ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST UNDERWATER STROBESSTROBES REVIEWSINON Z-240INON S2000SEA LIFE SEA DRAGONIKELITE DS-161IKELITE DS-51SEA & SEA YS-01SEA & SEA YS-D2SEA & SEA YS-03OLYMPUS UFL-3COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST UNDERWATER STROBESHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST UNDERWATER STROBESSTROBE POWERSTROBE COVERAGE ANGLERECYCLE RATESIZE AND WEIGHTFLASHES PER BATTERY A strobe, also known as an underwater flash, is an essential piece of equipment if you want to take your underwater photography to the next level. Underwater strobes are responsible for creating ample artificial light to reduce backscatter (reflection for particles in the water) and illuminate colors underwater. Pictures taken the built in camera flash tend to be monotonous and boring. So how do you find the best underwater strobe for you? One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to gear shopping. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose a strobe for underwater photography and show you our selection of the best underwater strobes. Want to learn more about getting your underwater photography kit set up? Check out our guides on dive cameras and lens for underwater photography to get you started. For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: BCDs | Regulators | Gauges | Masks | Fins | Dry Snorkels Wetsuits | Boots | Gloves | Drysuits Travel Bags | SMBs | Knives | Lights | Compasses Rebreathers | DPVs | Tanks | Watches | Computers Cameras | Housings | Lenses | Strobes LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE DIVING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT UNDERWATER ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE SCUBA GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE SCUBA GEAR COURSE QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST UNDERWATER STROBES Inon Z-240 Inon S2000 Sea Life Sea Dragon Ikelite Ds-161 Ikelite Ds-51 Sea & Sea Ys-01 Sea & Sea Ys-D2 Sea & Sea Ys-03 Olympus Ufl-3 DIVE TRAVELPACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free dive gear packing list to prepare for your next adventure.UNLOCK THIS LIST STROBES REVIEWS INON Z-240 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Great for both macro and wide angle, for DSLR or compact users. GUIDE NUMBER: 24 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 100 x 100 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 1.6 seconds PROS: Built-in focus light and a great circular beam CONS: Heavy and bulky and mounts must be bought separately INON S2000 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Compact camera users GUIDE NUMBER: 20 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 110 x 110 degrees with diffuser RECYCLE RATE: 1.5 seconds PROS: Ultra compact and very powerful lightweight strobe CONS: Small and confusing controls and you need a special connector SEA LIFE SEA DRAGON Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Compact camera users GUIDE NUMBER: 20 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 120 x 120 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 5 seconds PROS: Great compact and convenient set up for compact camera users. Very affordable. CONS: Very slow recycle rate IKELITE DS-161 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: DSLR wide angle photography GUIDE NUMBER: 24 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 90 x 90 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 1.4 seconds or less PROS: Extremely fast recycle rate with a very strong output CONS: Expensive, heavy and bulky. It also has a very specific battery with no alternatives IKELITE DS-51 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Use with compact cameras GUIDE NUMBER: 28 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 70 x 70 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 3.5 seconds PROS: Very affordable and easy maintenance CONS: No modeling / focus light SEA & SEA YS-01 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Excellent for both macro and wide-angle photography with DSLR, mirrorless or compact cameras GUIDE NUMBER: 20 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 100 x 100 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 2.5 seconds PROS: Strong and affordable with a built in target light CONS: Larger than its main competitor the Inon S2000 SEA & SEA YS-D2 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Excellent for both macro and wide-angle photography with DSLR, mirrorless or compact cameras GUIDE NUMBER: 32 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 80 x 80 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 1.5 seconds seconds PROS: Audible confirmation beep with the