Look out for these key features when buying a flashgun. A wider range of features will expand your shooting options.
Flipping down over the front of the flash head, this diffuses the light to give a wider area of coverage. This is essential when you're using ultra wide-angle lenses.
Advanced flashguns can often be used as either master or slave units in multi-flashgun lighting setups, enabling you to get more exotic lighting effects.
A patterned grid of light, usually red in colour, enables the camera's autofocus system to lock on to targets accurately, even in very dark conditions.
Bounce and swivel head
This enables you to bounce light from the flashgun off walls and ceilings for a softer lighting effect. It's most useful for portraiture.
For making the most of advanced settings, or for arranging custom functions, an LCD status display is an absolute necessity.
These should enable simple yet effective hands-on control of flashgun settings. They're usually much quicker than camera-based menu options.
This lets you position your flash wherever you like while keeping your hands free, and means you don't need a bulky lighting stand.