Nikon SB-500

Nikon’s SB-500 entry-level flashgun offers a GN (guide number) of 24 at ISO 100 and 24mm, which is relatively low, especially for the price... 

Nikon SB-500 flashgun

Nikon SB-500 flashgun

The back of the unit houses a single dial for mode selection, and two buttons to control your settings, which is less comprehensive than others in test. There’s no screen, however the adjustable LED light on the front is perfect for checking your light before you take your shot. The head can be swivelled up to 90°, and rotates 180° both left and right for bouncing light. 

This flash light is set to the 24mm zoom range, which might not be as great a range as others here but is perfect for working in tight spaces without overpowering subjects. It features i-TTL, so will work with your camera’s settings to automatically give a good exposure, and a maximum flash duration of 1/1100sec. 

Relatively small and light, at 273g, the SB-500 needs just two AA batteries, which will really reduce costs for those who haven’t invested in rechargeables. 


  • i-TTL meteringBuilt-in
  • LED light
  • Simple to use 


  • Fixed range
  • No rear screen
  • Not as powerful as others


  • GN: 24 at ISO 100 and 24mm
  • Max duration: 1/1100sec
  • Max recycle: 3.5sec
  • WxHxD: 67x115x71mm
  • Weight: 273g