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This post was most recently updated on January 21st, 2024.

If you’re in the market for a flashgun or “speedlight” for your camera you’re in luck! Today you will learn the top flashguns so you can pick the best one for you, fast.

What’s the best flashgun?

Let’s dive in.

Best Flashguns

Editor’s PickBrand
Best Flashgun for the Money/Best Budget FlashgunGodox V860II
THE Best FlashgunProfoto A1X Air
Best Runner UpGodox V1
Best Cheap FlashgunNeewer NW561
Best Canon Flashgun for the MoneyCanon Speedlite 430EX III-RT
Overall Best for CanonCanon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
Best Cheap Flashgun for CanonGodox V86011
Budget Nikon Flashgun for the MoneyNikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight
THE Best Nikon FlashgunNikon SB-5000 AF
Best Cheap Flashgun for NikonGodox V86011
Best flashgun for Sony A7Sony HVL-F60RM

Best Flashgun for the Money: Godox V86011

Godox V860II-Canon
With a 200mAh rechargeable lithium battery that will do up to 650 flashes and 1.5 seconds of recycle at full power, you’ll feel like you spent a lot more on the Godox V86011.

The Godox V86011 is the best flashgun for the money because it has a powerful yet efficient battery, fast recycle time, and wireless transmission which allows for master and slave mode use. This best budget flashgun also has easy to use LCD screen controls.

Even with a small price, it still has some great features which makes it a fantastic choice for a hobbyist or someone just starting out.

  • Manual Mode with intervals from 1/1 to 1/128, moving 1/3 steps
  • GN60 High Guide Number and 22 Steps of Power Output (1/1-1/128). Auto/Manual Zoom Head from 20 to 200mm. Auto zoom (Flash coverage set automatically to match the lens focal length and image size) and Manual zoom

With a 1.5 second recycle time, wireless TTL mode and a powerful rechargeable battery, the Godox V86011 is an excellent choice at this price point.

The Godox V86011 even has specific compatibility kits for Sony, Canon and Nikon.

Key Features of the Godox V86011:

  • 1.5 second recycle
  • 650 flashes per charge
  • Wireless master slave
  • Supports TTL system

THE Best Flashgun: Profoto A1X Air

Profoto A1X On/Off Camera Studio Flash
The Profoto A1X Air offers soft, pleasant light, a turbo-charged recycle of less than one second, and a rechargeable battery.

Do you yearn for perfect natural light from a hot shoe flash? Does it crush your creative mojo when you have to wait for your flash to recycle?

If you answered yes, the Profoto A1X Air is the speedlight for you. It is one of the smallest but most powerful speedlights out there and the flash head has a round shape which creates a softer, more pleasant light.

And it’s fast – recycling in less than one second at full power. Add in a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can handle 400 flashes on a single charge and I’m sure you can see why this high-end flash made our list.

The Profoto A1X Air’s features earn it the top spot on our list as THE best flashgun. It’s definitely not the least expensive flash on the list but one second recycle, 400 flashes on a single charge, and it’s consistent quality light makes it worth every dime.

Key Features of the Profoto A1X Air:

  • Over 400 flashes per charge
  • Fast recycle
  • TTL and HHS
  • Consistent, quality light
  • Compact size

Best Runner Up: Godox V1

With a circular flash that creates beautiful, natural light and a robust lithium-ion battery which allows for hundreds of flashes with ultra quick recycles, If you’re on a budget but still want a quality speedlight, the Godox V1 is the best runner up flashgun.

It offers all-in-one function and great compatibility with 2.4g wireless system. It supports 1/8000s High-Speed Sync, Front/Rear Curtain Sync, the motorized zoom head (28-105mm) features automatic and manual control to easily track the focal length.

If you’re just getting started, need a back up, or simply don’t have a ton of cash to spend, this flash does not disappoint. With this flashgun, you’ll get maximum power at a minimum price tag.

The battery life and recycle are outstanding and it’s very user friendly. And the renowned Godox wireless system allows for use in wireless master and slave modes. The Godox V1 is a solid contender for the top spot at a fraction of the price.

Key Features of the Godox V1:

  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Wireless controls
  • Natural light
  • Compact size

Best Cheap Flashgun: Neewer NW561

Neewer NW561
The Neewer NW561 is a perfect choice for beginners. It’s easy to use with basic features but still provides great light despite its very small price tag.

