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I am thrilled that Scott has put together a website and forum dedicated to underwater photography so that beginners like me have a resource to turn to for all my underwater photo questions.
Speaking of that... I am getting ready to buy my first strobe and I would love some input. I have a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS and an Ikelite housing. For those of you unfamiliar with that camera model, I consider it to be a step down from the S90 (apeture range only 3.4-8 and does not shoot raw), but better than the SD series. It has a 12X optical zoom, which is fun for topside shooting and not so helpful underwater. What I'd like to know is what strobe is recommended for me given that I would like to eventually build up to a second strobe and maybe even one day a better camera set-up, and of course, cost is a factor. I have been pushed towards the Ikelite AutoFlash AF35, but I fear that it is not something I would want to grow with. Any recommendations? I am not married to an Ikelite set-up. It's just what was recommended to me by the shop I hope to use. Oh and I hope to do macro shooting and wide angle eventually when I get a wide angle port for my housing.
I will greatly appreciate any and all input!
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If you're sticking to smaller point and shoot cameras, and running them in automatic or semi-auto modes, you don't need much. The ikelite models you mentioned could suffice.
If, however, you want something that will grow with you all the way up to a DSLR, you definitely need a higher end strobe with more punch.
If you think you'll stick with point and shoot cameras, but may upgrade at something with more control, you'll want something in between.
Personally, my recommendation would be something like the Inon S2000 or D2000, unless you're SURE you're going to end up with a DSLR (in that case I'd look at the higher end Inon Z240 strobes). The Inon strobes all work wonderfully with point and shoot cameras, and the higher end ones even support full electronic TTL connections to DSLR cameras. They're well-respected, and fast, and run forever (seemingly) on readily-available AA batteries. They also offer "sTTL", a "simulated" TTL that can assist in setting the strobe output levels so you don't have to adjust the strobe manually. (This is especially important with a camera that you're not using in Manual mode, since you have little control over exposure otherwise.)
Canon S90, Fisheye FIX housing, Inon D2000 strobe, Fisheye FIX Mini LED Focus Light, Inon UCL-165AD Macro Lenses x2, ULCS arms, Ikelite Handle/Tray with custom adapter plate
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