Can a $600 Godox AD600 compete with a $2,100 Profoto B1? Surprisingly yes

Dec 4, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Can a $600 Godox AD600 compete with a $2,100 Profoto B1? Surprisingly yes

Dec 4, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

profoto-b1-godox-600ad-title

Here is something I did not see coming. Photographer Robert Hall did a full comparisson between the $600 Godox AD600BM* and the $2,100 Profoto B1.

While you’d think that the Profoto will nuke the AD600, this was not the case at all, and in most parameters it either won the battle or stood up fairly well. There was one exception to that, and I think that it’s one of the main reasons that the B1 is so0 much more expensive.

YouTube video

Light Output

profoto-b1-godox-600ad-power

Of course the obvious (and easiest) thing to test is light output. And the Godox was surprisingly better on this one, both with total power and at output range (about one stop more). This may seem like a small thing with an 8 stops range system, but think about how much you would pay to gain an extra stop with a lens. (yup, it’s not the same, but kinda gives you an idea on what 1 stop means).

Another thing was power accuracy and on this parameter both systems performed pretty similarly.

The last thing is HSS which on the profoto only works at full power and on the Godox can be done throughout the range.  I am not sure if that really matters as you usually use HSS at full power, but it’s a note, nonetheless.

Color Accuracy

profoto-b1-godox-600ad-col

For me color accuracy is a big thing and this is one of the main failures of the Godox. While the B1 was pretty consistent (within a 50K range), the Godox was all over the place (300K variance). If you shoot mostly black and white, this should be no issue. If color reproduction is important to you, this will be a crucial aspect and will save many post processing hours.

I think that this is one of the main reasons for the added cost. getting accurate color is expensive. Now, I don’t know if this is worth 3.5 times more the money – this would be totally up to your workflow and needs.

Flash Duration

profoto-b1-godox-600ad-t5

This came as a shock. The B1’s claim to fame is their short flash duration, but this chart shows that the T.5 for the godox is actually better. My understanding of the video is that there is no test data, just spec comparisson. Tt would be very interesting to put those specs to the test.

Gels and modifiers

If your workflow involves gels, the B1 is definitely superior. The bulb does not stick out, so you can easily gel the strobe, rather than the modifier. For the AD600, you would need a hack, Robert uses a silicon band, but it is hardly optimal.

With other modifiers, though it’s a more complex story. Profoto modifiers are very solid and pretty well engineered, they are also an arm and a leg. Just to get a sense of it, a profoto 2’x3′ Softbox is around $200, a similarly sized softbox from godox is only $38. Is the Profoto softbox better? Could be. Is is five times better? I doubt it.

System

As an overall system, Profoto are pretty much a closed garden. Prophoto only likes profoto gear and they only have studio heads. The Godox is a bit wider system, and in the system alone, you have monoblocks, strobes, and hybrids. There are other advantages: The Godox can run either on battery or on wall power, where the Profoto can only work on battery. And lastly, the Godox has an accessory to move the bulb away from the head.

Your turn

Considering the information above, which would you get? The B1 or the AD600?

[Profoto B1 vs Godox AD600 Flashpoint Xplor 600 TTL | Robert Hall]

* Robert actually compared the B1 with the FlashPoint XPLOR600 which is Adorama’s branding of the Godox system.

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 responses to “Can a $600 Godox AD600 compete with a $2,100 Profoto B1? Surprisingly yes”

  1. Florian Franke Avatar
    Florian Franke

    Mario Scholz

  2. GranadaProPhoto Avatar
    GranadaProPhoto

    Real world tests are what really matters. Comparing flash duration specs given by the company is useless, especially if they come from China. Everyone remembers how wonderful the Rovelight specs were… So much ‘budget Chinese (knock-off)’ gear that I have purchased has consistent reliability issues. As they say, a poor man buys it 3 times. I have friends that have used the B1 on a daily basis for years without any failures, the same cannot be said of my friends with Godox branded gear. The consistent color and rock-solid reliability are what has led me to invest in Profoto gear – it costs more but it always works.

    1. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
      Gvido Mūrnieks

      Not everyone needs reliability of BMW, if all you can afford is Prius.
      Sure, I have no doubt, that Prophoto is more reliable than Godox, but is that justifies the price for everyone? Definitely NO!
      Same goes for CaNikon flashes VS Yongnuo. A lot of photographers better choose five “budget Chinese (knock-off)” strobes in place of one OEM one.

