The SB700 is the newest speedlight addition to Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and a decided improvement over the last-generation SB600 it replaces. The new user interface is simpler and more intuitive, offering quicker settings on shooting parameters likely to be employed by most users. Recycle times are quick with full discharges – 2.5 seconds maximum with most power sources, and partial discharges produced 9 flashes at 9 fps before the SB700 needed a fraction of a second to recharge for another flash.
Full compatibility with most Nikon DSLRs and a couple of Coolpix cameras, but if you’re shooting a film Nikon it needs to be an F6 to take full advantage of the flash’s features. The guide number is down a little from the SB600 and the price is up a lot, but after shooting a first-generation CLS flash (the SB800) for years, the user interface alone on the SB700 (and 900, for that matter) is enough to make the extra cost attractive. Anyone shooting a lot of wireless flash with the first generation speedlights (SB600 and 800) will find the SB700 refreshingly quick to set up for remote or master flash duty.
- Much improved control interface
- Fully compatible with virtually all Nikon DSLRs
- Good continuous shooting capability
- Quick light pattern adjustment
- Guide number a bit lower
- MSRP over $100 higher
- Limited compatibility with virtually all Nikon film bodies