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Nikon announces the addition of a new flagship speedlight SB-910. The name suggested that we can expect some minor changes to its predecessor SB-900. You can check out the full details here. To cut the story short. what are the new features?
- new thermal cut-out feature (now recycling time is automatically delayed instead of ceasing operation)
- hard-type colour compensation filters (hard type instead of the soft gels)
- a dedicated menu button (to customise your own quick access)
- improved user interface
- multi-point AF
- a little heavier (5g) and bigger
- square carry pouch same as the SB-700 design
- $50 USD more
The SB-910 is pretty much the same as the SB-900 in terms of power output and recycling time. Most features are identical to the SB-900 include:
The Guide Number (GN) remains at 34m (ISO 100) and 48m (ISO200),
Lens coverage remains at 17-200mm (FX),
Minimum recycling time remains at 2.3 secs (Ni-MH),
Selectable wireless group remains at 3,
Master and Slave modes
The most significant improvement is the new thermal cut out feature which automatically delay the recycling time once overheating is detected. Previously with the SB-900would just cease to work. However, I am surprise to find that this requires a model change instead of just a firmware update. With the SB-910, you will now get the hard type colour filters, same as those with the SB-700, instead of the soft colour gels. The user interface has also been improved, however it looks quite similar from what are shown on the website. The carry pouch of the SB-910 has gone away from the SB-900’s design and follows the SB-700 design which is square.
I was hoping to see the new SB-910 would include new dedicated TTL/M/A and illumination pattern sliders like the ones on the SB-700, which allows quick switch between TTL and M modes. But it looks like Nikon did not change much to the button layout.
All in all, the Nikon SB-910 has some minor improvements over the SB-900. The new thermal cut-off features would make some users happy, but it wasn’t a big problem for me once I had the new SB-900 firmware update. The hard type colour filters are a welcome addition and probably worth the $50 extra. I prefer the hard type colour filters than the soft colour gels offered with the SB-900.
SB-900 owners: Should you upgrade to the SB-910 if you own a SB-900 already ?
Probably not, but if you are a new flash owner or wanting to get an additional flash (you can never have too much flashes), the SB-910 is the best you can get. If you want something cheaper, the SB-700 is also a brilliant choice. Check out the reviews here.
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