Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nikon SB-400 Speedlight/Flash Mini Review

I purchased my Nikon SB-400 speedlight/flash over 1 year ago and I thought that I would write a mini review of it.

I purchased this speedlight for one of my Nikon digital cameras (Nikon Coolpix P5100) mainly because I wasn't satisfied with the built-in flash from the camera itself. I feel that the range for the built-in flash for most digital cameras (including the Nikon P5100) is very limited.

When I saw the SB-400 at a very good price I decided to purchase it.

The Nikon SB-400 is considered to be Nikon's entry-level speedlight/flash and it uses 2 AA batteries. I've used mainly rechargeable NiMH batteries in my SB-400 and find the battery life to be very good. I also like the fact that it is compact/tiny compared to the full-sized speedlights/flashes from Nikon. If I used one of the full-sized flashes on my Nikon Coolpix P5100, it would look very awkward since the flash would be larger than the camera itself.

Nikon SB-400 on Nikon Coolpix P5100
Nikon SB-400 on Nikon D5100 D-SLR
I find the recharge rate for the SB-400 to be good. It uses Nikon's i-TTL flash system so it is also compatible with my Nikon DSLR (Nikon D5100). In fact, even though I have a full-size flash (which I will write a mni-review at a future date), I still bring my Nikon SB-400 speedlight with me and will occasionally use it with my Nikon DSLR.

What I like about the Nikon SB-400 is that it is small/tiny and light-weight. I also like that it uses two standard AA batteries and has a fairly quick flash recharge rate when compared to the camera's built-in flash. The last thing that I like about it is that it supports Nikon's new i-TTL flash system. I also like that it comes with a very nice form-fitting soft case.

What I don't really like about the Nikon SB-400 is that it does not have a swiveling head. It does allow the flash to be tilted up to 90 degrees (in certain increments). The flash also doesn't have any "zoom" feature nor does it have any wireless support. It also has no on-screen display nor any controls (there is only an on/off switch, an status LED, and a flash/camera locking lever).

Based on the price that I paid for my Nikon SB-400 speedlight/flash, I've been satisfied with my purchase. I take a lot of indoor shots and I find that not only with my Nikon Coolpix P5100 but also with my Nikon D5100, the speedlight extends the range of the built-in flash. It also conserves some of the camera's battery for taking pictures instead of powering the flash.

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