Aside from announcing it’s latest prosumer DSLR, the Nikon D7000, Nikon also introduces a new speedlite, the SB-700 flashgun.
The SB-700 sits comfortably in between the trusty old SB-600 and the more expensive yet amazingly functional SB-900. ike the SB-600 it offers wireless control and similar recycle times. Like the SB-900, it can serve as a slave and a master (controlling only upto two groups) for Nikon’s Creative Lighting System. The SB-700 also has a multi-step auto zoom that offers extended reach from 24 to 120mm. Nikon has graciously including a rotating head, built-in bounce card, a supplied diffuser and both incandescent and fluorescent filters.
SB-700 features and specifications:
- The new, improved LCD panel interface and an intuitive layout of switches make it quick and easy to set the features.
- With a maximum guide number of 38 (for an FX camera, at the standard illumination setting at ISO 100 at 120mm) the flash is powerful and versatile to suit most lighting conditions.
- The multi-step power zoom automatically responds to the current focal length of the lens attached to the camera and covers angles of view, ranging from 24mm to 120mm.
- Three illumination patterns can quickly be selected to match each shooting situation, making it the ideal flash for a range of scenarios. The Centre-weighted pattern offers more power and higher guide number which highlights the subject from its surroundings. The Even setting works well for indoor group shots or a flat surface whilst the Standard setting has a slight emphasis on the centre.
- The high-speed recycling time is only approximately 2.5 seconds with NiMH batteries and alkaline batteries and approximately 3.5 seconds with lithium batteries.
- The quick wireless control mode allows the user to change the light ratios of A and B group Speedlight units and can also act as a remote unit in the Nikon Creative Lighting System.
- The SB-700 automatically detects flash head heat and delays the recycling time if the temperature of the flash head rises, protecting the flash from heat damage.
- The firmware of the flash can easily be updated through Nikon DSLR cameras.
- The SB-700 comes with fluorescent and incandescent hard, plastic-type colour filters, which are more durable, heat-resistant and easier to use than the conventional film-type filters. The flash automatically detects these two hard-type colour filters and instructs the camera to set the optimum colour temperature. The optional colour filter set SJ-4 is also available.
The only cons I can see for the SB-700 is the lack of a PC jack (for syncing your flashes… which kinda sucks if you’re going to use it as a master unit) but that’s because I’m coming from the SB-600. In hindsight though, if you’re looking for an SB-600 replacement but can’t shell out cash for the SB-800 or the SB-900, the SB-700 is looking pretty good.
The SB-700 will be available starting this October for $329.95. The SB-700 will come bundled with the Speedlight Stand, Bounce Adapter, Color Filter Holder, Intelligent Color Filter Kit, Diffuser Dome and soft case.