Forget pop-up flash, here are some bright ideas for powerful but affordable lighting
sunpak pz42x £110/$140
The PZ42X’s bargain price is reflected in its relatively limited features, such as slow recycling times and a lack of high speed sync (HSS) or wireless slave facility. But it’s small, surprisingly powerful and gets the basics right.
gloxy gx-f990 n ttl £130/$195
This TTL flashgun delivers a lot of bang for not much buck. Sold as the Vivitar DF-583 Power Zoom Speedlight in the US, it offers a power output that matches the pricier Nikon SB-700, plus a strobe mode, HSS and a power-zoom head.
metz 44af-1 digital £130/$190
Easy to use and packing a slide-out wide angle diffuser and bounce card, as well as an AF assist illuminator, this represents a good buy. Its colour balance runs a little cool and its wireless slave mode’s basic, but it’s a capable ’gun.
nissin di700 £160/$260
A decent performer, despite the slightly uneven coverage across the frame. Recycling from a full-power flash takes 4.1 seconds and it comes closer to firing at its promised power rating (Gn 48) more often than many other flashguns.