This Neewer NW 561 speedlight is incredibly inexpensive but still has up to 1.5 seconds of recycling time which is not bad at all. It runs on four AA batteries and rechargeable NIMH batteries are recommended. It supports manual/MULTI/S1/S2 flash mode and has pretty good online reviews.

It may not be the flashiest flash but it will beat your built in flash every time. It’s perfect for beginners looking to break into the external flash game without breaking the bank.

The Neewer NW 561 is the best cheap flashgun if you want to learn the basics of external flash lighting without making a dent in your bank account. You may spend a little more on batteries but it will definitely give you great results until you’re ready to upgrade.

Key Features of the Neewer NW 561:

  • Price
  • 1.5 second recycle
  • Flash time: 1/200s-1/20000s

Top Pick Flashgun for Canon: Canon Speedlite 600 EX II-RT

Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
A redoux of the famous Canon 600EX-RT, this speedlight will give up to 700 flashes on four AA batteries with recycling speed of 0.1 to 5.5 seconds.

If you’re looking for a workhorse flash for your Canon camera, this Canon Speedlite 600 EX II-RT is it. It has maximum flash power with up to 700 flashes. It has a very quick recycle, and a bounce head for direct or reflected light.

Continuous flash can be optimized with an optional compact battery pack. It has a modeling light, second curtain flash sync and remote shutter release. Wireless controls allow for off-camera flash.

This flash has a guide number of 197 feet at ISO 100 so you get the lighting you want. It has a zoom of 20-200mm to automatically track the focal length, so your light will easily reach your target.

If you’re looking for a flashgun to unleash your creativity, this is it.

The Canon Speedlite 600 EX II-RT is at the top of our list for being a quality, versatile, speedlight for Canon cameras. It comes with all of the creative bells and whistles. It has all of the features you need from an external flash and is backed by the quality of Canon.

Key Features of the Canon Speedlite 600 EX II-RT:

  • Quick recycle
  • Up to 700 flashes
  • 2.4 Ghz wireless radio system
  • TTL, E-TTL y, E-TTL II flash metering
  • High-speed sync at 1/250 shutter speed

Best Canon Flashgun for the Money: Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT
A mid-range flash for your Canon camera. It’s smaller and lighter than the 600 EX II-RT but still packs a punch with a recycle of 0.1 to 3.7 seconds.

The Canon 430 EX III-RT is an awesome starter speedlight for any photographer to learn lighting technique and it will easily carry you into more advanced flash creativity. Multiple Speedlites can be used together for advanced flash technique.

The recycle time is super fast and ranges from 0.1 to 3.7 seconds but that can be reduced to 0.1 to 2 seconds when you use AA Ni-MH batteries instead of alkaline. It has a maximum guide number of 141ft./43m at ISO 100 and the zoom range covers 24-105mm.

Radio-frequency triggering makes off-camera flash easy and opens up new ways to get creative with your photography. It has simple controls and an intuitive interface making it a superb choice for the novice or professional photographer.

The Canon 430 EX III-RT is the best Canon speedlight for the money simply because of the value. It’s a lot of flash bang for the buck. To get this many features for this little money is sublime. It produces solid results every time and is a favorite of hobbyists and professional photographers.

Key Features of the Canon 430 EX III-RT:

  • Compact design
  • Quick recycle
  • Easy to use
  • Zoom flash head

Best cheap flashgun for Canon: Godox V86011

Godox V860II-Canon
An inexpensive but quality speedlight that features a rechargeable lithium battery with up to 650 flashes per charge and 1.5 seconds of recycling time.

If you don’t have a ton of money to spend but want the creativity that a flashgun provides,Godox V86011 is the flash you’ve been looking for. A rechargeable 200mAh lithium ion battery and recycle speed of 1.5 seconds top the list of the features of this cost effective flash.

This flash features a wireless X system, which allows master-slave capability and it supports TTL mode with an easy-to-use LCD screen. It is easy to learn and easy to use.

The Godox V86011 flashgun is an inexpensive, quality speedlight. It has many of the features of much more expensive speedlights at a fraction of the cost. This would be a great flashgun for a beginner or hobbyist to unleash their creative potential.

Key Features of the Godox V86011:

  • Fast recycle (1.5 seconds)
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Supports TTL
  • Wireless Master slave technology
  • High-speed sync

Best Flashgun for Nikon: Nikon SB-5000 AF

Nikon SB-5000 AF
A versatile speedlight with tons of exposure control and fast recycle time of 1.8 to 2.6 seconds. It supports multiple flash modes and has wireless features.

