Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?

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RebDovid2 Regular Member • Posts: 127
Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?

With a constrained budget, I’d like to replace the tiny flash that came with my Panasonic LX100 II.  B&H is offering the Nissin i400 at $79.99 (normally, $149.99), today only. The well-reviewed Godox TT350O sells for $84.90.

Advice regarding comparative merits/demerits, or a better alternative in this price range, would be much appreciated.

TIA

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,971
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
2

I have the Godox and don't really know too much about the Nissan, but I don't think that it has the same kind of options for using off-camera. With the Godox you can buy and inexpensive trigger (which is really cheap now, because I just saw that it's on sale for a radical discount) and with only that, use the flash off-camera. The Godox has built in radio receiver and transmitter functions, with the transmitter functions you can even skip using the trigger and use the flash itself to trigger another Godox flash.

I'd say that even if you aren't thinking about using the flash off camera, the Godox is attractive because at some point you might want to do that later. I'm new to this stuff and just experimenting with it, but I'm finding that the Godox system is cheap and really easy to use... and off-camera flash gives me some great effects that wouldn't be possible otherwise. I haven't dealt with multiple flashes, but if I do I'd likely get extras that are all-manual as when you're triggering multiple flash units it's easier to use them manually. Godox has all-manual versions of all of it's flashes that are even less expensive so you could build a really nice setup for not too much cash.

From what I understand the Nissan is a nice unit (I looked at it before buying the Godox) but the radio trigger abilities of the Godox to me give it a huge advantage. Otherwise you have to buy separate triggers and spend a lot more money, dealing with a lot more elements, a lot more batteries and additional hassle...

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kli
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 3,179
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
1

RebDovid2 wrote:

With a constrained budget, I’d like to replace the tiny flash that came with my Panasonic LX100 II. B&H is offering the Nissin i400 at $79.99 (normally, $149.99), today only. The well-reviewed Godox TT350O sells for $84.90.

Advice regarding comparative merits/demerits, or a better alternative in this price range, would be much appreciated.

To me, it pretty much comes down to whether you plan to use the flash primarily on-camera or off-camera.

The i400 can swivel 360º and is more powerful than the TT350 (which only swivels 270º), so it's better for on-camera use where you're planning on bouncing. But it has no optical or radio slave capabilities, so would require additional gear to use it off-camera (the i40 has optical slave modes, but no radio. The i60A includes radio).

But the TT350 not only has the "dumb" optical slave S1/S2 modes built-in, it also has a radio transceiver built in for the Godox 2.4 GHz radio system, and can be either a master or slave in that system. So it's far better for on-camera use where you want to trigger other off-camera flashes, or as an off-camera flash.

None of the Godox TT350/V350 models do "smart" optical, only dumb. And only the Canon/Nikon/Sony versions of the TT685/V860II do "smart" optical. There's no "RC" capability for µ4/3 users with Godox.

The Nissin i40 for four-thirds does have RC slave capability (aka "wireless" mode), which will allow for TTL, HSS, and remote power control. The Nissin SF/SD modes are similar to Godox's S1/S2 modes: manual "dumb" optical. S1/SF will fire on the first flash burst sensed; SD/S2 on the second burst sensed (skipping over the metering pre-flash for TTL). But optical slaving, whether "smart" or "dumb", always requires line of sight and loses reliability and range when used outdoors in bright sunlight away from bounce surfaces. Which is why most of us prefer radio triggering.

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jrsforums Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
1

kli wrote:

RebDovid2 wrote:

With a constrained budget, I’d like to replace the tiny flash that came with my Panasonic LX100 II. B&H is offering the Nissin i400 at $79.99 (normally, $149.99), today only. The well-reviewed Godox TT350O sells for $84.90.

Advice regarding comparative merits/demerits, or a better alternative in this price range, would be much appreciated.

To me, it pretty much comes down to whether you plan to use the flash primarily on-camera or off-camera.

The i400 can swivel 360º and is more powerful than the TT350 (which only swivels 270º), so it's better for on-camera use where you're planning on bouncing. But it has no optical or radio slave capabilities, so would require additional gear to use it off-camera (the i40 has optical slave modes, but no radio. The i60A includes radio).

