Nikon SB-400 Speedlight discontinued

The retail chain Mediamarkt in Germany currently has the Nikon SB-400 Speedlight listed as discontinued in their inventory system. In the past four years Nikon did update the SB-600 (with the SB-700) and SB-800 (updated twice already with the SB-900 and SB-910), but the SB-400 remained untouched since its introduction back in 2006. There is a very good chance that a new SB-500 will be announced in the next few months.

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  • PC

    RIP Sb400 🙁 mine served me well. It opened my eyes that a flash would give better looking pictures than most lenses indoors if you had a ceiling or a wall.

    The only thing they’d need to add to the sb500 IMO is manual triggering (SB400 was ttl through the camera only; couldn’t use “dumb” radio triggers) and swivelling as well.

    • karl

      yeah, well, it was a toy, really.
      Swiveling head was the most important feature it lacked imho.

      • RMAC

        I sold mine on CL without even having a replacement. I bought it before I realized that KROCKwell’s 2cents was worth a penny. The only time I liked using it was when I shot portrait so I could bounce off a wall. The fact that it’s getting replaced (hopefully by something more usable) makes me happy i dumped it when i did!

        • sb400 was awesome, small, always there when you need it and with SC28 cord as flexible as it could be. no need for swiveling head which makes it only bigger.
          i hope that replacement will keep the real power off switch, because the fact that it was not draining bateries made it perfect as “always there when you need it” flash.

          New flashes (SB700, 900,910) have switch which looks like real switch, but is not. It drains batteries even when off.

        • David

          The SB400 is an absolutely brilliant flash I love mine, I carry it everywhere even when my pair of SB900’s are sitting on the shelf at home, I really hope they don’t make it much bigger than it is at the moment, the swivelling thing isn’t a big issue unless in a really tight dark room, otherwise a well placed business card works great

      • T.I.M

        I shoot pointing at the ceiling all the time (when the ceiling is white of course) and I get a “studio like” picture.
        To do that you need the power of a big flash like the SB-900/910

    • NRC

      Yup, the SB-400 was a great intro to flash photography for me when I started out with a D60. Sure, I haven’t used it in years, but it’s still better than the built-in flash.

      A low price and the ability to bounce (yes, swivel would have been nice) make it a great tool for my need then.

    • Nikon Shooter

      To hell with this glorified pop-up flash. If you are someone on a serious budget then you should be looking at third-party offerings. Yongnuo is mainly an unknown Chinese brand, but a household name in the strobist community because of their awesome remote triggers and full-featured TTL flashes that can be had for less than what you’d pay for the sb-400 aka “poop-on-a-stick”.

      They are well-built and some of them are as powerful as the sb-900/910. I actually prefer their top-of-the line model (YN-565EX) to the sb-900 because it doesn’t have the annoying head-lock and has an option to quickly change the output by a full stop. It also never shuts down on me like the sb-900 did. As far as the reliability, the three that I own are still going strong about 100,000 actuations later (about 4 months of real abuse.)

      • Worminator

        Reviews of the YN-565EX are “mixed”, to say the least. I’ll stick with my SB-800.

        • Nikon Shooter

          Just make sure that you are reading ones for the Nikon version. Almost all bad reviews stem from the “first” version of the 565ex that was Canon-only. When the Nikon version was finally released all the original bugs had been ironed out.

          If you are happy with the sb-800 then you should definitely keep it. Personally I couldn’t get rid of mine fast enough after the sb-900 came out due to the slow recycle rate and the poor interface.

  • If this doesn’t have a swiveling head, an update will be null.


  • derWalter

    make it useable as master flash!!

    • stepper

      Even better, make it usable as a slave!

      • desmo

        I expect it will be both so as to be compatable with sb-900/910
        sb-600/700 further expand the cls system

      • brn

        I’m with stepper. Give me some cheap slaves. I love my sb800, but I’d love to have some cheap slaves too.

      • Smith


        Yeah I want that feature too. Usually I shoot macro, and having a small flash with CLS will help my macro shooting a lot easier with lighter and more compact CLS flash system.

  • nebus

    Possibly teaming up release with the 5200 then?

    • This is a possibility but I do not have any confirmation – we will find out tomorrow.

      • T.I.M

        The new SB-500 is coming with the new D400, AF-s VR 300mm f/4 and the AF-s 50mm f/1.2

        • Apollo

          And with Nikon AF-S VRIII 80-400mm f4.5-5.6!

    • Big J

      Dammit, just had that thought also when I saw the main post. Would be interesting it being released with the SB-500 as a kit along with the WU-1a adapter.


  • stepper

    Make the new one full CLS compatible and I’ll take six!

