Mini Test

You don’t need to be flush to af­ford a flash. Give one of these bar­gain blasters a bash

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We look at why bud­get doesn’t al­ways have to mean bar­gain base­ment with these six af­ford­able flash­guns

Pho­tog­ra­phy can be ex­pen­sive, but you don’t need to spend a lot to get a ca­pa­ble flash­gun. Big-brand speed­lights may of­fer bet­ter build qual­ity, but if you don’t plan on thrash­ing your flash, cheaper third-party op­tions will do fine. They’re also a very cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion for set­ting up a multi-light sys­tem with key and fill il­lu­mi­na­tion.

Let’s start with man­ual flash­guns – these have a sin­gle elec­tri­cal con­tact on the hot shoe that de­tects the cam­era’s flash fire sig­nal. You’ll need to man­u­ally set your cam­era’s ex­po­sure and the flash’s power, but for a sta­tion­ary cre­ative light­ing setup, man­ual con­trol is of­ten best. An­other ad­van­tage with a man­ual flash is it should work on any cam­era with a stan­dard sized hot shoe.

For around £100/$100 you can bag a third-party flash­gun with TTL me­ter­ing to au­to­mat­i­cally set ex­po­sure me­ter­ing and flash power. It’s a great sys­tem, and some flash­guns can also op­er­ate in TTL mode wire­lessly, as an au­to­matic slave flash.

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