But the TT350 not only has the "dumb" optical slave S1/S2 modes built-in, it also has a radio transceiver built in for the Godox 2.4 GHz radio system, and can be either a master or slave in that system. So it's far better for on-camera use where you want to trigger other off-camera flashes, or as an off-camera flash.

None of the Godox TT350/V350 models do "smart" optical, only dumb. And only the Canon/Nikon/Sony versions of the TT685/V860II do "smart" optical. There's no "RC" capability for µ4/3 users with Godox.

The Nissin i40 for four-thirds does have RC slave capability (aka "wireless" mode), which will allow for TTL, HSS, and remote power control. The Nissin SF/SD modes are similar to Godox's S1/S2 modes: manual "dumb" optical. S1/SF will fire on the first flash burst sensed; SD/S2 on the second burst sensed (skipping over the metering pre-flash for TTL). But optical slaving, whether "smart" or "dumb", always requires line of sight and loses reliability and range when used outdoors in bright sunlight away from bounce surfaces. Which is why most of us prefer radio triggering.

Help me understand what you mean by, “There's no "RC" capability for µ4/3 users with Godox.”.

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kli
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 3,179
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
2

jrsforums wrote:

... Help me understand what you mean by, “There's no "RC" capability for µ4/3 users with Godox.”

Most interchangeable-lens camera brands have a proprietary optical wireless flash control system. It's mostly based on the same type of infrared or near-IR technology that tv remotes use. Nikon's is called CLS/AWL (creative lighting system/Advanced Wireless lighting), Canon's got wireless eTTL, Pentax has wireless P-TTL, Fuji hasn't named theirs, Sony's is called WL, and Panasonic and Olympus calls theirs RC (Remote Control).

These proprietary optical systems tend to offer near-full control over the remote flash (i.e., "smart" optical): TTL, HSS, settings changes (power, zoom, etc.), etc. are all things that can be communicated via light pulses. Because there are multiple pre-flashes, though, these systems are completely incompatible with the "dumb" S1/S2-type optical slave modes, as the preflashes tend to fire the remote flash before the main burst is fired.

In these "smart" optical systems, though, it's also typical for higher-end camera bodies to have transmitter/master capability with the built-in flash, so you don't need to buy any additional gear to use an OEM flash off-camera. My Panasonic GX7 is this type of camera body. The LX100 II doesn't have a built-in flash but comes with an accessory flash that can be used as an RC master.

Godox built "smart" optical master/slave capability into its TT685/V860II flashes for Canon, Nikon, and Sony. But have not done it for the Fuji or Olympus/Panasonic versions.

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,451
I have the Nissin, and I....
1

...consider it to be a wonderful flash with power capabilities that belie its size.  I also have a variety of Godox flash units - I guess what I'm saying is that I love 'em all.  The nice thing about the Nissin is that height-wise it is shorter and thus will appear (and feel) to be better balanced than the higher profile of the Godox. This makes it nicer for the smaller M4/3 camera bodies.

You can't go wrong with either one - but yes, the Nissin is at a steal for today only:

http://43addict.com/2019/04/02/deal-zone-today-only-nissin-i400-ttl-flash-53-off/

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john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 3,453
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
3

RebDovid2 wrote:

With a constrained budget, I’d like to replace the tiny flash that came with my Panasonic LX100 II. B&H is offering the Nissin i400 at $79.99 (normally, $149.99), today only. The well-reviewed Godox TT350O sells for $84.90.

Advice regarding comparative merits/demerits, or a better alternative in this price range, would be much appreciated.

TIA

I bought into Nissin because they were first to release a radio TTL flash for micro four thirds.  The advantage to Nissin is that you can mix and match their radio TTL flashes among different systems; you just need a dedicated transmitter (and for m43 you might need firmware updates on the flashes).  I have an i40 for m43, and a Di700a for each of Nikon, Canon, Sony and m43.  Plus transmitters for each.  I use the Nikon and m43 transmitters frequently; I have Canon and Sony to share with other system users.

Unfortunately, they did not put radio TTL in the i400, and they have not produced an Air R receiver for m43.  Which means you can't integrate an i400 into a wireless (TTL or manual) system for m43.  That's a shame, because the i400 is a great size.

