Nikon P7700 Creative Lighting System hands on review

Firstly I should state that I’m a massive fan of the Nikon CLS system and love off camera flash (wireless and infra red) in general. This was on of the main reasons for upgrading to the Nikon P7700 from the Nikon P7000. So does it work, and does it work well?

Jasper on Porthcawl Beach

Shot with the P7700 in commander mode and SB800 handheld in remote mode. Apart from re-sizing for this web page, there has been no post production work done on this image.

I’d have to yes, though there are limitations. Unlike say the D200, SB800 or an SU800 your limited to one Channel and one Group (Channel 3, Group A) which means you cannot specifically alter the flash out put from separate speed-lights. You can still use more than one speed-light of course but unless you set it up manually in SU4 mode, your only going to be able to set the out put the same as all the other units in the group. This is only really going to bother you if you shoot a lot of multi flash studio or portrait work and if you are I would suggest you’ve probably already got the kit to do. The Nikon P7700 allows you that little bit of freedom, more a kin to a single light set up on the move, more likely to be like my example on this page; quick and improvised fun shots. The only other issue would be if you were shooting and bumped into some one else with the same set up because you’d keep triggering each others flash units, though how likely that is I’m not sure.

One of the issues with CLS is  because the underlying technology is infra red it can have issue in bright sunlight.  This may be the case if you’re trying to trigger from range, but using the SB800 hand held I encountered no issues on this particular shoot (apart from my thumb getting in the way), which was done in very glaring sunlight.

In conclusion  I’d like to say that the images on this page say it all. Apart from converting to DNG from NRW and then re-sized in photoshop cs5 for this web page, they haven’t been processed at all. No levels, no curves, no nothing. They’re clear, they’re sharp, the exposure is perfect, all from this pocket sized little wonder. If you have any questions about the P7700 or photography in general, please feel free to contact me and I’ll try and answer your queries.

Oskar on Porthcawl beach

Shot with the P7700 in commander mode and SB800 handheld in remote mode. Apart from re-sizing for this web page, there has been no post production work done on this image.

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