Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's day dinner

Yesterday is Father's day in Malaysia. We went to Decanter Damansara for a dinner celebration. I took couple of picture with the new flash (Nissin Di466) and result is sure look nice.

My Dad

My youger sis and her hubby

Me and my wife (photo taken by my sis)

My younger brother (photo taken by my sis)

One of the dish. Roasted Chicken Breast.

Camera setting: Shutter priority with 1/60 second (The slowest i can handle), ISO 800, Flash with built-in diffuser pointing ceiling.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nissin Flash Di466 Review

I have been googling for Nissis Di466 review for sometime and it seems that not much of people write review about this flash. After extensive research, finally I bought this flash for my Nikon D40 (Beginner DSLR, great for family photo shooter). I used this flash for my friend's wedding and the results are satisfactory.

Before that, initially I wanted to get the Nikon SB-400 flash but due to the price point, I find it's hard for me to put down the investment. Until I found this Nissin flash, which gives me a new life for flash photography. Hence, this review will have some comparison with the Nikon option.

Click the link below for specification.

Di466 Advantage
  1. Cheap – Nikon SB-400 costs RM450; Nissin Di466 costs RM355 (current price has gone up to RM385). I got the flash from a famous online photography store in Malaysia.
  2. Build in reflector and diffuser - This will save me to get a diffuser or save some time to DIY a reflector. I know, DIY reflector doesn't cost much but I rather have it built in.
  3. Remote trigger (without TTL/Manual flash) - I won't be using this feature but it's a plus for having it just in case I need it in future.
  4. Adjustable default flash compensation value - Nissin flash allow to set and memory the default flash compensation value. If the default value is underexposed for my taste, I can increased the compensation by +0.5 in the firmware. Therefore, no need to re-adjust the value whenever I power on it.
  5. Flash compensation button – By having the flash compensation button built on the flash, it really helps me to adjust the setting fast. As I know, adjust the flash compensation in Nikon D40 is a hassle (2 button pressed simultaneously plus thumb dial) and I can't adjust the setting in split second with the example below.
Overexposed photo (in wedding dinner) while they having a cheer.

Flash compensation -1.5 in split second. Underexposed but can be edited using Nikon Active D Ligthing.

Di466 Disadvantage
  1. 4 batteries – The flash required 4 batteries, therefore I need to pull out extra cash to get the batteries. As for SB-400, only 2 batteries required. However, I don't think 4 batteries is a big minus point for this flash.
  2. Weight & Size – Since it require 4 batteries, the size and weight is slightly larger and heavier than SB-400. But it doesn't matter much for me. Perhaps my wife might find it too much to handle.
  3. Non-flash shooting – I need to press the power off button on the flash for non-flash photo (press the button for 2 seconds) instead of using in camera control. I think this same goes to SB-400.
  4. No horizontal swivel head - I shoot horizontal in door photo most of the time, which only required the flash to point upwards. That's all I need, therefore this really not a minus point for me.
  5. No advance wireless remote trigger/Creative Lighting System - I used this flash only for family photo. No studio setup or any advance lighting required. Nikon D40 also does not come with remote commander. Again, this is not a minus point for me.
  6. Default flash compensation is underexposed - See direct flash comparison below.
Direct Flash Comparison
I have made a comparison between the built-in camera flash and Nissin flash. Below are the result and the flash compensation is increased using control on the flash instead. The first photo focus is different from the rest as I didn't check properly on the photos. However, the camera setting used are the same for all photos (ISO 800, 1/60s, f5.6, TTL flash).

Built-in Flash

+0.0 Flash Compensation (underexposed)

+0.5 Flash Compensation

+1.0 Flash Compensation

+1.5 Flash Compensation (overexposed)

In the direct flash comparison, the default setting for the nissin flash seems to be underexposed (Therefore, always check the photo and make necessary adjustment but I doubt anyone would use direct flash most of the time. Or I can set the firmware to default +0.5 to save some time). The +0.5 and +1.0 flash compensation result looks the same (Not sure whether this is a defect, but I think I lost a 0.5 stop option for the flash). Furthermore, I found Nissin produced slight warmer and much better lighting. The built-in flash's result looks balanced but I prefer result from Nissin flash.

With the feature comparison above, I think the Nissin Di466 has overthrown the Nikon SB-400 in terms of price and feature. If you are planning to get SB-400, check out Di466 before you make your final decision because it's a steal.

Final Note
  1. Always check your photo after each shot. Although the flash recycle time took 4 seconds for full powered flash (people might argue it's slow) but it a good chance to take this time to check the photo whether it exposed correctly.
  2. Crop for vertical perspective - Since the flash does not swivel on horizontal direction, keep shooting in horizontal perspective and crop the photo later in vertical using editor. This saves you to spend time to swivel the flash head instead of focus shooting photo.
  3. Off camera flash TTL system – The flash does not have build in TTL wireless control. However that doesn't mean to put you off from off camera flash with TTL setting. Nissin has a hot shoe wire (purchase separately) that allow this flash to fire off camera flash with TTL.
  4. Bounce flash will cause some photo with incorrect exposure - Factor including ceiling distance/surface and camera set up (apeture/shutter/iso/zoom length). This applies to all flash system.
Nikon D40 + Nissin Di466 Image

Sample Photos
Father's day Dinner