Depending on the make and model of your camera, which underwater housing you’ve chosen and which strobes you’ve decided will best light up those fish portraits and reef scenes, you may have another decision to make: fiber optic cable or electronic sync cord.

The Fiber Optic Cable or Sync Cord Debate - Pros and Cons

Depending on the make and model of your camera, which underwater housing you’ve chosen and which strobes you’ve decided will best light up those fish portraits and reef scenes, you may have another decision to make: fiber optic cable or electronic sync cord. For some, your gear will dictate your choice, for others, you’ll have to be guided by your preferences and shooting needs. We’ve listed the Pros and Cons for both fiber optic cable and electronic sync cord below to help you determine which strobe sync system is best for you.

Fiber Optic Cable Pros

  • No penetration of the housing so no concern of flooding
  • Removable in water
  • Fairly durable, difficult to damage
  • No electronic bulkheads to flood
  • No o-rings to maintain
  • Can do TTL without the need of a converter, with compatible strobes
  • Takes up very little space in your camera bag
  • Relatively inexpensive
Fiber Optic Cable Cons

  • Rely on built-in flash’s recycle time
  • Strobe manufacturer specific
  • Can be housing specific
  • Can be damaged if not handled correctly
  • Requires a housing with an optical port
  • Not all strobes accept fiber optic cables

 

Electric Sync Cord Pros

  • Does not rely on the camera’s flash so fast recycle time
  • Compatible with most SLR housings
  • Since you are not relying on built in flash, easier on camera battery
Electric Sync Cord Cons

  • Bulkheads can flood and are susceptible to corrosion
  • Cords have o-rings that need to be maintained
  • More expensive than fiber optic
  • Since the bulkhead penetrates housing potential flood point
  • Requires a converter for TTL
  • Not all strobes accept electronic sync cords

Still befuddled by the options? No worries! Feel free to contact any one of the Backscatter Sales Pros who will be happy to recommend what gear you need based on your shooting style. Our Sales Pros are all active divers who regularly use the equipment that we stock, so drop us a line! We’re here to help! sales@backscatter.com

When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the product mentioned in this article, please support Scuba Diver Life by supporting our retail partner: Backscatter.com
Backscatter Underwater Video and Photo News

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.
New stuff
Top Spots for Ice Diving

Five Top Spots for Ice Diving

With winter upon us, you may be considering a tropical dive vacation. But instead, don’t fight the cold and try one of our five top spots for ice diving.
by Yvonne Press
Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma Changes the Seascape in the Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma has changed the underwater landscape of the Florida Keys. But the reef ecosystem is beginning to recover — with a little help.
by Guest Author
Cocos Island

Diver Killed by Tiger Shark at Cocos Island

A tiger shark bit and killed a diver at Cocos Island on November 30, as well as injuring the instructor leading the dive.
by Rebecca Strauss
Day at Wakatobi

A Perfect Day at Wakatobi

A perfect day at Wakatobi starts and ends in your luxurious ocean bungalow, and in between, you’ll enjoy the best of the reef underwater and the best of the resort topside.
by Guest Author