      1. GranadaProPhoto Avatar
        GranadaProPhoto

        I agree with you 100% except that when I started, I couldn’t afford even a Prius. After shooting for years with Olympus and Nikon film cameras, I started with a single basic speedlight on a baby DSLR after my transition from film. I’ve used everything from Cactus, Yongnuo, Vivtar, PWs, etc. I first
        started playing with studio lighting using cobbled together speedlights
        of different makes back in the day. I have spent enough money on various
        speedlights and wireless triggers over the years to have purchased a
        couple great systems. Of course everyone has to begin somewhere within their budget. I just wish I had invested in better quality gear sooner. The difference it has made to my photography has been significant.

        My point is that reliability and color consistency have a real-world value as well. As a professional, the time I don’t have to spend doing color correction in post means more time to shoot other clients. The reliability means I can get the shot the first time since I don’t have to shoot as many takes just to get the frame where the flash fired (very important in my sports shots). Having gear that always works gives your clients confidence in you as well.

        I’m not knocking anyone, just encouraging everyone to invest in quality gear earlier on to avoid spending too much on mediocre gear. I also rent gear that is still out of my reach for jobs that require it.

        I love that Godox is upping their game. It will push the other companies to provide better gear and service too.

      2. Whatdoyknow Avatar
        Whatdoyknow

        I have been using YN now for a few years and have never had one problem whatsoever. As I buy directly from China which takes a bit longer than normal but with proper planning who cares, the price difference and the performance against Canon is to great to Buy Canon. If you drop a YN and it breaks, so what just buy a new one. Can’t say that if I had bought such an expensive Canon. I would bawl my eyes out. The YN controlling system is actually superior to the Canon one believe it or not.

      3. Teemu Riihelä Avatar
        Teemu Riihelä

        Off point but when has a BMW ever been more reliable than a Toyota? : D
        I’ve been shooting with elinchroms for 5 years and despite their light formers being pretty great, the wireless transmitters are unbelievably unreliable. Unless you’re in a closed studio space, where they seem to work mostly ok. I know people buy in to Pocket wizards to get around this, but how come Yongnuos and Godox triggers work so damn reliably in comparison? I bought a couple of backup YN-560 IIIs and AD360s for on location work and they work perfectly together (you can insert the YN-TX trigger on the hot shoe mount of the X1) and and are very reliable (much more so than the elincas)! I just don’t get it, these chinese companies seem to be doing most things right, innovating along the way, making the “knock-offs” better as they go.
        And yes I still use the elinchroms and will use them (in studio) until they die off, if for no other reason, color consistency. When Godox nails that down, I guess that’ll be it.

    2. Mike Duffy Avatar
      Mike Duffy

      Have been using ny Godox every day for over 6 months now and love it! I can actually buy 4 for the price of the PF! I have 2 Jinbei 1200’s too and they are 4 years old and perform exceptionally well. Don’t sit on your laurels PF! Product longevity ( or rumour of! Look at Leica! lol ) is a thing of the past with consumers and the cost is the new equation….. good shooting whatever! :)

  3. Todd F Avatar
    Todd F

    Not at all surprising – see the decline of Pocket Wizard. #byeprofoto

  4. Liam Avatar
    Liam

    …although these unit may compare favorably to the Profoto’s at first glance, the real value of purchasing Profoto, Broncolor, Elinchrom or some other ‘more expensive’ system will show itself in the years to come – nevermind the weak resale value these will have.

    1. Vanitas Foto Avatar
      Vanitas Foto

      Resale value should never be a factor because in the other hand you may want to sell the B1’s and people may not want to buy them for their high price.

      Godox, Jinbei and many other top tier Chinese manufacturers have come a long way.

    2. Hans J Avatar
      Hans J

      I don’t buy lights to later sell, I buy lights to make money.

  5. Ben Hosking Avatar
    Ben Hosking

    About to buy one… or three.

    1. Hans J Avatar
      Hans J

      Just bought 2

  6. Deirdre Ryan Avatar
    Deirdre Ryan

    As much as the AD600 is better for my wallet, I need better colour consistency. I’m shooting with super old Dynalites with power supplies(D805 and M1000) and the colour is spot on each time. They work great in the studio, but I need something when out on location.