Hybrid Ring Flash is the Frankenstein of the Lighting World

Okay — maybe it’s trying to reinvent the wheel, er, ring flash, but this could be an interesting gadget: Chinese company CononMark has unveiled a flash system that looks like a cross between a ring flash, speedlights, bracket flash and modeling lights.

Some of the flash highlights include four LED lights for video lighting or modeling lights, plus the four speedlight-like flash heads that can be positioned independently in different directions. The flash heads also include diffuser panels and bounce cards. Finally, the flash has a wireless triggering system via a transmitter that mounts on the hot shoe. It looks like it could be a versatile system with a lot of flash types packed into one device — though if you already own a ring flash, speedlights and brackets — it may be redundant or make more sense to own the items À la carte.

The CononMark iQ was presented at the Shanghai Photo & Imaging trade show this month, according to Lighting Rumors — and no word on the price or availability yet.

iQ Shadowless Ring Light (via Lighting Rumors)

  • Jens Hamada

    well… im curious how the cachtlights from this thing look.
    it looks heavy…

  • Mark

    So it’s obviously a Frankenstein of a unit, with the heads of 4 Chinese knock-off speedlights. And though I can appreciate the ability to encircle the lens with flashes, I don’t think this thing is very practical. Here goes the negative Nancy post.

    First, the heads don’t appear to tilt towards the center (lens) beyond the 90 degrees. So even if you planned on using this as a macro ring, you would have to pump a hell of a lot more light out of these things to reach the subject. Second, because the flashes are spaced so far apart, the ring-light effect is nearly lost, and I can see some serious harsh shadow issues arising especially around the chin and nose. I’m not sure I like the idea of 4 symmetrical catch-lights in the eyes either. Now if they removed those huge heads, replaced them with 8 smaller units and added a diffusing ring, we would be in business. Third, bounce cards on a unit like this are pretty worthless, even as flags. I know it’s because these heads are repurposed from regular speedlights, but it’s not really a selling point. Fourth, I would never attach that device to my DSLR when shooting video. It interferes with microphones, rail systems, matte boxes and makes the unit unusable on a shoulder rig. It’s not worth the heft for video purposes and I’m willing to bet that it doesn’t put out as much light as a traditional 100+ bulb LED video light.

    I give them a D+ for effort, with poor execution and laziness when it comes to integrating existing tech into a new idea.