Low-end Nikon SB-300 flash hints at 1-series cameras getting proper hotshoe?

Nikon has announced a new entry-level flashgun, the Speedlight SB-300.

Nikon Speedlight SB-300

Nikon has announced a new entry-level flashgun, the Speedlight SB-300.

Nikon Speedlight SB-300

Aimed at “novice photographers”, the SB-300 is designed to be an upgrade from the built-in flashes of Nikon Coolpix and DSLR cameras. The flash head tilts up and down, but not side-to-side, and has no physical controls except a power switch. The guide number is 18, with an effect i-TTL range up to 20 metres, and the device runs on a pair of AAA batteries.

The SB-300 is 1.5 stops less powerful than the SB-400 and there are no manual adjustments or wireless capabilities.

Nikon Speedlight SB-300

Extremely savvy, Nikon-toting readers might realise that these specifications are identical to the existing¬†Speedlight SB-N7, the flashgun which¬†replaced the SB-N5¬†for Nikon’s 1-series compact system cameras. The only difference is the mount: a standard Iso hotshoe foot on the SB-300 and a proprietary Nikon connector on the SB-N7.

Does this make it more likely that Nikon’s next high-end 1-series camera, the 1 V3, might have a “proper” Iso hotshoe on it? Or are Nikon just saving a bit of money by bringing out the same flash for both their systems? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Update:¬†Nikon’s 1st quarter financial results has recommended measures to reverse a deceleration in compact system camera sales by reconsidering¬†“product planning of Nikon 1 (non-reflex camera)”. So we could be seeing more drastic changes than a swap of hotshoe. Let’s hope they don’t discontinue the venture altogether.

The Nikon SB-300 will be out at the end of August 2013 for a recommended retail price of £119.99, or $149.99 in the USA.

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.
selbydavid.com