Cheapest, but usable strobe

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MightyDuck

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Hi guys! I’m a newbie at underwater photography, but I would like to make nicer photos.
I got a used Canon G7X with an underwater housing, tray and a constant video light (1000 lumen).
Which would be the cheapest strobe which would be an upgrade from the built-in strobe?
Almost every guide mentions there are underwater strobes from $75-$100, but the cheapest I’ve seen is around $300-$400 which is more than I’m looking for.

So the question remains:
Are they usable strobes around $100?
 

bmorescuba

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New, to get something decent, you're looking at $365 for an Inon S2000. You can look for one of those used, but they hold their value pretty well.

I suggest looking for a used Sea & Sea YS-110a. It's a fine strobe. A little big, not as fast or powerful as the current gen. But since it's now 5 generations old (YS-D3/YS-D2J/YS-D2/YS-D1 have come since) you're likely to find it pretty cheap. Look in classifieds here, on Wetpixel, and on Ebay.

Good luck!
 

Searcaigh

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I suggest looking for a used Sea & Sea YS-110a. It's a fine strobe.

I agree, I still have two and my daughter uses one with her G7X.
 

weeksd

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Use your built in strobe and find a nikonos sb 105 strobe for around $100 for a good one and use the slave function on it. Full power for shots beyond 3 foot and a lower power closeup. It is a strobe from film days and quite powerful
 

Chris Ross

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I think if an INON S-2000 is too pricey for you, you're in the wrong hobby :wink:. Those super cheap strobes you mention are Chinese knock-offs most likely, for example Meikon bought out strobes a year or two back and they didn't even function properly, they sort of did TTL but wouldn't change power or something like that - in any case they disappeared off the market as they were complete useless junk. Look around for second hand strobes, avoid second hand S&S YS-D2 as they have known problems with early failure and look at INON S-2000 or S&S YS-01 or some of the older models. If you buy cheap you'll probably end up buying twice.
 

JackConnick

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For your camera, you might want to consider a Sea & Sea YS-03 set as it comes complete with a good quality sync cord and an ok tray and arm. We have a better set with the Inon S-2000. Remember that you need the complete package, not just a strobe. It doesn't work well just on a mount on top of the housing as you will get backscatter.

I would avoid an older strobe like the YS-110 or particularly the Nikonos 105 as they won't sync well with your camera.

Strobes are one of those things to spend more on and buy once.

See our Lighting Packages here. All will work well with your camera and housing.

Thanks,
Jack
 

OTF

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ULTRAMAX ULTRAPOWER UXDS-1 Digital Underwater Strobe Head is your answer. Fantastic cheap simple strobe that got me into U/W photography and still serve as my backups. They're very bright, very easy to work with, take standard AA batteries (eneloop rechargables work great). I've had a set of these working for 16 years, with some modifications and maintenance. Same design used to be called the Intova ISS-2000.

Even if you can afford one fancier strobe you'll make better images running two of these rather than a single light source.

These are manual and have 4 brightness settings and no TTL metering, but that's fine and I consider it a good thing. Keeps them simple, predictable, and reliable to use underwater.
 

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