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Best Budget Flash for Nikon [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 27/05/2021

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

A good flash provides the potential to generate the right lighting situation for your shots in each setting. Nikon offers a variety of solutions at various prices. There are also third-party alternatives to think about. Here are our choices for the best budget flash for Nikon, as well as some suggestions on how to find the ideal flash for you.

Our Top Budget Nikon Flash Reviews

In this article, we’ll review different flashes and show you how they perform in terms of wireless and radio control, bounce lighting, LED video illumination, and built-in cooling when comparing our top budget flashes for Nikon. 

Brand
Best Overall
Nikon SB-500
Best for the Money
Nissin Di700A
Best Cheap Pick
Neewer 750II TTL
Product
Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight (Black)
Nissin Di700A Flash + Nissin Air 1 Wireless Radio...
Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlite with LCD Display...
Batteries Required
2 AA batteries
4 AA batteries
4 AA batteries
Item Weight
8 ounces
1.45 pounds
1.15 pounds
Best Overall
Brand
Nikon SB-500
Product
Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight (Black)
Batteries Required
2 AA batteries
Item Weight
8 ounces
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Nissin Di700A
Product
Nissin Di700A Flash + Nissin Air 1 Wireless Radio...
Batteries Required
4 AA batteries
Item Weight
1.45 pounds
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Neewer 750II TTL
Product
Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlite with LCD Display...
Batteries Required
4 AA batteries
Item Weight
1.15 pounds
Price

Best Overall Budget Flash for Nikon: Nikon SB-500 

The first thing you'll notice about the Nikon SB 500 will be its little size. Because the flash is small and light, you may bring it into any interior shot without a problem. The SB-500 flash features simple settings and only a few buttons, yet it provides advanced flash performance despite working on multiple AA batteries.

Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight (Black)

It is powerful and has a great reach, and has a 24/78.7 (ISO 100, m/ft.) guidance number and 16mm coverture to DX-format and 24mm coverture to FX-format. Its head spins 180-degree angles to the right and left. It also inclines 90 degrees up, empowering you to rebound light away from objects to brighten shadows and make pleasing images.

If your camera contains a Commander Mode, you may use the built-in flash remotely off-camera to offer additional illumination from unexpected angles.

A built-in high-intensity LED light delivers consistent, daylight-balanced lighting. The flash features three power settings: half, quarter, and full, molding it to be excellent for close-up and low-light video portrait shots. Unlike the Nissin DI700A, the Nikon SB 500 sends better LED color information to the camera for optimal white balance. 

The flash has i-TTL technology that tailors the flash's characteristics to each photograph, guaranteeing that you always get the best results. Because of its intellectual ability and greater irradiance level, the SB-500 flash is great as a fill-light outside or for soft bounce lighting indoors.

Pros

  • Nikon SB-500's built-in LEDs give it more versatility and allow it to be used as a fill light compared to Neewer 750II TTL 
  • In multi-light configurations, it may be used as a commander or a slave
  • Portable and lightweight to easily carry around

Cons

  • Long periods of time between recycling
  • It is more expensive compared to Neewer 750II TTL
Sale
Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight (Black)
  • intelligent-Through-The-Lens (iTTL) technology tailors the characteristics of the flash to each shot...
  • Wide coverage with a guide number of 24/78.7 (ISO 100, m/ft) with 24mm coverage in FX-format and...
  • Head rotates 180 degrees left and right and tilts 90 degrees upward allowing you to bounce light off...

Best Budget Nikon Flash for the Money: Nissin DI700A

The Nissin DI7000A flash is a standard-sized flash for Nikon cameras that shares many of the company's proprietary products' looks and features. It's composed of sturdy plastic and appears to be able to withstand a fall, but we wouldn't put it to the test. 

Nissin Di700A Flash + Nissin Air 1 Wireless Radio...

The swivel head tilts 7 degrees downward or 90 degrees upward and rotates 180 degrees left or right. From the top, a reflector and diffuser plate glide up.

In the rear, there's an LED display and a few tactile controls. They're used to power up the DI700A, test the flash and change modes. In addition, TTL metering is provided, which is a nice feature. 

