First Speedlight to be purchased. Recommendations please.

PropilotBW

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I am feeling a little bit limited by my in camera flash, and I think it's time for a better flash unit.
I really am looking for a hot-shoe mount over a remote flash, but some have dual capability.
I've been looking into the Nikon SB-700 as a flash that will work well and have plenty of features.

I am shooting the D5100. Does anybody have other recommendations for another product?

If it matters, the type of photography is toddler candids and portraits.
 
IMO, the SB700 is an excellent general-purpose speedlight, and can easily be used off-camera if you so desire with the purchase of an inexpensive set of radio triggers.
 
SB 700 is definitely a solid choice. The 5100 can't maximize it's potential as it lacks commander mode so it may not have much more to offer than a third party TTL flash. But it is a wise choice to get a Nikon for your first speedlight.
 
SB 700 is definitely a solid choice. The 5100 can't maximize it's potential as it lacks commander mode so it may not have much more to offer than a third party TTL flash. But it is a wise choice to get a Nikon for your first speedlight.

Yea, I realize the 5100 has its limitations. I don't plan on having it forever. But I would like to buy a flash unit that WILL be useful for higher end camera bodies.
Any opinions on off brand models that have comparable features to the SB-700 that might save $100 bucks. What about a Bower? Vivitar? Sunpack? Yay or nay?
 
The SB700 is a perfect match for the d5100
 
SB 700 is definitely a solid choice. The 5100 can't maximize it's potential as it lacks commander mode so it may not have much more to offer than a third party TTL flash. But it is a wise choice to get a Nikon for your first speedlight.

Yea, I realize the 5100 has its limitations. I don't plan on having it forever. But I would like to buy a flash unit that WILL be useful for higher end camera bodies.
Any opinions on off brand models that have comparable features to the SB-700 that might save $100 bucks. What about a Bower? Vivitar? Sunpack? Yay or nay?

I am really only familiar with the Yongnuo brand.

I purchased a YN 468 II for a friend as a gift, it worked really well in TTL from out experience until a model decided to round house kick it across the studio while getting off the motorcycle she was using as a prop. We were using it as a hair light on a stand behind her. I have the non TTL YN 560 II and it has served me well.

Here is the 468 Amazon.com: Yongnuo YN-468 II TTL Flash Speedlite for Nikon D7000 D5100 D5000 D3000: Camera & Photo
 
Yongnuo YN 560 Mark II. Phottix Strato II radio triggers.
 
Yongnuo YN 560 Mark II. Phottix Strato II radio triggers.

It would be wise to get a TTL flash for your first flash IMO. Those triggers are nice, but I don't believe they would offer any more functionality with the YN 560 than a set of CowboyStudio triggers since the flash is Manual only.
 
I also have the D5100 and the SB-700. I have used it for several shoots doing water drops and couldn't be happier. I picked up a few transievers as well so I can use it as an off camera flash as well. I haven't played around with it mounted on the hotshoe or the TTL, but overall I'm very please with it. BTW, I picked mine up used off of e-bay for about a 25% off of a new one.
 

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