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I have purchased a Canon 7D camera and I love it. I have had a great time shooting photos of sporting events, family gathering and parties. My only real disappointment was the pop up flash on the camera and how quickly it depleted the battery of the camera and its slow recovery rate after a lot of photo shots. I also could not do bounce flashes which work great for shooting people at parties or events.

I hadn't purchased a flash yet and when I was asked to review this flash I eagerly accepted as I wanted to see the difference it made in my photography. The flash kit comes with the flash, a flash stand a set of user instructions and a nice carrying bag. I won't go into my entire video review as it is easy to watch and see the powerful features of this flash. I have to say that I was impressed by all of the features and settings that I could make using this flash and I love having the ability to use a bounce flash and highlight my subject from above or from the side. I missed that feature and I am glad to have it back.

The flash also has a very good auto zooming mode to help select the ideal flash. The nice big LCD display provides all the information I need and the push button backlighting feature allows me to read the display in poor lighting. The flash recovery mode is amazing and it helps you not miss those special moments while waiting for the camera flash to recover and charge. I love the fast recycle time. I also like the multi flash mode for its ability to shoot fast moving subjects.

The E-TTL mode helps you take perfect photos but you can still override its settings to customize to your needs. The Through The Lens metering helps provide the right flash setting to help make your photography better. The flash has a 90 degree up and down adjustment and a 270 degree rotation adjustment so you can try multiple bounce flash settings. There is also a built in flash diverter to focus the light on a subject's eyes and a pull down wide diverter to make the flash suitable for 14 mm.

I use rechargeable Ni-MH batteries in the flash and I keep a lot of spares around. I use eneloop AA batteries that are rechargeable 1500 times.

I like this flash a lot and it will be heavily used at special occasions where multiple shots need to be made close together to really capture what is going on, like the bride throwing the bouquet of flowers. This flash works well and the quality is very good. I rated it as a 5 star item.

I was supplied a sample for test and evaluation and I promised to provide a fair and honest review.
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on May 1, 2014
I was fairly pleased to find an Hot Shoe eTTL II flash for this price, especially with High Speed Sync. It is worth it for that reason. It lacks some basic functions, such as optical eTTL Sync, or even optical trigger. I have a set of the YN-622C, and it works great with them if I need it off camera. So, basic flash, HSS, Hot Shoe eTTL. But, two problems:

1) The Auto-off mode turn the flash off, but it continues to drain the batteries. It'll run them dead in a few hours just sitting there doing nothing pretending to be off. To turn it back on, you have to cycle the switch.
2) Good luck finding finding a dome diffuser that will fit. The head's slightly bigger and squarer than any other flash I've seen.

The "off but not" problem is a fairly big deal. I've never seen something put itself to sleep into a nonfunctioning state and still run the batteries down this fast.
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on November 27, 2013
Unfortunately the flash arrived slightly damaged. The pull out diffuser and reflector boards are not connected and fall off the flash. Other than this minor inconvenience the rest of the flash works. I took the opportunity to test the flash before shipping it back . ( i did order a replacement)

This flash has a decent amount of power with a GN of 190 @ ISO100. The E-TTL mode works well with my Canon T5i and shutter speed and F-stop settings appear on the flash LCD along with a range indicator. What surprised me are a some features that I did not expect. 1.) automatic zooming of the flash as the lens is zoomed. I was expecting manual zooming. 2.) a strobe mode where a multiple number of flashes are triggered during a long exposure. This last feature is for capturing a sequence of images in a single shot. (Like a golf swing) 3.) a 1/4-20 female thread mount on the side to enable easy attachment to a tripod for off camera use. (or to attach a bracket)

Reason for 4 stars:
1.) arrived damaged, the pull out diffuser seems cheap and likely to break easily. I do have a lower mode Neewer flash with the feature which seems more durable by comparison.

2.) Weight - its a couple ounces shy of a pound and you know it is sitting on your camera when its attached.

