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Debao SU-800 is a cheaper alternative to the Nikon SU-800 wireless flash commander

Debao-SU-800-Wireless-Speedlight-CommanderNikon-SU-800--Wireless-Speedlight-Commande

The Chinese made Debao SU-800 is almost an exact copy of the Nikon SU-800 wireless Speedlight commander that sells for a fraction of the price ($100 vs. $250). In addition, the Debao SU-800 offers a longer range coverage than the Nikon's version (see comparison at the bottom of this post).

Features:

  • Functions as a wireless commander for the SB-R200, SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700 and SB-600 Speedlight units.
  • Supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) and compatible CLS cameras.
  • Controls an unlimited number of Speedlights for up to three groups.
  • Offers 4 independent channels for competitive shooting environments.
  • Provides wireless control up to 35m.
  • Built-in AF assists illuminator for critical focus in low-light situations.
  • is available also on Amazon and on eBay.

Compatibility:

  • Cameras: D3000、D3100、D5000、D5100、D7000、D7100, D40, D50、D60、D70、D80、D90、D300、D600、D700、D800、D1X、D2X、D3、D3s、D3X、D4
  • Flashes: SB-R200, SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700 and SB-600
  • Yongnuo flash, Metz flash, Nissin Flash which supports CLS

Nikon SU-800 vs. Debao SU-800 comparison:

Nikon SU800 Debao SU800
Transmission mode Infrared Communication Infrared Communication
Transmission power 13W 20W
Wireless control distance 20M 35M
Wireless communication channels and wireless groups Four: 1, 2, 3 and 4 ChannelsThree: A, B and C Four: 1, 2, 3 and 4 ChannelsThree: A, B and C
Display LCD, Ready-light LCD, Ready-light
TTL Mode i-TTL、DTTL i-TTL、DTTL
Supports CLS Yes Yes
Supports HHS Yes Yes
Supports RPT Yes Yes
Supports AF assists Yes10m Yes 15m
Horizontal rotation angle Don't Support -130 ~ 130 degrees
Recycle time 0-4S 0-2S
Supports continuous shoot No Yes
Required power source One 3V CR123A lithium battery 2 x AA battery
Supports for manual flash No S1 Model manual flash

Additional images:

Debao-SU-800-wireless-flash-commanderDebao-SU-800-wireless-flash-commander-2

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  • Jo

    Wow, nice, I’m getting one of these!

  • George Kalogeris

    Well I just bought SU-800 for use with my D4.
    I really consider this as a piece of shit.
    It doesn’t work behind obstacles
    nor in bright sun,
    nor in a bar
    nor in many situations.
    COULDN’T THEY JUST USE RF COMMUNICATION like all other wireless triggers ?

    • Marcel Speta

      Personally I wouldn’t byu SU unit. I am planing to buy Phottix Odin instead which is RF and works well also in the Forest or in bright sun etc…
      Another advantage is thanks to the receiver I can also use older SB-26 together with SB800, SB700 i have :-)

      • George Kalogeris

        Yeah, ofcourse I use RF units too,
        but I thought SU800 was the simplest way to wirelessly couple D4 and SB900.
        I was wrong. IT DOESN’T WORK as asvertised.
        In fact, in the manual it has an illustration where it triggers behind a wall,
        that’s a lie

        • Marcel Speta

          honestly, i know. That’s why i never considered SU unit to buy :-)
          Sell it and go for something else, Phottix Odin looks really great. But its quite expensive (you need also receivers cca 120$ each)

        • Gareth O’Neill

          The SU-800 will be 10 years old next month and you bought it expecting the latest and greatest. It isn’t.

