On-camera flash gives you more power and control over your lighting setup, and the choice f flash isn’t random at all: there are factors to consider!

Explore our compilation of the 7 best camera flashes to step up your shots - check out key features, compatibility, and pros and cons. Curious to see what else is there in the gear world that can improve your photography? Read our guide to camera equipment.


Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash

The Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT offers most features of the best camera flashguns. Its autozoom ranges from 24 to 105mm, and it can act as both a master unit and a slave - keep in mind that the flash functions differently in each mode. This Canon flash has two types of sync, high-speed and slow, allowing you to use it with a wide range of shutter speeds for different creative effects. The Speedlite 430EX is perfect for high-volume photographers – it has a short recycling time ranging from 0.1 to 3.5 seconds and can be used in manual mode or TTL.

  • Wireless support for IR and RF triggers
  • 45 to a 90-degree rotating head
  • Manual Power of 1/1 to 1/128
  • Bounce: 0 to 90 degrees
  • Swivel: 150/180
  • Zoom range: 24-105mmWide angle diffuser: 14mm
  • Dimensions: 71 x 114 x 98mm

Compatibility: Canon

Pros:

  • Zoom head 24-105 mm
  • Master / Slave unit
  • HSS


Cons:

  • Not dust or water resistant



Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite

The Neewer TT560 is an entry-level, budget-friendly flash with good power output and consistency for its price. Its recycling time is 3 seconds in full power, which is a bit too slow for any professional on-camera use, but completely acceptable if you’re not rushing. The TT560 has eight levels of power with one-stop intervals and can be used with any camera. You can use this flash off-camera in manual power mode since it has an optical slave which reacts when finds another flash.

Key specs:

  • 0-90 degrees tilt
  • 270 degrees of rotation
  • Wide-angle diffuser
  • Manual power settings 1/1 to 1/128
  • S1 and S2 slave modes
  • Swivel: 270°
  • Wireless master/slave: Slave IR
  • Dimensions: 190 x 75 x 55 mm


Compatibility: Any camera with standard ISO hot shoe

Pros:

  • Universally compatible
  • Low price
  • Optical slave mode

Cons:

  • No sync modes
  • No TTL or zoom head


Canon Speedlite EL-1

The Speedlite EL-1 strobe has been designed specifically for high-end professional use. The EL-1 is built with endurance and dependability in mind and is equipped with weather-resistance design features that use similar sealing to the one on Canon cameras. The Speedlite EL-1’s battery life, recycle times, and continuous operation offer impeccable performance. The flash comes with an internal cooling system to allow up to 170 full power shots in quick succession without overheating. The new Xenon flash tube, meanwhile,  increases durability, accuracy, and consistency.

Key specs:

  • Bounce: -7 to 120 degrees
  • Swivel: 180/180
  • Zoom range: 24-200mm
  • Wide angle diffuser: 14mm
  • Manual power settings: 1/1 to 1/8192
  • Wireless master/slave: Master and slave, IR/RF
  • Dimensions: 84.4 x 149 x 136.4mm

Compatibility: Canon


Pros:

  • Rechargeable Li-ion power
  • Super-fast recycle times and active cooling

Cons:

  • Overkill for most users
  • Expensive

Nikon Speedlight SB-5000

The Nikon Speedlight SB-5000 is ideal for a professional photographer willing to invest in a potent and reliable flash. It can be used in multiple sync modes like first and second curtain sync, HHS, and slow sync, and can adjust the zoom length depending on the focal length of your lens. The SB-5000 provides optical and radio wireless control, allowing you to work with multiple units in complicated portrait lighting setups. The flash can do up to 100 consecutive shots at full power and has automatic white balance when you use it with the incandescent and fluorescent filters.

Key specs:

  • Advanced cooling system
  • TTL flash advanced system
  • Bounce: -7 to 90 degrees
  • Zoom range: 24-200mm
  • Wide-angle diffuser: 14mm
  • Manual power settings: 1/1 to 1/256
  • Wireless master/slave: Master/Slave IR/RF
  • Dimensions: 73 x 137 x 103.5mm


Compatibility: Nikon

Pros:

  • Built-in cooling system
  • Autozoom 24-200 mm
  • i-TTL
  • Multiple sync modes

Cons:

  • Pricey

Nissin Di700A + Air 1

The Nissin Di700A is a mighty flashgun with multiple operating and wireless modes. The on-camera menus include rear-curtain sync, high-speed sync, and manual zoom of the 24-200mm head. The built-in wireless receiver can be optically triggered by the camera’s flash, making it possible to mix and match different optical receivers. The Di700A is the best choice for enthusiast photographers: thanks to the TTL metering and simple interface, the flash is easy to use and proves to be great for fast-moving subjects, events photography, and group portraits.

