Review: Nitecore Defender Infinity

With an beautiful design, tough-as-nails build quality, and the performance to outshine much larger traditional lights, the compact Nitecore Defender Infinity is a serious flashlight. That this small takes ubiquitous AA batteries – including the fantastic Sanyo Eneloop cells – just makes it even more of a killer, tactical tool.

Here's my review of the Nitecore Defender Infinity.

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Funny Story

So last Christmas, I bought my brother a Quark AA LED flashlight, thinking that it'd be a good little tool for any photographer and especially a music photographer. I also bought one for myself for the same reason. So, imagine my surprise when I open up one of Chris's gifts for me – it was the Nitecore Defender Infinity LED flashlight, another tactical light very similar to the Quark AA!

If you haven't already, you can read my review of the Quark AA here.

What's In The Box

The Nitecore DI comes with a relatively spartan package, but one that's nicely outfitted with plenty of spare parts for the light.

Inside the box, you get:

  • 1x Nitecore Defender Infinity
  • 1x Paracord lanyard
  • 1x Rubber tailcap (replacement)
  • 2x O-rings (replacement)
  • 1x Clicky buton (replacement)
  • 1x Instruction manual

Design

The design of the Nitecore Defender Infinity is just about perfect. It's very compact, with a slim body without much difference in diameter from the head to the tail.

 

Tailcap

As a tactical flashlight, the rear button on the tailcap protrudes slightly, making activation of the switch very easy. Momentary-on activation of the light is also possible, which is invaluable when you just need the light for short tasks, as you don't have to fully depress and release the clicky switch.

Downsides to this functionality are that it's possible the light may become activated accidentally and that it's not possible to tailstand the light.

Flashlight Head & Reflector

The Defender Infinity features an orange peel reflector for a subtly dimpled texture for a nice, smooth beam.

The bezel of the Nitecore Defender Infinity has three crenellations, or ridges, around its circumference. Whether you want to think of these small protrusions as a strike bezel or a feature that lets a small amount of light out when frontstanding is up to you. I will say that the protruding edges to make the Nitecore look a little more menacing.

Battery Compartment

The Nitecore Defender Infinity takes one AA cell, which is one of the supreme benefits of a light like this. Any photographer who uses speedlights will more than likely have loads of Eneloop batteries around – or should – so an AA light like this is a great fit.

Beam Pattern

The beam pattern of the Defender Infinity, as is typical of this style of light, has a relatively narrow spot for task lighting and a wider bit of dimmer spill surrounding it.

The below shot shows the relatively tight spot of the Nitecore DI and the angle of spill you can expect as well.

Operation & User Interface

It almost sounds insane that a simple flashlight has a “user interface,” but then again, the Nitecore Defender Infinity isn't your typical flashlight.

The Nitecore DI has two modes:

  • Tactical (tightened bezel)
  • Custom (loosened bezel)

Within each of these modes are essentially sub-modes that are accessible by twisting the bezel a quarter turn – when in tactical mode, the bezel is loosened and then immediately tightened. In the custom mode, the bezel is tightened and then immediately loosened. This interface allows the user to switch between different modes.

Tactical:

  • High > Strobe

Custom:

  • Low to High

Unlike many LED flashlights in its class, the Nitecore Defender Infinity features stepless levels in the user-defined custom mode, so it's possible to get the exact amount of light you want for any given task.

This tightening/loosening interface has its pros and cons, but for the most part it makes for very fast use of the light without the possibility of changing to a mode you don't want. More specifically, it's impossible to accidentally access the strobe and beacon functions that, like so many lights in this class, are built into the Nitecore.

So, if you're looking for a light you can set and forget, or for which you only want a high and low option, the Nitecore Defender Infinity interface is simply beautiful.

Summary

If you're looking for a tactical AA LED flashlight, you can't do much better than the Nitecore Defender Infinity.

The tactical interface of the light makes it's operation dead simple, while the multiple modes are easy enough to access that this light has the depth for any situation. With perfect fit & finish, impeccable build quality and the performance to match, the Nitecore Defender Infinity is simply quality.

 

Comments & Feedback? Let ‘em rip.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D750:
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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