          • Anon

            One control to rule them all? I’m happily, according to my need, using RF remotes, SU-800, and the built-in flash (D300s, D800) when applicable. SU-800 shows its age, but it is OK indoors with a direct line of sight, and gives me enough groups for e.g. macro (two main groups of two SB-R200 each + background SB-800 and/or 900). When coping with one or two remote flashes, I appreciate the simplicity of using the built-in flash as a controller, and you can block the visible light with the Nikon’s filter coming with the macro flash kit, or use a diffusor, and the built-in flash (also with the IR filter) can trigger studio flashes in slave mode when you can have a good line of sight. And RF for the situations when none of the above works (but there is no easy way of using RF triggers with the SB-R200). There is no way any single method of remote control could work with minimal fuss in all the situations, so why really to choose just one?

      • scott800

        I already use pocket wizards (tt5s) and the su-800 works as the most badass zone controller available when coupled with the system. Much better than the AC3 by itself. I am very curious if this will work with my pocket wizards like the su-800, PW is really picky in their firmware.

    • Costas

      Well I use an SU-800 with a D800/D700 all the time and it works perfectly most of the times. Even behind walls, given there is open space somewhere between. And even in bright sun.

      One think that helps a lot is finding where the receiving sensor is on the flashgun and turning that towards the SU-800 (it’s usually a small deep red thing on the side of the flashgun). Unless that’s facing the SU-800 it won’t work in the sun, otherwise it works perfectly, for up to 7-10m…

      • George Kalogeris

        hey that’s really informative..
        Could you be more specific where the receiver is ?
        a photo maby ?

        • Costas

          Here’s a photo of a SB700.

          It could be located in different places on other flashguns though.

          I never really understood why Nikon placed the sensor there, ideally it should be positioned on the front or back…

          • scott800

            photo didnt come up… but its the dark red dot, size of M&M on side of flashguns

            • Steve11Steve

              pointing the sensor towards the d800 (i use the onboard commander) really works for me, too. I still have trouble in bright sun however.

            • solartempest

              I find the same thing with my SB-900/800/700. In extremely bright sun it helps to shade the flash sensor a little, otherwise flashes won’t trigger.

              Moderately bright sun isn’t normally an issue. Shooting in the dark and around most obstacles is a breeze as well.

          • Aldo

            putting it on the side has the advantage of picking up the beam coming from behind or in front of the flash.

            • Spy Black

              It should have a dome on it to pick up from more angles however.

            • Aldo

              agreed

            • Bryan

              There’s a mod out there somewhere that shows somebody gluing a little dome over top of the existing one which supposedly increased the range and angle of use of Commander mode by a substantial amount.

        • chest rockwell

          Your humerous sarcasm is totally lost on this lot…. lol

      • Rick

        I think the thing that bothers many professionals is the word “works perfectly most of the times”. In professional work, it has to work everytime. It kills the rhythm, timing and cost you shots if they miss even 10~20% of the time, espcially if you are far away from each flash. I love nikon CLS, I still use it indoors coz they are so quick and easy, just hate why they didnt do it in radio

    • jon

      With a D4, get pocket wizard tt5…. su-800 uses infrared, weaker signal.

    • Ross Campbell

      George might I suggest the Aokatec AK-TTL radio triggers to use in tandem with your SU-800, they will extend the range of your SU-800 to over 100m and you dont need line of sight.

      http://comrace.ca/wp_pics/2012/08/22/inexpensive-radio-carried-ittl-the-ak-ttl-nikon-by-aokatec/

  • brett

    AA batteries is a huge feature!

    It would be really great if had a swiveling head like the YN ST-E2 for Canon.

    • scott800

      but then the focus assist would be swiveling too?

    • Chris Pearson

      “Horizontal rotation angle -130 ~ 130 degrees”

      That reads as a swivel to me?

