Along with the impressive new D5 and D500 DSLR camera bodies, Nikon have announced their first radio enabled speedlight in the SB-5000.
As well as providing radio, and optic, master and slave functions, the new flagship SB-5000 also feature a cooling system which allows up to 120 consecutive full power flashes.
Although the SB-5000 are compatible with most current Nikon DSLR cameras, the new radio function can only be used with the new D5 or D500 camera bodies at this stage (and require a small external WR-R10 transmitter / WR-A10 adapter attached to the camera).
With a guide number of 55 meters (200mm zoom, ISO 100) the SB-5000 provide slightly more power than the previous flagship SB-910, though the SB-5000 are now significantly more compact in size.
By assigning a number of functions to the rotary multi selector and OK button, the SB-5000’s interface now provides faster access to commonly used functions, like Flash Exposure Compensation, Flash Zoom, and Flash Mode, .
An “Info” button is also now provided for quick access to your favorite settings.
And when using the radio function settings can now be adjusted directly through the D5 and D500’s camera menu.
The SB-5000 also provide a larger dot matix LCD screen interface.
SB-5000 SPEEDLIGHT KEY FEATURES –
- GN 55m (ISO 100 / 200mm Zoom)
- Flash Cooling System – Enables Over 100 Consecutive Full Power Pops
- Flash Modes – iTTL / M / Multi
- HSS to 1/8000th
- FEC / FEB – 1/3rd Increments (±3 Stops)
- FEL (Flash Exposure Lock)
- Manual Flash – 1/256 – 1/1 Output (1/3rd Increments)
- Nikon Wireless Radio (Requires D5 or D500 Camera, & WR-R10 / WR-A10 Transmitter / Adapter)
- Radio Master Mode – 6 Groups (A /B /C /D /E / F)
- Combined Optic & Radio Master – 3 Groups Optic (A / B / C), 3 Groups Radio (D / E / F)
- 4 Channels
- Radio Slave Mode – 6 Groups, 4 Channels.
- Radio Range – Approx. 30 meters
- Nikon Optic Wireless Master & Slave Modes
- 3 Groups – A / B / C
- 4 Channels
- Optic Range – Line Of Sight
- Full Power Recycle – From 1.8 Seconds (Approx. with Ni-MH 2600 mAh Batteries)
- Flash Duration – 1/980 sec. at M 1/1 (full) output, 1/30,820 sec. at M 1/256 output
- Head Swivel 0 – 360 Degrees, Head Tilt -7 – 90 Degrees
- Large Dot Matrix LCD Display
- AF Assist Light
- Optic Slave Mode (SU4)
- Modeling flash
- Custom Functions
- Auto Memory Function
- Sound Prompt
- Heat Protection
- External HV Battery Port
- Optional SK-6 Power Bracket Unit
- PC Sync Port
- Dimensions – 73 x 137 x 103.5mm
- Weight – 420 g (Without Batteries)
WIRELESS RADIO TRANSMISSION
A number of years after Canon released their radio based RT flash system, Nikon have finally introduced radio based wireless transmission to their speedlight system, with the new SB-5000 flash and D5 / D500 cameras.
(The delay likely more a testament to how well the Nikon Optic Wireless System has performed, particularly in comparison to Canon’s Optic System).
Nikon’s AWL (Advanced Wireless Lighting) / CLS (Creative Lighting System) can now be used via radio transmission, and therefore without the line of sight or bright ambient light restrictions faced by the optic system.
Using either the D5 / D500’s flash control menu, or the master interface of an SB-5000 flash mounted on the cameras hotshoe, up to 6 groups (A/B/C/D/E/F) of remote SB-5000 Speedlights can be fully controlled from the camera, up to 30 meters away.
Unlike Canon’s RT system though, which allows at least some backward compatibility with previous camera bodies, the Nikon radio transmission can only work with the new D5 and D500 cameras (and later Nikon camera models to follow).
The D5 and D500 also require a small external WR-R10 transmitter module (also previously used for remote shutter release functions) to be attached to the front of the camera.
And as the D5 and D500 have a Nikon 10 pin port in the front of the camera, a small WR-A10 adaptor is also required to connect the WR-R10 transmitter to the camera.
