BOWENS – XMT500 – TTL & HSS Enabled Cordless Strobe Announced

BOWENS XMT

 

With a recent change of ownership, iconic lighting manufacturer Bowens International have made a strong relaunched into the market, releasing the ultra sleek new Generation X series of studio and portable strobes.

These include the remote manual XMS500, 750, and 1000Ws AC powered studio strobes.

As well as the XMT500, Lithium-ion powered, TTL and HSS enabled cordless strobe, compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony camera systems.

 

BOWENS XMT500

 

With easy swap over Lithium-ion batteries, the 500Ws XMT500 provides up to 500 full power flashes per charge, and fast 0.01 to 2 second recycle times at full power. Batteries fully recharge in 4 hours.

The XMT500 provide a 9 stop power range, Full to 1/256, in 1/3rd stop adjustments. And a short flash duration of 1/10309s at minimum power.

TTL and High Speed Sync up to 1/8000s are compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras. Second Curtain Sync, and a Sync Delay setting (from 0.01 – 30s) are also provided.

A 2.4GHz radio receiver is also neatly built-in.

 

BOWENS XMT500

 

A 10 watt LED modelling light is provided.

And the innovative sleek new strobe design features a foldaway stand mount for easy storage, and integrated reflector allowing fast shooting straight out of the box.

 

BOWENS XMT500

 

BOWENS XMT500 FEATURES

 

  • 500Ws
  • Fan Cooled
  • 10W LED Modelling Light
  • Bowens S-type Accessory Mount
  • Built in (removable) Lithium-ion Battery
  • Up to 500 Full Power Pops Per Battery Charge
  • 0.01 – 2.0 Seconds Recycle Time
  • Flash Modes – TTL / M / Multi
  • HSS to 1/8000th
  • Second Curtain Sync
  • FEC – +/- 3 stops
  • Manual Flash – 1/256 – 1/1 Output (1/3rd Increments, 9 Stop Range)
  • Flash Duration  – Down to 1/10309s
  • Bowens XMTR 2.4GHz Radio Receiver Built-in
  • Canon ETTL, Nikon ITTL, Sony PTTL Radio Slave Modes
  • Radio Range – Approx 80m
  • 5 Groups – A / B / C / D / E
  • 32 Channels
  • Supports Bowens XMTRC, XMTRN, XMTRS Transmitter Units
  • Dot Matrix LCD Display
  • Custom Functions
  • Auto Memory Function
  • Sound Prompt
  • USB Port for Firmware Upgrades?
  • Sync Port?
  • Weight 3.4Kg

 

 

The XMT500 strobes are compatible with the Bowens 2.4GHz XMTR transmitter units, available in Canon Nikon and Sony variations.

The XMTR run on 2 AA batteries, and provide a range of around 80 meters.

The strobes, flash mode, power output, and modelling light, can all be controlled remotely from the XMTR transmitter.

 

BOWENS XMTR

 

The XMTR provide 5 groups A / B / C / D / E, with TTL, Manual, and Multi modes.

Individual groups can be controlled separately, as well as global / proportional control over all groups together.

(Its not clear if TTL and Manual groups can be mixed though).

Second Curtain Sync, and a Sync Delay setting (from 0.01 – 30s) are also provided.

 

BOWENS XMTR

 

BOWENS XMT500 SPECS

 

MAX POWER (WS) 500
POWER RANGE 9 stops
POWER CONTROL Rotary Dial, XMT Remote
POWER RANGE (WS/J) 2-500
POWER RANGE (FRACTION) 1/256
POWER ACCURACY 1/3rd stop
FLASH DURATION (SHORTEST) 1/10309s
FLASH MODES TTL, Flash, Strobe
STROBE Max 100 flashes (per burst)
TTL (FEC) ±3-stops
BATTERY CHARGE TIME 4 hrs (to full from empty)
MODELLING 10W LED
HIGH SPEED SYNC up to 1/8000s
SYNC DELAY 0.01 – 30s
WIRELESS CONTROL 2.4GHz / Optical (IR)
RECYCLE TIME (100%) 0.01 – 2.0s
MODELLING CONTROL Rotary Dial, XMT Remote
MODELLING MODES Off , 100%, 30%, 60%
READY INDICATION Beep, Test Button LED
COLOUR TEMPERATURE 5600K (±300K)
SYNC VOLTAGE 5V DC
2.4GHZ RADIO CONTROL Yes
AUTO DUMP Yes
FAN COOLED Yes
DIGITAL DISPLAY Yes
WIDTH 126mm
LENGTH 368mm
HEIGHT 144mm
WEIGHT 3.4Kg

 

 

The new Bowens XMS AC powered studio lights follow a similar design to the XMT500, and also integrate 2.4GHz remote control.