  • Photoretouchpro

    I think I would rather get a set of Yongnuo YN-622N for $89.95. Seems better to me.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CXM03D2/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_10?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3A14HZTSVPRLX

  • Rick

    First of, I wouldnt trust the spec 100% for Chinese companies. They are great devices for the price and I have nothing against these companies that made our lives a lot easier, but it’s common that the specs published by Yongnuo is not 100% accurate on their products, perhaps 90% etc (for example, the yongnuo flashes claim to have a higher guide number than they are actually able to generate etc.)
    2nd and more importantly, this is infrared signal! The problem with Nikon CLS is the infrared and not the distance, wont work in the sun or behind obstacles. A stronger and cheaper version of the SU-800 does little help in my opinion. They work wonderfully indoor in rooms though, if you like to do simple studio setup with flashes then these will work great.
    Yongnuo 622s are great with the radio signals, I have 3 pairs. But they dont support Nikon CLS, nothing does. They only support iTTL, not CLS.

    • scott800

      used with a pocket wizard tt5 you can do all controls great from Su-800 over radio triggers. independent manual control/i-ttl everything

      • Aldo

        minus the auto focus assist… works great indoors.

    • adonay

      Greetings from venezuela! are you sure dos es not support nikon cls? i do not have them but i read even you can use the nikon su 800 on over the yongnuo 622n and control de groups etc.

      YN-622N i-TTL wireless transceiver is a high performance 2.4G wireless
      flash trigger designed for Nikon users. Different photographic effects
      can be realized through setting the flash at 360 degrees. It supports
      i-TTL and manual flash, front-curtain sync, rear- curtain sync and
      high-speed sync(Auto FP), the highest sync speed is 1/8000s*. it can
      remote change flash exposure compensation or flash output of each group,
      supports different flash mode mix using. Supports the transmitter
      installed i-TTL flash, in addition, it supports the master unit on
      transmitter sets the parameters of each group. This product is a
      wireless transceiver design , the distance of remote control reaches
      100M, supporting 7 wireless channels and A/B/C three groups, and with AF
      assist beam emitter function.

      • Rick

        You cant trust Yongnuo’s text..
        no they dont support nikon CLS. The nikon CLS allows you to do groups of flashes, control their exposure, their power in full manual, and all that stuff. The Yongnuo 622 only does TTL, meaning you can control TTL flash power, you can do red eye, rear curtain syn, high speed syn, but not full CLS capability. You cant even do Master mode and mix TTL and radio together, also it’s tough to work a flash on top of the 622 plus off camera flashes. Yongnuo 622 works the same as the more pricy pocketwizard flex and mini tt, for like 1/4 the price

        • pireze

          As an early adopter of the YN-622N trigger system, I have been using it over quite a number of shoots now, with the SU-800 controller on top of the trigger unit on camera.
          Control over groups of flashes: yes, three groups just as standard CLS. Groups are set on the YN-622N triggers for the individual sets, but using the SU-800 in conjunction allows on-screen and individual control of each group.
          The triggers are actually capable of I think 6 groups but CLS limits control to three.
          Full manual power adjustment: yes, this is the mode I use most of the time. Each group’s power is adjustable. It’s not as fine as I would like (i.e. no 1/3 step adjustments) but it’s functional.
          Mix TTL and manual: yes, using the SU-800, you can mix TTL and manual adjustments, by having groups set to TTL and others to manual. I don’t tend to use TTL that much, however, so I haven’t been playing with this mix.

    • Guest

      Who cares? At best it’s the same specs as the Nikon for almost 1/3 the price.

      • Rick

        Like i said, if you like working with CLS indoors, this unit is great for the price. In bright day light, with lots of obstacles. in backlighting, you can put them away

    • nicks

      Rick Yongnuo 622 can work CLS if you place a SU-800 or any SB onto them. Then you will have locks and conflicts that need restarts and it is very annoying.

    • Ross Campbell

      ” But they dont support Nikon CLS, nothing does. ”

      Sorry Rick you are incorrect, try reading Aaron Burns review of the Aokatec AK-TTL radio triggers. I have a set of 3 receivers and 1 transmitter and they work really well.

      http://comrace.ca/wp_pics/2012/08/22/inexpensive-radio-carried-ittl-the-ak-ttl-nikon-by-aokatec/

      I have just ordered the Debao SU-800 and I’m positive it will work fine with the Aokatec AK-TTL radio triggers. I’m controlling flash at the present via my commander menu D7100, just over a 100m range.

