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8 Best Flashguns in 2024 (For all Kinds of Photography!)

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 14 min read
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Choosing the right flashgun for your camera can be tricky. You might even wonder if you need one, especially if your camera has a built-in flash. But there are many advantages. And some types of photography are almost impossible without one.

So we’ve selected a number of flashguns for you to choose from. You’ll find one for a range of camera brands and most budgets. Our top pick is a great all-rounder. The Godox V860III-S packs TTL, HSS, and a rechargeable battery pack into a great-value package.

Godox V860III-S
Godox V860III-S Camera Flash Speedlite
Experience professional-level photography with this powerful speedlite, offering fast recycling time and high-power output for stunning results.
 

What Is the Best Flashgun?

The best flashgun for you will depend on your needs, budget, and what camera you have. We’ve put together this list so you can find the best flashgun for you!

Our Top Pick
Godox V860III-S
Godox V860III-S
Godox V860III-S
  • Powerful built-in Godox 2.4G wireless system
  • GN60 high guide number and 20-200mm zoom flash coverage
  • Supports TTL functions and high-speed sync
  • Larger battery capacity for more flashes
Best Independent Flash System
Nissin Di700A Flash
Nissin Di700A Flash
Nissin Di700A Flash
  • Powerful independent flashgun
  • TTL metering
  • Wireless connection to multiple flash heads
  • Battery or external power supply
Best Nikon Flashgun
Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight
Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight
Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight
  • Radio control advanced wireless lighting
  • Cooling system allows 100 consecutive shots
  • High guide number (113 at ISO 100)
  • Zoom range of 24-200mm, extendable to 14mm
Best Independent Flash for Studios
Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash
Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash
Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash
  • Premium compact flash with wide coverage
  • Features MI shoe and vertical bounce emission
  • Dust and moisture resistant with wireless control
  • Includes connector cap, mini-stand, and carrying case
Best Budget Flashgun
Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
  • Offers 0-90 degree vertical and 0-270 degree horizontal rotation
  • Compatible with many major camera brands
  • Features 8-step power output control
  • Includes a low battery indicator
Best Budget Wireless Flashgun
YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite for DSLRs
YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite for DSLRs
YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite for DSLRs
  • Offers wireless master function for remote control
  • Triggers through mounted camera or 2.4G system
  • Features ultra-fast charging recycle system
  • Offers control of three independent groups
Best Value Flashgun
NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite
NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite
NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite
  • Premium compact flash with auto/manual coverage
  • Features high-speed synchronization and bounce emission
  • Includes wireless control and auto white balance compensation
  • Resistant to dust and moisture for durable use
Best Sony Flashgun
Sony HVL-F32M
Sony HVL-F32M
Sony HVL-F32M
  • Slim and lightweight design
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant
  • HSS and TTL metering
  • Autozoom and auto white balance

Choosing the Best Flashgun

Let’s have a look in more detail at these flashguns we’ve selected for you.

1. Godox V860III-S Camera Flash Speedlite

Godox V860III-S
Brand
Brand
Godox
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
60
Battery
Battery
Li-ion
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
20-200mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-7 to 120 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
0 to 330 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
Built-in modeling light, Wi-Fi, quick-release lock
Best For
Best For
A Sony user looking for a solid, expandable, good-value flashgun

The Godox V860III-S is a very versatile and sophisticated flash for Sony cameras. It has a host of features that make it attractive to the advanced amateur and professional alike. And it can form the basis of an expandable system to help future-proof your investment.

At its heart is the gun itself. With a guide number (GN) of 60, it’s powerful enough for most situations. It has handy features like a quick-release mount. There is a built-in modeling light to take away some of the guesswork. This is a feature more commonly found on studio strobes and is especially useful in low-light studio settings.

The Li-ion battery pack is good for 480 full-power activations, making it useful for a busy session. It refreshes in 0.01 to 1.5 seconds depending on the intensity. And the flash will zoom to accommodate lenses from 20mm to 200mm.

The Godox V860III-S has both a receiver and transmitter. This means you can use it as the trigger in a multi-flash setup. Or you can use it as a slave. This gives a great deal of flexibility in how you deploy the flash. It’s one of the reasons we made it our top pick, and you should look at it carefully if you are a Sony photographer.

 

2. Nissin Di700A Flash

Nissin Di700A Flash
Brand
Brand
Nissin
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
54
Battery
Battery
AA or external power
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
24-200mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-7 to 90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
+/- 180 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
Flexible power options, HSS up to 1/8000s
Best For
Best For
Anyone looking to build a flash system from one of the most respected brands

One of the thoughtful features of the Nissin Di700A Flash is a one-press lock for the settings. This means you won’t accidentally change a setting mid-shoot. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially if you are fumbling in the cold or wearing gloves.

Those controls are easy to change when you want to, with a quality feel to the buttons and wheel. The bright LED information screen is one of the clearest I have seen. The icons and information are quickly and easily understood.

