Strobe vs Video Lights

Strobes or video lights is a debate which comes up regularly in the Underwater Photography world. I have always used strobe lights and always claimed they were the better option. However, this was an unfair opinion as I had never used a video light. This was until now. 

 

How Did I End Up Using A Video Light?

Due to some problems with the pop up flash on my camera I was rendered unable to use either of my Inon Z240 strobes. Stopping diving I looked for someone to repair my camera, but the process was slower than I would have liked. A couple of friends came to visit me and they wanted to do some photography dives.

 

I explained my situation to them and said I was still happy to join but would like to stay shallow as I would be relying on natural light. “Oh I have a spare video light you can borrow” one of them said.

 

So now I was set up with an Evolva D02. Not only did I not know much about using video lights but I had also never heard of this brand. It was a completely new challenge and adventure.

Glass fish

How Was  It Using a Video Light? 

The first difference I noticed was the exposure. I found myself changing all my settings but had to be careful with the shutter speed. I am used to using slightly longer shutter speeds and taking advantage of the freezing effect created by a strobe light. Now I would not have that benefit and needed to use shorter speeds to prevent motion blur.

Nudibranch

The second thing I realized was the ability to now use continuous shooting mode as I did not need to wait for the flash to recharge after every shot. Above water I use a rocking technique when shooting macro subjects with a small depth of field. Rocking slightly back and forth whilst holding the shutter button down on continuous shooting ensures one picture is in focus. Underwater I have not been able to use this and have struggled to get my subject perfectly in focus. Now this would hopefully change.

Another point for me to note is that the power from this light was not very strong so I had to get very close to my subjects for it to light them up. This could be a problem just with this brand and others may be better. I suggest only using this light for macro subjects or to get a second light to help to spread the beam further

Goby

Conclusion

Looking at my pictures later on the computer I discovered that they all had a little less color and contrast than the ones I take with my strobes. Personally I prefer the pictures I take with my strobes. What do you think? I have a feeling it is just a different style which some people like and other don’t. Leave me a comment to tell me which style you prefer.  

 

Anemone

Tube Coral

Leaf Scorpionfish

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