I spoke with Mark Aherne, technical director of Bowens International that manufactures most of the lights that I use, about some of the new items to the Bowens line up. I'm most excited about the new monolights but the soon-to-be-released QX3 2500W/s power pack that will eventually replace the QuadX 3000 pack that has been the basic workhorse of my studio is interesting as well. First, a bit about the QX3:
The new specifications are definitely interesting - greatly improved recycle time, improved flash duration, three asymmetric channels (as opposed to four headers distributed over two channels on the QuadX) in a pack that is about the same weight but with slightly smaller volume. Furthermore, the interface has been simplified and the screen has been prettied up . . . a lot:
But it still wasn't the type of AC power pack announcement I was hoping for. What I was hoping for was a replacement to the Quad 2400 power pack with significantly faster flash duration and recycle time in a package MUCH smaller and lighter than what they are offering now. In the areas of compact AC power packs, Norman, Dyna-lite, and Profoto still rule. Anyhow, onwards to the monolights:
The analogue interface enhancements are almost revolutionary in the world of monolights. To get one tenth stop precision we used to have to resort to digital interfaces which often slowed down a photographer's or assistant's access to lighting setting changes. Analog dials, while quick, were often not very precise and were limited at best to one third stop precision. With Bowens' new dual-dial power control system a user can have the most intuitive control of his or her light with precision traditionally limited to digital lights. On top of this, Bowens has added an integrated option slot for Bowens Pulsar and Pocketwizard receivers and all of their lights now have the Travelpak/Turbopak/Explorer style DC input plug for battery power.