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Lifewire / Jonno Hill
Light on features
So-so build quality
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite does an admirable job balancing features and performance at a lower price point.
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite is a no-frills manual flash that covers all the basic functionality most camera users will want out of a speedlight. In particular, the TT560 makes a fantastic option for an off-camera flash in settings that call for more than one light. Priced at the lowest end of the spectrum for flashes in its class, this flash will provide fantastic value to anyone looking for additional light and without a lot of advanced control.
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite doesn’t have the most premium feel out of the flashes we’ve tested, but not in a way that should necessarily distract from your overall experience of the product. Its 15.8 ounces light, plastic design makes it very easy to carry, although we wouldn’t want to try subjecting it to too many bumps and drops. Another thing to note is that measuring 4 x 8.7 x 3.1 inches (HWD), the TT560 is on the larger side among flashes we’ve looked at, even those with more features.
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite features a standard hot shoe that will work with most cameras. We found it easy to mount. The flash itself supports up to 90 degrees of vertical rotation, and up to 270 degrees of horizontal rotation. This is fairly standard for speedlights. On the flash head, you’ll find a slide-out wide panel and a reflection board.
We imagine this speedlight will provide fantastic value to anyone looking for additional light and without a lot of advanced control.
On the front of the device is the optical control sensor, used for triggering the flash during off-camera use. On the right side, a plastic cover peels away to reveal a 3.5mm PC Sync Socket (for synchronizing flash and shutter), and a charging socket for use with an external power source. On the opposite side of the camera, the battery cover slides open to give you access for four AA batteries.
The rear of the device contains all of the controls available to the user, which we will explore in greater detail in the next section.
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite might not come with a wealth of features, but it covers all the basics that most photographers will be looking for in a flash. The rear of the device contains Minus and Plus buttons (used for controlling the light output of the flash from 1/128 to 1/1), a mode button to toggle between the three modes (M, S1, S2), a Test button, and an On/Off switch.
When in “M” mode, the TT560 can be placed directly onto your camera’s hot shoe to trigger the flash, or connected via a speedlight trigger hot shoe connected by cable. Simply adjust the light output to one of the 8 steps and press the camera shutter.
S1 and S2 modes allow the flash to function as a slave unit. In S1 mode, the flash will fire when it detects light from the master unit, usually attached to the camera body itself. In S2, the flash will fire when it detects a second flash, ignoring the first flash. This is primarily used when the master flash is in TTL mode, which utilizes a pre-flash to gather information about the scene before firing the main flash.
In most of the scenarios that we used the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite during testing, we rarely missed having TTL as an option.
In our testing, we spent a good amount of time using the flash on the camera body itself in M mode. The rest of the time we set up the light attached to an umbrella setup in S1, to see how it performs in an off-camera scenario (in our case, for taking headshots). The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite performed admirably in all of the different settings, delivering reliable light when and where it was required.
The big elephant in the room for the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite is TTL, or the lack thereof. TTL, or Through The Lens, is a metering mode that lets a flash unit fire a series of infrared bursts and evaluates the actual light coming through the lens to determine how much power to deliver when taking a photo.
In theory, this might seem like a really great thing — why would you want to take the time to figure out how much power a given scene needs before taking a picture? In practice though, it’s a bit more complicated. In studio environments, for example, a photographer might want very precise control over the amount of light in each shot. TTL might have a slightly different interpretation of a scene from photo to photo, making it less than ideal for controlled environments.
Where TTL shines, however, is in environments where the amount of light necessary is changing rapidly from shot to shot. Photographers wanting to ensure they get usable photos in all scenarios as well as amateurs less willing to play around to get every shot just right will appreciate the additional convenience that TTL provides.
Ultimately, it comes down to the photographer and their preferences. In most of the scenarios that we used the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite during testing, we rarely missed having TTL as an option.
Neewer doesn’t provide users with too much in the box: a simple instruction manual, a case for the flash, a mounting plate (which allows the flash to stand unassisted and also lets you mount it directly to a tripod), and of course the speedlight itself.
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite gives buyers everything they will need in a manual flash for a price so low that it’s easy to recommend.
When taking the product out of the box for the first time, simply open the battery cover and add four AA batteries (not included). We highly recommend picking up a set of rechargeable batteries, as speedlights can burn through batteries very quickly.
After inserting the batteries, simply mount the TT560 to a camera, or position it where you intend to use it in an off-camera setup. Switch the flash to the on position, and wait a few seconds for the charging indicator to turn red. The flash is now ready for use.
At a $30.99 MSRP on Amazon, you aren’t going to find a much better deal. We imagine most shoppers find their way to the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite in the first place because it hits a nice balance of trusted reputation and price. All we can say on this subject is that the TT560 gave us everything we expected for the price, while not omitting any critical features.
One of the closest rivals to the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite is the AmazonBasics Electronic Flash. The two units are nearly indistinguishable from each other, both containing the same modes and levels of power control. Amazon’s option is available for a couple of dollars less, but some quality control issues make it slightly more difficult to recommend. For the extra two or three bucks, we’d rather have the slightly reduced chance of a lemon.
A low-cost darling
The Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite gives buyers everything they will need in a manual flash for a price so low that it’s easy to recommend. The potentially hundreds of dollars that you save by picking up this flash means you will still have money to spend on additional lights and lighting accessories, which is a huge favor to most photographers. You may not get TTL or a fancy LCD screen, but you get everything you need to take great photos.