Which Hot Shoe Flash Should I Get?

Do you ever take photos and think, “I wish I had more light?”

If so, a hot shoe flash might be the perfect accessory for you. But with so many different models on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is right for your needs. 

In this post, we’ll help you determine which hot shoe flash is right for you. We’ll also go through some pointers on picking the right one for your photographic style.

Which Hot Shoe Flash Should I Get?

Best hot shoe flash

The best hot shoe flashes are those with high guide numbers.

These specify how far the light will reach on optimal camera settings, and it’s essential to get one with at least a 120′ range for lighting subjects from farther away.

The downside is that if you want to light objects close up, there’s not much distance between them and the closest thing. 

As a result, it will be difficult or impossible with this type of lighting because all other things being equal, you’ll only see what could potentially fit within their field of view at once instead.

What Is a Hot Shoe?

A hot shoe is a robust bracket that mounts to the top of your camera and allows you to attach a flash unit and other suitable accessories. 

It takes the shape of an angled metal plate that surrounds what appear to be two contact points but are joining for electrical functionality. 

It connects standard equipment with proprietary sync protocols used by many brands across all industries, ensuring that pictures come out perfectly no matter where you buy them or who made them.

What Is a Hot Shoe Flash?

Hot shoe flashes are a popular way to add some extra light on top of your camera. They’re also easy and intuitive because you can trip the shutter when it’s time for an excellent shot.

The two-way communication allows you to adjust power settings or other options for your flash from afar while shooting photos without having any direct contact between them.

However, a hot shoe flash does not need to be in a hot-shoe to work; it may also accept commands from radio slaves like Pocket Wizards. 

These little gadgets include wires that connect them to an external device, such as your camera, simulating what would happen if you used one of these triggers on set, firing off bursts as needed without being directly connected to the original input source (camera). 

Although this technology eliminates two-way communication, it does provide us remote control over our lights.

Things to Consider When Buying Hot Shoe Flashes

What hot shoe flash to buy

Getting the right hot shoe flash for your camera is challenging and confusing at times.

However, it should not be a difficult task if you know what to look for when purchasing a flash.

Guide Numbers

Guide numbers are vital to consider when looking for a camera, but people can sometimes exaggerate their significance.

A flash guide number indicates how far the light will travel under ideal conditions with your specific camera model and kind.


There are two types of flash modes—manual and automatic.

In an automated mode called TTL (Through The Lens), you send out a pre-flash which the camera measures to determine the best exposure settings for your photo.

When photographing with a flash, if there isn’t time to pause and adjust, such as in sports, TTL is vital.


If you’re looking for a hot-shoe flash, make sure it rotates.

The more angles are given in the description of your desired light source (i.e., “tilt”), the more likely this function will aid with bouncing as well as offering you more options for photographing uneven objects such as ceilings and walls.

Recycling Speed

If you shoot lots of action, the faster your camera can be ready with another shot means less time waiting between take-offs and more opportunities to capture all those moments.

A slower recycle rate may also suit portrait photography better because that type of work requires a little bit more patience from start to finish before getting what they want on film or digital media cards (even if it’s just seconds).

Related Questions

Do flashes operate well with all cameras?

Yes, in many cases, most flashes operate well with most cameras.

Nevertheless, the flash foot’s voltage must be compatible with the camera you are using.

What is the speed of a Speedlight flash?

Most speedlights have flash durations ranging from 1/400 seconds at maximum power to 1/20,000 seconds at reduced power.

However, many studio strobes have a lesser flash duration at full power than at lower power, reversing this pattern.

Final Thoughts

You should pick a hot shoe flash with high guide numbers and can recycle quickly. Make sure also to consider the tilting and TTL if you want an efficient hot shoe flash.

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