Nikon SB-N5 Speedlight review: Nikon SB-N5 Speedlight

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Powered by the camera. Small and compact to match the V1's size. Great range. Natural, warm light when bounced.

The Bad LED light can't be used for video recording.

The Bottom Line The SB-N5 might look like a toy but it delivers serious, intense punches of light thanks to its clever design that takes power from the V1 camera.

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Need a little extra light on your Nikon 1 V1 camera? The SB-N5 is the answer.

To go with the light and compact nature of the V1, the N5 speedlight is positively tiny at just 70 grams. With no battery required, the unit runs entirely from the power of the camera, channelled through the hotshoe attachment. Controls are very simple, in fact there's just two switches on the back, one to turn the unit on and the other that unlocks it from the camera housing.

The flash head can be tilted forward in step increments, approximately 90 degrees of movement between facing up fully and facing the subject. It can also completely rotate on its axis in both left and right directions to help control the bounce of the light.

At the front of the unit is a small LED light used to illuminate Motion Snapshot or Smart Photo Selector capture modes. When either of these modes are selected on the V1's dial, the LED light will automatically switch on when the flash is powered up. It provides a decent throw of light that can reach about a metre in dim situations. Unfortunately, the LED light can't be used to illuminate regular video recording.

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Where to Buy

Nikon SB-N5 Speedlight

Part Number: CNETNikon SB-N5 Speedlight

Typical Price: $249.95

See manufacturer website for availability.