Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Nikon 07/22/03 Press Release


Press Release - July 22, 2003

Nikon Re-Invents Creative Lighting Systems By Introducing New SB-800 Speedlight With i-TTL Technology

Designed For D2H Professional Digital SLR, SB-800 Offers Full Wireless Remote Control for Multiple Speedlights; New Level of Color Accuracy

Nikon SB-800

MELVILLE, NY, JULY 22, 2003 - Nikon (, the world leader in photography, today introduced the SB-800 speedlight, the foundation for a new Nikon Creative Lighting System. The SB-800 features powerful new i-TTL flash control system for automatic balanced fill-flash and advanced wireless lighting capabilities that delivers outstanding results creative new possibilities. The SB-800's i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash control utilizes Nikon's new Advanced Data Communication system to introduce improved monitor-pre-flash and wireless operation. Designed for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts, the SB-800 offers groundbreaking new features when used with Nikon's new D2H professional digital SLR camera. These features include advanced wireless control for multiple SB-800 speedlights that are controlled by a master speedlight, new Auto FP high-speed sync, new Flash Value (FV) lock, flash color information communication for improved color accuracy and a new Wide-Area AF Assist Illuminator that is tailored to the D2H's new 11-area Multi-Cam 2000 AF sensor module. Combined with other Nikon digital SLR cameras, the SB-800 offers performance comparable to the highly successful Nikon SB-80DX speedlight.

"While developing the new D2H professional digital SLR camera, Nikon recognized the opportunity to create a new speedlight system that could harness the revolutionary technology incorporated in the camera and respond to professional photographers' needs. The result is the SB-800 speedlight, Nikon's most advanced lighting system, featuring revolutionary new i-TTL advanced wireless control capabilities," said Richard LoPinto, vice president for SLR camera systems at Nikon, Inc. "The SB-800 will find creative uses in studios, remote locations and any number of picture-taking situations where photographers need to carry a compact, versatile and powerful light system that works automatically and maintains tremendous creative control," he added.

SB-800: Advanced Wireless Lighting Control for Easier Creative Lighting

Nikon SB-800

The SB-800 speedlight system features new wireless technology that enables photographers to fully control up to four groups of SB-800 speedlights wirelessly. This set of four includes one Master Controller and three remote groups - each of which can contain any number of SB-800 speedlights for total lighting control. A majority of features for speedlights within each group can be individually controlled from the Master Controller. These settings are made and confirmed on the Master Controller's large dot-matrix LCD screen. All speedlights within this wireless arrangement can operate in i-TTL mode for completely automatic flash exposures - which are calculated via a new monitor pre-flash function that measures light from each source and combines them with overall camera exposure readings - producing an accurate, well exposed photograph with balanced lighting. Each group within the wireless arrangement can also be programmed to different flash modes such as i-TTL AA, or Manual mode, or any combination of these modes.

One of the most appealing features of Nikon's i-TTL wireless system is the ability to adjust flash compensation settings on the fly for each group of speedlights, from the Master Controller. This makes controlling light output from speedlights placed in hard to reach locations simple and effortless. The SB-800 makes multiple flash photography as easy as using a single speedlight mounted on a camera, without the hassles of cables or stands.

In addition to wireless flash capabilities, the SB-800 offers significant new features designed for high-speed photography and exceptional overall accuracy. Highlights of these new features include:

  • Auto White Balance Adjustment using Flash Color Temperature Information: The SB-800 achieves a high level of color accuracy when used with the D2H digital SLR camera. With changes in the duration of light emitted by a speedlight, there are slight variations of color temperature. Using the D2H in Auto White Balance mode, the SB-800 communicates these slight variations in color data back to D2H and the camera's auto white balance system implements the fine adjustment needed for overall excellent white balance.

  • FV-Lock: FV-Lock (Flash Value Lock) is comparable to the way an AE-Lock functions in a camera. Once the camera measures a correct flash value, the SB-800 locks this value until the photographer resets it - helping to maintain the flash value for correct exposure of the subject.

  • Auto FP High-Speed Sync Flash: The SB-800's Auto FP function can automatically fire the speedlight in i-TTL mode at shutter speeds up to 1/8,000 second, offering excellent opportunities to use flash in bright light with fast aperture lenses.

  • Modeling Flash: A modeling flash feature in the SB-800 fires a stroboscopic burst of light for approximately one second, allowing photographers to visually confirm lighting and shadow effects before shooting.

  • Quick Battery Recycle Pack: Included with the SB-800 Speedlight is the SD-800 Quick Battery Recycle pack that cuts recycling time in the SB-800 to as short as 2.7 seconds for full power manual flash.

  • Additional features: Additional features in the SB-800 include zoom coverage, bounce and rotating flash head, large LCD read-out panel, accessory filters for special color effects and emulation of fluorescent and incandescent lighting, robust locking flash shoe, and autofocus assist light.

Seamless Functionality Within Nikon's Total Imaging System

The SB-800 offers 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash function with Nikon's F5, F100, N80 and N75 35mm film SLR cameras and offers Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash with the N65 35mm film SLR camera. The SB-800 also provides D-TTL performance with Nikon digital SLR cameras including the D1x, D1H, D1, and D100. With the new D2H digital SLR camera, the speedlight offers advanced i-TTL control. The D2H is also fully compatible with all DX-series Nikon speedlights, including the SB-80DX, SB-50DX and SB-28DX. The SB-800 speedlight will be available at Nikon authorized dealer locations in the fourth quarter of 2003.

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