A flash for any camera can be an invaluable tool in the arsenal that photographers have available to them. But there will be many occasions where the little built-in flash just simply won’t do. Any serious photographer would buy a separate flash that slots into the hot shoe, as triggered lighting can dramatically change the tone and emotion of an image.
The Pixel Mago Speedlite is one such flash that when used correctly, could change the way an image is produced when using Canon cameras.
The Pixel Mago Speedlite has a Guide Number (GN) of 65, meaning that is you use the equivalent of ISO 100 film, the flash will perform optimally at f6 at 5 feet, or 1.5m. A flash’s Guide Number is a pretty good indication as to its strength so to speak, and the higher the GN the more powerful it will be.
With that in mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the flash is only capable of lighting an area that its GN dictates, as light by nature travels everywhere. It just means that you will be able to make the most of it, but it will certainly work at further distances.
The Mago has some other tricks up its sleeve as well, just in case you though that the GN is a bit on the low side.
For those times that you need to shoot very quickly and make use of the flash, the Mago has a maximum flash sync speed of up to 1/8 000s. In layman’s terms, that means that the flash can sync with the camera at a shutter speed no more than 8 000th of a second – which is pretty impressive by any standard. It also has a maximum stroboscopic flash time of 500, meaning that it can fire up to 500 times on one camera exposure.
Getting the flash to go where you want is also an important feature to look out for. Personally, I have worked with some flashes in the past which just refused to tilt, resulting in my images either being illuminated from dead-on, or from a weird angle.
But this one has an adjustable tilt angle of -7 to 90 degree up and down, and 180 degree to the left or right. The ability to tilt the flash straight up is one of the most useful features a photographer can hope for, as you can bounce the light of the ceiling (provided it’s not too high) and illuminate the subject from above.
Flashes can be a bit confusing, especially if you haven’t worked with one before. You will be better suited to operate any flash if you do a little research beforehand, and it might sound silly, but do read the manual that comes enclosed with the Pixel Mago Speedlite flash.
But, to operate this little beauty, it features a dot matrix LCD display at the back of the unit, which is where you will find all the information on your current shooting settings. The unit is also operated with four AA size alkaline or rechargeable batteries.
While the Mago does exactly what one would expect, it is a bit on the heavy side, coming in at almost half a kilo. That might not sound like an awful lot, but if it is attached to a smallish Canon camera, the weight distribution on the entire setup can feel a bit lob-sided.
Price: R2 500
Guide Number: GN 65 (IS0100/200mm)
Flash Coverage Range: 20 to 200mm
Flash Mode TTL/Manual/Multi
Stroboscopic Flash: 1-500Hz
Max. flash sync speed: up to 1/8000s
EV in 1/3rd increments (±3 stops)
FEB in 1/3rd increments (±3 stops)
Optical wireless control system
4W white LED lamp
Battery Life: 150 times