Nikon Unveils SB-910 Speedlight Flash That Won’t Shut Down During Overheating

November 30, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Nikon released a new top-of-the-line speedlight flash for digital SLRs tonight: the SB-910, which will begin selling in mid-December for $549.95. The new SB-910 replaces the SB-900.

The new SB-910 speedlight flash has a few new features from the previous model, including these three main changes:

• A new GUI (Graphic User Interface) that’s much like SB-700 flash. The buttons on the SB-910 light up, which helps for working in the dark.

• The thermal cut-out function on the SB-910 has changed. With the SB-900, the flash shut down prematurely when it would overheat to save the flash head. This feature drove some photographers crazy since it would often prevent the ability to fire the flash in certain situations.

Instead of shutting down, the SB-910 speedlight delays its recycle time, which, while an improvement does not completely solve the problem. It does, however, preserve the flash head by preventing overheating.

“It won’t shut down, it’ll slow down,” explained Geoff Coalter, a spokesperson for Nikon USA. “It’s another way to save your flash head.”

• The SB-910 now takes the hard color type filter. “It has a head that will read that,” Coalter said. “Just slap it on and you’re done. It reads it immediately.”

More details on the new Nikon SB-910 speedlight in the press release below.




New Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Offers Advanced Flash Technology and Intelligent Features

MELVILLE, N.Y. (November 29, 2011) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of a new flagship speedlight, the powerful and capable SB-910 speedlight. Building on the versatility of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), the SB-910 incorporates an enhanced intuitive operating system and graphic user interface (GUI). The SB-910 speedlight comes equipped with a wide zoom range covering the most popular focal lengths as well as FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the camera body. This new speedlight also provides more efficient battery usage as well as an enhanced Thermal Cut-Out function.

“As Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910 provides exceptional high performance and versatility that users have come to value in Nikon’s Creative Lighting System,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “By addressing the needs of photographers that work in challenging lighting scenarios, the SB-910 delivers a new level of portable lighting functionality, with performance and intelligent features that adapt to a wide range of lighting challenges.”

The SB-910 speedlight is designed to provide easy operation and menu navigation, with its enhanced operating system featuring illuminated function buttons, a dedicated Menu button with quick access to custom settings and an improved LCD screen graphic user interface. Whether the unit is used as an on-camera flash, wireless commander or remote, the SB-910 speedlight will provide dependable and consistent flash exposure. Engineered to address the creative lighting challenges faced by today’s photographers, the SB-910 speedlight includes quick on-demand performance and the ability to adapt seamlessly to nearly any possible lighting scenario.

Additionally, the new SB-910 incorporates a new Thermal Cut-Out function, which offers protection against damage to the flash panel and body from overheating during continuous flash use. Now, the flash recycling time is automatically delayed if a significant rise in temperature is detected, rather than ceasing operation to protect the unit. For additional durability, heat-resistance and ease-of-use, the SB-910 uses new hard-type color compensation filters for fluorescent and incandescent color temperature balancing. When using these filters, the flash automatically recognizes which filter is being used and adjusts white balance accordingly on the connected Nikon D-SLR camera. Additionally, the AF-assist illuminator of the SB-910 is compatible with the complete line of AF systems used in Nikon D-SLR cameras.

The SB-910 speedlight features three illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) which are designed to match almost any shooting situation when utilizing the speedlight. The “standard” pattern will cover all conventional, standard flash coverage. The “center-weighted” pattern provides larger guide numbers than other light distribution types at the same focal lengths. This illumination pattern is ideal for subjects such as portraits, in which the light falloff at the image edges can be disregarded. When “even” is selected, the light from the flash will cover a subject from the center to the edges without light falloff. This pattern is applicable for shooting group photographs indoors. For coverage with a variety of lenses, the SB-910 speedlight incorporates a multi-step power zoom range that covers a wide 17-200mm angle of view, and can automatically detect Nikon FX and Nikon DX formats to help select suitable light distribution.

The SB-910 speedlight includes support for Nikon’s advanced wireless TTL operation and can function as a wireless commander with control over three separate groups of speedlights or as a remote speedlight triggered by other SB-910 speedlights, SB-700 speedlights, SU-800 Wireless Commander or the built-in speedlight set to Commander Mode on compatible Nikon D-SLR cameras. The SB-910 incorporates a high-speed recycling time of approximately 2.5 seconds for full power with NiMH batteries, and approximately 3.0 seconds with AA Alkaline batteries.

Optional water guards will be available for select cameras to protect the connection between the flash and camera, allowing users to utilize the flash when weather conditions are less than ideal. The SJ-4 Color Filter set provides a Warming, Red, Yellow or Blue filter for adding color to the background, foreground or just to accent the scene. The SB-910 will come equipped with the AS-21 Speedlight Stand, SW-13H Diffusion Dome, SZ-2FL and SZ-2TN hard type Color Compensation Filters and SS-910 soft case.

Price and Availability
Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910, will be available in mid-December 2011 for a SRP of $549.95. For more information, please visit

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