So I am still debating what type of flash set up I need to buy... I may even already know the answer but I am curious if I am overlooking anything? I know I want a flash unit - My camera is in the sig (so no built in flash at all, but between my prime, the full frame, and its high ISO ability, it does pretty good without a flash) and as far as what I will use it for... pretty much anything. I wouldn't say I have a niche as far as pictures I take... My camera is used from everything from family gatherings, to vacations (which can include landscapes, indoor pics, pics of flowers, pics of people, etc), to times where I just set out on foot and take pics of whatever strikes my eye. From the outset I decided I wanted a flash b/c I want to learn how to do portraits of my wife and kids down the road. However it would also be nice if I could occasionally use the setup outside, at dark indoor gatherings, maybe even a wedding (NOT as a pro, just as a guest) I know both of these units are at least semi portable (though the B800 would need a battery pack if I go away from an outlet right?) and I am definitely interested in learning to use either (even the 580EXII) as an off camera flash. if I do the on camera variant I am going to go with the 580EXII to get the max power I can from this type of flash. (Unless someone has a better suggestion). These run around $385 plus an umbrella and stand. From what I read if I do a strobe, the Alien Bees are well built value driven strobes and a good bet for someone who wants good results but doesn't want to break the bank. So I settled on the middle of the road B800, plus a stand, reversible shoot through umbrella and a case (they have a package thats about $350 plus i would maybe need a power supply if I use it away from an outlet?). My only reservations are that the AB can't sit on top of the camera in those times I want a self contained camera to take to say a wedding, or cant be dragging a separate umbrella, light, and power supply around. However in a "studio" (ie my basement) setting, the alien bee may be quite a bit better? Or can the 580 do decently as a stand mounted off camera flash? (side note what is the difference in a "strobe" vs just a flash? Does strobe mean just a larger off camera flash? Would the 580 be considered a strobe?) So given my needs, is an AlienBee/strobe a ton better than an off camera 580EXII/umbrella? Should I not be worrying about mounting the flash to the camera and just go with the Alien Bee? My biggest problem is the more I read about lighting the more I realize I don't know But I do want to get hands on and start learning. 2 minor last notes - #1 I want to stick to one light source (other than the sun ) and build as I learn, and #2 I will prob also get some pocket wizards to trip the flash - I may reserve my questions there for a different thread - specifically, is the new MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 just new versions of the pocket wizard plus II? Or do you need them both? I assumed the camera needs a miniTT1 or pocket plus II and the flash needs a flexTT5 or pocket wizard plus II? Sorry for the huge post Thanks in advance!