Adequate lighting is crucial to achieving properly exposed shots, and sometimes, you’ll need the help of additional light sources if the scene isn’t bright enough. The speedlight or “flash gun” makes a portable and useful option for this. It can be fired either on the hotshoe of your camera or wirelessly on a cold shoe. If you’re wondering why a speedlight deserves a space in your camera bag given the increasingly improving low-light capabilities of cameras today, this quick video has seven reasons for you.
In his quick video, Austria-based photographer and filmmaker Patrick Berger shared his seven reasons why today’s photographers still need the speedlight. What seemed to have prompted this video is his observation that photographers don’t seem to care that much about using speedlights anymore. Maybe it’s preference; maybe it’s lack of information about this gear. Whatever the case, his reasons might convince you to add it to your photography arsenal.
First, it has more power than your camera’s built-in pop-up flash. This means you can either use lower ISO settings for better image quality, or smaller apertures to increase the depth of field. It also has a faster recycling time, so you’re always ready for the next photo.
Speedlights also offer more controls than pop-up flashes, including zooming the light to match the focal length of your lens. This ensures the flash output is at the right brightness and intensity. Some speedlights also come with built-in diffusers to soften or further scatter the light output.
You can also use speedlights to bounce the light off white walls and ceilings. This is done by tilting the flash head in the direction of the wall or ceiling. You’ll get a soft and more flattering light without any color cast when used for indoor shoots this way. Another good reason is that the speedlight has many different accessories like flash domes, which are designed to work perfectly with the flash.
If you’re ready to experiment with different, more advanced lighting styles, you can also use speedlights as off-camera flash. This means they’re no longer attached to your camera’s hotshoe, and are instead triggered wirelessly so you can move the light source around as necessary.
Since speedlights are light and portable, you can easily carry these in your camera bag. Use them anytime and anywhere to get studio-quality lighting in a jiffy! Lastly, speedlights are also very affordable compared to lenses or other camera accessories, so there’s no reason why you can’t make it part of your gear!
Do check out Patrick Berger’s YouTube channel for more of his photography tips and tricks.
Cover image from the video