Today Nikon announced the SB-910, a new top-of the range flash unit to replace the SB-900.
This is a rather quick replacement – only 2 years and 5 months after the SB-900 appeared on the market. Compare this to the previous update cycle: It took Nikon 5 years to replace the SB-800 (announced 22 July 2003).
This update most probably has something to do with a gripe some professional users had with the SB-900: if you worked it too hard the thermal protection circuitry will kick in, rendering it unusable until it cooled.
While this is good for the unit’s self-preservation, it is terrible news to a photographer shooting a critical scene (imagine the bride walking down the aisle). Of course, working pros should be aware of this (it is explained in the manual), and it’s simple to switch this feature off if you don’t like it.
Non the less it comes as no surprise: The SB-910’s new thermal protection system slows the flash recycle frequency rather than it simply shutting down.
The full list of changes compared to the SB-900, just like in its model number, are marginal:
- New overheating control (slowed recycle time instead of shutdown)
- Improved battery management
- Slightly simplified user interface (more like the SB-700)
- Illuminated buttons
- New “hard” colour filters (like on the SB-700)
- Slightly tweaked exterior that is ever-so-slightly heavier (about 1%)
The SB-910 is already available for pre-order at around $550. If you’re clever and don’t need the tweaked features of the SB-910 you can save yourself $100 (20%) and instead order the SB-900 for $449 (B&H), while stock lasts.
Summary: Newer Nikon DSLR cameras seem to choose unnecessarily high ISO values when using a flash in combination with auto-ISO – specifically in “P”, “A” and “S” mode. I have verified this issue for the Nikon D7000 and the D3100, and from forums I deduce that it also goes for the D5000, D3000, D5100 and D300s.
It pains me to only repost other people’s blogs, but due to a host of factors I find myself with too little time to write my own full entries. I might add that a recent addition to my camera family, a Nikon D7000, also skews my priorities – I think I’d like to spend more time making photographs, and not only talk about them. :P
But, without further ado – here is an interesting video showcasing how Dave Black uses a monstrously concocted photography nerd’s wet dream to make amazing surf photographs. Thanks to Scott Bryant for blogging about it (click on the picture to reach the full article):