Flashpoint II Model 320M w/ DC Battery Pack Review

The Flashpoint II Model 320M is an AC/DC-powered 150 watt-second monolight that comes with a portable battery pack for only $200.  I bought one of these about 9 months ago to use as a portable light kit.  And, for $200, I couldn’t be happier with it.

The two biggest advantages of the 320M is the price and the flexibility to use it in the studio on AC power, as well as a battery-powered light when you are away from a plug.  The kit includes bulbs for the strobe and modeling light – both of which can be powered by the modeling light.

For such an affordable monolight, the Flashpoint 320M offers a lot of features.  You can trigger it via a 1/8″ adapter to PC-sync cord or via the optical slave. You can also turn the optical slave off so that there are no unintentional pops.  It has variable power output via a stepless dial from full-power down to 1/32-power.

Shot with 320M with reflector only and 2 additional lights. Outdoor shade.

The modeling light can be set to off, full or variable with the flash power settings.  While the 320M has a beeping indicator for flash-ready, you can turn this off when you need to be a little quieter.  You still have a red/green ready light indicator to let you know when you’re ready for the next shot.

The battery pack lasts for a surprisingly long time.  I get between 300-400 pops out of a single charge at various power settings. Again, that’s a lot of bang-for-buck in my book.  While it’s rated for 180 pops at full power, I’ve never used it for that many at full power before.

320M shot through umbrella. Outdoor shade.

Additionally, the battery pack has the ability to channel power from your car’s DC outlet (a cable is included) if you are out and about and happen to be withing cord reach of your car.

150 watt-seconds isn’t a whole lot of power when you are talking monolights; however, it works fine for a lot of indoor portrait set-ups and when I’ve used it outdoors in the shade.  Generally, when I’m in more traditional studio situations, I use it combination with other lights.  For outdoors, it’s best suited for shots in the shade or as the sun begins to go down.

If you need more power in a portable setup, the Flashpoint II Model 620M offers 300 watt-seconds of power along with the ability to run off the same battery pack.  The 620M kit runs $285, which is still a solid deal considering you are getting twice the power for $85 more.

Flashpoint monolights are sold exclusively through Adorama.  You can find the Flashpoint II AC/DC kits via the links below.

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