      The Debao SU-800 will make my job a lot easier, and also give me an extra group to control.

    • LGM Photography

      I have review this device, video can be found here: http://youtu.be/XeyN0uaBdnI

  • Chok

    Will it work on top of a YN622 unit?

    • Rick

      622 does not allow a pass through operation, unlike what the manual says. So nothing is coming off on top of the YN622, other than a simple trigger for manual flash only.

      • David

        I have the Su-800 & the yn-622n’s. They have full control with the su-800. Its not just a dumb manual trigger.

        • Rick

          can you elaborate how? su-800 is running on infrared and 622 on radio..i am sure you can work with them individually but just not sure how they work with each other at the same time on the same body. I am not saying they are dumb triggers. When I set the SB910 on top of my 622 on a D800E, the only mode that works that on camera flash is manual (the off camera is TTL and works fine as advertised). Same thing when I put it on a D4, Pass through operation is tested by me and many others to not work. However I do not have a SU 800 in the test setup, so i am curious to know how you run them

          • David

            Leave all the flashes in TTL, put them in their groups from the YN-622’s, and control them via the TTL controls on the SU-800. Works fine for me, and I’ve done several shoots with them and they have been solid and reliable. I do not have a SB-910, but I thought that they worked the same way as the SU-800, but that they could only do 2 groups, instead of the 3 that the SU-800 supports.

            The D4 isn’t supported by the YN-622’s from what I’ve seen, so I wouldn’t expect it to work with it. I also have not seen the D800E listed as support, but they do say that the D800 is supported. I wouldn’t think that there is a difference between the D800 and the D800E in regards to flash, but they do not list it as supported.

            • Rick

              David, I can get them to work exactly the same setup as yours without a SU-800, even though it’s extremely good news that you can use the SU-800 as zone controller similar to Pocket wizard AC3. I guess few have ever thought of that, and even Yongnuo themselves didnt recommend or suggest that combination. If that’s really the case, I should get one since it’s a lot faster controlling 3 groups of flashes. To do it through yongnuo takes too much time
              Again I wouldnt trust Yongnuo’s spec fully. My D4 D800E D600 D700 all does not support pass through operation and CLS, but every TTL function works great.

            • David

              I got the SU-800 because several other people were already using it that way successfully, and I only had 3 SB-800’s and a SB-600, so no master. Controlling them from the triggers was a no-go for me.

              It definitely works. I took a single SB-800 and worked it with the SU-800 in CLS tonight, and shot a controlled series, testing the flash output. I then swapped in the triggers with the SU and SB and did it again. I got the same result – mostly. Approximately 1/3 stop higher exposure with the triggers when compared to without the triggers in some photos, but nothing I couldn’t work around.

              I swapped in the SB-600, and it did the same, but is about 1 stop less powerful than the SB-800 in the test, so I compensated with ease.

              I specifically dumbed down the test to just TTL and to one flash at a time.

              I kind of wonder though if I shouldn’t have just bought the Odin system, as this system is just as expensive and is bulkier. Then again, I also think I’d like to swap out my 800’s for 910’s. It’s a case of NAS.

  • englishfil

    Seconding Rick’s comment about the spec of the Debao SU800 there are obvious flaws in the Chinese maths. Unless the trigger coverage has been narrowed (not ideal) then the unit should need double the transmission power to go 1.4x the range (because it works exactly the same way as a flash). Instead Debao claims 1.75x the range on 1.5x the power. Unless the Chinese have invented a new kind of physics (and they are a very inventive nation) this does not stack up. Now Debao may be picking its best test result whilst Nikon picks its average, but Rick’s comment definitely stands.

    • Maji

      Excellent observation… I personally feel that the specs are “fantasy specs”. I will be happy if it performs at half of what it claims…

  • adonay

    Does it have battery level information on the display? the nikon version does not have it so i have to guess and changed battery before a wedding etc

  • oiu

    How can Debao release this when Nikon should be releasing my D53s.343x!!!!!!!

