Nov 17, 2017

Best External Flash?

Hello! I’m wondering what a decent external flash thats Affordabl. Preferably under $200. I do a lot of lifestyle photography and can usually find a window to shoot near but recently had a store ask if I could shoot for them. No natural lighting. Any tips? Thanks!

The options available to you depend somewhat on what body you're using. For my money, I went with a Godox flash (branded Flashpoint at Adorama).
Godox makes flashes and triggers in variants to support most brands, and their gear is all radio-compatible with each other. So I can use my TT350-f to trigger my fiancee's TT685-n, or vice versa. They're affordable flashes, and they support TTL, HSS, multi-strobe, and all the other features you'd expect if you match the flash model to the camera you're shooting with.
You can find reviews of the Godox gear on YouTube. The two most common complaints are the relatively slow recycle time (about 2s from full flash to full flash for AA-powered models), and that the flash won't trigger until fully charged (unlike some flashes which will dump whatever charge they have giving you at least a partial flash).
The affordability, versatility, and wide range of compatible gear (even cross-brand) made it an easy choice for me. Especially since my fiancee and I are on different systems (Nikon and Fuji).
Youngnuo is cheap and very good
I'll second this. I use a pair of Yongnuo YN560 strobes on stands with diffusing umbrellas. I think the strobes cost me about $75 apiece, and I got a decent deal on the stands and umbrellas. The whole set probably ran me just under $250 for two lights, two stands, and two umbrellas.
They're completely manual (no TTL, E-TTL, whatever), but to me that's not a real drawback. If you're doing interiors, being able to manually balance natural and artificial light is a plus.
The Yongnuo flashes have built-in wireless, and the transmitter is dirt cheap. This means you don't need to buy a Pocket Wizard or other wireless hot shoe adapter to go with them, and you won't have any cords to trip over. This makes it very easy to re-position the lights. Yongnuo also sells a more expensive transmitter that lets you remotely change the settings on your flashes.
If you wind up needing to balance natural and artificial light, the Rosco Strobist gel set is a nice add-on. It includes a good set of gels for balancing against tungsten, fluroescent, and sunlight.
Sorry for rambling. bravomail is right. They're solid, inexpensive units.