A quality speedlight is pretty much every photographer’s best friend.
Problem is, there are a lot of different options out there, many of them offering some excellent advanced features.
To help you figure out which is the best one for you, we’ve put together this list of the best speedlights out there.
Whether you’re a Canon, Nikon, or Sony shooter, or in fact a photographer using any other brand of camera, the perfect option is right here.
In This Article
- Best Speedlight: Profoto A1X Air
- Best Budget Speedlight: Godox V1
- Best Cheap Speedlight: Godox V860II
- Best Speedlight For Beginners: Neewer NW561
- Best Speedlight For Wedding Photography: Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
- Best Speedlight For Canon: Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
- Best Affordable Speedlight For Canon: Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT
- Best Budget Speedlight For Canon: Godox V860II
- Best Speedlight For Nikon: Nikon SB-5000 AF
- Best Budget Speedlight For Nikon: Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight
- Best Cheap Speedlight For Nikon: Godox V860II
- Best Speedlight For Sony: Sony HVL-F60RM
- Best Light Stand For Speedlight: Manfrotto 1004BAC
- Best Canon Speedlite For Wedding Photography: Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
- Best Nikon Speedlight For Wedding Photography : Nikon SB-5000 AF
- Best Godox Speedlight: Godox V1
- Best Speedlight For Nikon D750: Nikon SB-700 AF
- Best Speedlight For Sony A7iii: Sony HVL-F60RM
- Best Speedlight For Nikon D3400: Nikon SB-5000 AF
- Best Speedlight For Nikon D5300: Nikon SB-700 AF
- Best Speedlight For Nikon D5600: Nikon SB-700 AF
- Best Speedlight For Nikon D7200: Nikon SB-5000 AF
- Best Speedlight For Nikon D850: Nikon SB-5000 AF
- Best Speedlight For Sony A7Riii: Sony HVL-F60RM
The 24 Best Speedlights For Any Purpose
|Best Speedlight||Profoto A1X Air|
|Best Budget Speedlight||Godox V1|
|Best Cheap Speedlight||Godox V860II|
|Best Speedlight For Beginners||Neewer NW561|
|Best Speedlight For Wedding Photography||Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT|
|Best Speedlight For Canon||Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT|
|Best Affordable Speedlight For Canon||Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT|
|Best Budget Speedlight For Canon||Godox V860II|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon||Nikon SB-5000 AF|
|Best Budget Speedlight For Nikon||Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight|
|Best Cheap Speedlight For Nikon||Godox V860II|
|Best Speedlight For Sony||Sony HVL-F60RM|
|Best Light Stand For Speedlight||Manfrotto 1004BAC|
|Best Canon Speedlite For Wedding Photography||Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT|
|Best Nikon Speedlight For Wedding Photography||Nikon SB-5000 AF|
|Best Godox Speedlight||Godox V1|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon D750||Nikon SB-700 AF|
|Best Speedlight For Sony A7iii||Sony HVL-F60RM|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon D3400||Nikon SB-5000 AF|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon D5300||Nikon SB-700 AF|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon D5600||Nikon SB-700 AF|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon D7200||Nikon SB-5000 AF|
|Best Speedlight For Nikon D850||Nikon SB-5000 AF|
|Best Speedlight For Sony A7Riii||Sony HVL-F60RM|
Best Speedlight: Profoto A1X Air
The Profoto A1X Air is the best speedlight for Canon, Nikon, and Sony because of its round head that produces a naturally beautiful light.
Other on-camera speedlights have rectangular heads, which can create a sharp and intense light on the skin.
The round design of this speedlight’s head means the fall-off around the light is smooth and natural.
Need a light that won’t break your back?
Profoto describes the A1X Air as the world’s smallest speedlight. It measures 3.0 x 4.3 x 6.5 inches and weighs just 1.23 pounds.
In other words, this speedlight is so convenient to carry that it can fit in the palm of your hand.
The powerful abilities of the A1X Air don’t stop there. It also allows you to modify the light output through its built-in smart magnetic mount.
You can change the lighting effect by clicking or stacking modifiers such as a bounce card and a dome diffuser.
The Profoto A1X Air features TTL and high-speed sync to lock in the perfect exposure instantly, control ambient light, and overpower the striking rays of the sun.
Key Features of the Profoto A1X Air:
- Round shape for soft, natural light
- Compact size that fits in your pocket
- Fast recycling time at less than a second
Best Budget Speedlight: Godox V1
The Godox V1 is the best budget speedlight for Canon, Fuji, Nikon, and Sony cameras because it evenly distributes light between the focal point and edges.
When light is properly distributed from center to edge, it creates a more beautiful and natural effect.
This is possible through the round shape of the V1 speedlight. As we’ve mentioned, round flash heads produce a softer light spread on the subject.
