Set-up Guide for Nissin Di700A Flash + Air 1 Commander for Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II & a7RII

Nissin-Di700-Air-1-Sony

Here’s my quick & painless set-up guide for Nissin Di700A Flash Kit + Air 1 Commander for Sony cameras with a multi interface shoe including Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII, a6000, a5100, a5000 and NEX-6.

Connecting Air 1 Commander with Di700A flash

1. Turn off both the flash and commander

2. Bind Settings between Di700A flash and Air 1 Commander

  • Press and Hold the Di700A Set & Power buttons simultaneous for 3 seconds until you hear a beep
  • Press and Hold the Air 1 Commander & Power buttons simultaneous for 3 seconds until the Flash button begins to blink orange
  • After about 5 seconds the Di700A should stop beeping which indicating the process is complete (do not operate either until until this is complete)

    3. Select Channel Settings

  • Press and Hold the S Button on the Air 1 Commander for 3 seconds until channel settings blink
  • Rotate the Dial around the S Button to select Channel 1-8
  • Press and Hold the S Button to lock in setting

    Using Air 1 Commander to Trigger Off Camera Flash

    When using Air 1 Commander to trigger Di700A flash, the camera’s Flash Mode must be set to Wireless:

    Menu > Camera Settings > Flash Mode > Wireless

    Sony A7R OSD

    Using Air 1 Commander in High Speed Sync (HSS) Mode

    To activate High Speed Sync (HSS) when using Air 1 Commander, Press and hold “Pilot” button (the test button with flash symbol) on Air 1 Commander for 3 secs to enable HSS. The Pilot button in Air 1 will start blinking twice which indicates the Air 1 Commander is in HSS mode.

    I’ve tested HSS using Air 1 Commander to trigger Di700A on both a7R and a7II and it works just fine all the way up to the max shutter speed of 1/8000 sec:

    HSS with Nissin Air 1 Commander and Di700A Flash
    Nissin Air 1 Commander + Di700A Flash Kit | Sony a7II | in HSS Mode at 1/8000 sec

    HSS with Nissin Air 1 Commander and Di700A Flash
    Nissin Air 1 Commander + Di700A Flash Kit | Sony a7R | in HSS Mode at 1/8000 sec

    PLEASE NOTE: Electronic Front Curtain Shutter (EFS) is not compatible with extremely high shutter speeds, so at speeds faster than 1/2000 sec, I suggest you turn off EFS.

    If any part of this isn’t working, redoing the first two steps to sync the air commander and flash (which Nissin calls “binding”) seems to do the trick.

    Using Di700A Flash on-camera in High Speed Sync (HSS) Mode

    To activate High Speed Sync (HSS) on Di700A Flash on-camera, Press and hold “Pilot” button (the test button with flash symbol) on flash for 3 secs to enable HSS. The Pilot button will start blinking twice which indicates it’s in HSS mode. With on Camera Flash change the flash setting to fill-flash:

    Menu > Camera Settings > Flash Mode > Fill-flash


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    130 thoughts on “Set-up Guide for Nissin Di700A Flash + Air 1 Commander for Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II & a7RII”

    1. thanks a lot! great help!
      My problem had been solved by replacing the batteries with new ones.
      I do not really like the way they report problems and the manual also does not explain them to well.
      I tried high speed sync as you described it and it worked ver fine.

      Incredible to shoot with flash at 1/8000.

      thanks again and best regards,
      Dietmar

    2. Pingback: SET-UP GUIDE FOR NISSIN DI700A FLASH + AIR 1 COMMANDER FOR SONY A7 Cameras | Mark Galer

    3. Need a flash for my A7ii (haven’t got any). Would you prefer the Nissin over an original Sony flash? Are there things a Sony flash can do better than the Nissin?

        1. I received the Nissin 700 and the air remote but I have a huge question for you. I have followed your instructions but I don’t find to get the same exposure on TTL on camera as TTL off camera in Aperture mode. Any help?

    4. Hi Brian,

      I’ve just purchased the Di700A system for my a7II but have not been able to get TTL to work, though manual mode works fine.

