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Nikon SB-910 Speedlight flash officially announced

The Nikon SB-910 flash is now officially announced:

Pre-order options:

THE NEW NIKON SB-910 SPEEDLIGHT HARNESSES POWERFUL FLEXIBILITY AND CONTROL FOR THE REVOLUTIONARY CREATIVE LIGHTING SYSTEM

New Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Offers Advanced Flash Technology and Intelligent Features

MELVILLE, N.Y. (November 29, 2011) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of a new flagship speedlight, the powerful and capable SB-910 speedlight. Building on the versatility of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), the SB-910 incorporates an enhanced intuitive operating system and graphic user interface (GUI). The SB-910 speedlight comes equipped with a wide zoom range covering the most popular focal lengths as well as FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the camera body. This new speedlight also provides more efficient battery usage as well as an enhanced Thermal Cut-Out function.

“As Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910 provides exceptional high performance and versatility that users have come to value in Nikon’s Creative Lighting System,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “By addressing the needs of photographers that work in challenging lighting scenarios, the SB-910 delivers a new level of portable lighting functionality, with performance and intelligent features that adapt to a wide range of lighting challenges.”

The SB-910 speedlight is designed to provide easy operation and menu navigation, with its enhanced operating system featuring illuminated function buttons, a dedicated Menu button with quick access to custom settings and an improved LCD screen graphic user interface. Whether the unit is used as an on-camera flash, wireless commander or remote, the SB-910 speedlight will provide dependable and consistent flash exposure. Engineered to address the creative lighting challenges faced by today’s photographers, the SB-910 speedlight includes quick on-demand performance and the ability to adapt seamlessly to nearly any possible lighting scenario.

Additionally, the new SB-910 incorporates a new Thermal Cut-Out function, which offers protection against damage to the flash panel and body from overheating during continuous flash use. Now, the flash recycling time is automatically delayed if a significant rise in temperature is detected, rather than ceasing operation to protect the unit. For additional durability, heat-resistance and ease-of-use, the SB-910 uses new hard-type color compensation filters for fluorescent and incandescent color temperature balancing. When using these filters, the flash automatically recognizes which filter is being used and adjusts white balance accordingly on the connected Nikon D-SLR camera. Additionally, the AF-assist illuminator of the SB-910 is compatible with the complete line of AF systems used in Nikon D-SLR cameras.

The SB-910 speedlight features three illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) which are designed to match almost any shooting situation when utilizing the speedlight. The “standard” pattern will cover all conventional, standard flash coverage. The “center-weighted” pattern provides larger guide numbers than other light distribution types at the same focal lengths. This illumination pattern is ideal for subjects such as portraits, in which the light falloff at the image edges can be disregarded. When “even” is selected, the light from the flash will cover a subject from the center to the edges without light falloff. This pattern is applicable for shooting group photographs indoors. For coverage with a variety of lenses, the SB-910 speedlight incorporates a multi-step power zoom range that covers a wide 17-200mm angle of view, and can automatically detect Nikon FX and Nikon DX formats to help select suitable light distribution.

The SB-910 speedlight includes support for Nikon’s advanced wireless TTL operation and can function as a wireless commander with control over three separate groups of speedlights or as a remote speedlight triggered by other SB-910 speedlights, SB-700 speedlights, SU-800 Wireless Commander or the built-in speedlight set to Commander Mode on compatible Nikon D-SLR cameras. The SB-910 incorporates a high-speed recycling time of approximately 2.5 seconds for full power with NiMH batteries, and approximately 3.0 seconds with AA Alkaline batteries.

Optional water guards will be available for select cameras to protect the connection between the flash and camera, allowing users to utilize the flash when weather conditions are less than ideal. The SJ-4 Color Filter set provides a Warming, Red, Yellow or Blue filter for adding color to the background, foreground or just to accent the scene. The SB-910 will come equipped with the AS-21 Speedlight Stand, SW-13H Diffusion Dome, SZ-2FL and SZ-2TN hard type Color Compensation Filters and SS-910 soft case.

