Recommended Nikon Speedlite : SB600, SB700, SB900

by Enche Tjin on May 24, 2011

There are three Nikon speedlites on the market, SB600, SB700, SB900. Which one is the best for you?

nikon-sb600-sb700-sb900

From left to right: Nikon SB900, SB700, SB600

NIKON SB600

The Nikon SB600 has been a while in the market. It is a entry level speedlite unit that has basic features and compatible with Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS). I’ve been using this for a while and pretty satisfied by it. It is is small, sturdy, reliable and quite powerful. But I don’t like the interface. There are only a few buttons so that you need to press two buttons at once to access to a more advance setting. If you use only automatic i-TTL mode, then, it will be fine. Recently I heard this SB will be discontinued. So grab one if you want one asap.

Nikon SB600

Nikon SB600

Plus and Minus
+ Compact, lightweight
+ Simple to use
+ Quite powerful
+ Quite sturdy, dropped it couple times, and it survives and rocking.
- Doesn’t has a good interface like Sb700/SB900
- Doesn’t has built-in fill-in card
- Limited zoom range (85mm)

Great for Nikon beginner and mid-range DSLR cameras such as Nikon D7000, D90, D5100, D3100, etc.

NIKON SB700

Nikon SB700 is a newer Nikon speedlite that is quite compact, has great (maybe the best) interface, and packed with features. It has the advantage of size compared to SB900, but has better interface than the SB600. The main weakness of SB700 is the power. It has slightly lower power than SB600. SB700 has wireless commander features and able to control 2 groups of speedlites. Overall, it is a versatile flash.

nikon-sb700

Nikon SB700

Plus and Minus
+ Quite compact and lightweight
+ Great Interface
+ Wireless commander
+ two popular omnibounce color gels included
+ Swivel up to 360 degree
- Price is a bit high
- No PC-sync cord
- Lower power than SB600
- Only swivel up to 270 degree

Great for Nikon mid-advanced DSLR cameras such as Nikon D7000, D90, D300s, D3s, D700, etc

NIKON SB900

Nikon SB900 is the flagship Nikon speedlite up to date. It is big and huge, packed with Nikon famous CLS system. It can control 3 groups of speedlites, can zoom up to 200mm to create a tight beam pattern, comes with handy color gels holder and omnibounce accessory. It is quite powerful as well, but easily overheated when shooting in full power consecutively. The size of SB900 is big, and quite heavy as well. I think it is better suited for off-camera flash or with big DSLR cameras.

nikon-sb900

Nikon SB900

Plus and Minus
+ Great interface
+ Wireless commander able to control 3 groups of speedlites
+ Zoom up to 200mm
+ Built-in color gels holder and omnibounce included
+ Swivel up to 360 degree
- Price is high
- Power is sufficient but not very powerful
- Big and bulky to use on-camera flash

SB900 can be use either in camera or off camera flash. If you decide to use it as on-camera flash, be sure that you have big cameras such as Nikon D300s, D700, D3s, etc so that you can balance the flash well.

Hope that this post help you on deciding which Nikon speedlites that great for you.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

[Gm] May 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Any recommended third party Speedlite for Nikon camera?

Enche Tjin May 25, 2011 at 1:45 am

It will depend on your needs. Do you need automatic TTL feature or just manual feature? Do you need swivel? How much power do you need? and your budget. It is too many factors to consider.

Popular flashes include Vivitar 285HV which can’t swivel but is more powerful and cheap, Nissin dan YongNuo produces some flashes with many useful features but qualty control might be problematic.

[Gm] May 25, 2011 at 3:00 am

To be honest, I don’t know yet, because I’m not into strobist (yet). The most important thing for me (as of now) is that the flash can be triggered remotely using the commander (not by pop-up flash)… manual is fine, power doesn’t really matters, and budget-wise: cheaper than used SB-600 :D

Hehe… too many factors, I guess :D … but, for my case, I guess price and remote trigger are the most important factors.

question June 19, 2011 at 2:08 am

Is SB700 good combination for my d5000? This will be my first flash and I’m gonna use it mostly for Cosplay events and Toycon and school events

Enche Tjin June 19, 2011 at 5:59 am

yeah sure :)

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