    • D400


  • Shawn

    I’m still planning on getting an SB-400 with a flash cord. I used to have an SB-600, before I knew anything about flash exposure, but it was smashed to oblivion. I did enjoy the swivel head and can do the same thing by hand-holding an SB-400 on a cord, or having someone else hold it for me. I’d rather have a an SB-600 or SB-700 but money is just too tight. I’ll take an SB-400 rather than no flash at all.

    I became very skilled at available light photography, but frankly the available light indoors at night is just a little too dim. ISO 12,800 at f/1.8 just isn’t worthwhile for people pictures, and never mind trying to get more than one person in focus at a time. I’m ready to jump back into flash, especially if I can angle and bounce it at-will.

    What could they possibly add on an SB-500 that would differentiate it from the SB-400? Swivel head? Better battery life? More control?

    • 500

      smaller, lighter and brighter

  • Geoff_K

    KR’s favorite flash, gone the way of the dinosaur. 😉

    • Ken

      Ken must be crying, as his family is now shrinking 😉

  • PAG

    Great flash for indoor party pics, i.e. when you don’t want to haul around a big flash. It even worked great on a Coolpix. Pity that Nikon decided against a standard hotshoe for the Nikon 1. The SB-400 (and whatever is going to replace it) would work great.

    • Jonas (from SWEDEN)

      True … if pity is the right word?
      I don’t understand why they did so? Especially when they took their time to make the adapter for their lenses … That is one of the reasons why my choice for “always in my pocket” camera became the Coolpix P7700 … To be able to use SB900 and SB800 as remote or on camera flash.
      I hope the new SB500? will be able to serve as commander/remote in Nikons CLS style!

  • Scottd800

    I hope it comes with a focus assist! Hitting those spots in the dark is pretty tough on the fly without the grid. Also, a dial type “master” feature would be neat. Hopefully compatable with pocket wizard.

  • Greg

    I have an SB-400 with me all the time. It’s too small not to throw in the bag. I hope Nikon keeps some sort of lightweight alternative in the lineup.

  • Plug

    I love my SB400. Great for fill-in when out and about.

  • MB

    New SB-500 will have almost all the feature of old SB-600 but will less powerful and will cost at least twice as much 😉

    • T.I.M

      You’ll get a $10 mail-in rebate if you buy the SB-500 + the MB-D12 $400 grip !

  • Camaman

    Whats the use of any of these if they aren’t bounce flashes!?
    Its not like they can’t make one…. Well maybe not with todays quality checks and price targets set by greedy buyers…

    • AM

      Indeed, you can tilt the SB-400 to bounce off the ceiling.

  • Rodrigo

    Does anybody know if SB-R200 will be replaced soon? It would be good to see a new Nikon macro flash that uses AAA or AA batteries.

    • Greg

      What I would like, and therefore probably won’t get, is a hybrid 200/400. The 200 has the remote capability but is under powered, the 400 must be in the hotshoe.

  • Funduro

    WAHH ! LEAVE SB-400 A L O N E ! (tears falling down my cheeks while under a blanket)

  • MB

    It doesn’t surprise me that it is being bashed on this forum, everyone only wants the best of the best.

    But if you consider the purpose and market for the SB400, it couldn’t be better made. The simplicity, size, and best of all the power switch are aimed squarely at the entry level DSLR user. Upgraders can try the hot shoe cord or the YN’s or SB’s. If they add a swivel head it might become too confusing to the beginner user who is trying to get their head around camera settings when shooting.

    I kept my 400.

  • Smith

    I love my SB-400. It’s small, light, and able to keep it with my camera all the times.
    I wish a new one or a replacement would include CLS.

  • Fausto

    MediaMarkt will also stop selling the rather new 85mm 1.8g… I was able to get the last specimen they had in their Bochum store for a sell-out price (basically for the same amount used copies of the lens are sold). Maybe some of you can get lucky, too.

  • Merv

    What would be inprovement:

    1) A smaller version (I guess less effective as a result) autofocus assist lamp that is on the SB-700/Sb-910
    2) Can swivel left and right in addition to up and down

    Would be a bonus if it could be triggered wirelessly but I think the new Canon equivalent of this flash can be triggered without needing a commander mode.

    I bought the SB-400 for vacations, with some social situations; I’m not going to be carrying around an SB-900 while doing the tourist thing. Though I must say I’ve been using flash a lot less since I got the Nikon D5100. If this new SB-500 is around the same price, I’ll likely get it.

  • EvaK

    Mediamarkt is no reliable source for such news. Maybe they simply remove the SB-400 from their portfolio because it’s a shelf warmer for them. and others still have the SB-400.

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