Nikon has not updated their master commander (SU800) for their CLS system for 9 years. Lucky for us, a Chinese company has made a knock off that is cheaper, has a ton more power and takes AA batteries. For Nikon users looking for a way to remotely control the power of your speed-lights or just have a decent backup, this might be the remote trigger for you. (They also make a Canon version that I did not review.)
Most Nikon and Canon shooters do not even think about using their camera's built in flash control. Honestly it is intimidating, having to go through all the menus to change settings; however, by using the Debao SU800 you don't have to dig through your camera or flash menus to find the right settings. It is all right in your face with a couple of buttons.
Over the past couple of weddings I have been using the CLS system, and I find it extremely flexible, quick, and free. If I need to get a quick shot from my kicker across the room, I can simply change the power settings or flash compensation if I am shooting TTL. You are able to control multiple flashes on multiple channels with ease. One of my other favorite features of this unit is the AF focus beam. The Debao puts out a grid of light to help focus in low light environments.
In the past the argument to not use the CLS system has been that there tend to be miss-fires. Yes it happens because these system work on "line of sight". While using the SB-910 as a master commander I had some miss fires, but when using the Debao Su800 I had far fewer issues; it has a more powerful signal. At times I was able to get the Debao to work around corners. Below are the stats for the Debao vs the Nikon SU800. If you are in the market for your first flash remote or a nice backup, I high recommend buying the Debao SU800. They also have a Canon version as well.
|Nikon SU800||Debao SU800|
|Transmission mode||Infrared Communication||Infrared Communication|
|Wireless control distance||20M||35M|
|Wireless communication channels and wireless groups||Four: 1, 2, 3 and 4 ChannelsThree: A, B and C||Four: 1, 2, 3 and 4 ChannelsThree: A, B and C|
|Display||LCD, Ready-light||LCD, Ready-light|
|Supports AF assists||Yes10m||Yes 15m|
|Horizontal rotation angle||Don't Support||-130 ~ 130 degrees|
|Supports continuous shoot||No||Yes|
|Required power source||One 3V CR123A lithium battery||2 x AA battery|
|Supports for manual flash||No||S1 Model manual flash|