Nikon 1 SB-N7 Speedlight
Nikon, how did you approve this design?
I am not usually one to rant or write reviews, however this product's design flaw needs to be shared for other potential buyers. I have a Nikon 1 V1 and I love it for what it is. A great compact camera that gives me some of the benefits of my two D700s without all of the weight and space of them plus the pro lenses I use with them. I love the size of the V1 when carrying all the stuff with our new child. I have the SB-N5 and I like it too for it's small size and ability to minimize red eye due to being off enough of the lens axis. However, my biggest gripe has been the lack of power, especially when trying to bounce flash. So I was very interested in the SB-N7 so I could have that extra punch for those nice bounce flash shots as well as outdoor daylight shots. I preordered over a month ago and eagerly awaited trying it out tonight when the package arrived.
After opening the package I was playing around with the flash and was getting ready to try it when I saw something was amiss. I was like wait a minute....maybe I just don't know how to do it. I pushed, pulled, did a 360 examination. Nope, they really designed it this way. The stupid flash can't be used to bounce when shooting in the vertical format! That's right, when most people would be using the bounce effect, taking portraits, you can't bounce the flash. The flash head does not twist horizontally. Nikon even says on their website for the SB-N7, "Experienced shooters often bounce their flash off the ceiling above them or a wall behind them for an attractive softening effect. The Nikon 1 SB-N7 Speedlight's flash head tilts 120° so you can direct the light exactly where you want it—straight ahead, up, behind you and everywhere in-between." Yes, it tilts 120 degrees forward and aft when you hold the camera for the standard horizontal shot. However it's direct flash only if you want to shoot vertical. How is it that the less powerful, supposedly designed for amateurs SB-N5 can bounce for both horizontal and vertical shots but the SB-N7 can't? I'm returned this poorly designed item. Big time goof Nikon.
February 12, 2013