Shanny SN600N Flash Light
The Shanny SN600SN Speedlite with Optic Wireless Master and Slave function for Nikon are now available from $136 with shipping.
The SN600SN are built on the same flash body and hardware as the Canon version SN600SC, which have previously been reviewed and described in a lot more detail here.
So I won’t repeat all of that again in this post. This is just a quick hands on preview, as a number of Nikon owners have been waiting on this flash and a report on its performance.
The SN600SN are about 0.2 stops less powerful than the earlier Canon version SN600SC though (which basically equal the Canon 600EX-RT, and I would assume quite similar to the Nikon SB-910 as well).
The SN600SN are a full Nikon Optic Wireless Master and Slave flash, designed basically as a similarly featured (though more economical) alternative to Nikon’s flagship SB-910.
Shanny do also have an Optic Wireless Slave only flash in the SN600N version, which have already been available for a few months now from around $92 shipped.
Neither of these flash models currently have any radio transceiver units built inside.
- Full Power – GN 60m (ISO 100 / 200mm)
- HSS to 1/8000th
- Flash Mode – ITTL /M / Multi
- 1st Curtain Sync / 2nd Curtain Sync
- FEC / FEB – 1/3rd Increments (±3 stops)
- Manual Flash – 1/128 – 1/1 output control (1/3rd increments)
- 20-200mm Auto and Manual Flash Zoom
- Master and Slave Modes for Nikon Optic Wireless system
- S1 & S2 Basic Optic Slave Modes
- Full power recycle – from 1.8 seconds
- Supports Multiple Flash Groups
- Optic Channels – 4
- Custom Functions
- Sound Prompt
- Heat Protection
- LCD Back Light Can be Kept On
- Crop Sensor Auto Zoom Option
- AF Assist Light
- Full 360 Degree Swivel and Tilt Head (With Tilt Lock Button)
- Large Clear Dot Matrix LCD Screen
- Canon Like Interface
- Fast Clamping Metal Foot with Locking Pin (And Clamps Well)
- Good Build Quality
- External Battery Port
- PC Sync Port
- 2.5mm Communication Port (For Possible Future Radio Receiver)
- No USB Port (Though Firmware Updates May be Possible Via a Future Radio Receiver Unit).
- No Current Radio Compatibility
- AF Assist Light is Good, Though Not Great
- External HV Battery Port is Canon Style Socket (in a Nikon Flash)
- No Canon Optic Wireless Slave Mode
In a nutshell all the functions of the SN600SN appear to be working quite well, even when used with the YongNuo YN-622N radio transceivers (see the notes on that further below though).
Though I did find the Nikon Optic wireless range when used as a slave flash appears to be around 60% of the genuine Nikon flash units.
Otherwise the SN600SN, like most Shanny flash models, are nice solid feeling flash units with very good power and recycle times, and a nice large clear LCD display. The SN600SN even fit a lot more snugly into the camera hotshoe than the Nikon flashes.
The one main feature the SN600SN currently lack is a USB port for firmware updates. Again you can read more detail on the physical design and features of the Shanny flashes in the SN600SC review here.
UPDATE – I originally reported seeing some difference in ITTL exposures between the SN600SN and a Nikon SB-700 flash.
Though this appears to be due to my own inexperience with the Nikon system, and changing the camera to spot metering mode removed the discrepancies, and the SN600SN is providing very similar exposures to the genuine Nikon flash.
FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) also appears to be working correctly.
OPTIC WIRELESS RANGE
The Nikon optic wireless flash system is renowned for its exceptional range, even outdoors in bright light. With both the basic S-U4 optic slave mode, and the full AWL / CLS optic wireless ITTL system.
In SU-4 mode, with straight line of sight to the flashes slave sensor, and in open shade, I found the SN600SN was also very good, and actually reach around 90% of the distance of the SB-700.
In the same conditions when using the Advance Wireless Lighting / CLS mode, the SN600SN only reached around 50% to 60% of the distance of the SB-700, even if only using remote manual power settings (no ITTL).
So it appears the SN600SN perform more in the 20 meter range of the Canon flashes they were originally designed after. Which is not particularly bad, its just that the Nikon flashes are very good with this.
Used as a master unit there was no difference in range between the Shanny and Nikon flashes (as the pre-flash pulses they both output would likely be of similar intensity).
USB PORT / FIRMWARE UPDATES
Unfortunately there is no USB port currently available in the SN600SN speedlite. Which is a pity, and a little bit of a strange decision, as a number of other Shanny flash models already have USB ports included now.
