With its rotating, swivelling flash head, the Nissin MG80 is perfect for more advanced lighting control with flash modifiers like brollies and softboxes and has enough power for ‘bouncing’ light off walls and ceilings. Like the best flashguns (opens in new tab), it also offers fully automatic TTL flash with a range of camera brands, and has Nissin’s built in radio control system for wirelessly controlling other units or for being triggered remotely.
The power output its quoted as GN60 (m/ISO100) at a focal length of 200mm, GN32 at 35mm or GN20 without its zoom cover. Nissin also quotes the output in watt-seconds with a rating of 83Ws. Quoting the maximum output in watt-seconds is unusual for a hotshoe gun, and is usually reserved for studio flash heads. However, the Profoto A1, was announced last year boasting a maximum output of 76Ws.
The auto TTL mode is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic and Olympus cameras, though you will need to make sure you get the correct version for your camera. You can also use the Nissin MG80 in manual mode, where it offers a power range from 1/256 to 1/1, in 1/3EV increments.
Its flash modes include first and second-curtain sync, a red-eye reduction mode and HSS (high speed sync) up to shutter speeds of 1/8000sec. And if you like to preview a lighting effect before you shoot, there’s a built-in 8W LED modelling light.
NiMH vs Li-ion batteries
Nissin is making a great play of the MG80’s compatibility with regular NiMH AA rechargeable batteries and Li-ion 14500 types. These lithium ion batteries are the same size and shape as AAs and not the same kind of dedicated battery pack you find in most cameras and in the Hähnel Modus 600RT (opens in new tab) flash.
The battery type does have an effect on performance. Nissin claims the recycle time is reduced from 3.8sec (NiMH) to just 1.5sec (Li-ion), though the capacity is greater for NiMH batteries (320 shots) than the Li-ion alternatives (280 shots).
The Nissin MG80 Pro measures 73 x 137 x 120mm and weighs 520g without batteries.
We don’t have any information yet on when the Nissin MG80 Pro will be available or what it will cost, but Nissin flashguns in the past have typically offered good power and features for the money (see our best budget flashguns (opens in new tab) guide for other alternatives).
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