This is an interesting question. On the Red corner we have hot shoe strobes: they are (relatively) cheap, small and portable and recycle pretty fast, but they need lots of AA batteries. On the Blue corner we have monoblocks; They are big and more cumbersome but they give A LOT of light.
So whats the trade off, when are you better getting several small hot shoe strobes and when are you better off using one big light? This is not a trivial question to answer especially since hot shoe strobes measure in GN, while monoblocks measure in Watt-seconds. now with TTL monoblocks this becomes a really interesting question.
Neil van Niekerk did an empirical test trying to answer that question. His comparison addresses the power aspect while leaving convenience, price, light shape and modularity out, but even at that it gives a good idea about how to begin dealing with the trade offs involved.
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