Speed Light


What is a Speedlight?

Speedlight is a portable flash that can be attached to a camera. It is a small battery-powered flash that can be used either on or off the camera. 

Speedlights are becoming more and more common, even among studio professionals, thanks to their compact design, lightweight, quick assembly, disassembly, and most importantly, affordable price.

Speedlights are typically affordable and work excellently in scenarios where space is a constraint such as during events where there are a lot of guests.

Profoto A10 speedlight


There are basically 2 settings for a Speedlight:

  1. Manual Speedlight flash (M)
  2. Through The Lens Speedlight flash (TTL)

Manual Speedlight Flash

This is a more sophisticated mode. You can adjust the settings to control the flash output, by physically repositioning the flash closer to or farther away from your subject, you can also alter the flash's intensity. If the flash is placed closer to your subject, the brighter the light is, and vice versa as you move the flash farther away. 

When nothing changes, like in a studio shoot where the distance to your subject stays constant and the ambient lighting conditions stay constant, a manual flash is a good option.

Most speedlights have both TTL and manual flash modes, so you can switch between them as needed.

Through The Lens (TTL) Speedlight Flash

TTL stands for 'through the lens,' and each speedlight brand has a different name for their TTL mode (such as E-TTL, iTTL, or P-TTL), but they all mean the same thing - your camera and flash communicate with each other to automatically set things like flash output brightness and distance. 

When you switch your speedlight to TTL mode and press the shutter button halfway down, it emits a 'pre-flash' of light. This is read by your camera's metering system, which calculates how much power your flash will need to produce in order to achieve proper exposure due to subject distance and aperture.

When the distances between you and your subject are constantly shifting or if you have trouble estimating distances, TTL is a good option. When people are constantly moving around at parties and wedding receptions and you don't have time to manually adjust distance every time, TTL is fantastic. 

TTL flashes are also excellent for beginner photographers since you don't need to make calculations or dial-in settings because the flash and camera will take care of everything.

Advantages Of Using Speedlight Flash


When it gets too dark to shoot with natural light, speedlights provide additional illumination.

Lighting Effect

They can also be utilized to create imaginative lighting effects.


These lights can be utilized to activate or control additional speedlights.


For portrait photography, you can use special flash modifiers such as soft boxes and umbrellas to soften the lighting.

Freezing motion

Using a speedlight, fast-moving subjects can be photographed without blur.

Allows for bouncing the Flash.

One of the most significant advantages of using a speedlight is the swivel head, which allows you to adjust the angle up or down by 90 degrees or pivot by 360 degrees. This allows you to bounce the light from the flash, which is an easy way to improve your indoor photography. By bouncing the light off another surface, such as a wall or ceiling, you can spread the light further around the room, reducing shadows and creating a softer, more flattering flash.


They are a very cost-effective photographic aid. A speedlight offers excellent value for money when you consider how much you've already spent on photography, from bodies and lenses to all the extra accessories.

Disadvantages Of Using A Speedlight

Low Lighting Output

Speedlights have a very low light output; even at full power, they produce less light than a typical studio strobe.

Proper Positioning

Proper positioning of your speedlight is critical while shooting to ensure that the light falls on the correct area of the subject.

Production of narrow beams

Speedlights create sharply defined shadows and a sharp falloff in light that does not gradually transform into a pleasant, soft gradient.