Home Buyer's Guide Flash & Lighting 2010
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Flash & Lighting

Choosing the right accessory flash and other useful lighting tools for perfect exposures

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Olympus FL-50R
For its E-series D-SLR system, Olympus has the FL-50R, with a GN of 164. The unit works with automatic TTL modes, auto and manual modes and shutter modes. The head swivels 180 degrees in either direction, and a built-in diffuser lets you disperse the light when necessary. The FL-50R has its own AF illuminator, which extends the camera’s autofocus, and flash intensity can be controlled at 1⁄3 EV steps. Estimated Street Price: $400.

Pentax AF540FGZ
The Pentax AF540FGZ is loaded with advanced features like P-TTL autoflash with preflash evaluative metering, high-speed synchronization and wireless TTL capability. A simple control dial manages flash exposure compensation, and the unit has auto-zoom capability from 24mm to 85mm. A modeling light strobes the flash for one second before capture so you can check for unwanted shadows or highlights. An AF assist beam helps with focusing in low light. The bounce head swivels 180 degrees to the right and 135 degrees to the left. It has a GN of 178. Estimated Street Price: $479.

Quantum Qflash TRIP QF8
The high-performance Quantum Qflash TRIO QF8 combines a Qflash head that mounts to the camera shoe with a built-in FreeXwire TTL radio transmitter and a QTTL adapter for Canon and Nikon D-SLRs. Key features include a GN of 111, built-in RF capabilities for wireless TTL, sync and shutter control. A parabolic reflector produces studio-quality light and can be removed for bare-bulb, wide-angle, diffused and telephoto reflectors. Also notable is a USB port for firmware updates and a fast recycling time of 1 to 1.5 seconds. Estimated Street Price: $875.

Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER
With auto-zoom capability from 24mm to 105mm and TTL control, the Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER is designed to work with all popular camera manufacturers. A built-in wide-angle panel extends coverage to 17mm. The bounce head can tilt up 90 degrees, to the left by 180 degrees or to the right by 90 degrees. Other features include a manual mode that allows you to set the flash-power level by up to eight stops, wireless capability for using it off-camera and an Auto Power-Off function that conserves the battery. Estimated Street Price: $420.

Sony HVL-F58AM
With a recycling time that’s 55-percent faster than its predecessor, the Sony HVL-F58AM features auto-zoom capability from 24mm to 105mm, and a built-in wide-angle panel extends that coverage to 16mm. The Quick Shift Bounce system allows the flash to swivel 90 degrees left and right, as well as tilt down 10 degrees or back 150 degrees. It also offers a GN of 190, high-speed sync (up to 1⁄4000 sec.) and wireless control of up to three groups of flashes. Estimated Street Price: $499.

Sunpak PZ42X
Designed for Canon and Nikon D-SLRs, the affordable Sunpak PZ42X has a GN of 138, bounce and swivel capability, and an AF assist lamp with a 16-foot range. Other features include an automatic zoom head from 24mm to 105mm, built-in wide-angle diffuser, variable-power-output settings, an automatic shutdown mode and a bright LCD display with easy-to-use controls. Estimated Street Price: $149.


Litepanels Micro
Collapsible reflectors are ideal for travel and outdoor photography because they’re easy to transport and allow you to bounce light to open shadows, increase contrast or change the light’s direction.

A continuous light gives you a better idea of how an image will look, but it also consumes a lot of power and produces a lot of heat. The Litepanels Micro resolves this issue through heat-free LED technology. The camera light provides 11⁄2 hours of light on four AA batteries and up to eight hours on Energizer’s e2 AA batteries. It outputs 5600°K cool, white daylight while drawing minimal power. Light can be dimmed using a dial at the top of the unit’s housing. It measures 3.3x3.3x1.5 inches and weighs less than four ounces. Estimated Street Price: $299.

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