      I may have based my purchase on inaccurate information, but according to the video and comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKzNGnOFqG8 , as long as the Air Commander is correct for the camera any of the Di700A flash units will function without a hitch.

      “You need the Sony commander to be able to get HSS and TTL but with the commander you can control Nikon and Canon flashes … Yes they make the Nissin Di700a for Sony Nikon on Canon. But the radio signals are the same from the commander to the flash.”

      Based on this, from a person who certainly appears to know what he’s talking about, I bought the Sony MI Air Commander but paired it with the Nikon version of the Di700A with its metal mount, as the plastic hot shoe mount of Sony flashes seemed too likely to eventually break off in the event that the heavy flash — mounted off-camera via an articulating arm, in a fairly horizontal orientation for my macro work — should suffer more than the slightest bump.

      While the flash’s TTL function works fine when it’s sitting in the hot shoe of my Nikon body, the story changes when used off-camera on the Sony with its Air Commander. I do get the TTL pre-flash followed by the primary exposure flash when the Commander and flash are in TTL Wireless mode, yet every frame comes out dark. It would seem that the flash isn’t properly syncing with the shutter on the Sony.

      Was this claim of inter-compatibility with all Di700A flash versions perhaps just bad info, or might you have another idea what’s going on here?

      I’ve been using an i40 with a DIY TTL cable and it’s been working perfectly, but for a number of reasons I’d prefer this setup assuming I can get it to work.

      Thanks Brian!

    5. Brian, I just received this unfortunate confirmation from Davin,

      “From what I am hearing from you and a few others is that ttl is not going to be cross compatible. So only manual with HSS.”

      Not what I wanted to hear, but was what I expected based on my observations.

    6. Hello Brian!
      I am considering the Nissin i40 but I am trying to figure out if this is going to work for my needs or if maybe this Air commander option is better.
      I have the Sony A7ii and was going to get the i40 as my portable flash and wanted to get HSS since I love to shoot wide open which of course can get tricky in bright daylight. The thing is, I shoot from about 15′ away from my subject so with HSS, is the power of the i40 going to be enough?
      Is perhaps the wireless option better IF I bring a stand to place the flash closer (not really wanting to bring all that gear for casual shots)?

      Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thanks!

      1. Michael Pankratz

        I have both the Di700A Air Commander system and an i40 off-camera (also an a7II) connected via TTL cable. I’ve noticed that the Air Commander system has a considerable lag of at least a quarter second while the i40 on the TTL cable fires instantly. There are a few scattered references to this lag online, though I’ve not seen it mentioned in any of the reviews.

        As I shoot macros of live insects the time lag was a significant issue, so I’ve decided that the Air Commander/Di700A will need to be returned. You may want to keep this issue in mind depending on your application.

          1. Michael Pankratz

            Thanks Brian, that’s encouraging to hear, I’d be most happy to discover that it was just a problem with settings! It was the same in both Wireless Manual and Wireless TTL mode, and no difference whether EFCS was active or not. I do still have the flash, any ideas what other settings may be interfering here?

            The Cable was made following the discussion at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56369356
            … not cheap but works perfectly.

      2. I have had bad luck with the Sony version of the Nissin i40 for my Sony a6000. I have sent two of them back for warrantee replacement; all with three weeks time! They both worked for a week or two and then one day they would not flash or expose properly in TTL mode. I have had lengthly conversations with the technician at Minox and he claims that the i40 has been dependable. Perhaps so but, I opted to upgrade to the Di700A for a warrantee replacement, just in case. I would not recommend the i40 based on my experience.

    7. Hi Brian, I received the Nissin 700 and the air remote but I have a huge question for you. I have followed your instructions but I don’t find to get the same exposure on TTL on camera as TTL off camera in Aperture mode. Any help?

    8. Oh my god thank you so much for posting this article! I was getting all these weird horizontal lines on my pictures when using high-speed sync (luckily i was just doing tests) and as soon as i turned off EFS (electronic front shutter) the lines disappeared! I was almost ready to return this system! Thanks again! Will bookmark this!