Price and Availability
Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910, will be available in mid-December 2011 for a SRP*of $549.95. For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

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  • Anand

    First….and why the upgrade again????

    • I shoot Nikon

      Why not?

    • ben

      Nikon can not ship new SB900 in Japan due to the new regulation by law so as D700. So they need to release newly complied product even if it is not much difference in specification.

      • ben

        http://www.nikon-image.com/support/whatsnew/2011/wnew111108.htm
        It’s Japanese but this is the announcement made to Japanese market.

        • ben

          Ha, how embalming, It may be my mistake I thought SB8900 is part of it but seems to be not. so anyone know why? I guess Nikon has different priority compare to what I think. I thought D700.D300s replacements are the ones really needed.

  • Paul

    So it looks like you were right admin.
    This is the only announcement today.

    • Paul

      I was hoping for SB-700 style switches in the back.
      So this seems more like a firmware upgrade to me.
      In addition to selling new fancy hard-plastic color gels of course.

  • cruser2469

    overheating. the fix…..make it slower. nice :(

    • http://www.mercuriostudios.com.br williamdrago

      That’s right! After reading this, I’m glad I bought 3 Sb’s 900, and don’t regret. People don’t get that it overheats because it’s powerfull! And give us all it can.
      I wish I had a battery level on the screen… Isn’t it possible?

  • http://istudio.isaacalonzo.com makatron

    Since you can’t find the SB-900 anywhere the new flash is going to sell well

    • No Name

      Okay, here’s what I got out of that announcement above…. There’s a new flash out from Nikon, but hey by the way, it will overheat of you use it too much so if you’re right in the middle of an important photo shoot where you need the flash, and you use this one too much, it will overheat and shut itself off until it cools off….

      Wow, what a piece of engineering junk!

      How about designing a 500.00+ flash that NEVER overheats?!?? How abougladdens that you can even connect to an external battery and it will keep on operating non stop at any temperature?????

      This is junky, shoddy and lazy engineering on Nikon’s part and for the price they are charging , they should be ashamed to even release this for sale…any company that starts putting thermal limiters in there products , do so because they designed the product poorly in the first place… No Thanks

      • Mr Kotku

        Amen! I have 2 SB-900′s 1 serial number apart. One dies after just 3 shots. The other will make it 35 to 75 shots depending on ambient air temp. ( just love the peeeeeeewwwwww pew pew pew sound when it over heats) What do I do. Unlike Nikon, I can’t sell them because I have a conscience. Is it time for a class action lawsuit?
        What are the alternatives?
        1. Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital ( my buddy has 3 and the flash tubes keep exploding)
        2. Quantum Qflash ($750 plus the powerpack)
        3. Paul C. Bluff Einstein ($500 plus Vagabond mini $240)

        • Harry

          Or how about an Alienbee B800 from Paul Bluff for $279 to go along with that Vagabond Mini for $240?

          • thery

            bingo

        • Hans

          This is an obvious misfunctional unit
          Did you think about sending it in for repair under warranty?

    • Allan M

      They are in stock in Denmark

  • texasjoe

    Whoop Whoop!!! I’ve been planing on adding to my SB-900 collection. Now is the perfect time to start adding more :-D

  • texasjoe

    Looks like it has a bigger head also…

  • M!

    when will they incorporate a video light into their speed light?

    • http://hashbr0wn.deviantart.com/ benjamin

      why would you want that? more $ for a feature you ll use 2% of the time(photographer will buy for the flash, videographer will buy for the led) now if they made a dedicated continuous lighting lamp that would make more sense

    • AnoNemo

      M! is right. Nikon does not seem to understand that there are users who would welcome a “combo” flash/light unit.

