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Nikon SB-5000 - Radio Frequency controlled flash but only for the new cameras?

I'm a bit behind the camera news curve, and Nikon recently announced a flash that can be triggered via radio frequency.  However, the firmware to manage the flashes appears to be built into the recently announced D5 and D500.  I hope I can use a SB-5000 as a wireless commander or that Nikon releases a wireless trigger attachment.  I have an old D700 that is still working. :(


  • Very disappointing compared to the Canon system. Looks like it only works with the D5 & D500. Even with those cameras you need the WR-10 adapter for wireless radio off camera flash. 
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2016
    Reading between the lines, those cameras mentioned, the D5/D500, are only for a certain elements available.

    1] "When used with a compatible Nikon DSLR** with the optional WR-A10 (Wireless Remote Adapter) when attached to D5 and WR-R10 Wireless Remote Controller (transceiver), you can control up to 6 groups (A/B/C/D/E/F)"

    Normally it's always only been 3 Groups and 4 Channels for the vast majority of flashes.

    The use of the word 'when' indicates that feature is only available for D5/D500


    2] "Like a DSLR camera, the SB-5000 AF Speedlight has an “Info” button for quick access to your favorite settings. For more fluid operation when using radio control, you can adjust settings right from a compatible camera's*** menu."

    It goes on to say at bottom about controlling speedlights from the Master Speedlight up to 3 Groups, etc. PLUS:

    "In addition to the new radio control with compatible cameras, you can use the SB-5000 AF Speedlight on-camera as a Master Flash to control other remote Speedlights (up to 3 Groups: A/B/C and 4 channels), or use it off-camera wirelessly as a remote flash controlled by either your camera's built-in flash (compatible cameras), another Speedlight or the SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander. You can even mix optical wireless control (Groups A/B/C) with radio control (Groups D/E/F)."

    Mentioning the 'in-built' flash indicates they are totally workable on any Nikon hotshoe, but with a D5 and D500 you get more control up to the 6 groups, etc.

    When I first read it too I was like WTF is with this, but having re-read it several times I think those are only 'extra' features available on those camera models.

    Mentioning the 'in-built' flash control with them certainly indicates they are 'normal' flashes with a couple of extras for certain very latest cameras.

    The absolutely biggest thing I see in these new flashes is the heat issue. Wow! 100+ FULL Power Flashes without it overheating, damn that's a real bonus for starters, then it's smaller, lighter. The only thing I cannot seem to find is the power, is it same or juuust that slightly bit more powerful, hope so.



  • StephenStephen Member
    edited January 2016
    Hi Trev,
    Thanks for your interpretation.  However, your interpretation still leaves room for doubt.  I even watched an official Nikon Canada video about the SB-5000, and they never talk about if RF wireless is possible on older cameras. 

    I think I'll have to wait until some people get these flashes and see if they can access the RF option on older cameras. 
  • According to the Canadian video it is smaller and slightly more powerful than the SB-910. No mention of backward compatibility. 

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2016

    Isn't the Flash itself doing the linking with another?

    And the camera merely supplying TTL algorithms, I would have thought so.

    Remember you can get wireless on Canon 600EX RT flash to trigger another 600 without even being connected to a camera, and it says in the blurb you can talk to other flashes on Nikon.

    Bob: Thanks for link, will watch it.

    EDIT:  Bugger, you may be right:

    FROM HERE: "The radio system is only compatible with the new D5 and D5000 cameras at the moment, and it requires that you buy a WR-R10 transmitter in order to to control things remotely."

    If that's the case, that's a total rip-off, forcing people to buy the new models to have that convenience, and in that case, I won't be buying any of course.
    I mean my SB900's are only used on camera mainly for receptions, and maybe an extra kicker to supplement my off camera flash/s anyway.

    I don't *really* have a need for RT for those.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited January 2016
    "The SB-5000 is more powerful and smaller than the SB-910" ... according to the guy in that video clip. 

    Guide Number of the SB-910 
    111.5' at ISO 100 and 35mm

    Guide Number of the SB-5000 
    113.0' at ISO 100 and 35mm

    GN = aperture * distance. 
    So let's say we need f/11 worth of juice from each speedlight.

    Then you'd place the 
    SB-910 at 10.13 feet from your subject, 
    SB-5000 at 10.27 feet. 

    A difference of 0.14 feet. 
    In other words, you gain a whopping 1.68 inches!!! 

    In other words, I am just going to slap anyone mentioning the increase in power as an advantage.
  • A good point, well made! Nikon has certainly announced some good advances though, even if flash power isn't one of them :)
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited January 2016
    Hi Trev,
    In most cases, I can get by with Nikon's infrared option, but there a few edge cases where I can't have my commander and remote be in "line of sight" which is why I use PocketWizards.  I was hoping the SB-5000 would be like the Canon's RF flash unit, so I could drop the PocketWizards.  As good as the PocketWizards are, I prefer reducing "clutter" and go with an integrated solution.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Totally agree Stephen, less clutter, less fuss, less worry.
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