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NEW - Backscatter Hybrid Flash


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Key Features

  • ƒ40 Guide Number
  • 5,000 Lumen Video Light
  • Spot, Wide, and Red Lights
  • Selectable Angle of Coverage, with Included Flat Diffuser and Optional Dome Diffuser—120°, 140°, 160°
  • Selectable Color Temperature with Optional Filters—6500K, 5500K, 4500K
  • Smart Control Automatic TTL Flash Power for Sony, Olympus, and OM System Cameras
  • HSS Compatible
  • Wireless Off Camera Remote Control – Mix and Match with Mini Flash 2
  • SOS and Emergency Signaling Modes
  • Requires Two 21700 Lithium Ion Batteries

 

Read the full article here:

Backscatter Hybrid Flash Review

 

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This looks like a really really nice strobe setup. If I hadn't just picked up some D3's, I might have waited for these. 

 

Very interested to see some independent reviews, and what the Sony trigger looks like. 

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GN40 at 120 degrees coverage sounds somewhat suspect, but running the numbers at battery capacity (2x5300mAh) vs number of flashes (375), or battery discharge current (2x20A) vs recycle time (2.17s) gives a full power flash rating of around 400 W⋅s, which is like, the biggest ever in an underwater flash? It's quite heavy at 1.1kg all-up in air, but still - this is a hefty claim. If true, I wonder how well it will handle the heat - it's hard to tell from photos alone, but the casing appears to be plastic rather than metal.

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23 minutes ago, Barmaglot said:

GN40 at 120 degrees coverage sounds somewhat suspect, but running the numbers at battery capacity (2x5300mAh) vs number of flashes (375), or battery discharge current (2x20A) vs recycle time (2.17s) gives a full power flash rating of around 400 W⋅s, which is like, the biggest ever in an underwater flash? It's quite heavy at 1.1kg all-up in air, but still - this is a hefty claim. If true, I wonder how well it will handle the heat - it's hard to tell from photos alone, but the casing appears to be plastic rather than metal.

 

From the website: 

 

The Hybrid Flash is significantly brighter at maximum power than what most people are used to shooting. At guide number 40 it generates a lot of light but also generates a significant amount of heat if shot in rapid succession at that power level. The Hybrid Flash manages this with an aluminum flash head, internal heat sink, and multiple temperature sensors. These protections allow the hybrid flash to keep shooting without interruption, so you'll never miss a shot.

 

At least the front of the strobe in aluminum if not the whole body. But there is nothing at all wrong with plastic. It's durable and lightweight. My trusty Inon strobes are fully plastic with a metal heat sink. The Backscatter MF-2 strobes are fully aluminum by the way.
 

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49 minutes ago, Dave_Hicks said:

At least the front of the strobe in aluminum if not the whole body. But there is nothing at all wrong with plastic. It's durable and lightweight. My trusty Inon strobes are fully plastic with a metal heat sink. The Backscatter MF-2 strobes are fully aluminum by the way.

It's still a lot of power to dump into a very small package - this is how YS-D2s ended up blowing their bulbs all the time, and this strobe claims something like 3x the power. All-metal designs like the Retras and Seacams are generally better at conducting away heat, contributing to their better reliability. This one exacerbates the challenge by putting a bunch of LEDs and their associated circuitry into an already cramped housing. I'm not saying this kind of challenge is insurmountable, but it can't be easy.

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It seems the flash is using two linear flash bulbs instead of a circular one. This is surprising for such a powerful strobe (Backscatter says that one battery can deliver 19.08 Wh and the number of flashes delivered at power level +2 is 375. This would give 366 Joule/flash. When not the full capacity of the batteries is used until the flash stops working, what is reasonable, there should be still > 300 Joules/flash!).

 

I am looking for a more powerful strobe since I use a Sony A7R5 camera with FF sensor (with MFT sensor, flash power was always more than enough). The two Z330, that I currently use, come to their limits in bright tropical sunlight...

