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Nikon SB-700 Speedlight Misses it By This Much

Nikon just announced a new speedlight designed to complement the flagship SB-900. The Nikon SB-700 Speedlight will cost $329.95, and includes some mouth-watering features.

But they have excluded a key feature. Any guesses?

Deets, the PR and a new camera, too. After the jump.

In Sync

• 2.5 sec recycle w/NiMH (3 w/alkaline)
• SB-900 control interface (knobs and switches)
• FX/DX chip size recognition for on-camera beam spread
• Can be a Master and Remote flash for CLS users (but only controls two groups)
• Beam shaping, like the SB-900
• Quick Wireless Mode lets you dial in A:B ratios. Kinda Canon-ish, IMO.

Out of Sync

• No PC jack that I can see anywhere.

(Sound of crickets chirping over the deafening silence.)

Historically speaking, the PC jack (or lack of one) is how Nikon separates the pro flashes from the ones at the kid's table. But for over three hundred bucks, I would have loved to see one.

Jury is out on the SU-4 mode, but one has to assume it is there if the CLS functionality is taking a cue from the SB-900. But given the lack of a PC jack, I am not making any assumptions.

The PC thing was my biggest knock on the SB-600. And for double the price, still nada. Argh. Looks like I won't be turning off my RSS'd SB-800 searches on Craigslist any time soon.

Oh, Yeah: A Camera, Too.

The D7000 was also announced: Small chip. Great high ISO. 1080p x 24 FPS video, priced at about a grand. Chase has had one for a few months and uncorked a Full Vincent on it.

If you are interested in Nikon DSLR video or wanna see sample stills, head on over.

And now, your utterly PC-less Nikon SB-700 Speedlight PR release:


Nikon’s Newest Speedlight is a Powerful Addition to the Versatile Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)
MELVILLE, N.Y. (September 15, 2010)
– Today, Nikon Inc. introduced the versatile new SB-700 Speedlight, the latest addition to Nikon's powerful and renowned Creative Lighting System for a wide range of photographers and applications. The SB-700 is a high-performance flash that brings simplicity to on-camera, remote and multiple flash photography. Building on the success of the popular SB-600 Speedlight and the advanced functionality of the SB-900 Speedlight, the SB-700 also incorporates a wide zoom range covering the most popular focal lengths and FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the user’s camera body. The SB-700 also provides a more efficient use of batteries and flash coverage in addition to three light distribution patterns for flash-to-scene customization. Whether used as an on-camera flash or as a wireless commander or remote, the Nikon SB-700 Speedlight offers dependable and consistent flash exposure even under the most challenging lighting conditions.
Designed for a variety of photographers ranging from amateurs in the field to professionals in the studio, the SB-700 integrates a host of new features designed to make flash photography simple, accurate and creative. The SB-700 is for photographers looking for an on-camera Speedlight offering more power for greater depth-of-field control than the built-in flash, or an additional Speedlight for wireless multiple flash set-ups. This Speedlight will also satisfy the needs of photographers looking for a compact Speedlight that can be set up as a Commander or a Remote as well as those who want to upgrade from their existing or older Nikon Speedlight.
“When designing the new Nikon SB-700, we were sure to incorporate the features that made the SB-600 Speedlight such a popular and well respected flash unit as well as the advanced technology that users of the SB-900 Speedlight have come to know,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc.  “The Nikon SB-700 is a multifunctional Speedlight that combines high-quality with a simple yet sophisticated design.”
The Nikon SB-700 has many new and redesigned features and that make it easy-to-use, yet powerful enough to assist in tough and challenging lighting conditions and settings. The SB-700’s LCD design and layout enables easy-to-remember and intuitive operation, while the multi-step power zoom covers wide 24-120mm angle of view with FX-format cameras. The improved user interface of the SB-700 utilizes a large easy-to-read dot-matrix LCD panel making navigation and usage even easier.
As part of Nikon’s popular Creative Lighting System, the SB-700 includes support for Nikon’s advanced wireless TTL operation and can function as a wireless Commander with control over two separate groups of Speedlights, or as a Remote Speedlight when controlled by the SB-900 Speedlight or the built-in Speedlight set to Commander Mode in most Nikon D-SLR’s. The SB-700 also incorporates a high-speed recycling time of approximately 2.5 seconds for full power with NiMH batteries, and approximately 3.0 seconds with AA Alkaline batteries. The Nikon SB-700 also features a new Quick Wireless Mode with A:B (light ratios) for quick setting of multiple flash units. This makes it easy and quick to control two remote flash units in i-TTL mode.
Additionally, the SB-700 also features enhanced Thermal Cut-Out detection that automatically detects heat build-up due to rapid flash firing. By increasing the recycling time if the temperature of the flash head rises above a certain threshold, the SB-700 protects the flash from damage due to overheating.
For improved durability, heat-resistance and ease-of-use, the SB-700 uses new hard plastic-type color filters for fluorescent or incandescent color temperature balancing. When using the supplied filters, the flash automatically recognizes which filter is being used and adjusts white balance accordingly on select Nikon D-SLR cameras. Additionally, the SB-700’s AF-assist illuminator is compatible with the complete line of AF systems used in Nikon D-SLR cameras*.
Similar to the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight, three illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) can be selected in SB-700 to match each shooting situation. When “even” is selected, the light from the flash will cover a subject from center to edges without light falloff. This pattern is suitable for shooting group photographs indoors. The “standard” pattern will cover all conventional, standard flash coverage. The center-weighted pattern provides larger guide numbers than other light distribution types at the same focal lengths. This illumination pattern is suitable for subjects such as portraits, in which the light falloff at the image edges can be ignored.
Like the Nikon SB-900, when the SB-700 is mounted on a camera compatible with user firmware updates, the SB-700 firmware can be updated using the same procedure as with a Nikon D-SLR camera.

Available accessories

The SB-700 uses four AA type Alkaline, Lithium or rechargeable NiMH batteries. To enhance the weatherproof ability of Nikon D-SLRs, optional water guards will be available for select cameras to protect the connection between the flash and camera, allowing users to utilize the flash when weather conditions are less than ideal. The SJ-4 Color Filter set provides a Warming, Red, Yellow or Blue filter for adding color to the background, foreground or just to accent the scene.

Price and availability

The new Nikon SB-700 Speedlight is scheduled to be available in mid-November 2010, and will have an MSRP** of $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.

About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-UX or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.


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