Nikon’s announcements of the D5 and D500 came as no surprise. Neither did the SB-5000.
But it is the new Speedlight that I find as interesting as the cameras.
I have been involved in Speedlight’s, immersed in fact since 1988, when I was heavily involved in the launch of the SB-24, alongside the Nikon F-801 camera.
Although I had owned Speedlights before then, this one changed the ‘goalposts’ for everyone, including other manufacturers, and many photographers.
It was, I think it fair to say, the first ‘modern’ hot-shoe flash unit. The type that has now become common place and copied across all brands.
That SB-24, the SB-800’s which have and still serve me well, plus the SB-910, which has taken all I have asked of it, have been the Speedlight highlights over the last quarter century plus to me.
The new SB-5000 is a logical progression.
It is not the headline feature of ‘radio’ communication that appeals above and beyond its other features to me though.
After all, I don’t think many have with good technique and understanding, been significantly disadvantaged by the optical transmission control of previous, and contemporary units.
And if they have, they may well have purchased third party solutions for use with their Nikon Speedlights.
I think many may not feel the full benefits of radio control, above and beyond what they already have therefore. That certainly is my observation of many shooting with Canon Speedlites offering radio communication.
But no doubt as it becomes the standard across flash units, many will feel comforted with that thought of it being there, just in case, even if in reality it may not be needed.
But there is no denying a smaller band in number, who wish to trigger over greater distances in particular, outside on location for another example, who will find it immediately enticing.
Not sure yet if the extra accessories needed makes sense to me. More kit, more cost and complexity. No doubt all this will become built-in with subsequent camera generations, and begs the question as to why not go straight to it?
Like the small extra power though, and the cooling system for prolonged and fast paced shooters, will certainly tick boxes.
And when you carry a lot of kit, its drop in size compared to the SB-900 series is also welcome. Reminding me of the SB-800’s already.
Looking forward to giving further feedback in due course. But it seems to me that Nikon users are in a good place with the existing SB-700, SB-910 (while stock lasts) and now the SB-5000.