The SN600SN are a variation of the SN600SC for Canon though, which were one of Shanny’s earlier flash models.
And both of these flash models were originally intended to, and may possibly have, an SN-E3-MD radio receiver module available in the future, which would plug into the side of the flash, and include their own USB port. That port can then be used to update both the receiver and the flash units firmware as needed.
Shanny have postponed the release of the SN-E3-MD receiver a number of times though. And they have also changed their product plans numerous times. So I don’t think anything can be guaranteed at this point.
At this stage though, the SN600SN do not have any method of firmware updates available. So if any early bugs are found or confirmed, then the flash units would currently need to be exchanged to resolve those.
YONGNUO YN-622N COMPATIBILITY
Quite a number of Nikon owners have been waiting on the SN600SN flash to be released, so that they could be used as with the popular YongNuo YN-622N radio triggers.
As the previously available SN600N flashes where not completely compatible with the YN-622N. ITTL worked ok, though remote manual power setting would not change.
The good news is that as far as I can tell the SN600SN are working quite well with the YN-622N, in both manual and TTL use. Either as a slave flash, or master unit mounted on top of a YN-622N on camera.
Again I’m not that familiar with the Nikon system, though I didn’t run into any discrepancies comparing with the Nikon SB-700 flash. Nikon users with more experience could possibly discover more subtle issues though.
The not so good news is that Shanny have had a change of strategy, and have decided not to pursue ongoing compatibility support with YongNuo or other third party products.
This does not mean the flashes will necessarily (or intentionally) have any less compatibility, just that Shanny will not be responsible for, or necessarily provide solutions to any compatibility issues.
So at this stage its really buyer beware if you intend to mix these products. Which is generally the same situation with mixing most other third party gear anyway.
At this stage original Nikon flashes, or the YongNuo YN-568EX or YN-565EX are still the main safest options with the YN-622N triggers (though at the time of writing this the Nikon version YN-568EX do not have a master function available, as the SN600SN has).
Unfortunately I don’t have Nikon compatible Phottix Odin, or Pixel King Pro triggers to test at this stage. Though if the SN600SC are any indication, compatibility with either of those TTL radio trigger systems is fairly unlikely.
The SN600SN like all current Shanny flash model use the Canon 600EX-RT style interface. No doubt this will be a little foreign to Nikon Speedlight users, though it is fairly straight forward and intuitive.
A sticky main control dial has been an issue with Shanny flashes, though the SN600SN are likely as good as they have been so far. The original Nikon dials are silky smooth though, compared to even the original Canon 600EX-RT, so again Nikon speedlight users are likely to really notice the difference here.
The Shanny LCD displays are not very high resolution compared to most other dot matrix displays. Though if anything this has turned out to be an advantage, with the characters easy to read from a distance.
The SN600SN’s optic wireless master interface is a good improvement over the Canon version, having all three remote flash groups, and the on-camera flash group, all displayed on the screen at once.
Each group can be set to ITTL, Manual, or Off. So ITTL and Manual groups can be mixed and used at the same time (which the Nikon SB-700 does not allow, though the SB-910 does).
Adjusting the flash groups takes a little practice, though its quite fast once your’re familiar with the buttons used.
The optic master function otherwise appears to operate as it should, in ITTL and Manual.
Apart from a slightly lower power, the SN600SN are otherwise the same flash body as the Canon version SN600SC, and more detail on recycle times, flash patterns, AF light, ports etc can be seen in the SN600SC review here.
One feature the SN600SN do actually lack over the SN600SC is an optic wireless slave mode for both Canon and Nikon (having Nikon slave mode only, like the SB-910 has).
Click to Expand
NIKON – D3, D810, D800, D800E, D700, D750, D610, D600, D300s, D300, D200, D7100, D7000, D90, D80, D5300, D5200, D5100, D5000, D3000, D3100, D3200 ,D3300
Compatibility with other camera models still needs to be tested.
The Shanny SN600SN look to be a nice alternative to the Nikon SB-910, offering similar functions at a fraction of the price. And around 0.5 stops more power than the SB-700, and more functionality.
The optic wireless range is not quite as good as the original Nikon speedlights, though still quite decent, and radio triggers are likely the best solution for better range with off camera use anyway.
The lack of USB port is really a pity at this stage of the game, and would have provided more buyer confidence. Though YongNuo’s YN-568EX do not currently provide a USB port either.
A Canon style HV battery port may be a little inconvenient for Nikon owners though it is much better than not port at all (like the YN-568EX).
Function with the YN-622N appears to be quite good now, though keep in mind Shanny will no longer be responsible for any current or future compatibility issues there.