When first stepping into the world of flash photography, it can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. Understanding what your budget is, how much power you need, which brand to choose… these are just a few of the most commonly asked questions we receive in our Master Lighting & Off-Camera Flash Facebook group for first-time flash users. It’s a large part of the reason we got into making photography & lighting tutorials – to help the everyday professional figure out what flash they need and how to use it.
We constantly get asked whether or not it’s necessary to have the latest and greatest in lighting equipment or which flash is truly the best on the market. This led us to create some of the most comprehensive online lighting tutorials on the internet, meant to guide you through the tricky, and often, confusing, waters of flash photography. The answer to either of those questions isn’t that simple – everyone has a different budget, different creative needs and there is no one solution to the age-old question of “which light is best for me?” Instead, we decided it would be best to give you our favorite contenders for a wide range of power.
What Flash is Right For You?
We wanted to help you make a more educated decision based on how much power you need, what brand of flash you already own, and what budget you are working with. We are all about offering options based on positive results and luckily we’ve gone through months and years of testing some of these lights to give you the best of the best photography lighting equipment for every budget. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you purchase your first camera flash:
- How much power do I need?
- What is my budget?
- How often do I use flash?
- Do I need a constant light?
- Do I need more than one?
Once you’ve answered those questions, you should have a pretty clear indication of the purpose behind your purchase. It is so common to simply buy gear for the sake of it
The Best Camera Flashes of 2021
Most photographers start with one light, on-camera. Modern-day DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras come with a hot-shoe mount for this very reason and are also why our Lighting 101 course only discusses how to use your on-camera flash to create flattering and dynamic images. Once you’ve developed enough comfortability using an on-camera flash, then it’s time to move on to a more complex set-up and dive into off-camera flash photography. These are our top contenders for off-camera flash equipment in the 50-75Ws range:
- Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)
- Profoto A1X (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)
- Godox Zoom Li-on R2 VING V860IIC (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)
- Yongnuo YN600EX-RTII (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)
- Godox V1 (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)
These flashes are compatible with on-camera flash photography and off-camera flash photography which is why they make our list. When we look for flashes we focus on versatility, weight, performance, and quality over time.
Related Reading: What is the Best Cold Shoe Flash Bracket?
For more information on why we love these flashes and how we use them for wedding and portrait photography, stream our full library of lighting courses in SLR Lounge Premium!