Inon S2000 Review

Checking out the latest underwater strobe from Inon
By Scott Gietler

The Inon S2000 is small, tiny. That was my first impression. I'm used to my large, well built Z240's, and the S2000 also had a cheaper feel. That is to be expected, as it is a less expensive strobe. This is a great strobe for underwater photography and comes highly recommended.




Inon s2000 strobe



Strobe Features


  • Optically fired, does not support firing by sync cable

  • Manual and S-TTL modes

  • No aiming/modeling light

  • Ability to fire without a fiber optic cable. This is a great feature. Underwater, the strobes can be placed away from the camera rig, allowing for creative side lighting and backlighting of subjects. The strobe will simply slave off another strobe or flash, as long as the receiver can "see" the flash.

  • Takes 4 AA batteries

  • Recycle time: I measured it at 2 seconds. 


Inon s2000 underwater strobe

The strobe is much smaller than my Z240.


Inon S2000 Strobe Power


For macro, this strobe was surprisingly strong, only 1/2 stop weaker than my Inon Z240 when it did not have a diffuser on. With the diffuser on, the S2000 strength was 1 1/2 stops below. The Inon diffuser says that it's only a 1/2 stop diffuser, so I am going to redo these tests again soon, along with testing wide-angle power and coverage.


Using the strobe in Manual Mode


When the Inon S2000 is used in manual mode (turn the left switch to "M"), the magnet switch is used to tell the strobe whether to ignore pre-flashes or not. Normally the magnet is not inserted into the hole, but when using Canon point and shoot cameras like the Canon S90, G10, or G11 on manual mode, you want to insert the magnet, and set the Canon flash power to it's lowest setting.  This is because Canon compact cameras do not preflash or support TTL when in manual mode.


Inon S-TTL 


I did several test shots with the S-TTL feature, and exposure seemed to be good. Fine adjustments to the S-TTL exposure can be made by turning the main dial to the left ("A") or right ("B") one click. The amazing thing about this strobe is that it doesn't need a fiber optic cable. As long as the little mirror-resembling receiver can "see" the flash from your internal flash or another strobe, it will fire.


The magnet switch is not used when using the strobe in S-TTL mode.


Further Reading


Underwater strobe positioning

Inon Z240 review

Diffusers, Frontlighting, Backlighting

Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO explained





Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Culver City, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.

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