Though strangely the XMS flash units appear to have their own XMSR transmitter unit. Unfortunately not providing any compatibility between XMS and XMT strobes and radio systems.

 

BOWENS XMS500

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

 

The Bowens XMT500 cordless TTL strobes, and transmitter units, are expected to be available late October 2016.

The XMT500 cordless strobes priced from £1199.00 (approx $1599).

And XMTR transmitters from £229.00 (approx $299).

 

Bowens – UK Website

Bowens – USA Website

 

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19 Comments
  1. Jerome Yeats 6 months ago

    I have had Bowens for countless years and still have a Mono gold, and a Quadmatic flash pack (1500 w/s and head and a couple of Geminis but I would nor spend this sort of money whilst Godox and others are so much cheaper (have 2 Witstros).
    Anyone else think the handle on the new flash looks totally wrong? With design winning out over usability?
    Looks a bit like a knock off Profoto but not as good

    Godox has nothing to fear

  2. mmmfotografie 6 months ago

    Worked with Bowens and Godox and Godox can’t come near the build quality of Bowens.

    I don’t think that the design is done to imitate Profoto and the speed ring and handle is still there. The tube like design is used very much these days.

  3. Jerome Yeats 6 months ago

    Why don’t you read my post before commenting on it for no useful purpose. What is your point? Of course there is a handle. It’s about as useful and as well thought out as your comment.
    And by the way, my plastic Godox DE300s are used every day and never miss a beat.

    • Craig 6 months ago

      Insults are not necessary. What exactly do you dislike about the handle on these units compared to others?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 6 months ago

      Yes, please be nice. Keep in mind English is not everyone’s first language here either, and what may appear to be the tone of a comment may not actually be intentional.

      I don’t personally see the issue with the handle though either. As it relates to portable strobes at least I think they have intentionally tried to design a unit that packs nicely (as well as being desirable aesthetically).

      It actually annoys me when manufacturers design portable strobes with the handle protruding above the case, where its just taking up extra unnecessary space when packing. Going below the strobe case you have the swivel protruding in that area already anyway.

      • Craig 6 months ago

        Speaking of portable strobes, I don’t understand why more manufacturers don’t make more of the parts, such as handles and the swivel mount, modular. Personally, I’d love it if the bottom of the units just had an arca foot and included a swivel mount with an arca clamp to attach it. I’ve seen some units with removable mounts, but they appear to be proprietary attachment methods from what I could tell.

  4. nixland 6 months ago

    Their trigger can control Canon flash right?
    Or Canon E3RT can control the XMT too?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 6 months ago

      No I don’t think there is any connection with other flash systems.

      If anything that is the area even Profoto are quite a way behind Godox and Phottix etc.

      Broncolor at least now have a separate receiver (transceiver) to at least fire other flashes, though they’re based on the Godox trigger system.

      Elinchrom also have a basic receiver to fire other flashes, though their radio system is also a collaboration with Phottix.

      And its only Phottix and Godox with half serious master speedlites available for their system at this stage.

  5. Jerome Yeats 6 months ago

    The flash handle is off centre and the grip is thin and possibly sharp. Not comfortable and not balanced.
    This is a designer handle not a handle for photographers or assistants. Not a luggage handle.

    In a way it reminds me of designer ski jackets. You know the ones – the black ones so no one can see you when the light fails and visibility drops to nil. It’s all very well to say some peoples’ first language is not English. What I object to is the poster made a comment with his mind firmly in neutral.
    I would not want to buy or rent this unit.
    And is there not an off centre mounting point? Style over useful substance. Not the Bowens we used to know and admire.

    • Craig 6 months ago

      Jerome, if that’s your reasoning (thin/sharp grip and off center mount), I have to disagree with you.

