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Rumor: SB-900 Replacement Forthcoming? (e.g. video illumination and cooling system)

StephenStephen Member
edited October 2011 in Nikon
Over at the Nikon Rumors site, apparently Best Buy (a large U.S. retailer) has listed the SB-900 as deleted in their inventory system, meaning it will not be re-ordered.


In the article, in 2010, Nikon applied for patents on a new model of flash that has heat dissipation facilities (i.e. heat syncs or cooling fans) and a video illumination capability. It looks like this would mean that Nikon has quietly acknowledged the overheating problems of the SB-900 and have engineered a new model to address it that could be released soon.


  • I have committed the proverbial "foot in mouth."

    From the comments, it looks like deleted status means that store is not carrying the item anymore.

    It's still interesting that in 2010, Nikon had already thought about a new flash.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Still, would be good to get a new model with heat problem sorted.

    I initially did not have any problems until last few shoots, really hitting the old shutter button rapidly last Saturday, next minute I hear the dreaded beep, yep, flash shut down. I do have one flash disabled and thought I had that on camera, but nope. Luckily I had my other flash on me, quick change over and good to go.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Stephen .. when you mention the SB-900 speedlight's over-heating problems, what do you mean?

    1. That the SB-900 shuts down when it overheats? (You can disable this.)


    2. That the SB-900 overheats when other flashguns don't. (Speedlights all overheat when fired too fast)


    3. That the SB-900 overheats faster than other flashguns. (I don't know of any real proof of this.)
  • Neil,
    When I mention overheating, it is point number 1 that you mention. You've talked about this before in your blog, and I understand that the protection can be turned off. However, from what I read, some people also perceive number 3 (i.e. you can shoot more with an SB-800 than a SB-900 before having to stop because of heat). I also remember some people here on this forum also mention that the SB-900 does not heat up as fast using alkaline batteries instead of NiMH batteries.

    Given those factors and the presence of the heat sync/cooling system in the patent diagrams in Nikon's application, I wonder if Nikon quietly acknowledged that their SB-900 generates far too much heat than originally designed or if it is just an incremental improvement in the life of their flash unit.
  • Along with the possible SB900 replacement and the probable D800 announcement later this month, is the mouth watering (though unlikely) idea of Nikon incorporating a 'radio' CLS system into both.
  • If Nikon does that, PocketWizard and RadioPoppers would take a serious blow to their businesses.
  • Just MHO

    I don't think Pocket wizard has any thing to worry about. Putting a Radio Transmitter inside a camera would be an engineers night mare . Imagine trying to shield all the internal components from RF singles. They might do a base attachment. Also it would raise the price of the camera's significantly and maybe 5% of buyer would really want it.

    (15 years of selling cameras has taught me that people will pay a premium for useless gadgets on camera . IE Eye Tracking Focus control. or 30 segment metering and my personal favourite Face Recognition. Rather than something useful/

    Then theres the whole FCC thing.................

    Having said all that I have been proven wrong before , I did invested all in DX lenses
    after reading an article with Nikons president stating

    "We'll never go Full Frame , There is no need "

    Maybe I will hoId off on buying those Pocket Wizard Stocks.


  • StephenStephen Member
    edited October 2011
    PocketWizard and RadioPopper staff have to reverse engineer the CLS signals to make their products work. Nikon engineers known their own product, so if they have the best chance of dealing with RF signal interference problems. If doing this in the flash is not feasible, building a separate unit would certainly compete with RadioPoppers and PocketWizards.

    People buy new cameras to upgrade. Nikon can keep adding features, even useful ones, and there is nearly always a market.
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