With a decent recycling time of 1.5 seconds, the V1 is a great choice for a speedlight for less than $300, especially when you consider you can use it as a master or slave flash unit.
When you use it as a commander unit, the power-saving feature will switch it off after 90 seconds of being idle, saving battery life but also ensuring the light doesn’t overheat,
The 2,600mAh battery can also last for hours on end when fully charged, as it pops 480 full-power flashes before needing a recharge.
Key Features of the Godox V1:
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Even light distribution from center to edge
- 480 full-power flashes with 1.5 seconds of recycling
Best Cheap Speedlight: Godox V860II
The Godox V860II is the best cheap speedlight for Canon, Nikon, and Sony because it fully supports different TTL and HSS functions, despite only costing less than $160.
Considering the cost of the speedlight, that’s pretty impressive, as it allows you to trigger it in whatever manner you choose.
With a V860II, you can configure auto and manual flash on TTL, flash exposure compensation, and flash exposure lock.
HSS is important especially if you need to control ambient light.
The light itself is super bright, and offers 22 steps of power adjustment. It also comes with a handy little softbox that mounts onto the flash, ensuring a soft and diffuse light when the shoot calls for that.
While it’s cheap, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs a punch with up to 650 flashes on full power, which is probably as many shots as you’ll ever need to take in a shoot.
And since it’s equipped with the iconic Godox wireless system, you can use the built-in 2.4G transmission even at a distance of 100 meters.
The Godox V860II also functions as a master and slave flash. The LCD display conveniently lets you switch settings, which you’ll recognize based on the screen’s color.
Key Features of the Godox V860II:
- Supports TTL auto and manual flash
- Up to 650 flashes with 1.5 seconds of recycling
- LCD screen turns green when used as a master flash (orange on slave mode)
Best Speedlight For Beginners: Neewer NW561
The Neewer NW561 is the best speedlight for beginners because it’s affordable, compatible with all major camera brands, and makes understanding its deep feature set a breeze.
As a beginner, you don’t want to be shelling out on expensive equipment you aren’t familiar with, and the NW561 costs just $40.
The flash doesn’t offer TTL functionality, but it supports manual, multimode, S1, and S2 flashes. That’s already a lot considering that it’s an entry-level speedlight.
The NW561 makes understanding all of these simple, with an intuitive LCD display which clearly shows your settings.
It features a pretty decent guide number of 38 feet at ISO 100 and 35mm, meaning that it can cast light on subjects from 38 feet away from the flash.
While the speedlight’s body is made of plastic, it does a good job of keeping itself cool because of the over-temperature protection.
The Neewer NW561 also doesn’t look cheap, despite its plastic build quality.
Key Features of the Neewer NW561:
- Recycling time takes 0.1 to 5 seconds
- Decent guide number of 38 feet at ISO 100 and 35mm
Best Speedlight For Wedding Photography: Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT is the best speedlight for wedding photography because it constantly fires without fail even from almost 200 feet away.
This is possible through the zoom flash head that has a maximum guide number of 197 feet at ISO 100 and 60mm.
It’s a great option for those who just want to slink back and shoot subjects from a distance, without getting in the way of proceedings.
When you’re at a wedding, this is especially important as you need to be almost non-existent while covering the event.
The 600EX II-RT has a fast-firing rate that’s up to 1.5x better than older Canon speedlights, and you can use an optional compact battery pack and you can increase the rate to 2.0x better than the 600EX-RT model.
That means you’ll never miss a perfect shot again while the flash is recycling.
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT also has a modeling light, second curtain flash sync, and remote shutter release. The multiple flash system can handle up to 700 flashes.
Key Features of the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT:
- Lightweight at just 1.29 pounds
- Greater coverage with a guide number of 197 feet
- Better continuous flash performance than other Canon models
Best Speedlight For Canon: Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT is the best speedlight for Canon because of its generous zoom range of 20 to 200mm, which is perfect for close-up or macro photography, or for standard shoots.
Professional photographers like this flash as it can handle five groups of flashes, thanks to its multiple control system.
Its high-end and weather-sealed finish makes it a stylish yet tough companion for outdoor shots.
Do you always stress yourself and fidget when you need to bring flash during inclement weather?
As it’s dust- and water-resistant, you don’t have to worry about it and focus more on capturing the perfect shot in a rough environment.
Nikon made this an airtight flash by sealing the exterior seams. A bounce lock also helps to keep it in place every time you adjust its angle.
You can tilt it at 180 degrees horizontally, 90 degrees upwards, or 7 degrees downwards.
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT uses four AA batteries as its power source, but you can connect to an optional external power pack.
Key Features of the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT:
- Wide zoom range of 20 to 200mm
- Can work as a master and slave flash
- Multiple flash system for up to 700 flashes
Best Affordable Speedlight For Canon: Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT
The Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT is the best affordable speedlight for Canon because you’ll get a dual-purpose flash for the price of one.