      First off, some of Profoto’s handles are no less thin and angular. Check out the B1 (http://flashhavoc.com/profoto-b1-500-ttl-air-off-camera-flash/). Are you going to argue that Profoto makes handles that are “totally wrong” as well?

      Second, I’m not sure what makes you think the mount is off centered. As far as I can tell, the only parts that are off center are the clamp for locking the mount and the umbrella mount. Until we can see the bottom of the unit, it’s indeterminable if the actual attachment point is off center or not.

      Personally, for battery powered lights, I prefer the much more compact design of this handle and mount than the ones that are way more bulky.

  6. Andy 6 months ago

    I personally like the new design of the Bowens. However Bowens are really over valuing their brand with the XMT500. It seems to be the same cost and spec of the Profoto D2 500 AirTTL.

    You can hire Profotos pretty much all over the world which allows you to easily hire a couple of extra compatible units on a job.

    I can’t see why you would spend this kind of money on Bowens. I personally think the Godox AD600 is amazing value and specs and it has a Bowens mount for accessories.

    If I was spending the money upgrading from the Godox it wouldn’t be to Bowens, it would be to Profoto unless the price point of the Bowens was a little lower.

    • Roy 5 months ago

      Same sentiments… I agree for the “Profoto thing” that you said concerning the upgrade….

  7. Andy 6 months ago

    Wow…. Bowens are charging a whopping £229 for the XMTRN trigger.

    Do me a favour…. :)

  8. Sal 6 months ago

    Are there any pictures of this flash that show the actual flash bulb? Can’t find any for their new Generation x system.

  9. Sol 5 months ago

    Silly question, can you use XMT also with power cord when in studio?

  10. pwp 5 months ago

    Looks like a nice resolved design. They’ve pitched it with premium+ pricing which may have been a mistake, regardless of how good it is. The handle? Nothing wrong there.

    With the competition from China and the spectacular value of PCB Einsteins, I think this will have trouble making much impact.

  11. Gee 4 months ago

    I think Bowens is banking (no pun intended) on their legendary legacy of durability. Unfortunately, presence of such attributes no longer apply in a world of constant upgrades. In the past, durability was all the rage as you could keep a Bowens flash for 30 years with no main issues. However, today’s technology has shifted the desires of photographers. Just think of how many versions of the Broncolor Siros have been released in a 5 year span. Consumers trade-up as fast as they can to stay up to speed with all the bells and whistles of photography gear. We live in a society where we pay for a brand new cell phone every 2 or 3 years even though the old ones work perfectly fine. Hence, Bowens might need to add a little more to its product than just reliability. Either that, or just accept the fact that we won’t pay top dollar for the same quality of lighting that is available from other companies for a fraction of the price, and even provides cooler luxury options. Broncolor now utilizes phone apps; Profoto increasingly improves on warp speed flash durations; PCB produces well priced Einsteins that come in a Chevrolet body, but houses a Ferrari engine; and Godox has now even entered the market with products that fuse reliability with vanity features. Bottom line, Bowens is no longer a standard. While we all refer to their historic dominance in the world of photography, the future of location and studio strobes is a beacon of light that will shine with or without the much delayed reentry of Bowens. There is too much well positioned competition in the market to assume photographers will flock to traditional standards for the sake of nostalgia. Retracting any dominance form Profoto and Broncolor will be tough for Bowens. However, all of my reasoning would be moot if the product was priced more affordably. We have surely missed you over the years, but give us a real reason to come back home, Bowens.

  12. P Cooper 3 months ago

    I will always buy Bowens because they are English, but the design of these things is way off. They look cheap and nasty like a Goddox for PETE’S sake! Bowens urgently need a new design department and a rebranding as Dependable British lights with high craftsmanship, not this extruded plastic nonsense.

  13. Miha 2 months ago

    Im sorry, but doesnt it seem to anyone else that this remote controler for new Bowens look suspiciously like Godox X1 transmiter?

    Buttons are grouped almost the same, CH,GR,MOD … wheel is placed at different place (i assume to make it more narrow) test button is in same place as on godox, as is LED. On/Off and af assist are grouped same as well, but located on top. Also price for Bowens trigger is 329$ while Godox is 40-50$?

    I assume it was cheaper to buy a already developed system from someone and repackage it then developing their own proprietary system?

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