The new Nissin Di622 Mark II is an upgrade from the Di622 and a powerful middle class flash at an attractive price.
In contrast to the limited precursor it now could be called “quintuple-sync” as it can be triggered in five ways: (1) flash foot, (2a/b) optical slave modes, (3) PC socket, (4) mini phone jack, and (5) wireless E-TTL / i-TTL slave mode are the options.
Read on for a comparison between the Di622 Mark II and Mark I including some first comments about using the new flash as well as differences from the Nissin flagship model Di866, while the full in-depth review can be found here (not 100% finished yet).
Nissin Di622 Mark II versus Di622
The Di622 from Nissin was introduced back in 2008 and positioned against the Canon 430EX II and SB-600 from Nikon. What’s most appealing about the flash is the strong power output, the good TTL exposure (according to most users), and also the attractive price.
However, there were also some areas that called for improvement. The biggest complaints came from the strobist community when people found out that the Di622 can’t be triggered with simple radio triggers like Cactus V4, or Yongnuo RF-602. For the Nikon version of the flash, a firmware update (in early 2010) did solve the issue, but for the Canon version this fix was never released.
In addition to the radio trigger fix, there are a couple of other significant improvements, most notably the wireless TTL slave mode.
Improvements in Di622 Mark II from Di622
- wireless TTL slave mode, integrated into Canon’s wireless E-TTL system, or Nikon’s AWL wireless i-TTL system (limited to channel 1, group A, but missing completely on the original Di622)
- radio triggering through the flash foot (also for the Canon version finally)
- PC sync socket (not present in the Di622)
- 3.5mm mini phone jack (not present in the Di622)
- simple optical slave mode (“SF”, in addition to digital optical slave mode “SD”)
- “My TTL” setting for calibration of default flash output
- compatible with EOS cameras of the “1″ series (see here for compatibility list)
- improved standby/ power-off in slave mode (Di622 only with updated firmware)
Advantage Di622 over Di622 Mark II
For me, the upgrades are worth the price increase and triggering is easy and reliable. You might disagree if you know that you will use your flash always and only attached to your camera. But – you should really get the flash out of the camera accessory shoe as your pictures immediately improve.
Despite the limitations (1 channel/group only), the i-TTL / E-TTL slave mode is an awesome improvement and super easy to set – just push the mode button!
The 2 options for wireless use with the 622 Mark 1 are (1) using a TTL cable, or (2) relying on the the “SD” optical slave mode which is doing a good job at identifying and ignoring the digital TTL pre-flashes. However, this mode on the Mark 1 is not compatible with manual flashes, or studio strobes – it always needs a pre-flash before the main flash to fire.
The Di622 mark 2 is pretty much unlimited in its triggering options. Note that it’s still not the perfect off-camera flash however due to restrictions in manual zoom and the minimum 1/32 power setting and full stop adjustments. Read more in the upcoming Di622-II review.
Nissin Di622 Mark II versus Di866
866 versus 622-II is a different type of comparison as the 2 models belong to different classes. It’s like comparing Canon 430EX II to the 580EX II, or comparing the Nikon SB-700 to the SB-900.
There are a few areas where the Di622 Mark II is superior to the Di-866, but – as can be seen further below – a lot of areas where the Di866 outguns the middle class model. Do you need all of these? Most probably not, but have a look at the list.
Advantage Di622 Mark II over Nissin Di866
- lower price
- mini phone jack
- more responsive (Di866 has a small reaction delay due to software/ color LCD)
- slightly better wide angle coverage with wide-panel (16 vs 18mm on Di866)
Advantages Di866 over Di622 Mark 2
- even more powerful than the already-strong Di622 (II)
- color LCD display (small but well made)
- HSS / FP sync for on-camera use (but not in wireless mode)
- wireless TTL master mode
- 3 groups and 4 channels for wireless TTL shooting (Di622 mk2 allows only group A channel 1)
- all manual zoom steps available in wireless TTL remote mode, M mode and slave modes
- manual mode with 1/3 stop increments and down to 1/128th (vs. full stops down to 1/32)
- secondary reflector for fill-light
- removable battery magazine
- external battery pack connector
- mini USB connector (for firmware update by user, 622 (II) needs to be mailed in)
- modeling light (push test flash button in wireless remote mode)
- dual LED AF assist light (however, does not give better contrast than the single LED on the Di622 mk2)
- multi flash mode (stroboscopic mode)
- auto mode
- range calculator in manual mode
- adjustable standby modes
Nissin Di622 Mark II – first impression
The new Di622 mk2 is well put together, and a very powerful flash. In first tests it has shown to be on SB-900 level, so it’s clearly stronger than a Nikon SB-600, and even more so than the upcoming SB-700. It’s also easy to use, despite the lack of an LCD screen, and the output is pleasing.
If you’re looking for a pure manual-mode flash, there are other options available and the Nissin is probably not the first choice (limited manual zoom, limited power range). Have a look at Yongnuo, for example.
As an accessory flash to use together with your Canon or Nikon DSLR, the Nissin Di622 Mark II can be a real winner. The wireless TTL works very well so far, and that makes this flash one of the cheapest – maybe the lowest priced – entry into wireless i-TTL / E-TTL lighting!
There is also some other information available in the Speedlights.net specs database:
Di622 Mark II versus Di866
Di622 Mark II versus Di622 (‘mark I’)
Di622 Mark II specs versus Nikon SB-600
Di622 Mark II specs versus Nikon SB-700
Di622 Mark II specs versus Canon 430EX II
Where to buy the Di622 Mark II
The new Di622 Mark II is available at prices starting around $170 – much less than what you pay for a 430EX II from Canon or the Nikon SB-600 / SB-700.