    9. I’m having what seems like an odd behavior. When using the Di700A on camera the High Speed Sync will only work when the flash head is pointed forward. When positioned strait up or any angle other than strait ahead the flash moves out of High Speed Sync mode and will not allow the camera to use a shutter speed over 1/250th. This is a drag as i was going to use HSS and fill with a flash bender in bounce position. Does anyone know of a work around?

      1. Yup, that’s normal. Bounce flash is pretty much worthless with HSS since HSS eats up lots of light. But if you use the Air Commanders for off-camera HSS, you can turn the head however you want – just remember the first warning.

    10. As this is one of the few results which come up when Googling Di770A shutter lag on Sony, I thought I’d report my final findings here.

      I had been experiencing a significant lag of at least a quarter second with my Di700A/Air Commander system on an a7II. This lag was very noticeable and frustrating when shooting macros of live insects, the lag is long enough to entirely lose focus and composition at high magnification as the insect moves.

      I ended up getting a replacement unit from my retailer, no more lag so it appears to have been a QC issue with Nissin.

      Users can still expect a very slight shutter lag when shooting in Sony’s Wireless mode. According to Minox/Nissin, this is evidently inherent in these cameras. If I use instead a TTL cord/Fill flash mode rather than the Air Commander/Wireless mode with the Di700A flash, the exposure occurs instantly.

    11. Pingback: Nissan Di700A Flash + Air 1 Commander Kit | Mark Galer

    12. Is it possible to use Rear Sync mode with the Nissin? When I set the camera on this mode it doesn’t fire the flash so it only works when set to “Wireless”

      1. I believe Rear sync is only possible with on-camera flash or when using a flash cord. There are currently no flash cords for the Sony MI shoe, but I know of at least one third party flash cord in development.

        1. Thanks for the info Brian. I would have thought the camera would have seen the air commander as an on-camera flash – that’s a shame. At least it works with my YN-560TN, but a shame that you essentially can’t do rear sync with TTL. Good to hear there is finally a sync cord coming – I am surprised this wasn’t one of the first things to be made, must be easier that all the wireless triggers!

    13. i bought the di700 and air 1 commander to use on the Sony A7rII—on the camera the flash only works in Manual mode

      and when the commander is on the camera the remote flash doesn’t work in TTL—I have set the camera to wireless when using like this and I am wondering if there is another step that I am missing.

    14. Hello Brian, I have a question not sure if you or anyone on your thread has experienced thi behavior with the Di700a. Each time I attempt to turn on the flash it blinks as if it is coming on then powers off. I attempt between 10 -15 times to turn it on and the same behavior. I’ve checked batteries changed them several time s but same thing. Have you heard of this? I’ve had this with three separate units.

      1. I am having the same problem with my flashes. When left off for a while, I power them up and the y shut off after a few seconds. It keeps doing that and won’t stay on. The only way to get it working, I have to randomly push a lot of buttons over and over again until the flash stays on. I have 2 Di700a’s and an Air Commander. Both flashes do this. I have even tried putting the flash on the camera and turning it on and it still shuts off. Very frustrating!!!!! Could there be firmware update to fix this or do I just have defective units?

    15. Like Michael Hunter, I have received two different units from two different sources w/ a similar problem. After the unit is powered off for a long period of time it takes 5 or more attempts to get it to power on again. Seems like a major quality issue.

    16. Could I use this as an optical trigger to fire my Canon flashes (and Profoto B1 Air Strobes) in HSS mode? I’m trying to get HSS operating with my Sony a7RII using multiple flashes but would rather not invest in 10 of these Nissin flashes when I already have Canon and Profoto capable of HSS/ETTL… Too bad no one has invented an HSS/ETTL hotshoe adapter for Sony-to-Canon (or Sony to anything for that matter). Seems like there would be a lot of money in that since Sony doesn’t have any HSS/ETTL wireless trigger options.

    17. Hi Brian, thanks for all your input on these flashes! I am attempting to use HSS with the Di700A on-camera. I have held the Pilot button down for 3 seconds… in every setting, in every combination and it simply does not blink like it should and I can’t use HSS. I’ve tried shutting off the power on the flash and camera and trying again but nothing. The flash works perfectly in every other aspect except for this. Is there anything I’m missing or should I send it back?