You have the option of shooting in first or second curtain modes and slave digital and film. Slave digital makes the Nissin DI700A flash fully unaffected by pre-flashes; however, slave film renders it sensitive to strobes and other external light sources.

This flash's most pleasing feature is the A1 Commander. It's a little transmitter that you can attach to a tripod's hot shoe and use to control many flashes in a group. However; it is more dependable than systems that rely on line of sight since it operates with radio waves. You may also modify exposure compensation with the device. It has a 100-foot effective range.

The Nissin DI700A flash has a greater focal range of 24-200mm and a guide number of 177 feet at ISO 100, compared to the Neewer 750II TTL's focal length of only 105mm. It may fire up to 30 times before cooling down. Two AAA batteries power the commander, while four AA batteries power the DI700A. Because you put them in a cartridge that speeds up insertion, it's a good idea to have a spare so you can switch them out quickly.

Pros

  • The flash’s user interface is simple
  • TTL metering is supported
  •  Excellent build quality hence portable

Cons

  •  In strong light, the screen is difficult to see
  • In contrast to the SB 500, it doesn’t feature a USB port for firmware updates
Nissin Di700A Flash + Nissin Air 1 Wireless Radio...
  • EASY-TO-USE: Intuitive color ED control panel on Di700A and Air 1 Commander enables quick access to...
  • USE ON-CAMERA OR OFF-CAMERA: Attach Di700A to your hot shoe for on-camera event photography, or...
  • HIGH-SPEED SYNC (HSS) TO 1/8000 - With high-speed sync enabled you can shoot with larger apertures...

Best Cheap Budget Flash for Nikon: Neewer 750II TTL 

The Neewer 750II TTL flash was clearly designed on a shoestring budget, as indicated by its plastic casing and low-quality feel while working the buttons. Try not to drop or ding it, since this will most likely be the end of it. That being said, the flash has a metal hot shoe attachment that will not warp or bend after years of operation.

Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlite with LCD Display...

Depending on the manufacturer, four AA batteries can last up to 300 shots. The batteries in most flashes are organized in pairs by most manufacturers. The Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlight container arranges them in a line, limiting contact and avoiding heat accumulation. This allows you to shoot more and for longer periods, which is ideal for real estate photography.

The guiding distance of the Neewer 750II TTL Flash is 190 feet, which is outstanding for a flash at this price range. It even outperforms Nikon's own SB-500 in terms of adjusting to the current zoom distance of a lens. Large rooms may be covered with a minimum of 14mm. If you acquire the somewhat more costly deluxe edition, you can even decrease it by utilizing a softbox.

There's not much to complain about when it comes to the Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlight performance. The TTL is spot on, and the directional pad makes modifying manual settings a breeze. In addition, strobe mode and slave mode to tether the device to your camera's internal flash are both supported.

The Neewer 750II TTL flash became incredibly popular among Nikon users because of its superb performance and features for such a low price.

Pros

  • At an unbelievable price, you get a competent flash
  • TTL performs beautifully
  • The flash has a high guide number and excellent heat dissipation
  • Has an excellent recycling time of 3 seconds

Cons

  • Lacks advanced features seen in more expensive models like Nikon SB-500
  • There is no warning of TTL underexposure at full power
Sale
Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlite with LCD Display...
  • Powerful Flash with High Guide No. 58 (m) / 190ft(at 105mm focal length,ISO 100 in meters/feet).
  • Charging socket for external power pack: adds a charging socket for external power pack. PC...
  • Vertical rotation angle:-7 to 90 degrees;Horizontal rotation angle:0 to 270 degrees.

Best Third-Party Budget Flash for Nikon: Yongnuo YN-565EX

With wireless slave TTL capability and full Nikon i-TTL support, the Yongnuo YN-565EX flash can broaden creative ambient lighting by giving an off-camera alternative. At ISO 100 and 105mm, the flash has an auto magnification of 24-105mm with a guide length of 190 feet and angling from a rotation of -7 to +90 degrees and 270 degrees.

