Budget Flash Review - Altura Photo Flash Kit

Altura Photo Studio Pro Flash Kit

Canon: Altura Photo Professional Flash Kit for Canon DSLRs (SALE $129.99)
Nikon: Altura Photo Professional Flash Kit for Nikon DSLRs (SALE $139.99)


What is included in the flash kit?

Flashes.jpg
  • 2 Altura Photo AP-C1001 Speedlite Flash for Canon/Nikon DSLRs
  • 2 protective pouches with battery holder and belt strap
  • 2 flash stands with 1/4" tripod mounts
  • 2 hard flash diffusers
  • 1 wireless trigger/transmitter + 2 receivers
  • Microfiber cloth

 


Key Features

  • Power output 1/1 - 1/128 in 3 stop increments
  • Power supply: 4xAA batteries
  • 5 flash modes (TTL, Manual, Strobe, Slave 1, Slave 2)
  • 180˚ bounce, swivel, and zoom head
  • Wireless trigger sensor
  • Compatible with E-TTL flash functions
  • Off-camera support (S1/S2 modes)
  • Large backlit LCD screen
  • Metal hot shoe with electrical pin components
  • Built-in flip down flash diffuser and bounce card
  • Overheating protection with automatic temperature detection
  • Memory function saves previous settings
  • Power saving sleep mode

The Review

Ever since I started shooting portraits, engagements, and weddings, I've had to either rely on outstanding natural light, or rent flashes from a camera shop. I have never purchased flashes for my camera considering that they are rather pricy. For Canon, you can currently buy the following flashes. The Speedlight 430EX ($299), 580EX ($499), or 600EX ($549). As you can tell, they are quite expensive, and the price can add up quickly when adding multiple flashes to your setup.

After talking to a fellow wedding photographer, she mentioned the Altura flash units. She stated that they work extremely well, and were comparable to the Canon Speedlights for just a fraction of the cost. After reading some reviews and doing some research, I made the purchase. I was able to get two flash units along with wireless (off camera) capabilities for under $150.

The reviews on Amazon are wonderful. Currently there are over 1,000 reviews with an overall 4.4 out of 5 stars. 

I took a look through the positive and negative reviews and gathered thoughts and opinions from several users. Many users state that they were skeptical before purchasing the unit because of the price. All of these reviews also stated that once they started using the flash, they were blown away at its ability to compete with the Canon Speedlights. Other users who reviewed the flash stated that the major difference between this flash and the Canon flash is the price. Why pay hundreds of dollars more when you can get a similar product for a fraction of the cost? As for the negative reviews, most of them had to do with a faulty unit. The majority of the negative reviews that I read stated that their flash stopped working after a day or two of use. These negative reviews are normally not a deciding factor for me because of the warranty that comes with the product. Altura also has a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so if I hate it within the next 90 days, I'll return it, no questions asked.

Upon receiving the flash units, I immediately popped one on my camera and started experimenting with the settings. The ease of use shocked me initially. It was extremely easy to change the power output settings, zoom focal length, and flash exposure compensation. With the TTL mode, you can start using the flash with automatic camera settings and the flash unit will change the power output depending on lighting conditions. The manual mode is extremely easy to use and gives you the flexibility to change the power depending on your lighting needs.

With the wireless transmitter/receivers I'm excited to try the endless lighting possibilities using the flash units as slaves. I can also use one on camera as a master and the second as an off camera slave. As I use these flash units more, I may write another blog post with comparison photos for you to see.

If you have any questions about this flash kit, feel free to comment here or email me directly through the contact page. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.