      Thank you!

      1. Hold it for a bit longer than 3 seconds just in case you’re giving it a fast count. I do not remember if I tried this on camera or off, but it worked when I tested it.

      2. Victor Mendez Jr

        Make sure the flash is pointing forward, it will not do HSS if the flash head is another orientation while on camera.

    18. Pingback: Guide to TTL/HSS Flash Triggers for Sony Multi Interface Shoe

    19. Hi, I just set up my 2 Nissan Di700A and Air 1 with my Sony NEX-6. I have everything set up, using the instructions; Camera has flash set to wireless. The Air1 is linking to both flashes and setting them off when I press the pilot button. Once I place the air 1 on the camera it will trigger the flashes with the first shot, but then the Air 1 is locked up and will not let me change any feature nor will it trigger the flashes. I have to remove the Air 1 from the camera and it instantly is responsive and working. How can I use the Air 1 and not have to remove it each time?

      1. If I mount the flash onto the camera is has the same issue. works the first time, then it is locked up.

      2. This set-up guide is step-by-step instructions of the exact steps that worked perfectly for me.

        If you need trouble-shooting beyond that please contact Nissin.

    20. Hi Brian,
      I can’t figure out how to comp the flash down on the commander unit. I assume that all the adjustments are made from the commander. I can’t access the comping scale at the top of the screen. I am in TTL and have enabled HSS.

        1. Thank you for your prompt reply.I just tried that and it didn’t seem to work at all (i comped it -2). Since there is a scale of plus or minus two stops in the TTL display there must be a way, don’t you think?
          On another issue, what is the proper way to power down both units. I run into problems where it doesn’t want to turn off.

    21. I just purchased 2 air commander and 2 di700a for my 2 Sony A7ii. how to pair the 2 air commander to trigger the 2 flashes?

    22. I have a Sony flash, the big 60HV, connected with an Air 1 and the Nissan D1700A and have both working, apparently in synch with an A7rii set in wireless mode. My question is how do you vary the power of the flashes individually. I believe it is possible but I can’t figure out how to do it!

    23. Hi I’m looking at purchasing the Nissan kit to shoot off camera HSS, currently using the Sony a6000 with a i40 flash. With the Nissan air 1 mounted to the hotshoe will I be able to wirelessly trigger both the di700 and the i40 without using the i40 in optical slave mode ?

    24. Hey, I have a question. How can I sync the Nissin DI700A system with the Air R Receiver with a Canon 430ex ii? Is it possible? Will I still be able to use HSS from both flashes?

      1. The Air Commander will trigger a Canon Flash that’s placed into an Air Receiver. It “should” allow HSS but I cannot promise that. You definitely will NOT have TTL.

    25. Carsten Müller

      Hi,
      I have purchased the Air 1 Commander with 2 x Di700A flash and
      The flashes doesn’t sync in TTL (the flash fires, but no TTL preflash and nothing in the picture) only manual, but all the compensation in +/-done on the air 1 doesn’t seem to have any input on the power on the di700!
      I use a Sony A7RII. Please help!?

    26. David Grano-De-Oro

      Good evening.

      I’ve been shooting with the Nissin Di700 with its packaged transmitter for a few months now and have noticed a huge problem…

      One when shooting outdoors….
      The flash will fire when triggered at all shutter speeds but randomly it will not fire and will in some cases misfire almost a full minute after being triggered. This is not as much a problem so long as the flash and trigger are within 5 feet with the flash behind the trigger or to one side directly online with the camera. But when placed far forward or at any grater distance it will not fire after 1 or two shots.

      I’ve reset everything including swapping out with a fresh set of batteries. Indoors the flash will work mostly consistent with normal cool down periods. But yet the moment I shift outdoors the flash triggers randomly and is pretty much useless for professional work. It’s flat out embarrassing when it’s falls out of sync and I’ve my clients standing with a blank look at me. I’m fed up with this system and am well past the return timeframe. I’ve sent Nissin an email in regards to my issues but no response after a month.

