Nikon SB-500 Speedlight
Basic, but with the bonus of a constant light
Quite a bare-bones affair, the SB-500 is the only flashgun in the group to lack both an LCD info screen and a zoom feature (hence the single line in the graph on the right). It also has a relatively low Gn (24), and runs on just two AA batteries instead of the usual four. Pretty much all adjustments need to be made via the host camera, and compatibility is limited with some older D-SLRs, including D2 and D3 series D-SLRs, the D50, D70, D80 and D200.
One positive is that the SB-500 is the only flashgun in the group to feature a constant LED light as well as a flash. This is good news if you spend a lot of time shooting closeup stills and movies. In flash mode, you can use the SB-500 in wireless slave mode (Channel 3 only), or as a wireless commander, but only with Nikon’s latest D5500, D7200, D750 and D810 cameras.
Despite its modest power rating, in our tests the SB-500 matched the Nikon SB-700 at its 24mm zoom setting. We also found TTL accuracy was spot on, meaning you won’t need to fuss with exposure compensation, but recycling speed is the outright slowest in the group.