Standard speed lights and external flashes, think Godox V860, Canon 430EX, Metz 55, Nikon SB500 etc. are a little on the large side for mirrorless and CSC cameras although you can use them. Personally, I find these standard size flashes too big and cumbersome, and make the camera top heavy and unbalanced which doesn’t make for a comfortable set up.
These standard size speed lights are fine for off-camera flash, but then when I am photographing parties, events and functions where I have to work the room and adopt a “run and gun” photography style off camera flash isn’t a viable option.
All the major manufacturers sell external flash units for their CSC and mirrorless cameras, and whilst these flashes are the perfect size the low guide number of 10m or so means they are underpowered. These flashes are also over-priced and damn expensive for what they are and what they can do too.
The manufacturers have clearly been listening to the ever growing number of CSC and mirrorless camera users and there are now some very good external flashes and speed lights available that are perfect for CSC and mirrorless cameras. Whilst these flashes aren’t as powerful as the standard speed lights they do pack a punch and will emit a good amount of light. These speed lights are small, compact, portable and also nicely balanced when used in the hot shoe of CSC and mirrorless cameras.
Having used many different smaller speed lights and external flash units in this class my top three are as follows:-
NISSIN i40 (full review here)
Guide number (35mm @ ISO 100) – 27m / Focal length coverage – 24mm – 105mm / Recycling time – 0.1 – 4 secs/ ETTL - Yes / EV compensation on flash - +/- 2EV / Slave - Yes / Vertical tilt – 0 – 90 degrees/ Horizontal tilt – 0 – 180 degrees/ Dimensions – 100mm x 50mm x 50mm/ Approx price $USD/£GBP - $230/£155/ Power – 4xAA batteries
Like all Nissin speed lights the little i40 is a tough and durable flash that is built to a high spec. This flash is tiny (and I mean tiny) and to appreciate just how small it is you have to see it in the flesh, put it on your camera’s hot shoe and take some shots.
This flash doesn’t have an LCD screen on the back to change the settings but there are two dials so there is no need to go delving in the camera’s menu to change any of the flash settings. I like this dial layout as it is not only quick and efficient but also logical and user friendly. The only disadvantage with this type of layout is when the light levels fade it can be a little tricky to see what you’re doing.
Not only is this flash very well put together but it is also packed full of features, including full manual mode, TTL mode, HSS mode and slave mode to name just a few. You’l have to trust me when I say this flash will do everything you need it to, and more.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.
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