We are rapidly working our way through reviewing all of the popular flash units on the market right now after starting this series a few months back. After a few of our regular readers have noticed us always saying that we wish entry-level flash units had LCD panels we have had a few people make us aware of the VK430.
Although we feel that the Neewer TT560 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is the undisputed king of the entry-level flash unit market, we are curious is the Voking VK430 has challenger potential. We love the fact that it actually uses an LCD panel but the Neewer TT560 is an excellent little flash unit with one of the best reputations going right now.
That said, the VK430 peaked our curiosity and it has also managed to earn its own great reputation with the photography community. We are also confident that some of our readers will still be interested in the VK430 so we are still going to go over the flash and publish our full Voking VK430 review below.
User Interface And Control System
The photograph above shows the control system and user interface for the Voking VK430 flash unit and as you can see, unlike the vast majority of other entry-level flash units on the market, it is based around using an LCD panel and a directional pad rather than the basic button-based system. Although both the LCD panel system and the button-based system are very easy to pick up, the LCD panel usually allows for much more customization of the flash units output.
As the Voking VK430 is a sub $50 price point flash unit, we would class it as an entry-level camera flash. Due to this, there is a pretty solid chance that a large number of the our readers interested in adding the VK430 to their camera accessories are actually looking to purchase their very first flash unit ever.
The ease of use that the VK430 offers is excellent for this as we would imagine anyone can pick it up and get the flash working. In the age of smartphones where pretty much everyone is using technology on a daily basis, the user interface of the VK430 will be very similar to work. Additionally, the very simple navigation menu on the flash unit is also very easy to use allowing you to select key options within seconds and tweak them as required.
Not only does this allow you to set the flash unit up for work quickly but it also allows you to tweak the performance of the Voking VK430 as required to meet your needs as your session goes on. In our opinion, Voking has done an excellent job with the control system for the flash unit and it is easy to see why so many people like the flash.
As our regular readers can probably guess, we are pleased to see an entry-level flash unit that has a control system based around an LCD panel rather than a button-based system. Not only does this allow you to better customize the performance of the flash unit for your needs, but it also allows you to get practice in on the intermediate and professional level style flash units to making it easier to upgrade in the future.
Performance And Functionality
Now, the performance of the entry-level flash units is usually where they get their chance to shine and stand out from the competition as most other sub $50 flash units have a very similar build quality and control system to each other. This is where the Voking VK430 has an advantage as in our opinion, it is already standing out from the competition due to its much better user interface.
That said, the VK430 can definatley hold its own against the competing entry-level flash units on the market right now when it comes to its performance. We have curated the list of features on the VK430 below as we feel they are the more important things the flash unit has to offer that our readers will want to know:-
- Guide Number (ISO100 ,105mm) 42.
- Five functioning flash modes TTL/MULTI/M/S1/S2.
- Variable flash zoom value at the following levels 24/28/35/50/70/80/105mm.
- Vertical tilt range 0-90degrees.
- Horizontal pan range 0-270 degrees.
- Color temperature of 5600k
- Variable flash time of 1/200s to 1/20000s.
- Eight levels of output control(1/128–1/1).
- Wireless Triggering Distance of 20m indoor and 10m outdoor.
As you can see, the VK430 flash unit offers some great features that are often missing from many of the competing entry-level flash units. Depending on what you are planning to use the camera flash for, this can help to increase its level of performance for your specific photography niche and improve your image quality too.
One thing that we would like to comment on is that the listed wireless triggering distances are the minimum ranges. We have seen reports of the wireless system working up to three times further away without issue but the conditions of your location will come into play so you can usually expect a higher range than what is listed above.
Another thing that we want to mention about the performance of the Voking VK430 is that the officially listed flash activation number per set of batteries is 100-1500 times. We have not seen any reports of anyone getting even close to 1500 flash activations and we presume that this is a typo that was mean to read 100-150.
That said, we have seen a number of people mention how they are getting 200-250 flash activations when using decent rechargeable batteries (Click here to check for product prices and availability). In addition to the quality of the batteries, your flash settings will also come into play when it comes to battery life too but using the best possible batteries does seem to be the best way to increase the battery life of the flash unit.
Build Quality And Design
Being an entry-level flash unit, you have to realize that the build quality is one of the main areas where Voking is able to try and save a little money to keep the price tag of the flash unit down while also increasing their profit margin. Many competing brands tend to go over the top with the sacrifices to the build quality of their entry-level flash units in our opinion but Voking seems to be trying to meet a better balance between quality and cost.
Although the buttons on the control system do feel a little cheap, they are responsive and easy to use. The plastic used for the body of the flash unit is pretty solid while also being lightweight too. They have also opted to go for a metal hot shoe mount rather than a plastic one like some other entry-level flash brands too.
Although it is very common within the entry-level flash unit, the Voking VK430 uses a Two by Two battery housing shown in the image below. Although we doubt it will be much of an issue for most people using this flash unit, the Two by Two housing can lead to some overheating issues due to heat transference between the batteries.
That said, this tends to only occur in very specific circumstances where you are using the flash unit for an extended period of time while also using a quick flash time too. We doubt most of our readers who are looking to add the Voking VK430 to their camera accessories will be doing this anyway so it shouldn’t be an issue.
On the flip side of this though, the Voking VK750 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is cheaper than the Voking VK430, has an LCD panel control system while also having a One by Four battery housing rather than the Two by Two housing helping to remove this risk. We just wish that Voking has used the One by Four battery housing on the VK430 as we feel it would have been a smash hit and dominated in all three major sections.
That brings our review of the Voking VK430 camera flash to an end. There is no doubt that the VK430 is a solid little flash unit and we have no doubt that it can improve the image quality of your flash photography sessions. That said, we feel that the Neewer TT560 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) or the Voking VK750 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) would be better additions to your camera accessory collection. They are both cheaper than the Voking VK430 by around $20 while also having a few advantages over the VK430 too.
Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Igor Menezes Fotógrafo – 15 Anos – Daniele Dias – https://flic.kr/p/jCG2E8
dallashangerphoto – Bekah Timm – https://flic.kr/p/8rXMCh