Off camera flash set-up for under $170 (LightPix Lab Q20)


I received two LightPix Labs Flash Q20 units a couple of months ago and have been using them on various projects.
Here is a brief review about my experience on the product!

The Q20 is a compact flash that was created to be used with smaller mirrorless and point and shoot cameras, it is something with a variety of manual controls while maintaining a small footprint that is desired for mirrorless cameras.

Why buy a small camera and then pop a large external flash on top?

I tested the flash unit on my Nikon D500 and Ricoh GRii to see what these tiny flashes were capable of.

I have never been a studio light kind of guy, mostly shooting candid natural light photos, so seeing a simple relatively self explanatory off camera flash was really exciting for me, something I can throw in my bag, set up, and use really quickly. I started off shooting a variety of studio portraits with a simple black backdrop I picked up off ebay. I was going after the starwars lightsaber glow look and popped in a red gel and a blue gel into each flash (the flashes come with a variety of colored gels to use,) set up the flashes on either side of my subject on a stand and with a little diffusion and adjusting of the power levels, I got a really interesting look in a short amount of time.

 

I tried this again another day and got a look set-up in just under ten minutes.

The next test I had was to shoot strobe skate photos. I wanted to see if the radio signal was good enough for some longer off camera flash shots and to see how reactive they would be to faster pace shooting.

I did a quick setup, it was more difficult finding the appropriate flash levels for a moving subject- especially because I had to freeze action. I set the flashes down without any stands and use the tilt-able head to angle the light.

The main issue I found is you couldn’t sync both flashes to the same radio trigger, so one had to be set to slave mode and would not always catch the first flashes light. I would miss the shot because only one flash would be lighting my subject.

(update nov 6th: One of the team members at Lighpix Labs let me know you  can indeed sync two flashes to the same transmitter https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwCJ0exRAtPhbVduOTJBSE1OVVE/view )

The second issue was that with having to use full power on my flash, the refresh rate would be significantly increased to a couple seconds. That prevented me form shooting another lit photo of the skater in the same trick. I only had one chance to get the shot before having to ask the subject to try again, plus you couldn’t catch lead up and fade away shots, just peak action. This could potentially be very frustrating to a friend or client as it is wasting their time and effort.

It worked out great for what I was trying to do. Just some fun casual photos of a friend skating.


The last photos are just me using the flash unit around on camera and slightly off holding the flash in my other hand.

Quick simple pop flash can do a lot for adding interest to a normally boring photo.


Final thoughts:

I used these flashes on the job at a couple weddings. They worked great for dancing photos during reception where you can lower the flash power. The refresh rate was dramatically improved compared to when I was shooting the skate photos.

Also, It expanded some creative options, I once set a flash behind some people and back lit them. I also use the same setup for a cake scene where the table had bad light and was looking a pretty dull. I hid a flash behind the cake and backlit the cake it gave the shot a little more pop.

These are great little flashes to throw in your kit. They’re small, have enough control and flexibility without being something overbearing.
They do have their limitations, but with those considered- it’s hard not to pick one or two up!

The constant LED light doesn’t hurt either, especially if you need some extra light for video in a pinch.

Check em out at https://www.lightpixlabs.com/

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