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FAQ About Camera Flashes and Lighting

With proper camera lighting, a photo can go from drab to fab. Whether you choose a flash, on-camera LED light, or strobe lighting, you can boost the quality of your photography and videography with the right lighting equipment. If you're in the dark about camera flashes and lighting, read on to discover the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What's the difference between a camera flash and LED light?

A camera flash delivers a short burst of light to dramatically brighten a shot, while an LED light panel provides constant illumination. A flash offers more powerful, direct lighting than an LED light, but doesn't let you see the immediate effects of the lighting without doing a test shot. With an LED light panel, it's easier to see how the lighting will affect your shot before you take it.

What's the difference between strobe lights and camera flashes?

A strobe light and camera flash each produce a burst of light to illuminate your shot. A strobe light offers greater coverage and more natural lighting, while a flash provides instant, dramatic lighting. Because an on-camera flash connects to the top of your camera via the hotshoe, it offers greater mobility than a strobe. A strobe connects to your camera via a sync cable or remote trigger but needs to be moved around separately from the camera.

What type of lighting kits or flash should you use for photography vs. videography?

Both flashes and on-camera LED lights can brighten your photos whether in studio or on the road. Studio lighting kits with umbrellas or softboxes can spread out light and diffuse it, giving greater versatility to flashes and strobes. When shooting video, a flash won't offer the illumination you need. Because it gives off light in quick bursts, it'll merely wash out the scene for a moment rather than lighting it up. Opt for an LED light for continuous illumination when recording video.

Want more info about flashes and lighting? Check out some of our resources:

How to Use a Flash Like a Pro

Photography Tips: Advanced Lighting Techniques