The speedlight can function as a master and slave flash. On slave mode, you can use the 430EX III-RT from almost 50 feet away for an indoor optical set-up.
The flash still works for the same set-up outdoors at a distance of at least 30 feet away.
Plus, it offers 15 custom functions to suit any shooting style. It’s perfect for beginners who want to improve their skills yet also save money at the same time.
You’ll notice the incredible flexibility by being able to adjust flash exposure compensation, AF assist, and flash exposure bracketing.
The Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT costs just $250, so it’s definitely affordable.
Key Features of the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT:
- Delivers up to 700 flashes
- 15 options for custom functions
- Dual-purpose as a master or slave unit
Best Budget Speedlight For Canon: Godox V860II
The Godox V860II is the best budget speedlight for Canon because of its efficient flash coverage. This is possible through a guide number of 60 feet at ISO 100.
Having stable illumination even at a wide distance is often a challenge for flash photography, especially when we’re talking budget units.
Luckily, the V860II allows you to solve that issue, without breaking the bank.
Its auto-zoom feature sets the flash coverage to strike a balance between image size and focal length. There’s a manual option for this for custom angles.
The rechargeable battery is another great thing about this speedlight. You can use the 2,000mAh battery for up to 650 full-power flashes
And even though it costs less than $160, the Godox V860II has a cool power-saving feature to prevent overheating. It turns off automatically after 90 seconds of being idle.
Key Features of the Godox V860II:
- Auto and manual zoom
- Guide number of 60 feet at ISO 100
- Up to 650 full-power flashes with 1.5 seconds of recycling
Best Speedlight For Nikon: Nikon SB-5000 AF
The Nikon SB-5000 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon because of its programmable repeat mode, which can fire several flashes within a long exposure.
This makes it perfect for burst photography.
It also has radio control for its advanced wireless lighting system, something that isn’t available for other Nikon speedlights so far.
A particular challenge when using a dome diffuser or bounce card is compromised illumination, but that’s not a problem with SB-5000 AF.
With a high guide number of 113 feet, the speedlight can still provide enough light at ISO 100 and 35mm.
That’s particularly useful if you need to bounce the flash off a steep ceiling.
The Nikon SB-5000 AF is also equipped with a cooling system. You can fire 100 flashes consecutively without having to worry about overheating.
Key Features of the Nikon SB-5000 AF:
- Programmable repeat mode
- High guide number of 113 feet
- Unique radio control for advanced wireless lighting
Best Budget Speedlight For Nikon: Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight
The Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight is the best budget speedlight for Nikon because it’s specifically designed for Nikon’s intelligent-Through-The-Lens (iTTL) system, despite costing less than $250.
This technology automatically adjusts the output of the flash depending on your camera settings, so you get the perfect style of flash every single time.
This speedlight has a fairly slow recycling time, ranging from 3.5 to 30 seconds, but it makes up for it by illuminating a wide area. The guide number of almost 80 feet at ISO 100 and 24mm ensure enough coverage from a distance.
Need to bounce light off a nearby surface?
The speedlight can do so with its 180-degree rotating head in either direction. You can also tilt it at an upward angle of 90 degrees.
The Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight’s versatility also shows when you use it as a master unit or on slave mode for other cameras and flashes.
Key Features of the Nikon 4814 SB-500 AF Speedlight:
- Made especially for the iTTL system
- Flexible flash head for bouncing off light
- Can be used as a master unit and slave flash
Best Cheap Speedlight For Nikon: Godox V860II
The Godox V860II is the best cheap speedlight for Nikon because it’s lightweight and offers a wide flash coverage, with zoom options ranging from 20mm to 200mm.
That means it’s a great option for up-close or long-distance shoots.
And despite being worth below $160, the speedlight works well with Nikon’s wireless lighting system, with full support for TTL functions, both auto and manual.
The 360-degree free rotation of the flash head allows more creativity for better angles. You can switch the horizontal position up to 270 degrees and up to 90 degrees vertically.
Another surprising thing about the V860II is its battery life. It can support up to 650 flashes in a single charge, which is probably all you’ll need for a single shoot!
Key Features of the Godox V860II:
- High guide number of 60
- Supports Nikon’s wireless lighting system
- Rechargeable 2,000mAh lithium-ion battery
- Flexible flash head with 360 degrees of free rotation
Best Speedlight For Sony: Sony HVL-F60RM
The Sony HVL-F60RM is the best speedlight for Sony because it can support the unique 10fps shooting rate of the Sony a7III and Sony a7RIII.
While high-end studio lights are known to support fps shooting rate, it’s quite the opposite for speedlights.
