In this article, we will be taking a look at what we feel are the best external flashes for Nikon d3100 cameras currently available on the market today. Each month we see a steady number of people reaching out for advice on flashes that they can use with their Nikon d3100 so we decided to publish this article.
Our hope is that this will help any of our readers who are in this same situation and save them time and money when it comes to picking up a new flash for their camera. We have chosen one high end, premium priced flash as well as a more budget-friendly flash to try and cover the two main price point for our readers. Each of these flashes has earned themselves excellent reputations within the market and both can help improve your flash photography and outperform the built-in flash on your d3100.
The Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash
The SB-700 flash head has been designed to be as easy as possible to use allowing anyone to enjoy the improved image quality it offers. You simply set the flash up as required for your photography session and then mount it on your d3100’s hot shoe mount and you are essentially ready to go.
The image to the left shows the interface and control system for the SB-700 and although it may look a little daunting at first, Nikon has made the system extremely easy to use. Even if you have only ever used simple plug and play flashes or if you have never used a flash before you should easily be able to pick this up and for it to become second nature.
One of our favorite features of the flash is its hot-swap switch in the top left of the image. It allows you to quickly and easily swap between the flash mode. These include everything that you would expect from a high-end flash such as TTL flash mode, Guide number mode, and manual flash mode.
Another improvement to the SB-700 over the older versions of Nikon flashes is that its design has been made more streamlined to offer a smaller, portable, and versatile speedlight flash for you that is very adaptable to your needs. The technology inside the case has also been over halted to massively improve the wireless capabilities of the flash unit too.
The flash is powered via 4 AA batteries (Click here to check for product prices and availability) that can offer you an excellent amount of battery life provided you choose a set of high-quality batteries. One thing that we would like to point out when it comes to battery life is that your camera settings and the types of batteries you use effect the flashes uptime massively. For example, lithium batteries will provide a flash recycle rate of around 3.5 seconds whereas a set of alkaline batteries will reduce that to 2.5 seconds but provide less overall flash activations.
All in all, we feel that the Nikon SB-700 will make an excellent addition to your Nikon d3100 camera accessories and help improve your lighting system possibilities for your photography gigs. Although some amateur or entry-level photographers may consider this flash to be on the pricey side, it can often quickly pay for itself if you are a more established photographer with paying clients.
The Yongnuo YN-565
Again, the YN-565 has been designed to be as easy to use as possible with it being based around a simple navigation menu to program the flash and then being mounted on your d3100’s hot shoe mount. Once done, you are good to go and can go off about your flash photography as you please.
The image to the right shows the control system of the flash unit and as you can see, it essentially looks like the control system of many modern flash units available on the market. The interface system is also essentially a rip of the flash units of other leading brands too so if you have used any of the modern Nikon flash units, you will quickly pick this up.
The YN-565 offers you a few core flash modes to allow you to get the best possible image quality while taking your flash photographs as well as offering a number of other essential core features. Additionally, the build quality of the flash is excellent considering its price point offering a solid robust product with excellent functionality and performance for the lowest possible price.
We feel that the YN-565 will make an excellent entry-level addition to your camera accessories and help improve your d3100 photography by increasing the possibilities you can offer clients via your creative lighting system. It does lack some of the functionality of the Nikon SB-700 covered first in the article but the YN-565 is around one third of its price so this is to be expected. That said, this flash will provide some great utility to get your started with minimal effort required to get what you want out of your flash.