Bowens XMS500 Flash Head revealed, with more in pipeline


Bowens is back in the spotlight with the XMS500 Flash Head and a plethora of new releases for 2019


TL:DR: Don’t have time to read the article in full? Click here for a quick summary.

Bowens was relaunched alongside the XMT500 Flash Head, back in January, but the coveted lighting brand’s revival is hardly a flash in the pan. In May, Wex Photo Video is set to fulfil orders for the new XMS500 Flash Head (which you can order now), while an extensive new range of lights, flash systems, triggers and accessories are set to land later in the year.

While the Bowens faithful will recognise the same exacting standards, the lower prices will come as a surprise. Thanks to a new direct relationship with the manufacturer, Bowens products are exclusive to Wex Photo Video and more affordable than ever before.


Bowens XMS500 Flash Head (click here to order)


Key specs at a glance…

  • Power: 500W
  • Power range (f stops): 9 stops
  • Power range (W): 2W – 500W
  • Power adjustments: 1/10 stop
  • Flash duration (shortest): 1/13690sec
  • Recycle time: 0.9s to full 500Ws
  • Multi-voltage: Yes
  • Flash-to-flash consistency (f stop): ±0.05
  • Flash-to-flash consistency (colour temp): ±K
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 407mm x 169mm x 137mm
  • Weight: 3.7Kg

The Bowens XMS500 Flash Head is fast, reliable and excellent value. Beneath its cutting-edge exterior, you’ll find an enhanced specification that’s capable of delivering incredibly short 1/13690-sec flash durations and a rapid recycle time of 0.9secs to full power. The fully digital flash head provides users with accurate flash power and colour temperatures, which means less faffing in post!

An easy-to-use digital control panel allows for precise control in a pinch, and a single rotary control dial allows users to quickly adjust the flash head’s 9 stops of flash power (in 1/10-stop or 1-stop increments). The XMS500 is able to shoot at high-power settings or as low as 2W, when wide apertures are required. For those wanting to control the light from afar, it’s also compatible with a dedicated 2.4GHz radio remote and trigger system, and the flash head features multi-voltage operation (100-230V) for worldwide compatibility.

The XMS500 can be repositioned via an easy-open and quick-lock adjustment latch, designed to make fine-tuning the angle of your lighting as simple as possible. The stand mount folds away for easy storage and transportation, and the presence of an integrated reflector cap allows users to shoot straight from the box. If that wasn’t enough, the XMS500 also features a new 38W LED modelling lamp.

Still to come…

The Bowens revival doesn’t stop with the XMS500. A plethora of products are in the pipeline, including the XE (a more basic and cost-effective alternative to the XMS), the XMT II, the XMS1000 and a range of light-shaping accessories.

For information regarding future Bowens releases, stay up to date via our YouTube channelFacebookTwitter and of course, the Wex Blog.


Too long; didn’t read…

Who’s it for? Studio photographers looking for a fast and reliable flash head that’s easy to set up, and small enough to carry.

What does it compare to? Bowens’ original XMS500. However, this new version contains a number of upgrades and is cheaper.

Why should you care? You’re getting Bowens’ same exacting standards in an improved XMS500 Flash Head, but at a more affordable price.


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