 

The fact that the MF2 snoot is usable, the existence of different diffusers with different angles and color temperature and the possibility to easily trigger remotely makes this strobes very attractive. Not attractive to me is the fact that it is a hybrid strobe, but I guess the additional LEDs for the video light do not add significantly to the weight and/or size of the entire strobe...

 

It seems this is a very innovative design. I am eager to read reviews by independent photographers. Also the durability of the strobes has to be seen.

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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Durability is of course a big question. However, I will say that at least in the US, Backscatter has been incredibly customer friendly in dealing with service issues. Low friction and fast turnaround in every case I had, and there were a few as the original MF-1 strobe had some early problems. The newer MF-2 has been rock solid for me and I've not heard from others about defects.

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The presence of loose Li-ion batteries in an underwater strobe environment is a serious concern...

 

I'm increasingly worried about the direction the UW strobe market is taking with these designs, which aren't endorsed by any land strobe manufacturer! 

 

All land strobe designs either utilize a proprietary battery pack or loose NiMh AA battery cells. Even the inexpensive designs of land strobes from China haven't embraced loose Li-ion cells due to the potential hazards associated with the technology.

 

Many of us dive with liveaboards that will now accommodate more photographers carrying pockets full of loose Li-ion cells that will be charged overnight. The mere thought of this situation makes me extremely uneasy.

 

 

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quality of these li-ion is something that they push for... i think the 21700 are a batt that is not 'abused' on quality.  not like the 18650 which many take off old laptop batteries... 

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the MF2 snoot is not usable... but can be triggered by this strobe.

 

i talked to them and they said that a new snoot for the hybrid strobe will come later part of the year.

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I thought that the snoot is compatible, because the BS snoot is shown in the system diagram here, but this seems to be another snoot (I think n adapter for taking into account the larger diameter would be enough):  https://www.backscatter.com/images/article/content/Hybrid-Flash/Backscatter-Hybrid-Flash-System-Chart.pdf

 

I am really tempted to preorder two (I already see myself using two of them plus two MF-2, covering everything I want), but it just looks too good to be true - so will wait a while until more reference exists...

 

 

Wolfgang

 

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8 hours ago, Jerry Diver said:

The presence of loose Li-ion batteries in an underwater strobe environment is a serious concern...

 

I'm increasingly worried about the direction the UW strobe market is taking with these designs, which aren't endorsed by any land strobe manufacturer! 

 

All land strobe designs either utilize a proprietary battery pack or loose NiMh AA battery cells. Even the inexpensive designs of land strobes from China haven't embraced loose Li-ion cells due to the potential hazards associated with the technology.

 

Many of us dive with liveaboards that will now accommodate more photographers carrying pockets full of loose Li-ion cells that will be charged overnight. The mere thought of this situation makes me extremely uneasy.

 

 

 

That ship has sailed. Every underwater flashlight in use today is Li-ion, and a good chunk of the strobes are as well. I've been using other Backscatter strobes run on 18650's for 4 years now, and the MF-2 with 21700 for a while now. I'm careful with them and won't change unattended, but I don't have any major concerns.

 

What I would like to see is for Li-on chargers to have better regulation / qualification and for the online retailers to put a moratorium to crap quality batteries. I've bought devices in the past that came with chargers that did not even have reverse polarity protection, which is pretty bad indeed.

 

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1 hour ago, Sam weekly said:

Am I reading it correctly?

No ttl option for the canon cameras

thnx

i asked them the same question.. they tell me .. that they are working on it... maybe we will see one... but i think you can use 3rd party ones for now.  

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40 minutes ago, hellhole said:

i asked them the same question.. they tell me .. that they are working on it... maybe we will see one... but i think you can use 3rd party ones for now.  

Thnx

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if anyone see one in the wild... please help to ask this question ...

 

if using the TTL, and it 'analysis' the full strobe power is needed... will it be firing GN29 or GN40?  

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Looks very compelling specs wise indeed. Another "hybrid" though, weight is 1.14kg per strobe in air, 250g underwater.

Seems hybrid is the new trend lately and nobody wants to make "just" a strobe but with the specs like above xD

Edited by makar0n
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