Another flashgun for Nikon 1 cameras, but no radio triggers yet

Along with the new V2 mirrorless camera, the SB-N7 tilting Speedlight has been announced for the Nikon 1 system. But are you as free to use flash with Nikon 1 as you could be?

Nikon 1 V2 with Speedlight SB-N7 in black

Nikon have announced a new miniature speedlight for their 1 series of mirrorless cameras. The SB-N7 has a guide number of 18 and provides an i-TTL-compatible flash for the Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 V2. It is more powerful than the older SB-N5 and you will pay £50 more for the privilege, but you lose and gain features in equal measure.

Nikon Speedlight SB-N7, black

Unlike the N5, you can’t swivel this flash left and right, as the N7 merely tilts upwards from straight-on to 120°, making it less versatile for bouncing off walls and ceilings. You’re also losing the LED lamp that was used to illuminate Smart Shot bursts, a feature that the new V2 camera does not have any more. The SB-N7 draws its power from a pair of AAAs rather than from the camera, which means your camera battery will last longer but you need to keep your flash batteries charged separately.

Style-conscious photographers will appreciate that this speedlight comes in white as well as black. The SB-N5 before it was available in any colour you like as long as it was black — causing internal emotional strife for owners of white Nikon V1s who wanted a flashgun but couldn’t bear the thought of it not matching their camera.

Nikon Speedlight SB-N7, white

Of course, it may be a moot point when discussing the new Nikon V2, which is by all accounts a hideous camera with all the worst cosmetic features harking back to the 1990s. Moreover, if Nikon have decided to go all ugly duckling on us, could the swan underneath be a more “serious” photography camera allowing for increased creative control? The ergonomic grip and less cheesy features suggest so.Nikon 1 V2 with Speedlight SB-N7 in black

A more powerful flashgun will of course be appreciated by many buyers, but will the same customers enjoy paying £50 to lose the ability to swivel the SB left and right? Might we be better served with a standard hotshoe adapter or a Nikon 1 radio trigger? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

You can pre-order the Nikon Speedlight SB-N7 for £149 in the UK or US$156.95 in America for a January release. The less potent but more swivelly SB-N5 can be yours now for around £100 (USA: $146.95). The Nikon 1 V2 camera, coming by the end of the year, will set you back $799.95 for the body, while in Blighty you will find kits starting at £799.

David Selby
Based in the West Midlands, UK, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a statistics PhD student.
  • wally brooks

    Nikon 2 with no phottix or pocketwizards = switch to Sony and Phottix/Pixel King + more powerful flash Solves two of my problems: my mirrorless requirements and my wife’s wish for a good small mirrorless camera. All I can say about Nikon mirrorless is they had to good sense to not ship units in pink. My wife hates pink cameras too!

    • The Nikon 1 J2 comes in pink! But then that doesn’t have the accessory port for flashes.

  • without hotflash so that I can install a flash trigger , what did Nikon think??? Useless!!

    • wally brooks

      I e mailed pocketwizards and they were non committal on compatibility for the V2 with the mini and flex.

  • Yugo Nakai

    David, have you seen any sync cords, hotshoe adapters, or any other accessories for Nikon 1 flashes? I’ve been looking for anything that can get the flash off camera (besides optical slaves) and haven’t found anything yet. At minimum, it would be nice to have a small TTL extension cord so at least the flash could bounce off the wall behind the camera.

  • Pixxie

    Would this work with any digital dslr’s? I have a white Pentax and have desperately been looking for a white flash.

    • No, it uses the proprietary 1-series connector so will only fit the Nikon V1 and V2.

  • Nick

    Not interested in another flash for the Nikon 1 system. I’m waiting for a hot shoe adapter so I can use my radio trigger with the V1. It has the 1/250s synchronization, so where’s that adapter Nikon? I’m guessing the answer will come in the form of a cheap adapter from an obscure Chinese manufacturer.

    • James

      Yes Please!! I second that. I’d love to see a little mini SB-800 commander unit that fits the V1 hotshoe.

  • Trefort

    Hi, does exist any cheap alternative to N5 or N7? Thanks