Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Review

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Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 8
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Expandability
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 8.60
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Improved control interface
    • Compatibility
    • Good continuous ability
  • Cons

    • Lower guide number
    • Higher MSRP
    • Little compatibility with film SLRs

Quick Take

The SB-700 may be more costly than its SB-600 predecessor, but it offers some significant interface upgrades and is a great all-around performer.

Nikon’s latest addition to its Creative Lighting System (CLS) is the SB700 speedlight, announced in September 2010 and available in mid-November of that same year.

Nikon SB700

The CLS began with the introduction of the SB800 speedlight as its foundation in 2003, but also encompasses technology in electronics, data communications and processing algorithms. However, hardware is the most visible system component and flash units are the most visible hardware. While the SB700 is ostensibly the replacement for the SB600, that model remains on Nikon USA’s website at present, along with the SB900.

 Nikon SB700

The SB700 can utilize 4 alkaline, lithium or nickel-metal hydride AA batteries, but carbon-zinc AAs are not recommended. The SB700 is fully functional with CLS-compatible cameras – all Nikon DSLRs (except the D1 series and D100) and the F6 film body. Functionality with Coolpix models E8400, E8800, P5000, P5100, P6000 and P7000 is possible to a limited extent. The flash will mount to non-compatible cameras but many functions will be unavailable. MSRP for the flash is $330 and Nikon includes a soft case, speedlight stand, diffusion dome, incandescent and fluorescent filters and a user’s manual with each flash.

As is Nikon custom, the flash head itself features a built-in bounce card and wide panel, both of which may be deployed separately or in concert. Here’s a look at that diffusion dome, the filters and the flash with both bounce card and wide panel deployed.

Nikon SB700 Nikon SB700
Nikon SB700 Nikon SB700

An SB700 has found its way to my door, so let’s take a closer look at Nikon’s newest flash.

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