YONGNUO YN565EX III Wireless Flash Speedlite...

As opposed to the Neewer 750II TTL, the flash can be easily triggered by cameras since it is designed with commander modes or other speed lamps and master TTL capability, and it can be used as a transparent optical slave with rapid sync and skip pre-flash settings  

The Yongnuo YN-565EX N flash also has useful features such as a broad diffusing screen and a bounce card inserted into the head. There's also a flashing light and a sound cue for audible flash status indicators. The use of a D-pad makes setting specific parameters simple.

The flash’s LCD aids in contemplating alternatives, and it recycles within three seconds. There are additionally curtain sync modes 1 and 2 and PC sync, and an external power pack plug. You’ll need four AA batteries to power it.

It takes some time getting used to controlling the YN-565EX N, but once you do, there's a lot to enjoy. You can, for example, you can enable auditory notifications that beep when cycling is finished. When you can't see the backlit LCD and want to fire another shot as soon as the flash is ready, this feature comes in handy. 

Pros

  • Controls that are comprehensive
  • In slave mode, mounting and pairing are simple
  • A bright information display
  • Adjustment of the angle to a precise degree

Cons

  • TTL's performance is hit-or-miss and unreliable compared to the SB 500
  • After a few hours of hard shooting, the batteries start to run out
YONGNUO YN565EX III Wireless Flash Speedlite...
  • ♥Compatible with C and N’s Optical Transportation Wireless Slave Flash: One YN565EX III can...
  • ♥High Speed Recycling System: the recycling time for full output just takes 2 seconds; you can get...
  • ♥Multiple Trigger Mode Supported: YN565EX III can be triggered by the camera set-top, PC...

Best Budget Godox Flash for Nikon: Godox Thinklite TTL TT685N

The Godox Thinklite TTL TT685N features wireless triggering with an incorporated 2.4GHz X radio system. This flash can either be set up with modes like slave or master, with a range of 328' and supports thirty-two channels and three groups, allowing you to create an amazing variety of lighting configurations. To create more sophisticated combinations, it may also be used with an optional X series transmitter.

GODOX TT685N TTL 2.4G GN60 High-Speed Sync 1/8000s...

In the rear, you'll find a full set of controls, as well as an LED screen that illuminates for easy operation in the dark. You may change the operation and flash modes, test the flash, and integrate the Thinklite TTL TT685N into a larger lighting system. 

Thanks to the camera's compatibility with Nikon's i-TTL technology, users will have access to several automated flash settings as well as the capability to use features like high-speed sync. The flash features a guide number of 197' at ISO 100 and 200mm and this aids in easy illumination of objects and subjects. The flash contains a 20-200mm sprint head and a 14mm wide-angle panel, making it compatible with a broader range of lenses, as opposed to the  Neewer 750II TTL.

To regulate spring back and where illumination shoots on the scene, the head may be inclined from -7 to 90 degrees and spun 360 degrees. You can this with other common flashes using the optical master/slave transmission.

Users can connect to the wireless control cable with the FT series remote command program to get wireless command over the power settings. The flash has a 3.5mm sync port used in connecting the camera or trigger via wire. The flash uses four AA batteries (alkaline or NiMH) that provide roughly two hundred and thirty complete 0.1-2.6 second recycling times and power flashes.

On Nikon DSLRs, the Godox flash performs brilliantly. It reacts quickly, and the flash and camera systems work hand in hand to create well-controlled exposures in practically every shot. However, even when the flash recycling is complete, it does not offer the necessary number of bursts in the multi-flash mode, especially with bigger bursts of 20 or more.

Pros

  • For a budget flash, it's powerful and dependable
  • TTL and complete manual control are supported
  • It can be used as a slave flash off-camera, as an on-camera master to cause other off-camera flashes, and as an on-camera flash.
  • Allows for 1/1800 second high-speed sync similar to the Yongnuo YN-565EX N

Cons

  • The controls aren't easy to use
  • The master mode interface is difficult to navigate
GODOX TT685N TTL 2.4G GN60 High-Speed Sync 1/8000s...
  • Godox TT685N Speedlite is Fully Support TTL Functions,Support for TTL autoflash ,manual...
  • GN60, 22 steps of power output(1/1~1-128); Approx.0.1-2.6s recycle time, 230 full power...
  • Optical transmission with even illumination and stable output. Godox Thinklite TT685N high-speed...