      This announcement is rather pathetic and Nikon is becoming a bit of an embarrassment with these announcement. They could not get it done properly the timing as in Canada the press went out early. To sum up, Nikon pulled the middle finger for those waited for any FX and/or pro product this year. Oh no, we got that overpriced gadget nikon 1 crap.

  • texasjoe

    The Nikon outlet (Refurb) page only has cases… No cameras, lenses or flashes… What gives?

    • Robin

      Nikon recalled all refurb camera, lenses, and flash so that they can vandalize the parts.

      • http://www.os-am.com OSAM

        Vandalize.

        I dont think that word means what you think it means.

        • mooboy

          Inconceivable!! Thanks OSAM, made my morning :)

  • Kamallraj

    Ok, so for $549 this is freakin cheap and worth the price :)
    hopefully they’ll launch it in India simultaneously

    • I shoot Nikon

      Cheap? It costs what half of Indian population makes in a year. Funny that of all people you think it’s “freakin cheap”.

      • Robin

        Can you even point to India on a world map? You ignorant baffon better learn some world economics, for all you know you or your children may be working as coolies in Indian in coming decades.

        • I shoot Nikon

          A job is a job. You shouldn’t be ashamed of who you or your family are even if they are only making a buck a day…

          Anyway, I take it you also think SB-910 is “freakin cheap”? I guess instead of saying that half of India lives in extreme poverty, I should’ve said that half of Indian population are maharajas. How ignorant of me.

        • Anonymus Maximus

          You are aware that India has 1 bn people and that around 250 – 300 mln are considered middle class?

          That leaves 70% in the lower class?
          Do you have any idea about their lliving conditions?

          • Tiger1050-rider

            and 40% of the lower class are ‘untouchables’
            So?

            The Indian Middle Class wants gadgets. It can afford to get them.
            Most Indians I know have servants. Yes servants. Cooks, cleaners and even gardeners.
            You can’t measure who is middle class by the same standards all over the world and especially by US/European ones.

        • dpnsan

          Baffon, baffoff – It’s the Baffer!

      • Zoob

        I think its sarcasm, yo.

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Whoppee! (So What).

  • Steve

    550 bucks and they still haven’t fixed the overheating issue?

    Thanks but no thanks.

  • WakkaWakkaFishTakka

    It looks like they realized how awful the SB-900 was. For my purposes, it was the worst flash I’ve ever used. After buying two of them and having non-stop issues, I bought two used SB-800s and haven’t used the SB-900s since.

  • http://www.toddmyra.com Todd

    My SB-800 got stolen after they got discontinued…. I’m looking forward to upgrading to this as I have my first wedding coming up. I’ll wait for the first hands on review and then assuming all is well will place my order :)

  • Mr Moo

    Yawn……

  • Chris

    Let us know when we can preorder them from Bhphoto or something, getting my first real flash vs Sb-400 so its about time.

  • Steve Starr

    wow. $55 more for a slowed-down version of the SB-900. Remarkable, since they could have done the same thing in a firmware release and fixed the SB-900 overheating issue by slowing it down too.

    No doubt the same pitiful performance to no performance at all in bright daylight requiring Pocket Wizards too.

    Sorry, but I expected far more for the subsequent price increase than lower cycling speeds or performance. Even gained 5 grams in weight too, even though it shaved 0.4″ in depth but gained 0.1″ in width from the SB-900.

    Seems like a big step backwards for more money. SB-900 may not depreciate after all, and may become even more valuable.

    • Andrew

      Agreed, especially if you like frying your eggs with your flash (SB-900), else $55 is a reasonable price for an upgrade.

    • http://www.mercuriostudios.com.br williamdrago

      I think this is the same for upgrade from iPhone 4 to 4s… because of the signal issues, they said it was fixed on the 4s, but not much has changed..
      They do it because people keep saying: give us something new, or we are going to move to android (Canon)!
      haha

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    Great job as usual Admin :)
    So I guess that’s all for this year. You can take a break now :D

  • Ninpou

    Not compatible with SD-9? Doh. My Rayflash won’t fit, either.

    • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com Bob Cooley

      RayFlash will not fit on the SB-700 either. I was unhappy to see that :(

  • Paul

    Should have been called the SB-901.

    • http://www.affinityseattle.com Sean

      umm… you mean SB-900.01

    • the quick brown fox

      *correction SB-890

  • WakkaWakkaFishTakka

    Peter, am I correct that next week (the first week of Dec.) will be the last hope for a new camera announcement before year’s end? Or do you think this is it until 2012?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I think it will be in 2012.

      • WakkaWakkaFishTakka

        That’s what I was thinking. Oh well, hopefully Nikon and the rest of Japan and Thailand have a better year in 2012!

        • Worminator

          Short of Godzilla returning to rampage through the streets of Tokyo, it’s hard to imagine how it is going to be worse….

      • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

        Well, at least I have more time to save some money. I wish they’d just announce the damn thing already though.
        Good job for this year though Pete.

      • Mimmo

        Sigh…. sniff… sniff… nooo… my Christmas will be soooo sad without my Big Nikon Gift…

      • PeterO

        I am convinced that Nikon will release the D4, D800 and D400 at Photokina with a few well placed leaks (like yesterday’s SB910) a week before. This time around they’ll try to make a huge splash all in one go. They’ll announce a lens or two before that just to keep the embers glowing. But let’s admit it; a new lens or flash is nice and to some, useful, however the wow factor comes from the bodies. Announcements are fine and exciting for a few days, but interest wanes. By waiting until Photokina, Nikon can now get back to actually producing the new models so that they can be available soon after the announcement. They may even be able to bring the D4 to shelves before the 1Dx.

        • Nikonuser

          No, they won’t wait until Photokina (September 18-23, 2012). Reason: The Olympics are coming before that. D4 will be announced several months before the Olympics. It’s slways this way.

          • PeterO

            My bad, I thought it was in March/April. Never mind ;-)

  • Max Archer

    I’m calling it now, firmware update for the SB-900 coming. Nikon has proven that they’re willing to do major upgrades to their pro-level gear, like when they updated the D2X to specs almost identical to the D2Xs.

    Go to the Nikon USA listing, then to the accessories, section, and read the pages on the new hard gels. They don’t show the SB-900 in the compatible section, but the text description lists the part as working with “…the SB910/900…”. If nothing else, I’ll bet on a FW update for the SB-900 that calibrates it for these new gels.

  • Merv

    I wonder if those gel caps for the SB-910 will fit on my SB-900. Not hopeful, but it would be rather convenient

  • Erational

    Did all of Nikon Cameras R & D get blown with the Nikon 1 debacle ? So much scientific brainpower/$ wasted on a thimble-sized sensor-ed camera. So Nikon appears to have only used change from underneath the floormats to fund the new tech involved in the 910. Why freekin’ bother, Nikon ?

  • Nice_Marmot

    The $50 price hike for the SB910 doesn’t seem justified. I love my SB900s, they’ve never given me an overheating problem, they’ve always worked great. But I also typically don’t shoot rapidly at full power either. Seems like Nikon could have simply put out a firmware upgrade to the SB900 to fix this overheating issue (since all they did was slow down the SB910), instead of releasing basically the exact same flash + $50!

    • Psycho McCrazy

      The list price for both is exactly the same here in Japan. The price difference in the US$ is because the Yen has appreciated very strongly since the 900 was released. (The 900 is a made in Japan product, and I expect the same for the 910 too)

  • http://slrlounge.com Matthew Saville

    The only thing that would get me to buy such an expensive flash would be, AF illumination when using off-center focus points and/or in AF-C mode. I haven’t read the entire press release; does the SB910 have anything like that? Or is it still ONLY the center AF point, in Single Focus mode? :-\

    =Matt=

  • Elmo
  • Nicholas Wojciak

    I was really hoping for a nikon wireless system that used radio waves, the creative lighting system is great but working with infrared has major drawbacks. Rumors are canon will see this technology first, let’s hope nikon picks it up and makes it better

    • yakker

      I never understood why this was never offered, but I gave up waiting a couple weeks ago and finally ordered a bunch of PocketWizard stuff. Now that I have, I think it would take quite a lot for me to go back to CLS, even if Nikon added radio triggers. The PW stuff can control my studio lights, plus with an add on I’ve got three dials I can instantly change light settings without fumbling around with flash or camera menus. If they could make TTL metering work on the studio strobes, it’d be perfect. Not cheap though, and rather large.

