AmazonBasics Flash Review VT560

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash Review

This speedlite hasn’t been available on Amazon either in the UK or USA for quite a few months now and I’m starting to think it won’t be making a return any time soon. However the Neewer TT560 Speedlite is almost exactly the same and sells for the same price so check out our review.

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash VT560 front and back views
AmazonBasics Electronic Flash VT560

Introduction

This “super affordable” basic manual flash appears to be a rebranded version of the Godox VT560 or very similar. It doesn’t have TTL metering, high speed sync or any form of wireless communication but for this price who can really expect it. It has an optical slave function (S1) which triggers when other flashes go off nearby which is useful but to get the most out of this flashgun you’ll need to invest in a basic wireless trigger to get it off-camera (a pair of Yongnuo RF-603C should do the job).

Due to it’s limited number of functions it’s really easy to use and perfect for sticking in a soft box and using it in an indoor studio. Although it’s cheap and cheerful it still delivers a surprisingly powerful flash capable of holding it’s own against more expensive models.

One drawback is that it does tend to overheat quickly if you’re shooting continuously on full power so if possible try to keep the power setting to 1/4 power or below if rapidly firing off shots. At this price if you need the extra power then just buy another speedlite … or two and stick them together – the perfect solution to filling a large soft box or umbrella with beautiful even light. Using the AmazonBasics flash at full power is ok as long as you leave a bit of a time between shots. Introduced December 2016.

Guide Price: approx £25.99 / US$28.99

Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US)

Amazonbasics Flash mounted on a camera hotshoe

Compatibility

The AmazonBasics Electronic Flash is a manual flashgun and works with pretty much any camera brand since it doesn’t have TTL or wireless capabilities. Speedlites don’t come much more basic than this.

Power

Maximum Guide Number 33m @ 35mm & ISO 100
Comparative Guide Number 33m @ 35mm & ISO 100
Speedlite power is given as a Guide Number (GN) and can be shown as a distance either in metres (m) or feet (ft or ‘). Manufacturers typically give the Guide Number when the flash is zoomed at it’s maximum focal length (mm), in the case of the AmazonBasic Flash this is around 35mm.

Close up of the wide angle diffuser and the flip up bounce card

Zoom Head

Zoom head: No, fixed at about 35mm
Coverage with flip-down diffuser: 18mm
Flash bounce card: Yes

Flash Head Tilt & Swivel

Up: 45, 60, 75 and 90°
Down: 0°
Left: 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180°
Right: 30, 60 and 90°

Package includes the speedlite, protective bag and mini stand

Manual Exposure

Manual / output settings: Yes – 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128 (8 levels of brightness)
Manual steps: only full stops with no intervals

ETTL Exposure

No. This speedlite is fully manual and does not have an auto ETTL exposure mode

Wireless Communication

Radio Wireless (RF)
No radio wireless.
If you wanted to add radio wireless capabilities then I’d recommended buying a pair of Yongnuo RF-603C II Transceivers which cost around £27.99 / US$30 a pair.

Optical Wireless
No optical wireless

Auto-Focus (AF) Assist 

No AF assist beam

Other Features

High speed sync (HSS): No
Second-curtain flash sync: No
Modelling flash: No
Multi (stroboscopic) flash: No
Colour temperature info communication: No
Remote shutter release: No
Custom function: No
Flash settings from camera menus (with compatible cameras only): No
Optical slave capability (S1, S2): Yes S1 slave mode & S2 Slave mode
Overheat protection: No
PC terminal: Yes
USB socket for firmware updates: No

Batteries & Recycling Time

Battery: 4 x AA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable Ni-MH)
Recycling time: Approx. 3 seconds
Number of flashes (approx): 110-1500 with AA alkaline batteries
Flash duration: 1/200-1/20000sec
Flash Colour temperature: 5800K
External power supply: Yes, same socket as the Canon.

Close up view of the speedlite base shoe which is metal and has just the one pin

Build Quality

Dust and water resistant: No
Mounting foot material: Metal
Size: 75 x 55 x 190mm (Extended state)
Weight: 315g (excluding batteries) (4xAA batteries adds 100g)

Included:

Protecting bag
Mini hot shoe stand which has a 1/4″ socket on the bottom
User manual

Compatible accessories: 

Yongnuo RF-603 II transceivers to get the speedlite off-camera. You’ll need two.

Godox S-R1 adapter allows the use of Godox AK-R1 magnetic accessory set

Alternatives

The Godox VT560 is basically the same flashgun although it’s not easy to find nowadays. A similar budget option is the Godox TT560 which sometimes be found online but more frequently rebranded as the Newer TT560 which is more readily available on Amazon. If you have an extra £25/US$25 then a better option is the Yongnuo 560 III Speedlite which feels much better quality, has a zoom head 24-105mm, is more powerful and has 1/3 stop increment flash power settings. The Godox TT600 is also an excellent budget option and has the bonus of high speed sync, 20-200mm zoom and radio wireless.

Godox TT560 Manual

The user manual for the AmazonBasics Electronic Flash is included when you buy the flash. I couldn’t find a copy on line but the Godox TT560 speedlite is a similar model with the same functionality so if you have lost your original manual or just want to read the manual before buying the AmazonBasics version just follow the link below.

Godox TT560 Speedlite manual download pdf format
Godox TT560 Manual pdf format (opens external link to Godox official website)

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Page last updated 17 October 2020