|Review: Flashpoint DG600 Monolight Strobe
Flashpoint DG600 Monolight
Review by Steve Douglas
Still images and photography remain very much a part of the film industry and a great number of video hobbyists, as well as professionals, use their skills as photographers to enhance their video productions. Naturally, shooting still images within a studio setting has certain lighting demands that shooting outdoors may not; it's a matter of different equipment for different environments, the same as for shooting video.
Adorama, long known as a large video and photography retailer, has now dove into the production market with their own line of equipment. The Flashpoint DG 400 & DG600 Monolight strobes are two photographic strobes that should be seriously considered as an economical investment capable of doing the job well without completely emptying your wallet.
The Flashpoint DG600 came carefully packed and shipped. When I lifted it out of its box, the build quality is what I first noticed. The unit is solid.
Weighing in at only 4.5 lbs, the Flashpoint DG600 was pretty easy to move around making its portability very feasible.
The Flashpoint's price makes it both very affordable for the amount of flash power it provides. Its output is 300 watts and comes with its own built in cooling fan which runs as soon as the unit is turned on. The flash beam width is 55°.
For the price, do not think that the Flashpoint is a scaled down strobe without many of the features found in professional units. Not only does it have a digital screen readout, but also a 5 stop digital power range, a sync socket for different remote devices and cords, its own power cord, sync cord, and a removable and lockable 8° reflector which was simple to use via a button on the Flashpoint body.
The Flashpoint DG600 Monolight, additionally, contains a 7 watt LED modeling light. The modeling light is very bright at full power, but does have a dial that allows you to raise or lower the intensity allowing you to set a base level of light for your model or subject.
The DG 600's dial permits you to rotate through 5 stops in 1/10th increments allowing you to use the Flashpoint at its full power or lower the intensity down to a 32nd of its capability. The DG 600 may be turned off or on with a quick click of a button on the rear of the unit. Additionally, the LED readout always lets you know where you are in your setup and permits you to go back or take note of any settings for future use.
The Flashpoint can use either AC or DC power, but is capable of taking a battery (sold separately) so you can shoot where ac connection is not practical.
With external optional battery; the stand is not included.
A cable is supplied allowing you to go straight from your camera to the Flashpoint 600. Additionally, the rear of the Flashpoint 600 also contains a sensor which allows your camera's on board flash to trigger the Flashpoint 600 as well, making it really quite versatile and convenient.
Unique to the Flashpoint 600 is the audible beep that lets you know that the unit is up and running properly. This audible beep can be turned off from the back of the unit if you prefer no audio cues or find it distracting.
Flash duration is very variable, from a fifteen hundredth of a second down to an eight hundredth of a second for a slower flash. Buttons are provided on the rear to test fire the light, turn the audible on or off, turn on the modeling light, and one to turn on the optical slave capability. There's a lot of flexibility to be found here.
In use, the recycling time was pretty good, perhaps not fast enough for high speed continuous shooting but good never the less. The unit's slave sensor allowed shooting from a variety of locations in the room and there was no overheating issues that came up. As I said previously, Adorama gave some serious thought into the quality of the DG600's build and they succeeded in that regard.
Finally, Adorama also enclosed a 26 page booklet by Joe Farace entitled 'The Flashpoint Guide to Studio Lighting' which demonstrates many of the possible studio set ups and modifications that can be used for different lighting purposes.
Currently, Adorama ships the DG 600 Monolight free of shipping fees making an even greater savings for you.
I do believe that the DG 600 Monolight will fulfill most photographer's studio needs. Its light weight adds significant flexibility to its usage, especially if you have also purchased the optional battery, than a great many lights on the market today.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 7 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve was a feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to the Philippines, Bali, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, and the Maldives Islands. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here with permission.
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