      Any suggestions?

    27. Hello Brian,

      I just purchased a Nissin Air 1 and an i60a. Is there a way to shoot rear/second curtain sync wirelessly? I have an A7rII and an A6300. I can’t get the flash to fire with the camera menu set to rear curtain. Is there an internal control in the flash or air commander to allow this function? Thanks

      1. Oops, I just saw someone else asked that question and you responded it is not possible. Looks like I am returning the Nissin and going back to using my impact wireless remotes with my old Nikon flashes. Are you aware of any modern wireless flash system for Sony that allows both HSS and wireless rear curtain sync? It seems so strange that such a basic thing as wireless rear curtain sync isn’t possible. That is why I sold my Fuji X system for the Sony. Thanks for providing a great resource with your posts.

        1. Hi David,

          Checkout the godox system.

          I have an AD360 (Canon) and a TT685s with the X1s trigger. I can either mount the TT685 on the camera (with TTL and HSS) or fire either one or both remotely with the X1 trigger (with HSS and TTL).

          They are also sold under the flashpoint brand by Adorama

            1. Yes I mainly use it with rear sync. It supports all the flash modes, unlike the Nissin – which I was really disappointed about!

              I am waiting a firmware update for the Canon V860II so when I buy it I can trigger it from the X1s and have full TTL and HSS with the awesome Li-on battery for fast recharge and a great portable solution.

    28. Does the Flash need to be at 90º for HSS to work? I did that by accident and that’s the only position I could get HSS to work. Is this true, and why might that be? Thanks for the article, just getting started with Flash photography on my a6000.

    29. im looking for a way to trigger mi di700 a with hss off camera without the commander… i got a new strobe and a x1 trigger.. will this be possible?

      I tired shooting it in slave mode but dont think that actually worked..

    30. Brian, Will the Nissin Air 1 Commander trigger the f43m sony flash? Or do you recommend a commander for the f43m sony flash? And does the f43m sony flash need a receiver also? Or just the commander to use wirelessly?

      1. Nope. It needs a compatible receiver. Nissin says their Air 1 R is compatible but I have not tested it. Chances are fairly high that you would lose some functionality with that combination.

    31. Hello Brian!

      Just got my di7000a sony version for my A7rii. I have a question about the zoom function. How does this work? Will it zoom automaticly when mounted om the camera shoe or do I have to adjust this manually when changing focal lengt or switching lens? If so, will it do this automaticly when using it off camera with the air one controller as well? I see that I can choose the zoom manually one the air one but I dont see a auto function. I can just choose from 24mm-200mm. How do I choose the right setting when off camera? Do I choose it by the position of the flash, the position of the camera or the focal lenght on the lens I use when shooting. Please explain. Thank you

    32. I’ve had 2 of the Di700s for Sony and the Air 1 controller, and have had nothing but problems with them:

      – 2 Di700s have broken their flash shoe in a light stand when mounted parallel to the floor (I.e. At 90 degrees). The shoes are very cheap plastic and fragile, not robust at all

      – as others report, even with fresh batteries, after using for say 50 shots, they will not power up again and give a low battery warning. Happens with all.different types of high quality disposable alkaline batteries.

      – the Air 1 controller is stated as giving 5000 shots per pair of AAA batteries, which is nonsense. After aboit 100 shots mine malfunctions, all the leds flicker, and it will no longer reliably trigger. If I remove it from.the camera it returns to normal, put it back on the camera it immediately malfunctions again. Replacing the batteries cures it for about 100 shots then it starts again. With A7s, A7ii and A7Rii.

      Worse, I purchased mine from Amazon in Germany, but the distributor in the UK has refused to service them under warranty and insists I contact the distributor in Germany, so they don’t even offer a European warranty let alone world wide.

      So I’m left with the choice of a paid for “repair” which may or may not resolve the issues with this terrible and unreliable system, or probably better to put the money towards some better quality flash guns.

      The unreliability is a killer for any kind of serious or professional use. Good idea, badly implemented with poor QC and shame on Nissin for refusing to service and repair across borders under warranty. Avoid.

