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, then a speedlight (or speedlite) is the next best thing. These are separate flash units 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.
Below are some highly-rated speedlites and a professional flash kit that will give you professional looking photos for a fraction of the cost. The two flash speedlites attach easily to the top of your camera, have good battery lives and most importantly are compatible with most camera brands.
The professional flash kit also comes with a speedlite but is made specifically for any Nikon DSLR camera. This kit is perfect for portrait photography in a studio, home or on location and works great at mid-size events, special occasion or for more creative spreads.
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 Professional Flash Kit for Nikon DSLR
The Altura Professional Flash is a powerful dedicated flash made for all Nikon DSLR’s that provides you greater flexibility over the standard pop-up flash. The kit comes with a protective case made of durable nylon and is perfectly designed for the flash, wireless camera flash trigger and camera remote control with one transmitter and one receiver. This flash is also great for portrait photography either in a studio, on location or at home, and is great for photographing large groups, special occasions and weddings.
PROS: A large, easy to read rear backlit display helps make this flash easy to read and use.
CONS: This highly rated and best-selling flash works only for Nikon cameras.
3. 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.