When I shoot documentary assignments that call for portable hot-shoe flashes, it’s a constant battle to keep my kit powerful yet compact. For years I lugged around a high-capacity third-party battery pack. It was—and still would be—the best way to get superfast flash recycling times and more flashes out of a single charge. But then some innovations in the capacities of rechargeable AAs meant that I could largely replace the bulky battery pack without sacrificing usability. That is, until those AAs start to wear down toward the end of a shoot and the recycling times really start to lag. I’ve been thinking about this increasingly lately, and I’m thinking that rather than going back to a big external belt-mounted battery pack, maybe the Lumedyne X would be the perfect addition to my location lighting arsenal. The X is like a little supplemental battery pack of its own that plugs in to the high voltage plug of Canon, Nikon and other flashes, in order to boost longevity and dramatically shrink recycle times—cutting them in half, or even more, when your AAs start to get low. This little device is a pretty cool addition that doesn’t add the cumbersome bulk of a typical external battery pack. At $300+ it’s not cheap, but the ability to get added life out of a set of batteries is a deal at almost any price.