      1. I ended up selling mine and I’ve replaced them with the Godox system: 1 TT685S and one AD-360II-C. They are very reliable and I’ve had no issues so far, except when trying to trigger the flash between 0-30cm from the trigger, which they have a firmware update for and special mode to put the trigger in (but I just ensure the flash is far enough away).

        They are expanding the system to enable you to use any trigger (Sony/Nikon/Canon) with any flash (Sony/Nikon/Canon). I can confirm this works as I have the Sony trigger and a Canon Ad-360II, but what I really want is for it to work with the V860II, then you get to have a decent metal shoe on the flash with a Li-ion battery and keep the the crappy plastic shoe on the trigger.

        I refuse to use the standard flash holders with the plastic shoe (as I’m sure it will break), so I have bought a few of the “Godox S-Type Bracket”s which hold the flash by the body and not the shoe.

        So I would look into this as a better cheap alternative to the Nissin.

    33. Will this flash (Di700a) work with my Nex-7 if I purchase the Sony AMA adapter? If so, can I use TTL mode?

    34. Thanks, Brian. I actually found the answer on the Nissin website. Bought a s/h Di700A + air this morning plus an AMA adapter. Flash works perfectly on camera. Off-camera, when paired as per your instructions (Great, by the way. Most comprehensible by far) it worked on all settings with Air Controller provided you switch Flash default to ‘Wireless’. However, if you don’t shoot for a few minutes the camera reverts to “Fill-in Flash’ mode. Irritating! I will take it up with Nissin to see if there’s a fix.

      1. It’s possible that when attached to the camera the flash is reading lens EXIF and adjusting the zoom based on that. This would not transmit via Commander.

    35. Prasad Gallvankar

      Hi, I have purchased the kit for Canon. Does the same procedure to activate the HSS ( as mentioned by you) for Canon?

    36. Hi Brian:
      I have the Sony 7R2 and Sony HVL-F43M Flash. Will the Nissan Air 1 Commander trigger that flash without adding a separate receiver? The instructions state that a pop-up on-camera flash would trigger it but I’m wondering if the Nissan would work since the 7R2 does not have a pop-up.
      Thanks

    37. Hi Brian,
      Do you know if itspossible to enable HSS on Sony a7riii? only works with the air commander for me but not on-camera…
      Thanks for your help
      Kind regards
      Pierre

      1. Make certain both Nissin flash and Sony a7R III Firmware are updated to the latest versions. It’s also possible that you must turn the menu setting for ‘Wireless Flash’ to OFF.

    38. Owned Di700 flash. Just 3 years old. Maybe 200 – 300 shots in total. With a loud bang it died. Doesn’t charge anymore. Red light indicator.
      UK distributor Kenro response: Dear M, buy a new one GBP170, repair is GBP160. Regards S, Kenro. (not even a sorry to hear…)
      Nissan HK: refers back to UK distributor. No interest to even see or examine.
      Asked distributor in Holland: Very friendly respons I have to say: should not have happened. But as bought in UK repair would cost Euro 85.
      You buy into a brand (with Air Commander you buy into a system) you spend more compared to a Yongnou (could have bought 4 of those for the price of Nissin..)
      You expect a bit more quality service and support. Really a shame Nissin: I liked the system and it looked quality. In this competitive market I think the only way to survive is good reliable products and super customer service if things go wrong. (which I can accept, but after 300 shots?)

    39. Hello Brian,

      Using the Nissin Di700a on a Sony a7RIII. With manual lenses, is there a way to setup the “focal length” of the flash unit?

      Thanks in advance for your help, and thanks also for all your great posts!

      Best regards,

      Mathieu

        1. Thanks for the quick reply.

          Unfortunately, I’m on the no electrical contact side of things… I guess I’ll try to find a setup that works with the Air1.

          Thanks again

            1. Indeed. I’ll just have to use the Air1 on camera, setup the focal length there and use the flash Off camera.

              On the subject of MF/non electronic lenses, when using the ClearImage zoom feature of the a7R3, would you set the Steady Shot focal length at the lens focal length or at, let’s say, twice that, if using 2x zoom?

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