The camera's built-in flash is only about one-third the power of the AF35; its effective range is about 18 inches (0.5m). The Ikelite AF35 can illuminate subjects up to 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5m) away.
The Underwater Photographers Most Important Accessory
As you descend underwater there is less available light to illuminate subjects and you lose color. The warm colors of the spectrum are lost first. Warm color loss is dramatic as shallo was 15 feet (4.5m). A flash is required to illuminate and restore the natural colors of underwater subjects. .
The AF35 fits most compact and ULTRAcompact housings manufactured by Ikelite, Canon, Olympus and Sony. If you purchase a new point and shoot camera and housing most likely the AF35 will work with the new camera and housing. Dual AF35 flashes can easily be configured to illuminate the wider coverage when using wide-angle lenses. .
Flash units that only offer manual exposure control require you to take a picture, review it on the camera's LCD screen, make exposure adjustments and then take a second picture to get a good one. It can be difficult to get underwater subjects to wait around for that second shot. With the AF35 set to Auto Exposure you get a properly exposed picture on the first try. Don't miss that once in a lifetime moment.
Even in the clearest water there are particles floating around, and because the camera's built-in flash is so close to the lens, the light traveling through the water illuminates the particles and reflects them back into the lens. These particles cause an unsightly white speckled effect in your pictures that looks like snow and is called backscatter. With the AF35 flash being positioned away from the camera's lens, the lighted particles are not reflected back into the lens, thus helping to eliminate backscatter from your pictures. .
Creative Lighting Control
For those photographs where you want more creativelighting control the AF35 offers the option of choosing from 6 manual power settings for varied exposures. The flex arm offers a variety of strobe positions for additional creative directional lighting control. .
With the AF35 there is no need to carry around additional cords or fiber optic cables to connect between the camera housing and strobe. Simply attach the AF35 to the camera housing, turn it and the camera's built-in flash on, and fire away.