Nissin’s own Nissin Air System (NAS) is a comprehensive wireless protocol for their flashguns. It allows any compatible gun to work as a slave or master in a system. Slave guns connect with compatible camera TTL metering systems. This means even a multi-flash setup offers sophisticated metering options. Rather neatly, the remote commander, attached to the hotshoe, even allows remote control of the flashgun’s zoom.

Innovation seems to be in Nissin’s DNA. I have one of their flashes from the 80s, which were the early days of bounce-head flashguns. The flash had a small, secondary fill-in flash to overcome one of the problems of bounced flash. A neat idea that was superseded by advanced TTL flash metering.

The +/- 180-degree swivel gives full range to the bounce options working alongside the -7 to 90 degree tilt. It’s a stepless but lockable mechanism, once again helping to prevent mishaps that can spoil a shoot.

The Nissin Di700A Flash is a good value flash, available for a number of major camera brands. It’s great on its own. But it can form part of a sophisticated flash system that meets the needs of many pros and amateurs without breaking the bank.

 

3. Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight

Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
113
Battery
Battery
AA
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
24-200mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-7 to 90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
+/-180 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
Special cooling features allow up t0 100 full power flashes
Best For
Best For
Nikon users looking for a standalone flashgun, or the start of a multi-head system 

The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight is a strong choice for Nikon photographers. But it’s not for the financially faint-hearted. What you get for the money, though, is a very sophisticated flashgun. It’s impressively powerful, with a guide number of 113. And as you’d expect from a quality flashgun, it has flexible firing and linking capabilities.

Nikon is so confident in its Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL) system that it claims a range of 98 feet for transmission between units. You can even locate your slave unit in a different room. There are certainly some creative possibilities that open up with this kind of range. And it allows for up to six individual or groups of flashguns to be controlled separately.

Another selling point for the SB-5000 is the ability to keep cool. Firing a flash at full power generates a lot of heat. And dissipating that heat is a major challenge for multiple activations. The Nikon allows up to 100 full-power firings without overheating. That’s a tremendous boost for sports and specialist photographers.

The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight is an attractive choice for high-end Nikon users. If you need your flashgun to offer flexible creative control, this could be the one for you.

4. Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash

Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash
Brand
Brand
Phottix
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
190
Battery
Battery
AA
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
24-200mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-7 to 90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
+/-180 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
HSS, external power, and optical slave
Best For
Best For
Anyone looking for a sophisticated flash on a tight budget

The Phottix Mitros+ is a sophisticated flashgun that comes at a more affordable price than many bigger brand names. It’s still quite a lump of money. But even as a more budget gun, you get some weather sealing and a whole host of capabilities.

For example, you can trigger the Mitros+ with infrared optically or with the Photix Odin flash trigger. This means you’re not tied to any one system, while at the same time being able to start building a system around it.

Studio-based users will likely appreciate the flexible power options. Most photographers will probably use AA batteries. But you can plug in a power supply or even USB power. And the same USB port can be used to install firmware updates.

The Phottix Mitros+ is an attractive proposition. Big name brands can be painfully expensive. The Mitros+ brings the sophistication and flexibility you expect from those brands but at a more affordable price.

 

5. Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite

Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
38
Battery
Battery
AA
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
N/A
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
270 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
Works with any camera with a hotshoe
Best For
Best For
Anyone looking for a basic, affordable flashgun

The Neewer TT560 Flash is a basic, value-for-money flashgun. You won’t find any fancy TTL metering here, nor wireless triggering. But you do get a decently powerful flash that has manually adjustable power output.

The bounce and swivel are more limited than on more expensive flashes. You can’t deflect the head down. Doing close shots will be more limited than with a -7 degree capability. And you can’t bounce from behind the camera. The rotation is limited to 270 degrees.

But you can choose from eight power levels to suit your needs. And you can use the gun as a slave, triggered by the first or second flash of your main unit.

For the price, the Neewer TT560 Flash is a decent beginner flash. It will certainly outperform any on-camera flash you might have. And even if you move on to something more sophisticated, it can help as a slave unit.

 

6. YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite for DSLRs

YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite for DSLRs
Brand
Brand
YONGNUO
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
58
Battery
Battery
AA
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
24-105mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-7 to 90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
270 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
Wireless triggering and groups
Best For
Best For
Building a low-cost multi-flash system

The YONGNUO YN560 IV provides an awful lot of features for the price. Although you don’t get TTL, you do find a range of triggering options. First of all, you can connect a PC sync cable for studio work. But you can also link a number of units together. And the YN560 IV will control them wirelessly. You can even assign them to groups (up to a maximum of three groups). These are unusual features at this price level.

The fact that you could build a three- or four-gun system for less than the price of one big-name flash is remarkable. It’s certainly an attractive thought for some. If you aren’t shooting a fast-changing subject and you have time to adjust exposures, this is a viable choice.

Many will look down at the YONGNUO YN560 IV as a budget flashgun. But it will rightly find fans who can’t stretch to the more expensive brands.

 

7. NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite

NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite
Brand
Brand
NEEWER
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
58
Battery
Battery
AA
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
24-180mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-7 to 90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
270 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
Rear and front curtain sync, optical slave and TTL
Best For
Best For
Sophistication at a low price

If you want features and a low price, then consider the NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite. You get high-speed sync (HSS), optical slave function, and TTL metering. And the power output is pretty impressive too.