  • Matthew Fleisher

    Follow

  • Spy Black

    I’m curious as to why they bother with an infrared system, it’s essentially limited to indoor environments, and probably limited even there.

    • BrightEyes

      I think it’s aimed at studio shooters and I’ve seen an event photographer use one. But try using Nikon CLS on three or four jobs and you’ll understand why people like it. The accuracy and control are just amazing.

      • Spy Black

        I just don’t see what the advantage is, whatever it can do can be done with radio, with much greater range.

  • Momenti Da Foto

    I’ve bought the SU-800 two years ago.
    I think it’s time to sell it

  • BernhardAS

    I also prefer RF to IR.
    if IR needs to be used it works amazingly better when a reflector is used and the sensor is pointed to the reflector rather than the IR device.
    If you have a spare guy and reflector it can help.
    Experiences like this one convinced me to go RF and forget about IR.

  • Andrew Brookfield

    It’s compatible with the D3000 and 3100 but not the D3200? Why?

  • BrightEyes

    For people who have trouble getting their Nikon infrared signal to go around corners, I read this tip in PopPhoto and a photographer said that what you need to do is hang a miniature mirror disco ball (they usually come as keychain fobs or Christmas ornaments) in the vicinity of the obstruction so that the tiny mirrors reflect the infrared to the flash. I haven’t tried it but it sounds like it just might work. This one is from TinyToyArcade.com

    And as for the accessory above, the older I get the more true I find it that you get what you pay for. So if that thing is half the cost of an SU800 it might work just as well but it’s not made with as high-quality parts so it will die sooner, or it will work with some Nikons but not all, or something.

    That’s why PocketWizard remains the standard in the industry. They cost a small fortune, but they work.

  • Isaac Alonzo

    Maybe… maybe maybe next iteration of the SB line will have radio built-in with CLS support. I mean that’s something they will sure sell like hotcakes!

    SU-850 RF commander with a screen, buttons and wheel like SB-910 and work just like a flashless one.

    Release SB-950RF SB-750RF and SU-850RF and be sure to manufacture enough of them to keep up with the demand.

  • Syco

    I use radio poppers on my d4, d800, d600 – it’s rf with full cls capabilities ? Not sure why more people don’t use them – sure they are expensive but they work.

    • Aldo

      since you have a d4, d800 and a d600 you wouldn’t understand.

  • BRNSMRF

    This smaller variant of the SU-800 looks good. I use my SU and my flash in hand at low light events instead of using an SC-29 cord with a bracketed flash. Nikon really needs to update these remote accessories. A smaller, more efficient SU-800 with a wider line of sight and a SC cable with a smarter cord solution. Canon did a good job with their new commander unit (although they didn’t include a helpful IR focus beam).

  • Orbit 15

    I was informed today the Debao SU800 works well in infrared/CLS communication. However using the Debao SU800 with the YN-622N isn’t working as a commander. The person I spoke with tried the set up and it’s not working like the Nikon SU800 as of this morning. He will retest again this evening to make sure all was set up correctly and come up with a verdict.

    Sadly we may be stuck again spending crazy silly money for RF wireless control on the fly.

  • Brad

    Beware the Debao Su- 800

    Brad Johnson · Fort Myers, Florida

    BEWARE they offer Zero None not even a response for any technical service at all, my unit quit after only 30 shots and after repeated attempts No Response from technical service. SAVE YOUR MONEY!

  • Marcon

    hi everybody.. just want some updates regarding the compatibility of debao SU-800 in camera top of YN-622N as a commander? Need your help please before buying..

  • Marcon

    It works on my D7000 camera.. Setup: Place the debao Su-800 as commander
    at top of YN-622N in camera setup to trigger 1 remote SB-700 with
    YN-622N and 1 remote Yn-565Ex with YN-622N trigger.. And it works
    perfectly without any misfiring.. so happy..

  • Yang

    Indeed a great alternative.

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