedlite may be cheap, but it’s just as good as some of the more expensive DSLR flash units. The large LED display makes it easy to change settings, but it may take a while to figure out the configurations. Another interesting feature of this flash is that it can be manually adjusted with very small jumps in power.
- Overall, the AP-N1001 is not the most user-friendly flash. However, if you spend some time playing with it and getting familiar with the settings, you’ll find that it’s a great asset to your camera.
Compatibility : Sony digital SLR cameras
Shipping Weight: 1.5 lbs
The Sony HVLF43M high power flash is one of the most powerful flash units on the market. It has a guide number of 141 at ISO 100 and a zoom head with a range of 24 to 105 mm. The auto-scaling function detects the size of the sensor and adjusts accordingly. Key features include Quick Shift Bounce, wireless TTL ratio control, full ADI/P-TTL support and Advance Distance Integration. The Quick Shift bounce system allows you to rotate the flash head 90 degrees left and right to keep it in the right position. The head can be tilted from -8 degrees to 150 degrees. The HVLF43M also offers 10 levels of power control, an energy saving mode and an operating time of 200 to 250 flashes.
- The HVLF43M is made of highly durable materials and is resistant to moisture and dust. So we can expect a very long life. It has most of the features of other camera flash units, plus a few innovations of its own. Although relatively expensive, it is a worthwhile investment.
- It can happen that the rebound indicator shows only a downward rebound, but no upward one. In addition, the flash can also go off if it is not charged enough. Therefore, look at the charge indicator before you shoot.
If you are a beginner in photography, you may find it difficult to choose a camera flash. There are so many options to choose from, and each flash has its own features and capabilities. This can be confusing if you do not understand the technical terms related to the camera flash. However, it is important that you know more about strobes if you do not want to make the wrong choice. Here are some tips to help you choose the right camera flash.
1. What does TTL mean?
You will often come across this acronym when reading about camera flash. TTL means through the lens. This is the camera’s ability to communicate and automatically control flash settings. During the pre-flash process, certain variables are identified and measured that determine the amount of energy reset during the actual flash.
2. Is manual mode important?
This largely depends on personal preference. If you want to have full control of the camera and get the most out of the flash, it’s best to switch to manual mode. In manual mode, you can use any brand of flash with any brand of camera equipped with a standard hot shoe. Shooting in manual mode requires more skill, but can improve a photographer’s overall skills.
3. What is the recycling time?
A high repetition rate means you can fire the flash faster. This is especially important when shooting fast or when trying to take combat pictures. If you want to extend the recycling time, consider using nickel-metal hybrid batteries. These batteries are also less harmful to the environment. Some camera flash units have longer repeat times than others. If you need to get things done quickly, you should look for a flash that meets your needs.
4. What are the directional numbers?
The guide number is the number used to calculate the camera’s flash range. To measure the range, divide the master number by the aperture number. For example, the track number of the Nikon SB-910 is 34 meters. If you shoot at f4, you’ll see that the flash range is 8.5 meters. Guide numbers may be in feet or meters. Therefore, make sure you use the correct dimensions when determining the camera’s flash characteristics.
5. The importance of flexibility
One of the disadvantages of using the built-in flash is that it cannot be pointed in a direction other than the camera. If the flash you want to buy has a head that cannot be tilted or rotated, consider buying something else. A non-flexible flash is the same as a built-in flash, which means it’s a waste of money. The flexibility can vary greatly from camera flash to camera flash. Choose according to your photographic needs.
Basically, there are three options for radio control. First, you can purchase a camera flash with an optical shutter release and use it with any camera that supports optical shutters. You will have to sacrifice its TTL power for this. Second, you can preserve TTL functions by buying a flash that is compatible with your camera. You can also use Pocket Wizards and combine different flashes with different cameras without specifying TTL.
7. Temperature control
Camera flashes can become hot when used intensively. In this case, some devices may turn off or operate at a lower power level. If you buy flash memory, make sure you choose one with good temperature control. This is especially important if you plan to use the flash for an extended period of time.
Just like a light bulb, the flash goes off after a while. Therefore, before you buy a flash, you should ask about its durability. Long-life camera flashes are usually more expensive, but you can also find cheaper flashes that are reasonably durable. Read user reviews to get a better idea of the durability of different camera flash units.
9. Functions and features
The flash units in different cameras have different features and functions. If you want additional features, such as multi-flash for fast continuous shooting or backlighting for modeling, you have to be willing to pay more. Select the features and functions needed for the types of photos you want to take. There’s no point in paying more for features you don’t need.
After you learn more about camera flash units and make some comparisons, you will find that flash units are reasonably priced in most cases. Expensive flashes are usually more durable and have more advanced features, while cheaper flashes are simpler and less durable. Since the flash is an important tool for the photographer, it is advisable to invest in a better quality flash that will last longer. If you consider the above points, it will be easier for you to find the right camera flash.
Best strobes for cameras 2021 – Buying Guide
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