The combined unit then attaches to the front of the camera.
And unlike most other radio transmitter units, this unique system provides one advantage at least of leaving the camera hotshoe free to mount other lights, radio triggers, or microphones etc.
The WR-R10 transmitters alone have no flash control interface, so full control of up to 6 groups or remote flashes can be made through the D5, and D500’s new in-camera Flash Control Menu.
As with Nikon’s Optic Wireless System individual Groups can set to TTL, Manual, and OFF, and TTL and Manual Groups can be mixed at the same time.
Nikon have also now added a Canon style A:B ratio adjustment format at well for users who may prefer that option.
An SB-5000 speedlight mounted on a D5 or D500 camera hotshoe can also be used as the master interface to control 6 groups of remote SB-5000 speedlights via radio transmission.
Combined optic and radio transmission is also possible, allowing legacy Nikon speedlights like the SB-900, SB-910, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600 etc to be used in combination with the new SB-5000 in a remote lighting set up.
In a combined optic & radio set up there are 3 Optic Groups (A / B / C), and 3 Radio Groups (D / E / F) available.
The optic and radio groups can all be controlled through the SB-5000’s master interface while mounted on the camera hotshoe. Or the 3 radio groups can be controlled through the cameras Flash control menu, and a legacy speedlight (SB-910 etc) or SU-800 transmitter can be mounted on the cameras hotshoe to control the 3 optic slave groups.
NIKON SB-5000 SPECIFICATIONS
Commander Function – Yes
Remote Function – Yes
Transmission Mode – Radio control and optical communication
Transmission Range – Radio control approx. 98 ft. (30m), optical communication – line of sight
Guide Number – 34.5 m/113 ft. (at 35 mm) 55 m/180 ft. (at 200 mm) (FX format, standard illumination pattern) (at ISO 100)
Electronic Construction – Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Flash Exposure Control – i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash with CLS compatible cameras
Lens Coverage – 24 to 200mm lens, 14mm with wide panel (in FX format)
Illumination Pattern –
The light distribution angle is automatically adjusted to the camera’s image area in both FX and DX formats
Other Available Functions –
AF-assist illumination for multi-point
AF Modeling illuminator
Bounce Function (Tilt) – Flash head tilts down to -7° or up to 90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°
Bounce Function (Rotate) – Flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 75°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
Minimum Recycling Time –
1.8 sec. (approx.) with Ni-MH (2600 mAh) batteries
2.6 sec. (approx.) with AA-size Alkaline (1.5V) batteries
Flash Duration –
1/980 sec. at M 1/1 (full) output
1/1,110 sec. at M 1/2 output
1/2,580 sec. at M 1/4 output
1/5,160 sec. at M 1/8 output
1/8,890 sec. at M 1/16 output
1/13,470 sec. at M 1/32 output
1/18,820 sec. at M 1/64 output
1/24,250 sec. at M 1/128 output
1/30,820 sec.at M 1/256 output
Required Power Source – Four 1.5 V alkaline AA-size batteries
Optional Power Supply – SK-6 Power Bracket Unit, SD-9 High-Performance Battery Pack
Flash-ready Indicator –
Rear and Front lights blink: Insufficient light for correct exposure (in i-TTL, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL Auto flash, or Distance-priority manual flash operations).
Rear lights up and Front blinks: recycled and ready to fire.
Ready Light – Front – Back
Flash Compensation –
-3.0 EV to +3.0 EV in increments of 1/3 steps in i-TTL auto flash, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL auto flash and Distance-priority manual flash modes
Min. Number of Flashes / Recycling Time –
150/2.6-30 sec. (1.5V AA Alkaline-manganese)
190/1.8-30 sec or more (1.2V AA rechargeable Ni-MH batteries)
Wireless Flash Modes – Master, Remote
Wireless Groups –
Radio controlled: Master + 6 groups
Optically controlled: Master + 3 groups
Dimensions – 2.87 x 5.4 x 4″ / 73 x 137 x 103.5 mm (Approx.)
Weight (Approx.) – 14.9 oz. (420 g)
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights are available for pre-order now from $596.95, and should start shipping around Mid March 2016 –
Nikon – Website USA