Speedlights and Flashguns from Canon and Nikon
Whether you are after info on flash speedlight products and where to buy them, or just want information on how they work, use the links below. They will take you to either the manufacturer’s site or a more detailed review site.
I have included just the top brands in the market as, in my opinion, if you were to use a very cheap 3rd party flash unit, you would only end up buying a better one later anyway.
If a flashgun does not do what you want and produces poor photography, it can be frustrating and you tend to blame yourself for the results. Invest in a decent unit and you will never leave home without it!
Before you click away, here’s a quick money saving tip.
If you are looking at the Excellent Canon 580 EX II, speedlights from the Sigma EF DG Super range match it pretty well at a much lower cost. I have used both and there is not much between them in terms on functionality and quality.
Before you decide to buy a speedlight, think about what you will use it for? If you are simply after a basic flashgun for occasional use, a basic model will do, although I would still say go for a well-known brand.
If you need a more creative speedlight or flashgun, ask yourself the following;
- How much flash power do I need? – What camera will you use it with and how far away will you subjects be? If you are shooting reasonably close sports, you will still need a powerful flashgun. For big games like football etc, a flashgun will not do. I am still baffled when I see small flashguns going off inside huge stadiums, the light will not reach the players.
- Will I be getting creative? – Most of the modern, more professional speedlights have a fantastic array of features that allow you to do all kinds of wonderful things to great effect. Strobe lighting and rear sync flash for example. Some also have a “Slave” sensor inside, which means they can be fired or set off by another speedlight without the need for wires.
- Will I need to bounce or swivel the head? – You may not need or use this at first, but as time progresses you may want to experiment a bit. If you think this is the case, you will save money in the long run by investing in a decent unit from the start, especially if you are using an SLR or DSLR.
- Does it take re-chargeable batteries and accessories? – Again, most of the better speedlights take re-chargeable batteries, which is a must if you are using your flash a lot. Also, they may take accessories like a Stofen Diffuser which fixes to the front of the speedlight to diffuse the flash, giving a softer effect. Read the reviews to check first.
- Does it need to be “Dedicated”? – If you own a reasonable SLR or digital SLR such as the Canon Digital Rebel, or EOS range, (or Nikon D80, Olympus etc.) you may want to consider a dedicated unit. This simply means that the speedlight was made to match the workings of your camera so you can even use your complicated SLR and speedlight set up as a “point-and-shoot!”. Basically the speedlight does most of the work for you!
Finally, before you buy, if you haven’t done so already, check out my…
Info on flash speedlight – Bounced flash
Info on flash speedlight – Fill in (flash infill)
Info on flash speedlight – Which flash for my camera?