3.) come with a small plastic stand for off camera use yet the flash doesn't have a built in slave mode like Neewer's lower models. (To be honest I will be using this as a main light anyway and I own a Neewer slave already)

4.)Flash head range of swivel is 270 degrees but its asymetrical. You can point it 90 degrees to the right and 180 degrees to the left. So if you want to bounce off an object to the rear of your right side you won't be able to point the flash head in that direction. (I'll admit this is a little nit picky but the illustration in the manual doesn't clearly show this limitation . The manual shows a swivel range of +/- 270 in either direction which is misleading when compared to the actual unit
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on February 2, 2014
I purchased this camera for My Canon Rebel T3i; the last flash I had was a SUNPAK manual bounce flash for my old Pentax K1000 (no megapixels, just film!). Having recently purchased my T3i, I was resorting to using folded paper on the built-in flash to soften the brightness (while adding bounce ) to my photos; it worked pretty well, but there were signs of synchronization issues (imagine that!). anyway, I could not bring myself to pay $400+ for a Canon flash for the functionality I wanted - so after reading reviews and other information on this flash, I purchased one. I attached the camera, put my camera in auto mode, turned on the flash and camera, and took a few pictures, and viola! No messing around with settings - worked right out of the box.
I've noticed a vast difference in the quality of the flash photos I've taken.. No more harsh flash, and with experimenting with the bounce, you will get varying effects on your subject and yes, warm tones!
The LED screen is clear to understand; The on-off switch is a slider switch - I initially would've liked a momentary switch, but the benefit of the slider is that it prevents the flash from being inadvertently turned on in the bag. The other day, I realized I left the power on for about a week; I "woke up" the flash to discover that the batteries were STILL on full power!
I highly recommend this flash for anyone - It is very simple for novices to use, with the opportunity to learn advanced flash photography techniques!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 4, 2013
Summary: This is an impressive performing flash given the price. It doesn't hit the mark set by the Canon Speedlite line of flashes, but it also doesn't hit the price tag of Canon gear either. It's a good choice for a starter flash for those on a budget or if you don't have demanding and exacting requirements for a flash. Also cross shop this with the Neewer 660. While the latter lacks a few of the 680's features, I found it easier and simpler to use.

Full review: In many regards this flash is similar to the Neewer model 660, which I also reviewed. This adds some useful features, such as multi-flash, stroboscopic flash, second curtain flash, high speed synch and flash exposure lock. It also has an autofocus assist beam with a range of 2.3 to 20 feet. The downside is that the controls are more complicated to use than the 660. Although the 680 has an LCD which normally would make usage easier, I found the controls on the 660 to be more straightforward. Granted, this complexity is also a factor of the additional features of the 680.

Like the 660, it is noticeably larger than the Canon Speedlite, but not heavier. The larger size may cause issues when used on smaller cameras (e.g., could topple over). No problems on any camera with some heft to it.

The build quality is the same as the 660, which is pretty solid. The head articulation/adjustments also work well with generally smooth action and positive clicks. The construction is nearly all plastic, but the hotshoe is metal. Considering the price, I have zero complaints about build quality.

Again, like the 660, it comes well packed for protection in transit, and has a cloth bag for further protection against scratches while being tossed about by UPS. Sounds like a minor issue, but I think it's important to note since I buy most of my gear online, so security in transit is an important factor.

I successfully used it with the following Canons with zero compatibility issues:

Rebel XT (original model)
5D (first gen)
5D Mark II
Powershot G10

Like the 660, it does NOT offer a wireless mode. Off-camera usage requires a pc sync cord to tether it to the camera to the flash. However, unlike the 660, I could not use it as a slave flash with the Speedlite transmitter.

