Best flashguns for Nikon DSLRs: 8 tested

Choose the best flashgun for your Nikon camera

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

Polaroid 160 Dua Flash - £160/ $249

With the popularity of video capture in DSLRs, the Polaroid 160 Dua Flash aims to cater to your every need. As well as a regular bounce and swivel flash head, a secondary LED array gives constant lighting for video shooting.

However, the LED light source replaces the conventional addition of an autofocus illuminator. Worse still, we found that the Polaroid stopped the camera's built-in AF illuminator working.

Onboard controls look and feel dated, and manual power adjustments are only available between full and 1/16 power, whereas most competing flashguns go down to 1/128.

There's also no onboard facility to adjust flash exposure compensation, which has to be done via the camera. Wireless master/slave options are lacking.

Performance

In i-TTL mode, flash exposures were often a little on the bright side in our tests, and recycling speed from full power was pedestrian.

The motorised zoom, which has a meagre range of 24-85mm on full-frame cameras, is particularly slow and noisy, and there's no ability to switch this for correct zoom settings on APS-C cameras.

Flash output

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

The maximum power proves quite disappointing compared with Polaroid's claims, and this continues throughout the manual flash range down to 1/16.

Aperture reading at 1m
Theoretical: 45
Measured: 22

i-TTL exposure accuracy

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

Uniquely in the group, the Polaroid is a little on the bright side, delivering +0.3EV flash exposures that are more likely to wash out highlights.

i-TTL exposure accuracy
Measured: +0.3EV

Colour accuracy

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

There's a slight blue colour cast to images. It's quite marginal, though, and rather less noticeable than that produced by the Nissin flashgun.

Colour accuracy
Measured: -2

Image quality verdict

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

A little too bright in most shooting conditions, when we used i-TTL flash metering the Polaroid was good in terms of colour accuracy.