27th September 2014, 10:36 AM
Nissin i40 Compact Flash Unit Review - Quality Lighting with a Compact Camera
A small camera flash unit with optical slave capabilities is a great investment. It allows you to take great photos of your friends and you indoors over a meal where most compact cameras struggle due to the a low amount of light.
The photos here were taken last night over a dinner gathering with my long time army buddies. I used a small Fujifilm XQ-1 compact camera and a Nissin i40 Compact Flash. Mine was for Canon cameras, so it is fully compatible with eTTL on canon cameras. Since it has an optical slavemode, it can be triggered by any other cameras with an in-built, on-camera flash. How it works is this: when you take a picture, your camera fires its own on-camera flash. The i40 optical slave sensor "sees" the flash and then fires a flash itself. This flash is more powerful than on-camera flash units, and can be held at an angle away from the camera to allow for creative use of lighting to create that great image with a compact camera!
The shots attached to this post were taken at ISO800 and 1/60s shutter speed to allow the background colors to be seen, and the in-built, on-camera flash was set to fire at -2ev flash compensation. As we know, in-built, on-camera flashes create images that are horrible with harsh shadows that are unflattering on faces, thus it is important to weaken the on-camera flash by setting -2ev flash compensation on the camera. This way, it is still able to trigger the i40 flash unit without affecting the picture too much. No such settings on your compact camera? No problem - tape a piece of white paper or hold a folded piece of tissue paper across the on-camera flash to allow just enough light to trigger the i40. Selfies? Sure - pictures with me in them were taken by my friends. Look carefully, and you'll notice my right arm outstretched. I was holding the i40 flash! Since both the camera and flash units are small, you can easily hold one in each hand. Better still if you havea friend with you - one of you holds the camera and the other the flash and presto! Beautifully lit selfies!
The i40 was held by me at a 30° to 60° angle to the right or left of the camera. The flash head was pointing up for the flash light to bounce off the ceiling for a softer lighting effect, and the fill flash card on the i40 flash unit was pulled up to reduce the harshness of the shadows produced by the flash. The results were great! This little flash unit is worthall the $200+ I bought it for at Red Dot Photo, Funan (they did not pay me towrite this article, though I wouldn't mind if they did!). It's small, but it's powerful enough to create lighting effects as good as my huge Canon 600EX RT does in an intimate setting like this dinner gathering. Most importantly, it has full eTTL capabilities, so it works perfectly with my pro and semi-pro Canon camera bodies without an in-built flash. I have always missed indoor people shots overseas and lamented the fact that great lighting would mean lugging around a huge 600EX RT flash unit. Now, I'm able to bring a capable flash along with me to capture all the precious moments gloriously in low light! When I feel lazy or when a huge dSLR is overkill, I can use this flash with my small compact camera in the optical slave mode, and still be confident of making great pictures!
Here's a link to the flash unit :
Get one today!
p.s. Again, I have not been paid by anyone to write this article. It's just so good that I felt compelled to share it with everyonehere first thing on a Saturday morning
p.p.s. The i40 has got different versions for the different, major camera brands in case you wish to use iTTL or eTTL on your dSLRs. No matter which version you buy, the i40 works with any camera with an in-built flash. However, it does not work with the "flash" of smartphones, which aren't really flashes.
Last edited by SeAnCoLd; 27th September 2014 at 11:38 AM.
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