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A cheap flasher.
Member Name: thebigc1690
Advantages: Inexpensive and reasonably well built.
Disadvantages: Poor TTL function, flimsy white bounce card and not very powerful.
WHY DO YOU NEED A FLASH GUN?
No matter how good the camera or the photographer using it, if the light is poor then you will get poor images. On camera flashes or built in flashes as they are commonly known offer a solution to low light situations but in truth they are as good as useless, the reason for this is that the straight on light that they offer is harsh, it takes colour out the skin and casts really dark shadows which offers very poor final images.
So that's it then if you own a DSLR then all you need to do now is grab any flashgun and start taking better photos, right? Well no wrong.
Firstly you need one that fits and will work with the type of camera you own and although most hot shoes are the same the Sony one is different and requires a certain type of flashgun fitting, the Jessop's 360AFD is a flashgun made by Jessop`s which comes in a range of designs so there is one suited to all brands of DSLR camera and it costs way less than the Canon, Nikon and Sony speed lights so it is one many will choose, but should they?
Well in my opinion, having used one of these flashes on both a Sony and a Nikon DSLR is that they are definitely false economy. When buying a flashgun unless you want to have to set it to get the lighting right manually every time yourself then you need one with something called TTL, this allows the flash to set itself through what it reads through the lens to give you exactly the right light for the situation you are about to shoot.
Whilst the Jessop`s 360AFD does have this I found that on most occasions the images were underexposed on both the Sony and the Nikon when used in TTL mode whereas when you use the Sony brand flashgun on the Sony DSLR it got it right every time, so there is one point that should be considered when you choose Jessop`s over the brand named products.
The next problem I had with this flash that you rarely find with the brand named flashes is that when you use the tilt function to perhaps bounce light off a white ceiling to get a nice softer light, the TTL function had no idea that the head was tilted and it therefore got the exposure badly wrong but also if the tilt was used just slightly then the lack of a locking function meant that the head could easily fall back into original position especially if you add the weight of a diffuser to it.
The build quality of this flash wasn't too bad, it is certainly lighter than many of the brand name flashguns but some might find this a good thing as you do of course have to operate the camera with this stuck on top of it but for me light usually means flimsy and I was definitely put off by this but otherwise it seemed sturdy and not at all like it would fall apart with the slightest knock.
It has a built in pull out diffuser and white bounce card but these felt very flimsy indeed and I guess they would not last the life of the flashgun as with constant use I am almost certain they would come apart and I know of at least one person who had exactly that happen to them with the white bounce card on one of these flashes and unfortunately Jessop`s response was that because the flash was over six months old they felt this was normal wear and tear and that more care should have been used when opening and retracting the bounce card and they would not even offer a free repair.
The most important thing with a flashgun is the guide number (ie) how much power the flash has and this one has a guide number of 36m at ISO 100 which in layman's terms means that your flash will send light about 36 meters when the cameras ISO is set at 100 but more important is will this and the size of the head and the built in wide panel diffuser allow you to light a group of people perhaps at a wedding or the likes and the answer to that is not it won't well not really.
I found the exposure of a group of people to be ok up to about 7 people but when the group got to around ten then the people on the outer of the group were underexposed even although I was shooting them from less than ten meters away, so the long and the short of this particular point is that if you intend shooting weddings or groups of people then this flash will fail you.
Now I am not by any stretch of the imagination trying to say this is a useless flash and no one should consider it but I hope the review has pointed out to you that if you need it for certain things then it won't be anywhere near as good as the brand name speed lights to go with your DSLR.
This flash will be ok to those at a low level of experience and perhaps just moving up from their cameras built in flash but for those with previous flashgun experience or for those relying on a flash that will reliably set itself up through TTL so you get every shot just right then this is going to leave you wanting more.
You do of course have to take the price in to the account when reviewing anything and giving comparisons and at only £80 right now for one of these as opposed to say the Sony equivalent which costs over £240 then you have to say that perhaps it is unfair to compare the two but there are other options between the Sony and Nikon Speed guns and the very cheap Jessop's flash.
Things like the Sunpak PF30X for instance at only £90 is smaller, lighter and simply better than the Jessop`s and for only a few pounds more again at £120 you get the Sigma EF 530 DG which is better than both the Jessop`s and the Sunpak offering.
*Guide number 36m/ISO 100
*Bounce and swivel adjustment
*Built in diffuser and reflector
*Backlit LCD display
*Autofocus assist light
*Auto/manual Powerzoom settings
*24/28/35/50/70/85mm Head Settings
*5 Level power ratio : 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16
*Trigger Voltage : 6V
*Requires 4 x AA batteries
TO SUM UP.
In summary I would say that this has the required things that one would look for in a good flashgun such as a bounce and tilt function, TTL functions and a reasonably quick charge recycle time of about 3 seconds at full power but sadly the TTL functions are not perfect and neither is the tilt head so this has to be marked down for this.
I guess the long and the short of it is if you want perfection then get the Sony flashgun to go with Sony DSLR`s and the Nikon to go with Nikon and so on and so forth but if you cannot afford perfection then choose carefully between the other third party options and you will usually find that if you pay a bit more then you get a bit better flash and be sure to shop around when you do choose the one you want as many camera stores often have good offers on flashguns such as recently Warehouse express online had the Metz 48 AF-1 ( a very good flashgun) on offer at only £125.99, sadly it is back up to full price now but these offers are out there so shop carefully.
**Please note that the Dooyoo quick rating guide below is not actually applicable for this product so I have just given everything the three stars that the product warrants overall.**
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Ok for begginers or people on a very tight budget.
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