Most DSLR cameras have small flashes integrated within their bodies, and so you may not feel you need one if you're just starting out. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why you may at some point go for a separate unit.

These are far more powerful than the ones included in DSLRs, and those with tilt and swivel functionality are more flexible in relation to how their light is output. They can also be used off-camera for a more flattering illumination, as well as in combination with other flashguns for multiple-flash setups.

Here are our favourite dedicated flash guns, with different prices to suit different budgets.

Canon Speedlite 430EX II

Best camera flashguns

Canon Speedlite 430EX II - £188

This Speedlite is easy to use, with direct access to advanced modes such as high-speed sync and rear-curtain flash, along with super-fast, silent recycling circuitry. It also works well as a wireless slave in multi-flashgun setups, but maximum flash power is a little on the low side.

Jessops 360 AFD

Best camera flashguns

Jessops 360 AFD - £79

A dedicated alternative for Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLRs, this flashgun has a fairly limited feature set, although the basics are pretty well covered. The motorised zoom is quite slow, as is recycling speed, but the flashgun works effectively as a light-sensitive slave unit.

Nissin Speedlite Di866 Pro

Best camera flashguns

Nissin Speedlite Di866 Pro - £181

Made in Canon or Nikon dedicated options, this is one of the best flashguns on the market, with a nice LCD display, plenty of power and a huge range of upmarket features, including full master/slave wireless operation. A secondary sub-flash is good for fill-in lighting and there's an optional quick-change battery cradle.

Sunpak PZ42X

Best camera flashguns

Sunpak PZ42X - £99

Built in Canon, Nikon and Sony options, this dedicated flashgun builds motorised zoom, bounce and swivel, autofocus assist and TTL metering into a neat and compact package. There aren't any wireless master/slave functions, but the Sunpak is a solid performer that's very easy to use. It's a bargain at the price.

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Liked this? Then check out Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

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