Elinchrom BRX 500 vs Bowens 500R vs ???

Started Jul 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
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DarkSpectrum New Member • Posts: 2
Elinchrom BRX 500 vs Bowens 500R vs ???


I have reading forums, reviews, posts, blogs and everything in between for the past few weeks in search of my first studio strobe kit and I would appreciate some input. I'll preface the search with a bit about me and my needs.

* I live in Australia (so brands like AB are not available or are available but lose the affordability edge they have in the US).

* My use will be portraits of individuals indoors and outdoors. The spaces will vary from 3m x 4m (9' x 13') to outdoors. To give you an idea of the type of portraits I would like to achieve see examples here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettcoyte/

* I am entry level, the portraits will be for fun / practice until I have the skills to commercialize.

* I have a Canon 600D with a flash sync speed of 1/200

* My budget is $2000 AUD ($1900 USD) not including the battery pack which will be purchased later.

My search has narrowed down two brands / models which I feel will suit my needs and they are the Elinchrom BRX 500 and Bowens Gemini 500R two light kits. I have compiled a list of the pros and cons of each:

Elinchrom BXR 500/500 $1400.00

+ Battery Pack only ~$500.00 to power two lights (Tronix Explorer XT SE)

+ Built in Skyport (add more lights with ease)

+ Great Quality Modifiers

+ Easy to fold / handle Modifiers

+ Control light settings from skyport transmitter on camera

+ Flash Duration 0.5t 1/1,558 sec

- Plastic Shell

- 100W Modelling Light

- Expensive Modifiers

- 31 Ws - 500 Ws

Bowens 500R/500R $1750.00

+ Solid Metal Build

+ 250W Modelling Light

+ Many third party modifiers

+ 15 Ws - 500 Ws

- Extra radio receivers needed for each new light

- Must control lights on flash head or with IR remote (costs extra)

- Hard to handle light modifiers

- Flash Duration 0.5t 1/900 sec

- Heavy gear @ 3.5kg each head

- TravelPak battery is $1k+

At this point I would say I am leaning towards the Elinchrom but I would love to have some feedback on the choices vs my intended use.

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