I don't like flashes that can't be used in a wireless radio setup.  First, I don't like having the flash on the camera; I frequently shoot in portrait orientation so I use a rotating flash bracket.  Second, I like to get the flash away from the camera at an off-axis position.  Third, I like to use large diffusers with flash.  Fourth, I like using more than one flash for effects.

The Godox system has the advantage of a small flash that integrates radio control.  And you can get a transmitter that works with m43, so you can get the flash off camera.  So, with the Godox flash, you can use it on camera; you can get a transmitter and use it off camera, you can get another Godox flash and use it off camera controlled by the first flash.

So, I recommend the Godox tt350O.  And the Godox X1T-O trigger.  Wish they had a kit; but the individual prices are rock bottom as it is.

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jrsforums Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
1

kli wrote:

jrsforums wrote:

... Help me understand what you mean by, “There's no "RC" capability for µ4/3 users with Godox.”

Most interchangeable-lens camera brands have a proprietary optical wireless flash control system. It's mostly based on the same type of infrared or near-IR technology that tv remotes use. Nikon's is called CLS/AWL (creative lighting system/Advanced Wireless lighting), Canon's got wireless eTTL, Pentax has wireless P-TTL, Fuji hasn't named theirs, Sony's is called WL, and Panasonic and Olympus calls theirs RC (Remote Control).

These proprietary optical systems tend to offer near-full control over the remote flash (i.e., "smart" optical): TTL, HSS, settings changes (power, zoom, etc.), etc. are all things that can be communicated via light pulses. Because there are multiple pre-flashes, though, these systems are completely incompatible with the "dumb" S1/S2-type optical slave modes, as the preflashes tend to fire the remote flash before the main burst is fired.

In these "smart" optical systems, though, it's also typical for higher-end camera bodies to have transmitter/master capability with the built-in flash, so you don't need to buy any additional gear to use an OEM flash off-camera. My Panasonic GX7 is this type of camera body. The LX100 II doesn't have a built-in flash but comes with an accessory flash that can be used as an RC master.

Godox built "smart" optical master/slave capability into its TT685/V860II flashes for Canon, Nikon, and Sony. But have not done it for the Fuji or Olympus/Panasonic versions.

Ahhh.  I always thought of ‘RC’ as Radio Control

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s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,964
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?

I guess Nissin works with 4 AA batteries, and Godox with 2 batteries.

If I'm correct than:

I have different version of Godox called Newer or something like this. For me 2 batteries flash has huge advantage because it smaller and perfectly matches size of m43. Nissin fits bigger bodies.

For my needs like indoors family events 2 batteries flash is perfect. It runs TTL, recharge is fast, and it runs long enough. My model can be charged via USB when I use rechargeable batteries

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Jrsilva00
Jrsilva00 Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?

john isaacs wrote:

(...) I frequently shoot in portrait orientation so I use a rotating flash bracket.

Can you please show a photo or a link for that rotating flash bracket?
Thank you.
Never mind, I think I managed to spot and example of those rotating bracket.

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john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 3,453
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?
1

Jrsilva00 wrote:

john isaacs wrote:

(...) I frequently shoot in portrait orientation so I use a rotating flash bracket.

Can you please show a photo or a link for that rotating flash bracket?
Thank you.
Never mind, I think I managed to spot and example of those rotating bracket.

I have several of varying sizes, but the Custom Brackets RF-Pro AS is by far the most portable.

https://www.adorama.com/cbrfproas.html

I add the strap connector:

https://www.adorama.com/cbrfproas.html

And the ProMediaGear cold shoe adapter:

https://www.adorama.com/pmgcs1.html

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Jrsilva00
Jrsilva00 Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: Flash choice: Nissin i400 vs. Godox TT350O?

Thank you for the links!

I'm going to check.

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,451
Regarding custom brackets...
2

OK - what I'm about to say is obviously my opinion only and it comes after using a variety of custom bracket setups with accessories over the years.

At first you'll be impressed with the build quality and engineering on these things - but they come at a hefty price.  In addition, they can add a substantial amount of weight to your entire setup.  If your M43 cameras are small to begin with, adding these custom bracket accessories will seem like overkill and actually look and feel unwieldy.  Now if you have the larger M43 cameras and don't mind the weight, then more power to you.

