Camera flashes are used in photography to produce a flash of artificial light to help illuminate a scene, especially a dark one. While these are commonly built directly into a camera, for a more experienced photographer or if you just need to add more lighting, a speedlight (or speedlite) is the next best thing.
What to Consider Before Buying a Camera Flash
These are separate flash units and are meant to sit on top of your camera, and are designed to give you professional-looking photos by diffusing harsh, direct light that can cast hard shadows. These kits can be expensive, but there are economical options out there.
Be sure whatever camera flash you choose is compatible with your current camera.
How We Chose the Best Camera Flashes
Below are some speedlites and flash kits that will give you professional-looking photos. The speedlites attach easily to the top of your camera, have good battery lives and most importantly are compatible with most camera brands. We prioritized a range of prices as well as camera flashes that are useful for pros and beginners.
1. Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
The Neewer Flash Speedlite is a shoe-mount flash that is compatible with most DSLR cameras with a standard hot shoe mount. This Speedlite comes complete with an output level indicator, flash power level button, mode select button and indicator, charging indicator, power switch and test button. It also has 360-degree angle capability, long battery life and an easy-to-use plus/minus switch to adjust brightness.
Pros: This basic camera flash works well for the price and is great for beginner and intermediate photographers.
Cons: Four AA batteries are required to make the speedlite work and there is no indicator telling you how much battery life is left.
2. Altura Photo Camera Flash Kit
Altura’s Photo Flash Speedlite Flash Kit is designed to give you professional-looking photos by diffusing harsh direct light that can cast hard shadows. This powerful manual flash works with most brands and is suitable for photographers of all levels. This kit includes a speedlite flash, batteries, camera shutter remote control, flash diffuser reflector, carry pouch and stand.
Pros: For the price, this is an excellent flash that is easy to operate, reliable and has a decent build quality.
Cons: This flash kit may not be ideal for high-profile events or professional shoots where you need more options.
3. Powerextra Flash Speedlite
This option from Powerextra has a convenient LCD display on the unit for easier control. It’s designed to have wide compatibility with a variety of different cameras.The head can be turned at different angles to find the one that works best for you. It’s also designed to be simple to operate for different kinds of photography.
Pros: LCD display. Can be tilted at angles. Works with different cameras.
Cons: Somewhat bulky.
4. YONGNUO IV Wireless Flash Speedlite
For an economical option that you can use with a variety of different cameras, consider this flash kit. It’s a versatile option that can be set up in different ways to suit your needs. You can use this as the master to control up to three other speedlites. Plus, this option can save your settings for easy use each time.
Pros: Saves settings for easy use. Can be set up in different modes. Can work with different kinds of cameras.
Cons: May not be as reliable as top brands.