  • InfraRed

    NR Admin: is it realistic to expect a new DSLR announced at CES? If not, what is the next likely opportunity (based on historical data!)

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      Second option is February when Nikon announce its new Coolpix cameras.

      • AnoNemo

        NR Admin, if you ever mention a coolpix again we will start boycotting you! ;-)

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

          Sorry :)

  • kanghong

    NR admin, you rock!

  • Dr Motmot

    Shame, I was hoping for the 85mm/1.8

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      This lenses coming, probably to be released next.

      • ggweci

        Any idea when? I’d like to add this to my kit. Considering the 1.8D model, but I expect that the 1.8G will be a better lens w/ faster AF.

        Also, how much more do you think the G version will be?

  • Natan Lorenzi

    What’s new? Anything? A new name?

  • Tarepanda

    Slowing its recycle time to prevent over-heat? And it is useful for wedding photography?
    Well….I do have a question about these statement.

    If you are a wedding photographer, if the flash is over heat, you can put another one on your camera
    But if it slower down the recycle time, it will not help the wedding photographer to capture to precise moment, right?

    • http://slrlounge.com Matthew Saville

      …A good wedding photographer would know better, and would disable the feature altogether. At least that’s what I do with the SB900.

      You don’t just buy a $550 flash and then you’re ready to be a wedding photographer. You gotta know your gear inside and out, know how to shoot in ANY light and get consistent results, and of course, you gotta have a backup within arm’s reach, ready to go.

      ;-)

      =Matt=

  • http://www.bernardovaghi.com.br Bernardo Vaghi

    Boring Nikon… My 3 Sb 700 just do all the job i need, for more light, i use the alienbees B1600 with vagabond.

    Anyway thank Peter for the news, waiting for “The annoucment”.

    regards.

  • Anonymus Maximus

    Well, I was hoping for either more power or faster shooting. However that would require that some new active or passive cooling would be added.

  • sylvesterii

    *SRP. What a joke. Calling it a suggestion after their “policy change” is laughable.

  • OsoSolitario

    SB-900 + SB-700 = SB-910
    I was looking for LED light or so for video in this SB-910… but I know Nikon is ALWAYS soooo conservative. Next generation maybe.

  • http://www.thejordancollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy [NR]

    I’ve never really had a problem with my SB-900 flashes. I’ve only experienced the overheat shut-off once and that was after about 600 shots in broad daylight in the Florida 90 deg heat. The flash cooled after about 5 mins and continued on for the rest of the shoot with no problems. They are great flashes (at least my copies).

    If you have a problem with hitting the cut-off all the time, you can disable it. I’ve never seen anybody fry their Sb-900 from disabling the cut-off, as long as you don’t abuse the flash. Everything has it’s limits.

    • broxibear

      Hey Cary how are things ?
      It’s an odd one this, some people have never had any issues with overheating while others are driven mad by them.
      I think “Everything has it’s limits.” is exactly right, as an assistant I used various types of flash and they all had a breaking point…you just have to make sure you don’t get to that point.
      I also think this is digital related, when using film photographers didn’t take so many frames in quick succession with or without flash, some people “machine gun” away and expect their cameras and flash to carry on as normal…that’s just asking for trouble.
      I think it’s a bit much for Nikon to make the SB-910 so much more expensive than the SB-900…I don’t think it’s justified.

