Many photographers may find themselves shooting a large group of subjects or shooting in a larger space than commonly used, so making sure that your lighting units offer enough power and brightness is vital. In this Blog, we compare PiXAPRO’s three different 1200Ws Flash units, the KINOII 1200+, STORM III 1200 & CITI1200 PRO, to see how they match up against each other and which may best suit your requirements.
As stated in the title of this Blog Post, each of these lighting units offer a maximum power out of 1200Ws, making them incredibly powerful and at the higher end of the scale for flash lighting units. But whilst all of these lights offer a 1200W power output, there is a slight difference in the Guide Number for all of these. The guide number helps to show the brightness of the lighting unit and how far the flash will travel. When measured at ISO100, the STORM II 1200 offers the lowest Guide Number of 102m, followed by the KINOII 1200+ at 110m and finally the CITI1200 PRO with 124m. However, please note that each of these units features its own unique reflector which would impact that guide number.
Your lighting needs to properly capture the colours in your subject to the highest quality, so making sure your flash unit has the best available Colour Temperature is vital. Both the KINOII 1200+ and STORM II 1200 offer a colour temperature of 5600K ± 200K which is very accurate, but the CITI1200 PRO offers a slightly more accurate measurement of 5600 ± 75K. This means that the CITI1200 PRO would offer the most consistent colour temperature and accuracy which is ideal for fields such as commercial and product photograhy, but all three lighting options would capture a professional image.
When it comes to control over the lighting, each of these units have their own levels of available control which helps you adjust the lighting set-up to meet your requirements. In terms of Power Adjustment, the KINOII 1200+ offers the smallest available adjustment range of 1/1~1/32 power, followed by the STORM II 1200 at 1/1 ~ 1/128 and finally the CITI1200 PRO leads this will an adjustable range of 1/1 ~ 1/256 meaning that it is possible to adjust the power down for this unit to approximately 4W when required.
Having a fast recycle time is vital in a high paced shoot as this allows the flash to reset quickly in order to take your next shot, which is ideal for shooting fields such as action or sport. The KINOII 1200+ has the smallest recycle time range available at 0.3s ~ 1.5s, followed by the STORM II 1200 at 0.05s ~ 0.9s and finally the CITI1200 PRO at 0.01s ~ 2s. But even though these do differ, any of these lighting units would be able to keep up with a quick tempo photography shoot.
Super quick flash durations help to capture sharper images at better quality, and being able to achieve incredibly fast flash duration also allows to capture motion in your subject clearly without issue. The KINOII 1200+ offers the shortest range of flash duration at 1/800s ~ 1/2000s, but will still allow you to capture detailed and professional shots. The CITI1200 PRO is next with a flash duration of 1/220s to 1/10860s and finally the STORM II 1200 has the quickest available flash duration of 1/256s - 1/25640s. With these two lighting units offering incredibly fast flash durations, this makes them perfect lighting units to capture motion in a range of photography fields such as dance and sport. Whilst these speeds may not make all of the 1200Ws light options suitable for specific uses, you are able to reduce the power output to further reduce these times, which is a major benefit to using powerful lighting units.
Each lighting unit features its own set of available features that have an impact on what can be achieve with the lighting unit. The KINOII 1200+ would be the standard lighting unit compared to the other two options, as this wouldn’t come with features such as High-Speed Sync. This makes the KINOII 1200+ an ideal ideal starting point for extra powerful flash unit to allow them to get to grips with how flash works and what can be accomplished, before adding more technical lighting units to their equipment. The STORM II 1200 offers a few more available features such as High-Speed Sync, but also comes with Stroboscopic flash mode. What Stroboscopic flash mode does fires multiple low-powered flashes in rapid succession that when used in combination with a slow shutter speed, allows you to capture a sequence of images of a moving subject. This particular feature makes this lighting unit perfect for capturing movement during your photography in fields such as dance and sport. The CITI1200 PRO also offers High Speed Sync and Stroboscopic functionality, but this also comes with a feature known as TTL (Through The Lens). What this does is allows you to set the settings of your flash to what you think is required, and then once you have triggered the flash, the lighting unit will automatically adjust the settings to what is required and then send this back to your trigger. This means that you will have the required settings for the flash much quicker than with simple trial and error, saving you a lot of time on your shoot.
All of these lighting units offer a wide range of different ways to control and trigger the lighting, including sync cable ports and slave triggering. They all also feature a built-in 2.4GHz PiXAPRO receiver allowing them to be controlled and triggered using the range of PiXAPRO 2.4GHz triggers available. Each lighting unit is also part of the PiXAPRO One System, which means that they can be used in conjunction with the entire range of PiXAPRO flash lighting units and all be controlled using the same PiXAPRO trigger. This is an ideal feature if you find yourself adding different lighting options to your collection in the future.
When it comes to powering each unit, these do differ slightly. Both the KINOII 1200+ and STORM II 1200 are mains powered lighting units and do not have a battery designed to be used with them. This makes these lighting units ideal for permanent studio-based photography. The CITI1200 PRO however is a battery powered unit, with a Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery Module, ideal for shooting on location. There is an option to use the CITI1200 PRO, using the AC Adapter (Sold Separately) to run this lighting unit from mains, which is great for a studio photography shoot as it doesn’t drain your battery unnecessarily.
All three lighting units do share the same Bowens S-Type fitting modifier mount, which is the most common available on the market, meaning that it is easy to find compatible modifiers and accessories to be used with each unit.
Each of the lighting units feature their own unique build and design, which means that the overall weight and dimensions for each unit differ. The STORM II 1200 is both the smallest and lightest unit, but it is followed incredibly closely by the KINOII 1200+ to the point where the difference isn’t noticeable. The CITI1200 PRO has its own unique design, with the flash head being separate from the main body/battery of the unit, giving the user the ability to have this both on stand or hand-held. With this design however, it does make this overall larger and heavier compared to the other two units.
Whilst they are all 1200Ws Flash units, the price for each individual unit does in fact differ a lot. The KINOII 1200+ is the cheapest unit of the three at only £452.99, followed by the STORM II 1200 at £738.99 and finally the CITI1200 PRO at £1474.99. But this difference in price is down to the vast difference in available features and the improved specifications, with the higher prices being linked to those with these available.
Each lighting units features its own positives and negatives compared to the others. The KINO1200 cheapest available units but features limited features, the STORM1200 is the middle ground choice with the middle price and features, and the CITI1200 PRO offers battery power and better specifications but at a higher cost. But no matter what lighting unit you choose, you will be left happy with your powerful flash lighting unit which each come with a 2-year UK based warranty and continued support throughout the future.