Nissin has got a very capable alternative, in the compact form of the Nissin i40. A compact, powerful flash unit with user-friendly controls and a lot of extras. Nissin builds several versions of the i40 that can be used with cameras from Sony, Nikon, Canon, M4/3 and Fuiji. In this review I’ll review the Sony version that I have tested with my Sony A7. There may be little differences between the different versions that are mostly caused by the capabilities of the camera you use. The Nissin i40 is sold in the Netherlands for about €239, all versions are priced the same.
Nissin supplies the i40 with a wide variety of accessories. Besides the flash unit itself you’ll find a protective bag, carabiner (not for climbing), an omnibouce-style hood and a stand to put the flash on when you use it wireless. Most other flash units aren’t this complete.
The first thing you’ll notice is how powerful the i40 is. A built in unit normally doesn’t go beyond guide number 10 to 12 (meters). The smaller units built by Sony and Nikon have guide numbers of around 20. The Nissin i40 outclasses them all with a guide number of 40. The flash is powered by 4 AA batteries. That helps the battery life, makes the flash charge fast but does make the unit quite heavy. With the batteries the flash weighs about 370 grams. The whole body of the unit is filled with those 4 batteries. Makes me wonder where they have put the electronics?
Unfortunately it isn’t possible to use the flash with only two batteries in case of emergency, it will only work with 4 batteries.
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