Whether you’re in need of more light inside a dim wedding venue, or are hoping to dabble in the world of studio lighting, one of the most cost-effective means of getting into artificial lighting is to purchase a speedlight. These devices, for the unfamiliar, are small flash modules that attach to cameras and accessories using an integrated hot shoe mount. They’re powered via batteries, most often AA, and can be fired either wirelessly or through the hot shoe when attached to a camera. They’re small — at least, compared to more heavy-duty studio lights — self-contained, and offer an incredible amount of lighting for their size and price.
Large camera companies — such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. — make a handful of speedlights, but if you’re looking for something a little more affordable, it’s best to go the third-party route. To help you navigate the crowded market, we’ve rounded up four of the best budget speedlight offerings that cover a range of prices and power – all costing $70 or less.
If you like to pack light, or simply have a smaller camera setup, it might make sense to go for a smaller speedlight. One of the best you’re going to find is the Neewer NW-610II, a universal speedlight designed to work with everything from mirrorless to DSLR cameras.
The device’s streamlined design is smaller than its full-sized counterparts, but it still packs a punch with a guide number of 27 (the higher the number, the more powerful the light). Its flash head is also adjustable in locking increments of 0, 60, 75, and 90 degrees, which offers greater creative control than other compact speedlights. The Neewer NW-610II is powered by two AA batteries, which allow it to fire off somewhere between 100 and 680 flashes, depending on the power and type of battery you use.
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