The premise of the Flashpoint SpeedLight Partner is simple: strap it to the top of your flash to deliver a continuous light source, either as a video light or a modeling light.
The $40 SpeedLight Partner casts an 80-degree beam of 5,600K light. It has two power settings: 440 lux or 540 lux (at 2 feet). The light uses the same rechargeable battery that’s used in Canon cameras, so Canon shooters don’t have to play mix-and-match with batteries in their gear bag — but everyone else will.
Simple, yes, but when we showed it to frequent co-tester David Patiño, he wasn’t quite sure where it would fit into his workflow. Patiño avoids on camera lighting for his video work so the SpeedLight partner seemed a bit extraneous. But after a few weeks with the unit, he found himself turning to it as a source of off-camera lighting, using it by hand to shed some soft light on his subjects or to assist in low light focusing using the unit’s Super AF Assist mode, which delivers a brighter beam for 8 seconds.
In short, it proved to be a more versatile light than we had expected.
What We Liked
At first glance, we thought we’d be wrestling with the SpeedLight Partner to strap it into place atop Patiño’s Canon speedlight, but it proved to be a quick and painless process. In an event setting, you won’t be fumbling around setting it up. We also liked how its low profile lets you slide it inside of speed light soft boxes and snoots. While it’s not designed to be used off camera, we used it to good effect in just such a capacity.
The low cost of the light certainly helps it cause, too.
What We Didn’t
The battery is exposed. That makes it easy to pop it off and replace with a fresh battery, but it also makes it more likely to be mistakenly pried off and lost. While it’s not designed for off-camera use, Patiño felt it still could have benefitted from a 1/4-20 thread for mounting on a tripod or light stand.
If you’re committed to using an on-camera video light or just need a low-cost continuous light on or off-camera, the $40 SpeedLight Partner is worth a look. Aside from the exposed battery, we had few complaints.
(© David Patino)