Features to Consider in a Budget Flash for Nikon

There are a few features to remember when buying a budget flash for your Nikon camera if you want to make sure you have one that provides a good level of image quality, speed, and connectivity.

ProductRecycling TimeGuide NumberItem Weight (Pounds)
Nikon SB 5003.5 seconds24/78.7 ISO 1000.5
Nissin DI700A4 seconds48 ISO 1001.45
Neewer 750II TTL3 seconds190 ISO 1001.15
Yongnuo YN-565EX N2 seconds58 (ISO 100, 105mm)1.23
Godox Thinklite TTL TT685N0.1-2.6 seconds 190 (feet ISO 100)1.17

Through the Lens (TTL)

A TTL flashgun can be thought of as an ‘automatic' flashgun. It communicates to your camera to figure out how much light is required to better expose the scene and then attempts to emit that amount of light. For example the SB 500 has TTL mode.

High Speed Sync (HSS)

On any Nikon DSLR camera, a native sync speed will be available. This is the fastest shutter speed that can be used. The Nikon SB 500 features high-speed sync, which allows you to sync the flash to shutter speeds up to your camera's maximum speed.

Nikon camera with budget lens

Power

When it comes to flash requirements, one of the most important factors to remember is the power. A flash's power output is normally expressed by its GN value (Guide Number). The most light would be emitted by a flash with a higher GN value. For example, the Nissin DI700A has a high guide number of 177. 

Tilting

Flashes have a lot of benefits, one of them is that they can quickly be bounced. The more bouncing options you have, the more a flash head rotates. The SB 500 head rotates 180 degrees and tilts 90 degrees to remove background shadows and allow for revolutionary light modulation.

Wireless Control

You won't need an adapter to use the flash off camera since many newer flash systems have built-in wireless capabilities. For example, the Godox Thinklite TTL TT685N has a wireless mode that vastly extends its capabilities, enabling you to add light from different angles or use several flashes to produce different effects.

Adjustable Temperature

When flash units are used often, they might get hot. Certain equipment may be forced to shut down or function at a lower power level as a result of this. As a result, they quickly heat up, which is why checking the flash's temperature management needs is critical.

Flash Zoom 

A zoom function on hot shoe flashes prevents the flash from highlighting sections of the scene that aren't being photographed. The Yongnuo YN-565EX N, for example, boasts an excellent auto zoom range of 24-105mm.

Recycling Time

The flash recycling speed indicates how quickly the flash can be turned back on. If you're shooting a lot of motion, remember to keep the flash recycle speed in mind. With a recycle duration of around 3.5 seconds, the Nikon SB 500 features a long recycle time.

Compatibility

Not every Nikon camera is compatible with every flash. Some flashes may operate with specific camera bodies, but only to a limited extent; verify sure the camera is totally compatible before purchasing. Some flashes are incompatible with the camera's TTL technology and must be operated manually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Slow/Rear Sync Cause Blurred Shots?

Yes and No. When shooting with flash, there are usually two exposures: the subject's flash exposure and the background ambient exposure. Because the slowest Nikon flash duration is around 1/830 of a second, a stationary subject lighted by it should always be crisp if flash is the primary source of light. Poor hand holding skills or subject movement, on the other hand, may cause the backdrop to become soft or blurry.

What's the best flash mode?

When the main exposure for the subject is to be delivered by flash, we recommend using the Standard TTL or Automatic flash mode. All balanced fill flash modes, including the now-ubiquitous TTL BL, have a tendency to underexpose the flash output.

Conclusion

Because photography is primarily concerned with light, employing a camera flash is an inevitable component of being a photographer. So, depending on your usage demands and budget, it all boils down to what you are comfortable with when purchasing a flash. 

PFRE Team
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