This distinctively sets the HVL-F60RM apart from other speedlights not only from Sony but also from other manufacturers.
If you’ve been using TTL cables for the longest time, then you won’t need them anymore with the HVL-F60RM.
The speedlight supports wireless TTL systems like Nikon’s i-TTL. It’s not just about getting rid of tangled cables.
Wireless TTL offers the convenience of moving the light source where it’s necessary.
If you’re looking for a flash that works well with Sony’s a7 series, the Sony HVL-F60RM is the right choice.
Key Features of the Sony HVL-F60RM:
- Portable and lightweight (420 grams)
- Supports wireless systems like Nikon i-TTL
- Fast recycling time from 1.8 to 2.6 seconds
- Compatible with the a7III and a7RIII’s unique fps rate
Best Light Stand For Speedlight: Manfrotto 1004BAC
The Manfrotto 1004BAC is the best light stand for speedlights because of its high-load capacity of almost 20 pounds.
It weighs approximately seven pounds, so it’s lightweight enough to be carried from one event to the next. Setup is a breeze with its unique stacking feature.
Best Canon Speedlite For Wedding Photography: Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT is the best Canon speedlight for wedding photography because of its fast recycling time, strong battery life, and stable color temperature.
The speedlight is also resistant to dust and moisture. Best of all, you only need four AA batteries to produce up to 700 flashes.
Best Nikon Speedlight For Wedding Photography : Nikon SB-5000 AF
The Nikon SB-5000 AF is the best Nikon speedlight for wedding photography because it has a unique cooling system that allows for up to 100 consecutive shots, meaning you’ll never miss that perfect moment.
You can set the wireless operation for radio or optical pulse (manual and TTL flash). Recycling time is fast at 1.8 to 2.6 seconds.
Best Godox Speedlight: Godox V1
The Godox V1 is the best Godox speedlight because of its huge versatility and ability to adjust both the output level and the flash duration.
No need to carry AA batteries when you use this. The Godox V1 uses a rechargeable 2,600mAh battery.
Best Speedlight For Nikon D750: Nikon SB-700 AF
The Nikon SB-700 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon D750 because it can produce up to 160 flashes with just four AA alkaline batteries.
You can boost the flash output to 260 flashes when you use NiMH batteries. The speedlight is also compatible with wireless slave flashes.
Best Speedlight For Sony A7iii: Sony HVL-F60RM
The Sony HVL-F60RM is the best speedlight for Sony a7III because it supports up to 15 flashes in five groups, as well as the 10fps shooting rate that the a7III boasts
It takes 1.7 seconds to recycle and emits a powerful light even at a distance of 60 feet (guide number 60)
Best Speedlight For Nikon D3400: Nikon SB-5000 AF
The Nikon SB-5000 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon D3400 because of its advanced lighting system for efficient wireless control and optimized speed.
The built-in cooling system with a heat-shedding design also lets you take photos during long events, without worrying about overheated equipment.
Best Speedlight For Nikon D5300: Nikon SB-700 AF
The Nikon SB-700 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon D5300 because of its control system that’s unrivaled compared to older Nikon models.
This speedlight can instantly detect the type of camera and select the right angle and light. The flash head also rotates 360 degrees, unlike older flash systems.
Best Speedlight For Nikon D5600: Nikon SB-700 AF
The Nikon SB-700 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon D5600 because of its intelligent TTL flash control for a more accurate exposure.
To do this, the SB-700 AF produces monitor pre-flashes to determine the scene’s ambient light. The i-TTL will then even it out automatically with the flash output.
Best Speedlight For Nikon D7200: Nikon SB-5000 AF
The Nikon SB-5000 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon D7200 because of its radio control for advanced wireless lighting.
You won’t find this feature in older Nikon flashes, which sets the SB-5000 AF apart from the manufacturer’s other speedlights. Its recycling time lasts between 1.8 and 2.6 seconds.
Best Speedlight For Nikon D850: Nikon SB-5000 AF
The Nikon SB-5000 AF is the best speedlight for Nikon D850 because of its powerful guide number: 113 feet at ISO 100 and 35mm.
In other words, this speedlight can illuminate a subject even at 113 feet away. The SB-5000 AF’s shoe-mounted cooling system also allows up to 100 consecutive flashes.
Best Speedlight For Sony A7Riii: Sony HVL-F60RM
The Sony HVL-F60RM is the best speedlight for Sony a7RIII because it works well with any of Sony’s current radio commanders and receivers, and it supports Sony’s unique 10fps shooting rate, as found in the a7RIII.
The speedlight also supports Sony’s optical flash system. Keep in mind that you need four AA batteries as its power source.
If there’s one thing we know about speedlights, it’s that they’re no use sitting on the shelf!
So, make a speedy decision (check that pun out), and get shooting!