What happens is that most of us - at one point or another - go through an accessories phase where we start accumulating tons of odds and ends and if we were to look back and add up everything we've purchased over the years, we could probably purchase a compact car or two.  I've since sold all of my custom bracket accessories - just too heavy (but they look nice...and official) and in some cases unwieldy.  Glad I sold mine.

I've since been using a variety of different flash diffusers, caps, and the one I've come to use the most is the Gary Fong Lightsphere.  When attached to the flash, you can turn your flash head every which way by loose and the lighting balance will be perfect.  No need to have to turn the entire friekin' camera in order to ensure that the flash gets the right balance - whether in portrait or landscape mode.  Why put the cart before the horse.  Why have to turn the camera when you can allow the flash head (with the right accessory) to do it all for you.

I get called upon to cover quite a few VIP event types of scenarios and having the right kit is essential.  Here are several samples - taken with various flash units and the Gary Fong Lightsphere - in both Portrait and Landscape mode.   All cameras were set to ISO 800, AWB, the flash head pointed straight up and the Lightsphere unit attached:

Fuji X-A3 (24 MP's), Fuji XC 16-50 kit lens, and the Godox V860 II (for Fuji) Li-ion speedlite with Lightsphere attached.

Canon EOS M with the kit EF-M 15-45 lens, Godox V860 II (for Canon) Li-ion speedlite with Lightsphere attached.

Olympus E-3 with the Zuiko 12-60  lens, Olympus FL-50 flash and the Lightsphere attached.

Panasonic G5 with the 14-45 Kit lens, Olympus FL-50 flash, with Lightsphere attached.

Panasonic GH3 with the Panny 14-140 zoom lens, and the Olympus FL-50 speedlite with Lightsphere attached.

The Panasonic L10 with the Leica Vario 14-150 zoom lens, with Olympus FL-50 flash and Lightsphere attached.

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jrsforums Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Regarding custom brackets...
1

Ben Herrmann wrote:

OK - what I'm about to say is obviously my opinion only and it comes after using a variety of custom bracket setups with accessories over the years.

At first you'll be impressed with the build quality and engineering on these things - but they come at a hefty price. In addition, they can add a substantial amount of weight to your entire setup. If your M43 cameras are small to begin with, adding these custom bracket accessories will seem like overkill and actually look and feel unwieldy. Now if you have the larger M43 cameras and don't mind the weight, then more power to you.

What happens is that most of us - at one point or another - go through an accessories phase where we start accumulating tons of odds and ends and if we were to look back and add up everything we've purchased over the years, we could probably purchase a compact car or two. I've since sold all of my custom bracket accessories - just too heavy (but they look nice...and official) and in some cases unwieldy. Glad I sold mine.

I've since been using a variety of different flash diffusers, caps, and the one I've come to use the most is the Gary Fong Lightsphere. When attached to the flash, you can turn your flash head every which way by loose and the lighting balance will be perfect. No need to have to turn the entire friekin' camera in order to ensure that the flash gets the right balance - whether in portrait or landscape mode. Why put the cart before the horse. Why have to turn the camera when you can allow the flash head (with the right accessory) to do it all for you.

I get called upon to cover quite a few VIP event types of scenarios and having the right kit is essential. Here are several samples - taken with various flash units and the Gary Fong Lightsphere - in both Portrait and Landscape mode. All cameras were set to ISO 800, AWB, the flash head pointed straight up and the Lightsphere unit attached:

Fuji X-A3 (24 MP's), Fuji XC 16-50 kit lens, and the Godox V860 II (for Fuji) Li-ion speedlite with Lightsphere attached.

Canon EOS M with the kit EF-M 15-45 lens, Godox V860 II (for Canon) Li-ion speedlite with Lightsphere attached.

Olympus E-3 with the Zuiko 12-60 lens, Olympus FL-50 flash and the Lightsphere attached.

Panasonic G5 with the 14-45 Kit lens, Olympus FL-50 flash, with Lightsphere attached.

The Panasonic L10 with the Leica Vario 14-150 zoom lens, with Olympus FL-50 flash and Lightsphere attached.