strobe is ready to fire again and comes with two different diffusers to increase angle coverage CONS: A little bit heavier than it’s previous model the YS-D1 SEA & SEA YS-03 Check out the latest price on: LeisurePro BEST FOR: Great for both macro and wide angle, for DSLR or compact users. GUIDE NUMBER: 20 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 100 x 100 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 3.1 seconds PROS: Very affordable strobe and comes with a tray, flex arm and fiber optic cable CONS: No manual settings and no built in target light OLYMPUS UFL-3 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Best used with an Olympus camera. If not using an Olympus, better opt for the YS-01 GUIDE NUMBER: 22 ANGLE OF COVERAGE: 78 degrees RECYCLE RATE: 2 seconds PROS: Amazingly compact and very light CONS: Basically the same strobe as the YS-01 but more expensive COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST UNDERWATER STROBES PICTURESTROBEGUIDE NUMBERRECYCLE RATEPRICERATING PICTURESTROBEGUIDE NUMBERRECYCLE RATEPRICERATING INON Z-240241.6 seconds$$$5.0 INON S2000201.5 seconds$$5.0 SEA LIFE SEA DRAGON205.0 seconds$4.0 IKELITE DS-161241.4 seconds$$$5.0 IKELITE DS-51283.5 seconds$$4.5 SEA & SEA YS-01202.5 seconds$$5.0 SEA & SEA YS-D2321.5 seconds$$4.5 SEA & SEA YS-03203.1 seconds$5.0 OLYMPUS UFL-3222.0 seconds$$5.0 PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPPLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPThis free ebook will walk you through everything you need to know about liveaboard vacations...from how to choose a boat, to what to pack and more.UNLOCK THIS GUIDELET US HELP YOUGET YOUR SCUBA FIXFor more email-based advice and inspiration, select additional areas of interest below. GET STARTED DIVINGLIVEABOARD DIVINGDIVE TRAVEL DEALSDIVE DESTINATIONSGEAR UP FOR SCUBA UPDATE PROFILESKIP FOR NOW HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST UNDERWATER STROBES STROBE POWER The strength of the light flashed on a strobe is indicated by the Guide Number (often noted as GN). Higher guide numbers mean stronger strobes. When it comes to underwater photography, the more light, the better. A guide number is represented by the strobes power at a distance of 1 meter away from the subject at ISO 100. The guide number has no relation to the size, weight or shape of the strobe. Concentrated light beams will have a higher guide number compared to diffused light beams. It’s important to note that using an add-on diffuser on your strobe will reduce the guide number. STROBE COVERAGE ANGLE The angle of coverage is the spread of light created by the flash. Typically this ranges from 80-120 degrees in a circular form. If you plan to add a diffuser on top of your strobe, the angle of coverage will increase. For shooting wide-angle photography, you are going to want a larger angle of coverage. For macro shots, an angle coverage of 90 degrees or less will be sufficient. If you’re into macro photography, we recommend checking out our post on the best macro diving sites in the world! RECYCLE RATE The recycle rate of a strobe is defined by the time it takes a strobe to regenerate for a second shot. This is an extremely important feature and must be taken into great consideration when purchasing a strobe! Imagine being on a dive in Belize and having a dolphin swim face to face with you for a brief second – you are going to want a fast recycle to get a few properly lit photos. The faster the recycle rate, the better. A recycle rate of 1 second is considered fast compared to a 3 second recycle rate which is slow. This is measured assuming you have fired the flash using its full power. Strobes fired at a lower rate will recycle faster. SIZE AND WEIGHT The less size and weight the better. A dive camera housing is big and bulky enough, you are going to want an ergonomic, lightweight strobe to accompany your housing, especially if you will be using two strobes. FLASHES PER BATTERY The more flashes you get out of a single charge, the better. Flashes per battery vary between 100 – 300 flashes, with 100 being low. We recommend opting for something with over 200 flashes. It is important to use the recommended batteries for your specific strobe model as this will allow you to get the most out of the flash. SCUBA DIVING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSSCUBA DIVINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. SCUBA EQUIPMENT 2. DIVING COURSES 6. UW PHOTOGRAPHY 3. SPECIALTY DIVING 7. LIVEABOARD DIVING 4. DIVE SAFETY 8. DIVING DESTINATIONS 1. BASICS 2. DIVING COURSES 3. SPECIALTY DIVING 4. DIVE SAFETY 5. SCUBA EQUIPMENT 6. UW PHOTOGRAPHY 7. LIVEABOARD DIVING 8. DIVING DESTINATIONS Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.