Welcome to our ultimate Neewer NW620 review that we hope will help any of our readers who are considering adding the NW620 to their collection of camera accessories. We have been meaning to publish more budget and entry-level flash unit reviews so decided to kick off with the NW620.
As you can probably tell by the great reputation that the NW620 has managed to build over the years, it performs well for an entry-level flash unit on Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and other popular mirrorless and DSLR cameras. When you factor in the competition at the price point in the market, we feel that both the popularity and reputation of this great little flash head is going to keep increasing over the months and years to come as more people check it out.
We are fully aware that we have a wide range of readers who levels of experience in photography vary greatly. That said, the Neewer NW620 can make an excellent first-time flash unit due to its low price tag and solid performance while also making a decent flash unit for a more experienced photographer who is on a budget and trying to keep costs down too.
User Interface And Control System
As you would expect for an entry-level flash unit, the Neewer NW620 comes with a pretty basic control system but, in our opinion at least, this makes it the ideal first flash as although the control system is basic, it is very easy to pick up and get started with. It is based around the tried and tested LCD display, a directional pad, and support buttons as seen in the image above. This also makes the NW620 very easy to use and get used to for anyone coming over from other flash brands and you will find many similarities with the NW620 if you own other Neewer flash units.
In addition to the easy to use control system on this speedlite flash, the actual navigation menu has been designed to be extremely easy to use too. Key settings that you may want to tweak mid photography session are near the start of the menu allowing you to quickly make changes to the flashes performance without having to waste your time.
Considering the price point on the market, you can do a fair bit of customization with the Neewer NW620 too allowing you to tweak the performance of the flash to get exactly what you need out of it. That said though, you do have to remember that this is more of an entry-level flash unit and the premium level flashes will allow for much more customization for use with your digital cameras.
The LCD screen on the flash is backlit making it very easy to see in low light conditions too and although you would think that this would be commonplace for flashes at this price point in the market at this day and age, some brands still release flashes without a backlit screen! This obviously helps to push the NW620 out ahead of some of the competing flash units that are trying to compete with it giving it a direct advantage over them.
Although the buttons on the flashes face are responsive, even if your fingers are cold or wet, they do have that cheap feel to it due to the plastics and rubber that have been used. In all fairness to Neewer, they have had to do something to keep the price tag low on a flash with the performance of the NW620 so we feel that this can be overlooked as the actual performance of the flash unit is what matters.
The flash uses the standard hot shoe meaning that you are able to easily mount it to any flash unit that uses a regular hot shoe. Keep in mind, some camera brands are starting to release custom mounting systems like the Sony Multi Interface Shoe. Although the NW620 will not mount to this Sony mount natively, there are adaptors available for standard hot shoe mounts that will let you use it with camera bodies with the mounting unit.
On top of this, Neewer has put a metal hot shoe adaptor on the NW620 and although you may think this is standard, some brands use a specially treated plastic hot shoe mount on their cheaper flash units to try and save costs. We have seen so many complaints about these plastic mounts warping in shape quickly and either jamming on the users camera or causing issues with getting the flash unit mounted.
Thankfully, due to Neewer using a metal mount on the NW620 this is not an issue as the metal holds its shape and allows you to smoothly mount or unmount the flash from your camera body as required. Even if you don’t choose to go with the NW620, we would always recommend that you choose a flash that has a metal hot shoe mount over a one that uses a plastic hot shoe mount. It will save you so much trouble later down the line.
Performance And Functionality
Without a doubt, the main strength of the Neewer NW620 is its excellent performance for its price point in the market. Neewer have packed the flash head with some great functionality too that few other flash units have at this price point while also including some decent accessories with your purchase as standard.
Now, the first thing that we want to talk about when it comes to the functionality of the flash is its recycle time as this particular feature can be a point of controversy on the flash unit. The recycle time on the flash unit is set at 2.9 seconds and you are unable to change it via the settings of the camera. Although we prefer variable recycle times on our flash units, you have to remember that this is an entry-level flash unit and variable recycle times push the price of the unit up.
For example, many high-end flash units will allow you to set the recycle tie of your flash to 0.1 of a second and although this is great for some photography niches, recharging your flash at that speed generates a ton of additional heat. So not only does the flash unit need the technology to allow for such a fast recycle time but it also needs the technology to efficiently dissipate the heat generated.
