Many photographers believe that incorporating an off-camera flash into their workflow will be difficult and expensive, however, this is not the case at all.
Learning how to use a flash off-camera isn’t very difficult, and honestly, learning how to use a flash will take you further in your portrait photography career than many other skillsets. Being in total control of the light will make your portrait images stand head and shoulders above the rest. Here is a great tutorial that will teach you all you need to know about off-camera flash.
Once you’re ready to go, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to spend tons of money to get a fantastic strobe. For under $650, and in some cases, for half that much, you can get studio-quality rechargeable strobes that will bring your portraits to life and make them pop.
The great thing is that you can take these rechargeable strobes anywhere. So you’re not limited to studio shoots. They’re also incredibly easy to use. So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look at four easy-to-use rechargeable strobes that will help you create dynamic portrait images.
Interfit Badger Unleashed off-camera flash — Perfect for the beginner
The Interfit Badger Unleashed is an off-camera flash that won’t destroy your bank account. The 2900mAh battery offers 430 full-power flashes and a charge time of just 90-minutes. The Badger Unleashed comes has a color accuracy of 90 CRI, and it’s high-speed sync compatible.
This rechargeable monolight is not as powerful as some of the other 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 toward it. It’s a great choice for photographers who are new to off-camera flash.
Westcott FJ400 — One monolight to rule them all
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 and radio. With other brands, you 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. This is an amazing feature.
The battery life of the Westcott FJ400 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. You can expect top-notch color accuracy and 400 watt-seconds is plenty of power to overcome all but the brightest of days when outside.
Godox AD200 — Small and mighty!
The Godox AD200 is a marvel when it comes to off-camera flash. This ultra-portable flash 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 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 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! Just add the trigger for your brand of camera and you’re good to go.
Godox AD400 Pro — Gorgeous light quality for a reasonable price
When it comes to rechargeable lights, the Godox AD400 Pro is hard to beat. The large LCD panel is easy to read, and the myriad of physical controls make it easy to set up. The wireless X2 and XPro triggers (separate purchase needed), and high-speed sync work flawlessly.
Color output from the AD400 Pro is accurate and consistent. 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 Godox lights together. When it comes to off-camera flash, the Godox AD400 is a steal.