Nikon has announced a new upgrade to its flagship speedlight, in the form of the SB-910. For those of us keeping track, the SB-910 is officially ten more than its predecessor (unless we’re talking base cost, in which case it’ll be $50 more at launch.) The SB-910 isn’t exactly leaps and bounds over the SB-900, but that’s pretty alright since there wasn’t much about the SB-900 to gripe about.
And, in fact, it’s the few things you could gripe about that have seen changes. For example, Nikon’s claiming the LCD menu system has been reworked and is now easier and more intuitive to use. Which, well, it needed to be, frankly. Also, they’ve replaced the film gels of the SB-900 with hard gels this time, for more durability and ease-of-use. Both good ideas.
But the thing that’s going to perk up most of your ears, I suspect, is that they’ve made changes to the thermal cut-off feature. Whereas previous implementations just turned your flash off to prevent you from slagging the thing as you stood there firing flashes like they were bullets in a Bruce Willis flick, the new version will merely cut back on the power until things cool down enough. So, while not quite 100%, your flash will stilll be usable at all without taking the rather unadvised (and possible warranty-affecting) route of turning the cut-off off entirely.
Otherwise, you’re looking at a power output of 34GN (meters at ISO 100, 35mm zoom, FX, standard pattern), three flash patterns, a zoom range of 17-200mm, and auto-detection for FX or DX format, plus the two included gels and the foot. There’ll be an optional gel pack with more hard gels, and covers for “select camera models” to make a moisture resistant seal between the foot and the hotshoe for those drizzly days. MSRP will e sitting at $549.99 and availability is expected to start around the middle of next month, although as always we recommend you place one of our no-commitment preorders if you want to be among the very first to get one.