Per­for­mance

NPhoto - - Test Team -

While the touch­screen is in­tu­itive, it some­times lacks re­spon­sive­ness, need­ing re­peated prod­ding. Some sim­ple ad­just­ments, such as ap­ply­ing flash ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion, are also a lit­tle long-winded. The ro­tary di­als fea­tured on Nikon flash­guns are rather faster in oper­a­tion.

Our main con­cern with the Metz is that, dur­ing our tests, it usu­ally gave sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­ex­posed re­sults in TTL and TTL-BL modes, of around -0.7EV. Re­cy­cling speed from a full-power flash is fairly aver­age at 4.5 sec­onds. Con­sid­er­ing that this Nissin model costs the same as the Metz 52 AF-1 in the UK, pric­ing loses some­thing in the trans­la­tion to the Amer­i­can mar­ket, where it’s com­par­a­tively ex­pen­sive. The Nissin lacks the Metz’s touch­screen panel, in­stead favour­ing a colour LCD which is clear, bright and very in­for­ma­tive. The dis­play also ro­tates au­to­mat­i­cally when shoot­ing in por­trait ori­en­ta­tion.

Ad­vanced fea­tures are widerang­ing, in­clud­ing HSS and strobe modes, full wire­less mas­ter and slave func­tions, and there’s even a sec­ondary sub-flash tube for adding a lit­tle di­rect il­lu­mi­na­tion in bounce and swivel modes. There’s a socket for at­tach­ing an op­tional ex­ter­nal power pack, and the same AA bat­tery caddy as in the Nissin MG8000. You can stow bat­ter­ies in additional cad­dies, which you can buy as op­tional ex­tras, for quick swap­ping. The down side is that the de­sign has a habit of tear­ing the plas­tic cover­ings around the base of AA bat­ter­ies when you insert or re­move them from the caddy.

Per­for­mance

De­spite its promis­ing fea­ture set, the Di866 needs coax­ing with the ba­sics. There’s a ten­dency to un­der­ex­po­sure in TTL mode, sim­i­lar to the Metz 52, and the max­i­mum power out­put is quite a lot lower than that claimed. Light­ing isn’t par­tic­u­larly even across the whole frame and re­cy­cling is quite pedes­trian at up to 5.2 sec­onds.

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