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 Backscatter sells it for $299 and the snoot for $49.99. It has no TTL that I can see, maybe that is why it has a low price relative to other strobes.
DivePhotoGuide says: 

'"OI has announced it is joining the select club of underwater strobe makers with the launch of its first flash unit—the Ultra Compact Strobe Q1 (UCS-Q1). According to AOI, the entry-level strobe is designed with simplicity in mind, and offers only manual control of flash power and features just two buttons and one knob.

The Q1 features a built-in 700-lumen continuous light with three power settings, which can be used for macro photography, as a focus light, and as a dive torch. It also offers a modeling flash function, which fires a short burst of flashes to help users aim and position the strobe as desired—especially useful when using a snoot. The strobe has a non-removable ball arm and comes with a diffuser, which provides a beam angle of 85 degrees. The strobe requires two rechargeable 18650 lithium batteries.

Available in black or white, the AOI Ultra Compact Strobe Q1 has an MSRP of $300 and is shipping soon."

 

 

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References: 
1. https://www.divephotoguide.com/underwater-photography-scuba-ocean-news/aoi-announces-q1-ultra-compact-strobe
2. www.aoi-uw.com, www.facebook.com/AoiUw or aoi-underwater
on Wechat.

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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I was just about to ask the same question.

My INON D-2000s died last week (I put it for inspection but I'm pretty sure it's not repairable) and I encountered this strobe.

it has focus light, manual mode and 0.85 recharge time according to the company stats which is very tempting.

I guess it's rivals are the INON s2000 and the Sea&Sea ys-01 solis?

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How does this compare to the Backscatter MF-1? I'm wondering if this strobe will be easier to fire with cameras that have the red led flash triggers.  My EPL10 has a hard time triggering the Backscatter MF-1 strobes, but that might be my choice in cheap cables.

Edited by Dann-Oh

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I am using a EM5.3 in the AOI housing with the AOI trigger.  It fires my S&S YS-01 strobes and the MF-1 without issues.

I do shoot manual only, so I cannot comment other wise.

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1 hour ago, Dann-Oh said:

How does this compare to the Backscatter MF-1?

I spoke with the guys over at Backscatter and they said the Backscatter MF-1 and the AOI UCS Q1 ae VERY similar in performance.  the faster recycle times and slightly more power output is due to the second 18650 battery (the MF-1 only has 1 battery and the Q1 has 2).

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9 hours ago, Dann-Oh said:

I spoke with the guys over at Backscatter and they said the Backscatter MF-1 and the AOI UCS Q1 ae VERY similar in performance.  the faster recycle times and slightly more power output is due to the second 18650 battery (the MF-1 only has 1 battery and the Q1 has 2).

In some situations and rare occasions that extra battery and recycle time can make a difference.

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6 hours ago, diggy said:

In some situations and rare occasions that extra battery and recycle time can make a difference.

I'm not disagreeing, But I currently own a set of the Backscatter MF1 strobes, I was hoping the Q1 would be an inexpensive solution for wide angle, but apparently not.

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16 hours ago, Dann-Oh said:

I'm not disagreeing, But I currently own a set of the Backscatter MF1 strobes, I was hoping the Q1 would be an inexpensive solution for wide angle, but apparently not.

Yes they won't be the optimal strobes for wide angle photography. 

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12 hours ago, diggy said:

Yes they won't be the optimal strobes for wide angle photography. 

Why they won't be good for wide angel?

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12 minutes ago, sarthur1 said:

Why they won't be good for wide angel?

Power, for wide angle you need lots of photons. 

Think about GN. The published specs for both this strobe and the Inon S2000 is 20 (above water). This means that for UW use a real GN is around 10 (less in murky water). SO with a GN of 10 you can use the GN formula (guide number = distance * F-stop) to see that with a GN of 10 and an f-stop of 5.6) you can light something 1.8 meters away. Not very far or very wide. That is why wide angle guys use much bigger strobes.

Bill

 

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3 hours ago, bvanant said:

 

Power, for wide angle you need lots of photons. 

Think about GN. The published specs for both this strobe and the Inon S2000 is 20 (above water). This means that for UW use a real GN is around 10 (less in murky water). SO with a GN of 10 you can use the GN formula (guide number = distance * F-stop) to see that with a GN of 10 and an f-stop of 5.6) you can light something 1.8 meters away. Not very far or very wide. That is why wide angle guys use much bigger strobes.

Bill

 

I would add it depends on the camera you are using.  Required strobe output varies with f-stop and small sensor cameras don't need to stop down so much  like bigger sensors for wide angle shots.  A TG-6 is max f2.8 on the wide end, a 1"sensor like a RX100 you would be shooting wide angle at f5 - f5.6 and a m43 at f8.  Smaller strobes like the S-2000 and this one will be fine for wide angle with a TG-6 or 1" sensor and usable with qualifications for a m43.   The difference between GN20(S-2000) and GN 33(Z-330)  seems a lot but it's actually only 1 1/3 stops  so a GN 20 strobe might be on full power and a Z330 would be on half power or one click below half power. 

Of course that assumes the guide numbers are somewhat accurate.

The beam angle on this AOI strobe is quoted as 85° which is a little narrow for really wide angle, but if you use two would be OK on a TG-6 or RX-100 shooting wide either bare or with a standard 100° wet lens.  You could use it at a pinch on a m43 wide setup I would guess but you would be shooting full power and your range would be limited - CFWA would be OK but sharks 2-3m away - likely not.

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12 hours ago, sarthur1 said:

Why they won't be good for wide angel?

I think Bll and Chris have given very relevant thoughts as to why.

Am attaching some v old pics when I was using a canon G7 with twin DS 51 strobes(ikelite)

The closed anemones and the soft coral close up. 

The next two were with an Old E330 and Twin Inon strobes. 

I am not quite sure if the power of these strobes may be sufficient to light up this large scene. 

 

IMG_2821.jpg

MAL.WA.SOFT CORAL&GROUPER SIPADAN 11JPG-3.jpg

_8062734.jpg

_8042243.jpg

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16 hours ago, bvanant said:

Power, for wide angle you need lots of photons. 

Think about GN. The published specs for both this strobe and the Inon S2000 is 20 (above water).

It's actually worse than that. The specs page says that GN is 22, and beam angle is 85 degrees with diffusers, so the actual guide number is considerably lower than that - normal beam angle, at which that GN22 is presumably achieved, is quoted at just 45 degrees

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18 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

It's actually worse than that. The specs page says that GN is 22, and beam angle is 85 degrees with diffusers, so the actual guide number is considerably lower than that - normal beam angle, at which that GN22 is presumably achieved, is quoted at just 45 degrees

Yes, it shows the GN is not everything!  The INON S-2000 has a nice very even 100° beam, I recall seeing the beam spread results Backscatter published and it performed quite well there - it is a very nice entry level strobe and can readily do wide angle for TG-6 and RX-100 style (1"sensor) cameras if you use the optimal f stop for the exposure -  1"sensor cameras at most need f5.6 which is f15 full frame equivalent.  I would think the AOI strobe would only be useful for pseudo wide angle work with cameras like these if you use 2 of them and don't go beyond about 20mm full frame equivalent field.

 

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