Strobe, flash, speedlight and monolight?

What is the difference between a strobe, flash, speedlight and monolight?

What's all this talk about strobes, flashes, speedlights and monolights and I don't know what else. Aren't they all the same thing?

2 responses:


The word “strobe” in photography is really a misnomer. “Strobe” is a shortening of “stroboscope” – a device that gives off repeated flashes of light and used to stop cyclic motion. But a some photographers use the word “strobe” as a synonym for “flash”.

A “flash”, in photography, is any device that produces a very short burst of light for taking a still photograph. There are different types of flashes.

A small and portable battery powered flash unit that is designed to be mounted in the camera's hot-shoe is sometimes referred to as a “camera flash” or “speedlight”. Nikon call their camera flashes “Speedlights”, while Canon refer to theirs as “Speedlites”.

A large flash unit, designed to be used in a studio, are called a “studio flash” or “monolight”. This type is usually mains powered, but can be used in external locations with an external battery pack. These are transportable rather than portable.

finally my doubts have been answered..

thanks now i fully understood the differences

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