The Nikon SB-5000 AF is a beautiful off-camera flash. It’s a full-frame flash with a motorized zoom range of 24-200mm to automatically track the focal length and has an available wide-angle adapter. It has a bounce head from -7 to +90 degrees and a 360 degree swivel head for direct or indirect flash so it’s great for direct or indirect light.

It has a wide range of flash duration and a recycle time of 1.8 to 2.6 seconds. It has manual exposure control and supports several flash modes such as high speed sync, second-curtain sync, and slow sync for maximum creative control. And it sports a cooling system that really works.

The Nikon SB-5000 AF is a lovely full-frame flashgun. It’s the best flashgun for Nikon because its features combine to allow a bonanza of creative possibilities for your flash photography. This speedlight will give you great lighting across a variety of conditions. You will not be disappointed with this flash on your camera.

Key features of the Nikon SB-5000 AF

  • Full Frame Flash
  • Rapid recycle time
  • Wireless radio or optical pulse control
  • Creative exposure control

Top Budget Flashgun for Nikon: Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight

Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight
Simple controls and a continuous LED light for videography top the list of features for this budget Nikon flashgun. A great choice for someone just getting started with shoe-mount flash systems.

When you start using lighting for creativity rather than utility, the Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight is a wonderful addition to your bag. It’s not the most powerful flash you can get for your Nikon but what it lacks in power it makes up for in compact size and versatility.

The flash head offers bounce and swivel with 180 degrees to the left and right and 90 degrees upwards allowing maximum control to light your subject. TTL technology ensures you get a perfect shot every time.

The Nikon 4814 SB-500 was an obvious choice for a budget Nikon Flashgun. It’s hard to believe the price of this flash with its many top-grade features. It’s compact size, simple controls and creative flexibility make it a sweet spot in Nikon’s speedlight line.

Key Features of the Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight:

  • Compact size
  • Recycle of 3.5 to 30 seconds
  • Continuous LED for video
  • TTL through the lens

Best Cheap Flashgun for Nikon: Godox V86011

Godox V860II-Canon
This Nikon compatible speedlight sports 1.5 seconds of recycle time, a rechargeable lithium battery, wireless and optic transmission, and on-point TTL flash metering.

The Godox V86011 speedlight offers pretty fast recycling times at full power of 1.5 seconds and has a rechargeable lithium battery that will give you up to 650 flashes.

Wireless and optic transmission allows for master-slave flash flexibility. Combine that with TTL flash metering and this speedlight becomes an optimal choice for beginner to intermediate photographers.

This flash comes in at such a low price point and yet gets rave reviews.

The Godox V86011 speedlight is the perfect balance of quality and value which makes it the best cheap flashgun for Nikon. It has a ton of features that are usually found on more expensive hot shoe flashes which will give you the creativity you want from an external flash without breaking the bank.

Key Features of the Godox V86011:

  • 1.5 seconds recycle
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • TTL
  • Wireless and optic transmission
  • Simple controls

Best Flashgun for Sony a7: Sony HVL-F60RM

Sony HVL-F60RM
Powerful flash lighting and fast recycling time are featured for this speedlight for the Sony mirrorless a7 III.

If you’ve made the move to a mirrorless camera but still want the creativity a hot shoe flash can provide you’re in luck. Sony has created a flashgun that can operate as on-camera flash or radio wireless commander or receiver. That flash is the Sony HVL-F60RM.

The Sony HVL-F60RM is the best flashgun for these Sony A7 models:

  • Alpha A7 III
  • Alpha A7 II
  • Alpha A7
  • Alpha A77 II
  • Alpha A7R
  • Alpha A7R II
  • Alpha A7R III
  • Alpha A7S
  • Alpha A7S II

This flash has a fast recycling time of 1.7 seconds and drops to 0.6 seconds with optional FA-EBA1 external battery pack. It allows for continuous shooting up to 220 emissions per set of 4 AA batteries.

The HVL-F60RM can keep up on low-burst mode for fill flash. It’s a very nice, very versatile flash.

Key Features of the Sony HVL-F60RM:

  • Fast recycle times
  • Radio wireless
  • Powerful flash


Using external flash can be a great practical solution to providing extra light when you need it but it can also be a wonderful creative resource.

Unleash your creativity and choose one of the great flashguns discussed here. You won’t be disappointed, no matter how you plan to use your new flash.