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Do I want to trigger my camera or an external flash when taking high speed photos?
The fastest shutter speeds on cameras are pretty slow for high speed photography. Also there is a very long shutter lag of 50ms+ on most cameras which makes it impossible to get the timing right on many types of shots. Because of these limitations with camera shutters most people do high speed photography in a dark room and use the flash to light the scene. Flashes often have minimum durations of 1/40,000 of a second (many times shorter than the fastest shutter) and have no noticeable lag between triggering and lighting the scene.
What flash should I use the the Camera Axe?
The big studio flashes produce much more light, but typically have a pretty long flash duration around 1/2000th of a second. The small flashes that plug into the hotshoe on a camera typically have flash durations of less than 1/20,000th of a second so I suggest using this type to reduce blur. When picking a flash Canon EX430, Canon EX580, Nikon SB600, or Nikon SB900 have all been tested and work great. I have also tested various models of Yongnuo (can be bought new on ebay) and they work great and are much cheaper. Pretty much any flash that has a trigger voltage of 30V will work. You will want to make sure your flash has a fast minimum duration (1/20,000 of a second or less), and has a manual control so you can force it to use that fast duration. Here is a large list of flashes with their trigger voltages.
What do I need to get started with high speed photography?
Take a look at our Getting Started Guide