The problem with the Fong device is that in portrait mode, the shadows fall to the right of the people (looking in the image). It idea of a flash rotator is to keep the flash in line with the lens and, hopefully, about 12” above. This allows the shadows to disappear behind the people.

Another great technique is taught by Neil vN

https://neilvn.com/tangents/about/black-foamie-thing

This works great using the bounce as a big soft box, giving much better and softer images...much less of a “flash look”.  The V860 II should have plenty of power.

Another suggestion, particularly on the piano shot, would be to better balance the ambient  vs the flash.  Since I shoot all manual (PASM) with indoor flash, I could set the ambient to degrees of underexposure, until the window light was significantly reduced and then let TTL do its work to properly expose the people.  This may give a little more contrast view of the people, but I think you might find it more appealing.  Neil has some current posts showing this on outdoor shots (same principle).

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,451
Actually,...
1

In the last image, I had them standing a bit too close to the background.  The Lightsphere when used properly (flash head up and turned to the side) provides an even bounce.  I've used this now for years and haven't looked back.

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jrsforums Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Actually,...

Ben Herrmann wrote:

In the last image, I had them standing a bit too close to the background. The Lightsphere when used properly (flash head up and turned to the side) provides an even bounce. I've used this now for years and haven't looked back.

-
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Bernd ("Ben") Herrmann
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina USA

Both portrait orientations show shadows, one more than the other, explain by your explanation of distance to wall.

A flash rotator would not had a problem in either,

the fong does not provide a totally eleven bounce because it has a forward flash component which shows up as the shadows.

if you study Niel’s “black foamy thing”, the reason he uses it is, while bouncing the flash off the wall, it blocks the forward light to the subject.  Providing a totally uniform bounced flash.  If from the rear or directional if from the side...sort of like using a large umbrella flash.

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john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 3,453
Re: Actually,...

Ben Herrmann wrote:

In the last image, I had them standing a bit too close to the background. The Lightsphere when used properly (flash head up and turned to the side) provides an even bounce. I've used this now for years and haven't looked back.

-
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Bernd ("Ben") Herrmann
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina USA

Yes, we do acquire a lot of accessories over the years.  For me, it is usually in an attempt to get what I want/need to do the job.  The brackets I use perform the job I need.  And they add an aura of "professionalism" that is sometimes lacking when shooting m43 (due to the size).  I can grab my Nikon big boy gear, but I prefer shooting with m43.  Adding a few accessories distinguishes my outfit from the casual photographer; even over the FF shooters.  People respond differently when I show up with a bracket, battery pack, and media badge.

As for the Fong; I have several of them.  They are useless in large rooms, and questionable if smaller rooms have too much color.  And offset shadows is a big no-no for me.

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,451
Re: Actually,...

john isaacs wrote:

As for the Fong; I have several of them. They are useless in large rooms, and questionable if smaller rooms have too much color. And offset shadows is a big no-no for me.

Boy, you're right on that one - but with bounce lighting in general, colored walls can have a huge influx on the overall color tonality of the results.  The Lightsphere is but one of several add-ons that I really enjoy using.  As for all of the other accessories, as I said...I once used them all (or most of them), but I wound up investing so much cash in all of these.  As for the "appearance" factor, I'm not even in the slightest concerned with that.

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Pov2 Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: I have the Nissin, and I....

Ben Herrmann wrote:

...consider it to be a wonderful flash with power capabilities that belie its size. I also have a variety of Godox flash units - I guess what I'm saying is that I love 'em all. The nice thing about the Nissin is that height-wise it is shorter and thus will appear (and feel) to be better balanced than the higher profile of the Godox. This makes it nicer for the smaller M4/3 camera bodies.

You can't go wrong with either one - but yes, the Nissin is at a steal for today only:

http://43addict.com/2019/04/02/deal-zone-today-only-nissin-i400-ttl-flash-53-off/

Could you post if your Nissin flash forgets HSS setting after being turned off? I have an i40 Canon version. Every time I power it on I have to to 3 steps deep into the settings to enable HSS. My Canon and Godox flashes keep the setting on until manually changed. I use flashes mostly for fill in even in bright light, so I'd prefer to always have the HSS on.

The deal is on again today. That's why I am looking into the i400 for m43.

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