MeiKe MK-300 is a cheap, mini TTL flash with full controls

Third-party flashguns seem to be getting bigger and bigger as they try to ape the designs of Nikon and Canon’s oversized Speedlight SB-910 and Speedlite 600EX. Bucking the trend is the new MK-300 from MeiKe. Just 66mm tall and 145 grams in weight, the diminutive flash unit packs a surprising number of features into its unassuming shell. For users just needing a more powerful replacement to a pop-up flash with a minimum of fuss, this $50–60 product could be a good contender.

MeiKe MK-300

The MeiKe MK-300 has i-TTL exposure control, 22 levels of manual power adjustment and a stroboscopic (multi-flash/repeat) function. The design draws inspiration from Nikon’s stripped-down SB-400 Speedlight, a small flashgun aimed at entry-level users and missing certain things like the ability to swivel horizontally. We haven’t been hands-on with the MeiKe unit but product images look like it can’t tilt vertically either.

MeiKe MK-300

Still, the MK-300 does benefit from a metal mounting foot, a micro-USB port (the purpose of which is unclear — either synchronisation or firmware updates) and an LCD screen. The top control panel means that this third-party unit actually has much more electronic adjustment available than the Nikon SB-400 (which can only be switched on or off from the device itself) while coming in around half the price.

The MK-300, like the SB-400, will not have been built with raw performance in mind. The recycle time is a sluggish six seconds at full power — with no option for external power to speed this up — and the guide number is a relatively mediocre 32. Moreover, you won’t find high-end features like wireless TTL or high speed sync here.

MeiKe MK-300

The unobtrusive size, simple design and wide range of control means that a photographer, particularly a hobbyist, looking for just a simple, cheap on-camera flashgun, should investigate the MeiKe MK-300. Could it become the go-to brand for cheap on-camera flashguns as Yongnuo has done for off-camera flash? Our experience with MeiKe products in the past has been somewhat mixed so we will reserve final judgment until we obtain a sample to try evaluate for ourselves.

The MeiKe MK-300 is available now for $59.99 on eBay. It is also currently $20 off at HK-based retailer Link Delight, selling for $47.33. The manufacturer’s web site is mkgrip.com.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bogorad bogorad

    Coupled with an Odin receiver it will make a small remote-controlled manual flash for mere $180. Hmm..

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sylvain-Larive/534034693 Sylvain Larive

      Let us know how it works! I agree it would be a compact, cheap wireless setup to have a few of these with Odins or YN-622′s…

      • http://profiles.google.com/bogorad bogorad

        Finally it arrived (Russian Post is pathetic).

        First impression: it’s HEAVY! Plastic is okay. Handles quite well.

        Works with Phottix ODIN, tried both TTL, and manual (1/1 through 1/128) – no problems.

        All in all I’m quite happy, it’s a great alternative to my older Sunpak FD-20XDs: http://www.sunpak.jp/english/products/pf20xd/index.html thjat I use gelled, for lightig spots.

        P.S. Just discovered that Sunpak now makes RD2000 that almost match these on price, but lack manual modes: http://www.sunpak.jp/english/products/rd2000/index.html

        • kirk1978

          what about YN622? ever got a chance to try that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryszard.krakowski Ryszard Krakowski

    nice design, shame it doesn’t support wireless TTL master functions as it would make a perfect replacement for the canon ST-E2

  • Ranger 9

    Nikon protocol only? That would be unusual…

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      In the past MeiKe has released its MK580 for Canon only and MK900 for Nikon only. Overall each has the same features but distinct body shapes. Perhaps we’ll see a MeiKe flash that’s inspired by the Canon 270EX II?

  • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

    I found a review on another site where they say that the purpose of the USB port is a mystery. And there is a place for “S1″ and “S2″ but no actual slave sensor on the device, suggesting this is a future feature. The head does not tilt upwards, which is their biggest criticism. Otherwise, the outlook is positive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/degraffi Ian DeGraff

    Would an SB800 be able to control or trigger two of these?

  • microbi

    hi, i got two from gb.
    the outlook is positive,

    but i-ttl sucks!
    manual – ok,
    rpt – ok,
    but i-ttl overexpose,
    and the flash compensation
    does not work.
    near the same expsure from -1 to -2,7,
    and then -3,0 is dark. :-(

  • doctorp

    I own this flash and have mixed emotions; I like the flash because it does work but quite disappointed in the short battery life and the fact that it has no built in assist auto focus illumination, but, yet, it disables the in camera (Nikon) auto focus assist lamp leaving the camera aimlessly hunting for a focus in low light or low contrast objects. Notified the manufacture and their solution is to avoid taking pictures in those shooting environments. My advise is to save your money and invest in original equipment.

  • Javier Victor Mariano Bruno

    I bought this flash recently. I’m very amateur. Its work nice on my Nikon D7700. A little bit over exposed on some pictures (when is too dark, on close room) But you can easily avoid it using manual mode (on the flash). Or decreasing the -0.5 on ttl mode. Anyway, for people like me, this flash its an awesome option. Its really cheap and have a lots of functions to play with. Thanks for the post.

  • Frenzy

    will this work on an Nikon 1 V1 ?

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      No.

      • James

        Will Nikon or ANY 3rd party company please sell a CLS compatible commander unit for Nikon 1-series hotshoe!!! If, not can some company please make a 1-series hotshoe adaptor that allows i-TTL???

  • Andreas Delis

    the best

Wordpress Ad Management