This can easily double the price of the NW620 and just wanted to point out to our readers why most entry-level flash units have a preset recycle time. Now, on the flip side of this, we would expect a 2.9 second recycle time to be fine for the vast majority of our readers, especially for those who are just getting started in their journey into photography.
Moving on, the Neewer NW620 supports manual flash mode, multimode flash, slave one, and slave two functionality allowing you to use it in a multi-flash rig if needed. The three in one 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that comes with the flash unit makes it easy to set up remote triggering for the flash too. The small size and light weight of the triggers as shown in the image below also make it ideal for use for extended sessions as you don’t have the full weight of your flash on your camera body.
The NW620 also offers a high guide of No.58(ISO 100, 180mm) with a manual zoom range of 18-180mm making it pretty versatile for an entry level unit. If you are a photography student who needs to keep their initial costs down while working in a number of different flash photography situations then the NW620 is perfect for you.
The light emitted from the flash is rendered at 5500K making it as close to daylight as possible to accurately capture the colors and details you see on your subject with your naked eye.
The vertical tilt of -7 to 90 degrees and horizontal pan of 0-180 degrees also allow you to easily bounce your flash as required to soften it as required depending on your situation.
We always see people asking for a set number of flash activations per fully charged set of batteries and there are just too many variables to give an exact number. Factors like the quality of the batteries you use in your flash come into play as well as the settings you are using on your flash but the average number of flash activations per set of fully charged batteries seems to be around Two Hundred with high-quality batteries.
As we mentioned earlier, you also get some accessories with your purchase. These include a few hard diffusers to allow you to manipulate the light provided by the flash as well as a number of cables to get additional functionality when using the flash with some camera models too.
As we have already mentioned earlier in the article, the Neewer NW620 can feel a little cheap at times but as we explained, Neewer had to reduce costs somewhere to keep the price tag of the flash unit low. That said though, the plastic casing is still robust and pretty lightweight allowing it to do its job of protecting the electronics of the flash without having to add too much weight. As we have already covered, the hot shoe mount on the NW620 is metal helping to give the flash an advantage over some of its competitors too.
The tilt and pan joint that joins the base and head of the flash is also solid to allow you to take full advantage of the tilt and pan ranges of the camera flash without the flash feeling like it is going to break in two when adjusting its pan or tilt levels. We feel this is a great little feature as there are flash units at higher price points on the market that use flimsy joining units that feel like they are going to break easily when tweaking the angle of your flash so another easy win for the NW620.
Neewer have also used a decent LCD screen on the flash too that is sharp and clear allowing you to clearly see the settings and reading you are tweaking on the flash unit. As we mentioned previously in the article, the LCD screen is also backlit helping to push the Neewer NW620 ahead of many competing flashes giving it another advantage over the competition.
All in all, we feel that Neewer has done a great job of putting the flash together and although the plastic does feel a little cheap, we feel that this can be overlooked as it is still robust and pretty lightweight. In reality, we can’t think of a single thing we would change on the flash as it would just result in pushing the price tag up and feel the unit dominates in its current price point.
Question – What batteries does the flash use?
Answer – AA for the speedlite flash and AAA for the wireless triggers but keep in mind that the higher quality the battery you choose, the better the battery life will be. We would also recommend that you try to use high-quality rechargeable batteries (Click here to check for product prices and availability) in your flash as it can end up saving you a fair bit of money over the life of the flash unit while also letting you use the batteries in other accessories too.
Question – Do the included shutter cables with the flash unit support TTL when controlled via the cable?
Answer – No the cable connectors do not support TTL functionality.
Question – Can the flash triggers be powered from the camera body once mounted?
Answer – Although they can, we would not recommend it as wireless triggers can drain your camera battery quickly depending on what you are doing with them.
That brings our Neewer NW620 review to an end and we feel that Neewer really has managed to smash the ball out of the park with their NW620 flash unit and we are not surprised in the slightest that it has earned the excellent reputation it enjoys within the community. It offers some of the best performance and functionality available at this price point in the market and easily overshadows the majority of competing flash units too while also having a decent build quality too.
We have no doubt that adding the NW620 to your collection of camera accessories can help to improve your flash photography performance and will be able to improve your low light image quality.
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dallashangerphoto – Bekah Timm – https://flic.kr/p/8rXMCh
Igor Menezes Fotógrafo – 15 Anos – Daniele Dias – https://flic.kr/p/jCG2E8