Off-camera flash intimidates a lot of photographers. However, there’s no need to be put off. Using rechargeable strobes, flashes, and monolights is a lot easier than you think. It’s also not expensive to buy into an off-camera flash system.
On the contrary. For under $650, and in many cases, much less, you can get studio-quality rechargeable strobes that will make your images pop. The plus side to these rechargeable strobes is that you can take them anywhere. That’s right. You won’t be tied to studio shooting. You can take these lights with you outside and you’ll be able to create incredibly dynamic images with them.
In this roundup, we’re going to take a quick look at four easy-to-use rechargeable strobes. These lights will open up a whole new world of creative possibilities for you without breaking the bank.
Off-camera flash — Godox AD400 Pro
When it comes to rechargeable strobes, the Godox AD400 Pro is hard to beat. I have been using this monolight for over two years now and I have never had any issues with it. The large LCD panel is easy to read, and the myriad of controls make it easy to set up. The wireless X1 and XPro triggers (separate purchase needed), and high-speed sync work flawlessly.
Color output from the AD400 Pro is accurate and consistent and the flash can recharge in under a second. The battery is good for roughly 400 full power discharges, and 400 watt-seconds is more than powerful to overcome most lighting situations. You can use this light over five groups and multiple channels. This means you can sync multiple lights together. When it comes to off-camera flash, the Godox AD400 is a steal.
Rechargeable strobes — Westcott FJ400
The FJ400 from Westcott is another solid rechargeable strobe and is a very capable off-camera flash. The FJ’s claim to fame isn’t with the light itself, but with the transmitter. Normally, you’d have to buy a transmitter for each brand of camera you want to use the light with. However, one transmitter for the Westcott FJ400 works with every major brand of camera.
The battery life is stellar. You can get 480 full-power flashes from a single charge and thousands at lower power settings. High-speed sync works flawlessly. There’s a large LCD that displays your settings, and the menus are nice and simple. Color accuracy is top-notch and, again, 400 watt-seconds is plenty of power to overcome all but the brightest of days.
Off-camera flash — Godox AD200
The Godox AD200 is a marvel when it comes to off-camera flash. This ultra-portable strobe has roughly the same output as three regular speedlights. The AD200 can be used with a standard fresnel head and a bare bulb as well. Both will give two very different qualities of light. This strobe can recharge from 0.1 seconds to 2.1 seconds depending on usage, and the battery is good for 500 full-power shots.
The AD200 is high-speed sync capable. There’s a small LCD panel on the back that displays your settings. The AD200 can also be used with X1 or XPro wireless transmitters as well. The AD200 has been a part of my off-camera flash kit for a few years now and it has never let me down. It’s great as a key, fill or rim light. It’s also under $300!
Perfect for the beginner — Interfit Badger Unleashed
The Interfit Badger Unleashed is yet another one of the rechargeable strobes you can get that won’t destroy your bank account. The 2900mAh battery offers 430 full-power flashes and a 90-minute recharge time. The Badger Unleashed comes with color accuracy of 90 CRI, high-speed sync, and wireless capabilities when you purchase the transmitter.
This rechargeable monolight is not as powerful as some of the other full-size monolights listed here, but at 250 watt-seconds, it’s no slouch either. When you factor in the price and its feature set, it’s easy to see why so many gravitate towards it. It’s a great choice for photographers who are new to off-camera flash.