One of the greatest things about being a photographer nowadays is the wide array of choices that we have when it comes to photographic gear.Â As a commercial editorial photographer I work with off-camera lighting all the time and rely on it for most of my work.Â I have worked with all kinds of different strobes from hotshoe flashes, to the most expensive rigs money can buy.
Budget strobes in the last few years have really evolved into solid workhorses with the added benefit of not breaking the bank and providing consistent results for any photographer, from the amateur to the professional. Â Adorama’s recently released Flashpoint DG-600 II AC/DC monolight is a welcome addition to the budget strobe market and a nice solid performer.
Here is what comes in the box:
The DG-600 is encased in a blue polycarbonate case that helps to keep weight down, it feels relatively solid and not front heavy and I wouldn’t hesitate to take it out of the studio and use it on location. Â It is sturdy and the plastic has a nice soft almost velvety feel to it.
The control panel on the back is easily accessible and very easy to read.Â The buttons have a nice audible click to them so you know that you pressed it and the control panel does not feel cluttered at all which is nice.
The bracket below the light to attach to your lightstand feels solid so you can feel safe that it is not going to fall or go anywhere. Â The little tab that you push to attach the reflector or any other modifiers is probably the weakest point in the design: it feels very loose and there is a lot of give when the reflector is attached; I am not sure how sturdy it would feel when you add a big 30×60″ softbox as I did not have any other modifiers to try this with.
I love the LED lights that they used instead of the usual halogen bulbs. This ensures that your light doesn’t get too hot if using the modeling lights and also keeps the power consumption low if using with a battery pack. Â It really is a nice design and a welcome upgrade over their previous model.
After using it for a full day at various power levels â€” they can be adjusted in 1/10 increments which gives a ton of control â€” I was able to get a full day of shooting using a Mini Vagabond battery pack and was very impressed with the low power consumption. Â Another really cool feature is the ability to adjust the power of the LEDs to suit your need, this was a really nice addition that you normally never find in budget strobes in this price range.
I noticed when I started to shoot at full power and really put the light through its paces in continuous firing it would shut down when it got too hot, it has an over-frequency protection circuit that will warn you before it gets too hot with an audible alert. Â If you continue to push it past the audible alert it then shuts off and triggers a “cool down” period that lasted about 15 seconds in my case before it began to work again.
The slave function worked flawlessly for me in a studio setting, once I took it outside in broad daylight it continued to work relatively well within 8ft of my other strobes. Â I did not notice any color shift and found that the color temperature was consistent with what Adorama has said in their specifications.
One of my frustrations with the light is the inability to be able to use third-party modifiers easily; Adorama does offer a wide array of modifiers for this strobe series, but unless you DIY a mount to use third-party modifiers you are stuck with using their own. Â You can use an umbrella with the strobe right out of the box and at first I found it a little tricky to figure out how to mount it but once I did it is easily repeatable. Â I was able to find a way, using some finesse and some helping hands, to mount a beauty dish to the light for some test shots. The light is nice and I was extremely impressed with this strobe.
In my opinion this a solid strobe at a price point that can’t be beat. It is being sold on Adorama’s site for $199.95 with free shipping in the USA. Â That is an incredible price for a strobe that has a lot of the features of higher-priced strobes and brands, this is a strobe that will fit anyone’s budget and fulfill most photographers’ needs.
I would have no problem taking this strobe and using it on any one of my assignments. Â I would highly recommend this to any photographer with a budget looking to get into off-camera lighting with strobes, a really solid light.
- Power Supply: AC100-130 Volt /60Hz
- Watts: Â 300WS
- Guide No. (ISO 100): Â 58m
- Cooling: Â Built-In Mini Fan Cooler
- Power Settings: Â 1/1 – 1/32 Continuously
- Recycle Time (AC): <1.5s
- Recycle Time (Battery): Â <3s
- Flash Duration: Â 1/1500-1800s
- Recycle Indication: Â Ready Light, Audio Signal
- Flash Beam Width: Â Over 55 Degrees
- Slave Sensitivity: Â Over 33ft. Radius, 360 Degrees
- Modeling Lamp Output: Â LED 7 Watts
- Color Temperature: Â 5600K
- Sync Cord Voltage: Â 6V DC
- Triggering: Â Sync Cord, Test Button, Slave Sensor, Radio Trigger
- Fuse: Â 8A
- Housing Size: Â 100x120x200mm
- Body Weight: Â 2kg
Hector Cruz is an editorial commercial photography based in TennesseeÂ and California. View more of his work here.