Key specs:

  • Bounce: -7 to 90 degrees
  • Swivel: 180/180
  • Zoom range: 24-200mm
  • Wide-angle diffuser: 16mm
  • Wireless master/slave: Slave IR/RF
  • Flash duration: 1/800 to 1/30000 second
  • Dimensions: 75 x 140 x 115mm

Compatibility: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Micro Four Thirds


Pros:

  • HSS
  • Radio transmitter included
  • Multi-mode sync

Cons:

  • Long recovery after overheating


Profoto A10 On/Off Camera Flash Kit

The Profoto A10 flash mimics the performance of other comprehensive lighting equipment of Ptofoto, like monolights and studio strobes, which means this flash is a pretty capable one. The A10 offers a button-free experience, as it can work with the Profoto all and Bluetooth, and is compatible with any camera. The flash comes with an autofocus assist, manual and auto zoom, and a built-in LED modeling light which makes it easy to preview lighting setups. The A10 operates in HSS mode, making it perfectly suitable for shooting high-speed action and fleeting moments.

Key specs:

  • Recycling time: 1 sec
  • 450 full-power flashes
  • High-Speed Sync, LED modeling light
  • 9-stop power range, 76Ws output
  • Flash duration: 1/800 to 1/20000 second
  • Power range: 1/1 to 1/256


Compatibility: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm

Pros:

  • Fast recycling time
  • Compact design
  • High-speed sync

Cons:

  • A serious investment
  • Questionable battery life

Godox TT600 Camera Flash

The Godox TT600 is a reliable and budget-friendly lighting option for photographers. With built-in 2.4G wireless transmission, an illuminated LCD panel, and an automatic overheating prevention function, this flash is one of the popular choices among creators for years now. You can use the TT600 with the X1 TTL flash trigger to control manual output and fire remotely, and enjoy 230 flashes on a full battery. The TT600 features a high-speed sync when used with a wireless transmitter that triggers up to 1/8000s. The flash even comes with a set of gels to help you be more creative with your lighting setups.

Key specs:

  • Built-In 2.4GHz X wireless radio system
  • Zoom range: 24-200mm
  • Tilt: -7 to 90°
  • Rotation: Left & Right 180°
  • Flash duration: 1/300 to 1/20000 second
  • Power range: 1/1 to 1/128
  • Recycle time: 0.1-2.6 seconds
  • 3.5mm Sync Port

Compatibility: any standard flash shoe


Pros:

  • Good battery life
  • Very responsive X wireless system
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices
  • HSS

Cons:

  • No TTL
  • The user interface is rather outdated

How we picked the best

Flash output

The flash output means the intensity of the light the head emits, expressed in a guide number. The higher the guide number, the better the flash can light the subjects located far away. At the same time, such a flash can light closer objects with a narrower aperture if you need more control of the depth of field.

Camera system

Some hot shoe flashes are entirely manually controlled, while others have both manual and automatic mode called TTL, essential for shooting when there’s no time to stop and adjust, like with sports photography. The manual mode, meanwhile, doesn’t have compatibility problems - manual flashes are universally compatible.

Recycle speed

The flash recycling speed indicates how quickly the flash is ready to shoot again. If you do action photography, the recycling speed is an essential factor to consider.

FAQ

What are the best camera flashes?

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash, Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite, Canon Speedlite EL-1, Nikon Speedlight SB-5000, Nissin Di700A + Air 1, Profoto A10 On/Off Camera Flash Kit, Godox TT600 Camera Flash

What makes a good camera flash?

High guide number, fast recycle time, availability of HSS feature, rotating head, wide zoom range, and strong battery life.

What flash is best for wedding photography?

Neewer TT560 Speedlite would be the best flash choice for wedding photography.