Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nikon SB-910 AF Speedlight/Flash Mini Review

I got the chance to try out the Nikon SB-910 AF speedlight/flash about a month ago and I thought that I would write a mini review of it. I didn't use it a lot but during my testing on my Nikon P5100 and on my Nikon D5100 D-SLR, I didn't encounter any issues with it.

The Nikon SB-910 AF is the update to the slightly older SB-900 AF. According to the reviews and videos that I've seen regarding the SB-900, the SB-900 has an overheating problem. According to these reviews and videos, after taking ~25 pictures with the flash in relatively short duration, the SB-900 would stop working in order to protect itself from overheating. The SB-910 doesn't suffer from this.

From what I've seen, the Nikon SB-910 accomplishes this by reducing the intensity/power of the flash so that you can continue to take pictures without fear of overheating the flash or the flash going into "cooldown" mode.

I've tested the SB-910 AF by flashing it manually while it wasn't connected to my camera (using the button on the flash) and it continued to flash even after 50 flashes where I would use the flash approximately 2 seconds apart from one another.

The Nikon SB-910 AF comes with 1 diffusion dome that fits over the flash and 2 filters (1 for when using it in incandescent light conditions which is orange in colour and 1 for when using it in fluorescent light conditions which is green in colour). It also comes with a small speedlight stand and a very nice soft case. There are 2 manuals/booklets with the SB-910 where one of the booklets is the user manual and the other booklet is a sample of pictures taken with the flash.

The Nikon SB-910 uses 4 AA batteries. During my tests, I used NiMH batteries and got good results (relatively fast recharge time between flashes and decent battery life).

What I like about the SB-910 is that unlike my smaller SB-400, the flash head tilts up and down as well as rotates horizontally. It also supports Nikon's new i-TTL system. Something else that the SB-910 includes remote/wireless support.

Unlike my smaller SB-400, the SB-910 has a display screen and has a lot more features and functions (categorized by an LCD panel with a menu system via a variety of buttons and a dial). The SB-400 only had a status LED and the locking switch. During my limited testing, I didn't do a lot of testing with the different features on the SB-910.

What I like about the SB-910 is that it allows for more control than the SB-400. However, this more control has 1 drawback and that is that the photographer using it must know what he/she is doing. In my opinion, this might be a bit overwhelming to D-SLR photographers just starting out. Another thing that I like about the SB-910 is that the flash head can be tilted/rotated so that you can employ "bounce" flash photography techniques. The SB-910's flash is of course also more powerful than the SB-400 which allows for light to go further and allows for the photographer to get properly exposed pictures which are a bit further away.

I tested the SB-910 on my Nikon D5100 D-SLR as well as on my point & shoot Coolpix P5100 and it works with both cameras. However, as you can see from the photos above, on the Coolpix P5100, it looks very awkward and feels very awkward/heavy since the flash is heavier and larger than the camera itself.

Nikon SB-910 AF on Nikon Coolpix P5100

Nikon SB-910 AF on Nikon D5100 D-SLR

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