The definitive buyer’s guide to flash photography

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The Pixedo team have thought long and hard about this but it’s finally here – Welcome to our definitive buyer’s guide to purchasing a flash!

Beginners or seasoned shooters alike, it’s not always easy to choose the right flash for the right situation and that’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose the most appropriate flash. To make things easier, we’ve decided not to cover all aspects of flash photograhy. Instead we’ve chosen the most common light conditions/situations, skill level and of course, the budget you wish to allocate. We’ve aimed to write this for as wide an audience as possible and all flashes have been selected from the Quadralite range combining functionality with excellent value for money. Let’s go!

Indoor flash photography

There are a few things to consider when using a speedlight indoors. If you are just starting out, you might want to consider the Quadralite Stroboss 36 (Canon/Nikon/Sony MIS/Fuji X and Micro 4/3 compatible), perfect for compact and mirrorless cameras. At only 200g, it is lightweight and is very small and has a rotating head. Alongside TTL and HSS functions, it has an integrated Navigator X controller with master and slave modes for controlling it from a distance.

If you want similar features but with more power, opt for it’s bigger brother the Quadralite Stroboss 60 (for Canon/Nikon/Sony/Fuji X and Panasonic/Olympus micro 4/3. It has a guide number of 60m and is great for all indoor shooting conditions such as weddings etc. It also has a 360° rotating head which gives you greater flexibility (bouncing light off walls etc).

Be sure to check out a similar model – the Quadralite Stroboss Evo60 (for Canon/Nikon/Sony MIS/Fuji X and Panasonic/Olympus Micro 4/3). This model is powered by rechargeable li-ion batteries rather than standard AA batteries.

Accessorize your speedlights for extra functionality with these low-cost universal light bouncers:

These flashes can all be used in conjunction with a photo tent for product photograpy and can be easily added to a light stand.

Studio Photography

We’ve selected 2 products. The first is the ultimate beginner’s kit that’s comprised of 2 x Quadralite Up200 studio flashes:

This is the perfect kit for starting out in a small studio and for shooting with wide apertures. These studio flashes are lightweight and compact and have Bowens mounts. The kit comes with 2 x lightstands and 2 x translucent umbrellas, allowing you to get flattering results with no effort!

If you are a more experienced photographer or you have a larger budget, we suggest the Quadralite Pulse Pro X 400. This 400Ws flash is much more powerful, has High speed sync (HSS), fast recycle times and an integrated Navigator X for controlling the flash at a distance.

This flash has a 150W modelling light and its robust build means that lots of light modifiers  can be added without any problem. We recommend a Quadralite softbox (either rectangular or square) to obtain a strongly dispersed and uniform light. Many other light modifiers are available depending on your needs. The Pulse Pro X 400 also has a Bowens mount.

Using a flash outdoors

Shooting outdoor photography is a little different from studio or indoor shooting. Oftentimes, the photographer needs to use HSS or high speed sync flashes. This is due to the fact that normal flash synchronisation is limited to 1/250s and this will give an overexposed image when you shoot outside. HSS allows the photographer to surpass this limitation and reach flash synchronisation speeds of 1/8000s. HSS means that it is possible to get perfectly exposed ambiant light, even with larger apertures of f/1.8 for example.

We have three choices here. The first was mentioned earlier – the Quadralite Stoboss Evo60. It is identical to the Godox Ving V860II for those in the know. It is the most cost-effective option of the 3 options we have chosen for you. Not only does it have HSS but it is compact and can be controlled from 100 m away if this is required.

Our second choice is the Quadralite Reporter 200 TTL.

It is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony. Whilst it is a slightly pricier model than the Stroboss Evo60, it delivers more power at 200Ws and is capable of 500 full-power flashes. It is almost as powerful as a studio flash despite its compact size. It is a fantastic outdoor flash system with HSS functionality and an integrated Navigator X. A handy S-holder makes it compatible with all Bowens mount light modifiers. An absolute must for enthusiasts.

Our last choice is for more experience photographers. The Quadralite Atlas 600 Pro TTL is  much larger but more powerful. It is incredible value for money compared to an almost identical model – the Profoto B2. This studio flash has HSS, super fast recycle times and can deliver 370 full power flashes. It has a stable color temperature (5600K ± 75K) throughout all power outputs as well as a cooling system.

An alternative to this flash is the Quadralite Atlas 600 TTL (non-pro version). A model that is less expensive. Note that there is also a non-TTL version, the Quadralite Atlas 600M. Both the non-TTL and TTL versions both have HSS, so these are also great options for photographers wanting a pro studio flash.

Using flash at a distance

Quadralite speedlights and studio flashes can be triggered at a distance using the Navigator X systems. They make it easy to change flash parameters from your camera rather than having to do it on the flash itself.

Navigator X

The Quadralite Navigator X is compatible with Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus/Panasonic MFT and Sony. The Navigator systems make it easy to control several flashes with one single controller in the studio or when you are on location.

It has a range of up to 100 m and has 32 channels in 5 groups. It works on a 2.4 Ghz radio frequency. It is compatible with the following models: Pulse PRO X, DP, Rx400, Reporter 180/360, Reporter 360 TTL, Stroboss 36, Stroboss 58, Stroboss 60, Atlas 600, Atlas 600 TTL.

Navigator X2

The Quadralite Navigator X2 is a slightly larger model compared to the Navigator X. It has an easy to read LCD screen and 32 channels in 16 groups. This model is currently only compatible with Nikon and Canon. Sony, Fuji X and Olympus/Panasonic MFT models will be available shortly. If you have a slightly larger budget this would be a great choice, especially if you have multiple flashes to control.

In terms of compatibility the following flashes can be controlled using this system: Pulse PRO X, DP, Rx400, Reporter 180/360, Reporter 360 TTL, Stroboss 36, Stroboss 58, Stroboss 60, Atlas 600, Atlas 600 TTL.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for or you have some further questions, please don’t hesiste to contact one of our personal shoppers and we will help you make the right choice 🙂 See you soon at the Pixedo store!

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