Light is the single most important element in a photo, and flashes are the most portable way to control light. While many photographers swear by natural light, I love my flash. A bounce flash can fill a room with natural-looking light, allowing you to create noise-free images in dark environments. Outdoors, you can use fill flash to create flattering lighting without getting that overexposed “flash” look. Every portrait and real estate photographer should have at least one flash, and serious photographers will own several that they trigger remotely. However, choosing the right flash can be really complicated. The low-end models will quickly frustrate many photographers, and the high-end models cost more than many camera bodies. In this buying guide, I’ll list the current flash models for Nikon, Canon, and Sony flashes, along with my recommendations. If you want to better understand the different flash features available so you can make a more educated buying decision, the rest of this guide gives you an overview of flash features found on different models. Before you buy a flash, read Chapter 3 of Stunning Digital Photography so you have a better understanding of what flashes are capable of. For information about flashes for use with macro photography, refer to Chapter 12 of Stunning Digital Photography.