You can use the optically triggered slave mode to respond to triggers from a master flash. You can also set the gun to sync with the rear or front curtain of the camera. Combined with a slower shutter speed, this will determine where any movement trails appear in the shot.

The stroboscopic function also opens up some creative possibilities for sports or other action situations. Perhaps most remarkable at this price is the TTL metering. It’s very much what you expect for more expensive guns.With the NEEWER NW645II-C TTL Flash Speedlite, it’s a real bonus.

 

8. Sony HVLF32M MI Camera Flash: Black

Sony HVLF32M MI Camera Flash: Black
Brand
Brand
Sony
Guide Number (100 ISO)
Guide Number (100 ISO)
32
Battery
Battery
AA
Slave Function?
Slave Function?
Yes
Zoom Range
Zoom Range
24-105mm
Bounce Angle
Bounce Angle
-8 to 90 degrees
Swivel
Swivel
270 degrees
Key Features
Key Features
High Speed Sync, auto-zoom
Best For
Best For
Sony users looking for a compact, powerful flashgun

The Sony HVL-F32M is a richly featured flashgun that pairs perfectly with Sony cameras. It’s a compact, slim design that is ideally suited to the brand’s mirrorless cameras. But it still has a decent amount of power.

It also offers TTL metering and HSS. And the zoom automatically adjusts for the camera’s sensor size. The flash also incorporates a dust- and moisture-resistant design. This makes it a good choice if you’re likely to use it outdoors a lot.

A pre-exposure flash helps the gun assess the reflectiveness of the subject and surroundings. It also communicates with the camera to adjust the white balance automatically. This helps you get the most natural-looking light possible.

Perhaps with all this sophistication, it’s a surprise that there’s no wireless communication or triggering. But it’s the only gap in the Sony HVL-F32M feature list.

 

Buyer’s Guide—Flashguns

Buying a flashgun for your camera is quite complicated. First of all, many of the more sophisticated flashes are brand- and sometimes model-specific. Some third-party manufacturers will offer their flashes for several different camera makes. But it does limit your choice.

And then there is a host of technical specifications that can appear daunting. So here are some of the more common questions answered for you.

How Is the Power of a Flashgun Measured?

There is a standardized and slightly odd way of measuring a flashgun’s power. It is called the guide number (GN). It tells you the maximum distance that a flash will successfully illuminate its subject.

It’s a little arcane, but it is standardized. And the bigger the number, the more powerful the flashgun. All the units in this review have at least decent power and are certainly way ahead of your in-camera flash.

What Do TTL and HSS Mean?

Through the lens (TTL) metering revolutionized photography when it first appeared in cameras. Instead of looking at a hand-held meter or a meter on your camera, you could see the exposure needed through the viewfinder. Light levels generally change slowly, making this possible.

The trouble with flash photography is that the duration of the flash is absurdly short. A normal light meter can’t measure it. Gradually, flashguns arrived, which measured the light reflected back from the subject and stopped the flash when it was exposed properly. These were the first “automatic” flashguns.

As camera metering became more fancy, manufacturers started to get the flash and camera to talk to each other. Cameras were now able to measure and control the flash. This made exposures much more accurate and reduced the failure rate.

High-Speed Sync (HSS) expands the ability of the camera and flashgun to work together. In normal circumstances, shutter speeds faster than 1/200 s or so would have dark, underexposed sections at faster speeds.

Modern flashguns with HSS are able to overcome this with multiple pulses of light to cover the whole exposure. This allows flash photography even in bright light.

 

What About Bounce Flash?

We all know the harsh light produced by a direct flash. And that’s not even mentioning the dreaded red eye. The answer to this is to bounce the flash off a nearby surface. All these flashguns allow you to move the head up and swivel it around. Some also allow you to angle it down. This is important for objects near the camera because otherwise, the light passes over the top of it.

Is Zoom Important in a Flashgun?

Almost everyone uses a zoom lens these days. A zoom function on your flashgun helps to make sure that the right area in front of you is illuminated. In best cases, the camera will tell the flashgun what level of zoom is set on the lens. And the flash will adjust accordingly.

 

Conclusion: The Flashgun

It’s easy to assume that a flashgun is only for tasking pictures when it’s dark. But the experienced photographer knows that sometimes the brightest sunlight requires flash. Especially when photographing people. That’s why you see so many wedding photographers using them.

Whether you’re out in the sunshine, or inside in the gloom, flash photography is a wonderful skill. It needs to be used carefully, and experience is a great teacher. but modern flashguns take away a lot of the guesswork (and failures!).

Once you’ve decided what you want to use your flash for, you can narrow down your options. We think that the Godox V860III-S is a great choice. It delivers high power, flexible connectivity and a built-in modeling light at a price that makes it relatively accessible.

Godox V860III-S
Godox V860III-S Camera Flash Speedlite
Experience professional-level photography with this powerful speedlite, offering fast recycling time and high-power output for stunning results.