Five Budget Flashes for the Frugal Strobist Photographer in Need

If you’re looking to up your photography game, know that better light does not have to cost a small fortune.

If you want to separate your work from the hordes of people wearing their cameras, you’ll need to control light. There’s no better way to control light than with a flash and a good flash doesn’t need to send your accountant into shock either. Here are five budget flashes you need to know about. Just to let you know, we’ve tested all of these flashes and we’re recommending everything from our personal experience.

Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight

The Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight is compact and powerful with 360ws. It’s bare bulb flash tube gives you studio quality light that can be mounted on a hot shoe for that direct light look or you can take it off camera and mount it on a light stand. The included battery pack makes for fast recycle times and it can help keep the light stand stable when a weight bag is not available. Just a note: this is the first version, which is still fantastic!

In our review we state:

“Very few lights get us really, really excited. Admittedly, we were very skeptical when we got the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight in for review. We’re aware of how housebrand products made in China perform due to our extensive field testing in the past. But the fact that the Streaklight combines a monolight and a speedlight into one light is something that is bound to be appealing to lots of photographers–especially the strobists amongst us.” – Read our review

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Pro Tip: Fast flash durations help you stop moving subjects and cut down on ambient light

Phottix Mitros+ Flash

With industry leading TTL that also works wirelessly, the Phottix Mitros+ Flash demands your attention. Compact enough to put in most any camera bag, the Phottix Mitros+ Flash can be used off camera in a softbox with a light stand adapter.

In our review we state:

“As the first affordable TTL compliant flash to work with an integrated radio system, we’re positive that many photographers were just as excited as we were. We’ve been testing the flashes for a while and were quite amazed by how well they performed for the price point.”  – Read our review

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Yongnuo 560 III Radio Flash

If you need a second or third flash for your kit or are on a budget, the Yongnuo 560 III Radio Flash has your name on it. At well under $100, the Yongnuo 560 III is an easy purchase to round out anyone’s kit. Like our previous option from Flashpoint, this has also been updated. It’s still great.

In our review we state:

“The Yongnuo 560 III should dispel a lot of myths. Not only is it affordable and well built, but it also is a killer deal overall. For significantly less than what all the big players offer, you’re getting a flash with radio transmission built in.”  – Read our review

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Flashpoint Xplor600 Monolight

The Flashpoint Xplor600 Monolight is a full featured beast of a flash. It’s got TTL built in, runs off of battery or from AC (add-on), and is far less expensive than the competition. If you’re looking to get into studio lighting on a budget, but also want that studio to be mobile, take a look at the Flashpoint Xplor600. Adorama now offers the Xplor600 Pro, but this light is still in use with our staff.

In our review we state

“One thing’s for sure though: if you’re a photographer looking to step up from the standard speedlites, the Xplor600 is an absolute incredible choice.”  – Read our review

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Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL

The Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL has a radio receiver built in, TTL, manual control, and multi-stroboscopic flash abilities to mention just a few features. With full incorporation of Sony’s Alpha platform, the Godox TT685S needs to be on your shortlist – Sony shooter or not.

In our review we state:

“If you’re a strobist, and looking for a budget friendly option and the most bang for your buck for your Sony camera with a multi-interface shoe, then you’d honestly be stupid not t purchase this–and I say that with complete and total honesty.”  Read our review

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