      • http://www.thejordancollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy [NR]

        Hey Broxibear! Things are good (just busy), how are things on the other side of the pond?

        I agree with your thoughts on this matter. I think we often push the limits of our gear and often times don’t realize what consequences that can bring.

        I think Nikon was a little too conservative with the thermal limit on the SB-900. The newest firmware seems to of set the overheat temp a little higher and that helped. I noticed that my Sb-900 flash head was barely warm when I hit the thermal shut-down limit. The batteries were warm, but not too bad. I have tried to re-create this event by repeatedly test firing at full-power and I have yet to hit the cut-off. The temp rises, but never get’s “too hot”.

        With that said, most of the heat is generated by the batteries. The kind of batteries you’re using in the unit has a drastic effect on temps. I was using Duracell hybrid pre-charged HR6 NiMH batteries at the time. I’ve also used Ray-o-Vac Platinum hybrid HR6 batteries; they work good as well and seem to stay decently cool. I’ve noticed the amazing Eneloops run warmer in the flashguns, but outperform all other batteries in recycle times. Honestly, I prefer the cooler, lesser performing batteries in my flashguns. This might have something to do with my experience with the SB-900s.

        None of this is emperical fact at all. But rather, observations i’ve made while performing crude testing.

        I also agree with you in regards to the price increase of the SB-910. I think it’s a little un-fair to the consumer, but I expect the price to settle down to SB-900 levels within a few months. Nikon tends to price higher to see what the market will bear for the product. After a few months, they will settle. Same goes for the Nikon 1 system. I’m personally going to hold judgement on the flash until I can get my hands on one to review/compare to the SB-900. Maybe Nikon did fix the common problems people were having with the Sb-900. We shall see.

  • deeprock

    I ran into the SB900 overheating problem on my very first photo shoot using it. The problem is not the flash tube overheating but the batteries. I partially solved the problem by switching out hot batteries with fresh, cool ones before the thermal cutout shut the unit down. Since then I got an external battery pack, and that solved the problem. Nevertheless, I really wonder how Nikon has the nerve to sell such a product as its “flagship” flash unit. Without the external powerpack it is nonfunctional as a professional flash. Is it powerful? Yep, sure is… Will it shut down in the middle of an important shoot? Yep, it sure will… The sb 910 upgrade does not eliminate the overheating problem; it merely replaces the thermal shutdown (catastrophic failure…) with thermal slow down… Kinda sounds like the solution Dell offered for the overheating problem with my laptop: bios update that throttles back the CPU (i7)to reduce amount of heat generated. Kind of defeats the purpose of having (and spending extra money on) an i7…or an sb-910.

  • Jim

    Judging by this staggering announcement, the D8oo will be announced in March coming with 13 MP, a new battery grip (because of Japanese law) 20% slower than the actual camera/grip, slightly improved video (maybe about 1%) and a scratch proof glass on the otherwise same LCD panel. The top feature will be the x-contact relocated to the hotshoe.

  • joebagadonuts

    can I put a bumper sticker on my LumoPro that says “My Other Flash Is An SB910″ ??

  • sege

    wy don’t remove the termal cut …. the best problem on sb900 for profesional work

  • Dave B.

    I am a little irked that Nikon hiked the price up on their flagship flash when it simply addresses the menu/overheating faults of the SB900. It should be the same price. It looks like a nice flash though.

  • http://www.itakethepicture.com Matt

    So this is more like a turbo charged SB-700 that still overheats. But, hey! It won’t shut down completely, just run a lot slower. So when my client asks why they have to wait a few more seconds for the next shot, I can refer them to the Nikon press release.

    Please, Nikon. Get back on track. I bought an SB900 and returned it the same day due to the overheating issue. Unacceptable at any price.

    Nikon is better than this.

  • Bob Q

    Still no RF wireless connectivity (e.g. Bluetooth?, etc.) Seems like a smart option. The optical commander mode is getting old. Bob

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