Of the two, I'd recommend the 660 over this model as a starter flash given the greater ease of use of the 660. You'll lose a few features that the 680 has, but the gains in usage ease offset the losses. But either are good choices for a starter flash to build experience without breaking the bank, and I found both to be 5-star products.
[Sample provided for review]
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on October 17, 2013
Got this flash as an on-camera solution for my 5D Mark ii. I'm not a professional but have been shooting for years and have been paid for some of my work. I don't use flash that often as I prefer natural light, but it does help indoors and for fill light sometimes. I also have a Sunpak rd2000 and Canon 380ex, but wanted something powerful and with modern features like swivel, high speed sync, bounce card and wide angle diffuser, etc. This inexpensive Neewer flash does a great job and I've been happy with it on my 5D. The plastic construction feels a little cheap as some of the panels are not aligned perfectly, but it's still solid. It is also the biggest flash I've ever seen, bigger than a Vivitar 285.

I'm disappointed in two things though. These features are not advertised but I still feel like they could have been included. One is that this flash does not support ettl 1, so earlier DSLRs like my old digital rebel can't use it. What's worse, even when I change the flash to Manual mode it still won't fire on my D Rebel. It also won't fire on my old EOS 1 film body in M mode. Oddly, it will fire in M mode on a Nikon DSLR like the D800.

Also, this flash, from what I know, does not support wireless functionality, so it cannot act as a slave or master with other strobes. I would be okay with this except that the flash comes with a mini stand and has a mounting hole on the side, both things that indicate it can be used wirelessly. Yes I know you can use wireless triggers, but why include a mini stand at all if the flash can't do wireless by itself?

If you can live without these features as I can, especially considering the price, then go for one! If you need built-in wireless, go for a Canon flash like the 430ex or better. If you want wireless on this Neewer flash, just pick up a set of Cowboystudio triggers to complete your cheapskate flash setup.
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on December 2, 2013
If you're looking for a solid fully automatic flash this is the one to get. Using this on a Canon 5D and I couldn't be happier. Quick recharge time coupled with fully automatic controls make this the flash to buy. The threads are plastic, but overall if you just start using it you'll probably forget you don't have a Canon speedlite mounted up there. This is a really great flash for those on a budget, and if you just want one flash to get you through those sessions where you really need it - hit the buy button. I did a ton of research and glad I went with this NEEWER. This flash seems to work fine with all types of batteries, but the better the battery the better the performance.
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on November 3, 2015
I have always been a photography purist in that I always thought that a group of products from the same manufacturer works best with one another. Maybe on some extreme level they do but for my needs this flash meets or exceeds those needs at a HUGE savings. I needed a second flash for an upcoming wedding so I looked at the more powerful relatives of my canon 430EX and honestly this one came in there with the functions that suit my needs. It's a big flash but only adds about .25 pounds of weight. The Gary Fong Lightphere fits it with a little stretching. It actually fits it better than the 430EX. This flash tought me a very valuable lesson. I realize now I could have directed money saved to purchase more glass. Time will tell if it holds up as well as the speedlights.
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For Canon camera users this new flash unit is made to order to enhance the performance of your camera. The E-TTL II flash mode is easy and fast to allow the camera to be always in the ready phase for multiple fast pictures at an event or during special occasions when multiple shots are desired. Of course, the quality of photos from this camera and flash attachment far outshine those by the little (but handy and compact) digital pocket cameras or iPhone pix. But that is what this unit is about - high quality images despite the available light. It recycles quickly, is unobtrusive, and when not installed on the camera it comes with a nice carrying case. The metering is Through the Lens type so not calculations necessary. The display is the smart LCD type and there is a 7-step auto/manual zoom. In short it does what it says it will do! The flash is usable on Canon 5D Mark II/7D/650D/600D/550D/500D/450D/400D Digital/60D/50D/40D/30D etc.

This is a worthwhile investment for all the added features it offers. Grady Harp, December 13
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on March 14, 2014
I specifically purchased this ETTL because the product description stated it was compatible with my Canon 60D. However, when mounting and trying to sync the flash I get an error message stating 'This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off.'

I am extremely dissapointed as I purchased this flash to use at a wedding tomorrow. I have spent the past few days troubleshooting it and seems a lot of people are having the same problems, but none of their solutions worked for me. I will be returning this.
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