Review: The New Elinchrom BXRI-500 Strobes

I’ve been working with the newly introduced Elinchrom BXRI-500 studio strobes, and I did a video review for you guys (below) to look at the pros and cons of this new mid-level set-up.

Here’s the link to the complete Elinchrom BXRI 500 kit at B&H Photo (They currently show it selling for $1550, with two 500 watt strobes, two 20″ softboxes, two 9′ light stands, the wireless transmitter, two cases, etc.).

Here’s the kit with 1-500 and 1-250 (but still includes all the other stuff).

Here’s the kit with two 250s. (also includes all the other stuff).

NOTE: There’s only a $200 difference between the two 250s and two 500 watt system. There’s only $100 between the one with one 500 and one 250, and the two 500 watt kit. In short; spend the extra money and get the two 500-watt strobes system.

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  1. Hi Scott,

    I am about to buy my first semi-professional studio kit and had already an eye on the BX500RI set. After your nice video I am convinced that this will be the right choice despite the “problems” with the sioft boxes.

    Thanks a lot for your nicely presented, comprehensive  information.


  2. Hi there, thanks for posting your review of these units.

    I visited a dealer today regarding the 500Ws kit and was told that for studio work (my main focus), they  would be too strong as they can be dialed down only so far.

    This makes only some sense to me. I come from a motion picture background, and I would always set up the largest units I could afford. This because I could always ND down a unit that was too hot, whereas negative ND has yet to be invented.

    So what’s your take on this? While I don’t mind slapping ND on the lights occasionally, I don’t want to consistently deal with that situation.

    Thanks much,


    PS: I’ll be shooting in a mid-size studio at fairly low ISOs (100, or thereabouts).

    1. I have the BXRI 500’s and I would definetily say they are too powerful for studio work.
      Most of the time I use them at their lowest settings and still have to shoot at f/11 or higher at ISO 100. This is with the softboxes that come in the package, and I want to use them fairly close to the subject for smoothest light possible. With some better softboxes, like to Rotalux ones with double diffusors I bet you could close that aperture one stop more and by using bigger boxes you could set them farher away from the subject and stop down some more (this is a bit of a compromise though..).But you’ll never be able to shoot at f/2.8 or so without NDing either the lights (which is a hassle on these) or the lens.I’d go with the BXRI 250 set for studio, but I’ll keep my 500 ones and try them outside when I get the chance.

  3. no vid ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  4. Be VERY careful with those screwmount cords. Id suggest always disconnecting them before stoing them for travel. It is far to easy.. and common ( Ive done it to one of my lights)…to have the metal screw ring snap from the plastic of the flash body…Youll be left with a flash that only has a pc outlet….

    Just thought Id share some experience. Hope it helps! :)

  5. Mr. Kelby,
    I know this is something that has been beat to death but would you have any suggestion on a reasonably priced portable battery for the 500BXRi? I just recently got a great deal on craigslist and I am eager to try some location shots! I have gotten mixed results searching the net. I do understand that no OEM want to claim compatibility but is there anything affordable worth looking at?
    Starving hobbyist…

  6. Hi Scott, I would like to use my 500 BXri kit on location where no ac power is available. Would you give me options on battery power please?

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