I’ve become a big fan of Godox (Pixapro, Flashpoint, etc) over the last couple of years. They sprang out of nowhere, and in no time at all built up a solid following. They are the first company to offer a complete self contained solution that covers everything from speedlights to studio strobes. But their latest addition is something of an oddity. It’s not quite a speedlight, and it’s not quite a strobe, but somewhere in between, and both at the same time.
The Godox Witstro AD200 is a 200Ws flash unit with two interchangeable heads. One is a bare bulb, like the AD180/360. The other offers a more traditional speedlight-like fresnel head. But it doesn’t have a hotshoe, so you can’t easily mount it onto your standard speedlight bracket. It does, however, have 1/4-20″ threads in the side and underneath. One big advantage of this over something like the AD180 or AD360 is the weight savings. It doesn’t use an external power pack, but a built in a LiIon battery.
Using the speedlight style fresnel head means that you can also mount it into many of the Bowens speedlight adapters. Being straight and having screw mount points on the sides also means that if you want to use it with an umbrella, the flash head is closer to the centre. This makes for a much more even spread of light, that can be difficult with traditional speedlights.
Not mentioned in the announcement, but shown in the photos is this gelholder barn door attachment. I haven’t seen this available anywhere before, so it looks like it’s a new product designed specifically for this flash. Although, I would imagine it would also fit many speedlights, too. Whether it comes included with the light or not, I’m not sure. But the image at the top of this article suggests that it probably doesn’t.
What’s very cool about this unit is that you can swap out the heads. If you want to get that bare bulb look, you don’t need to swap out for a different flash, or lose power with a Stofen. You just switch out the head.
This is where this unit gets very intriguing for me. Godox have a history of creating heads that let you gang multiple packs together. They did it with the AD600. 1200Ws heads are available now with 2400Ws apparently on the way, that let you hook 2 or 4 AD600 packs together to power a single, more powerful light.
If they end up doing the same with this, that could be extremely useful. Four of these could act as small, but fairly powerful individual strobes when you need multiple lights. When you only need one, hook four up to get a single 800Ws head. Whether that’s actually going to happen or not, I really have no idea, but it wouldn’t surprise me. It would also cause a few of these to find their way into my bag.
The flash has a built in 2.4Ghz receiver, that’s compatible with their X1 trigger system. So, if you’re already using the TT600/TT685, V850II/V860II speedlights, AD360II or AD600 strobes, these’ll fit right in.
So, here’s a quick rundown on the features.
- Power – 200Ws
- Bare Bulb – GN60m, ISO 100 (AD360 reflector)
- Flash Modes – TTL / M / Multi
- HSS to 1/8000th
- FEC / FEB – 1/3rd Increments (±3 Stops)
- FEL (Flash Exposure Lock)
- Manual Flash – 1/128 – 1/1 Output (1/3rd Increments)
- Godox 2.4GHz X Radio System
- Canon, Nikon, Sony, Radio Slave Modes (Auto Switching)
- Range – 100m + with X1 as Transmitter
- Groups – A / B / C / D / E
- 32 Channels
- Canon, Nikon, Sony, Optic Wireless Slave Modes
- S1/S2 Optic Slave Modes
- Color Temperature – 5600 +/- 200k
- 14.4V 2900mAh Lithium-ion Battery
- 520 Full Power Flashes
- 0.01 – 2.1 Second Recycle Time
- Custom Functions
- Auto Memory Function
- USB Port for Firmware Upgrades
- 3.5mm Sync Port
The only thing that concerns me is the guide number. It shows as 60m using the AD360 reflector. This guide number is the same as the Godox V860II speedlight. Although, the V860 specs don’t say what position the head’s zoomed to. A fresnel on a speedlight at 200mm zoom might give a long throw, but it’s not exactly going to fill a 4ft octabox very easily. Of course, the Godox AD180 also has a guide number of 60m, and that is significantly more powerful than a speedlight.
I think I’ll hold off on getting some, though, until I can try one out in person. I want to really put it to the test and see how it compares with speedlights and other strobes with a handheld incident meter. It will also depend on price, too.
Being a self contained unit that doesn’t require an external pack, is very handy. If it can put out at least the same power as the AD180, it’ll come in very handy for me. Especially as they claim 520 full power flash pops on a full battery. I really do hope they bring out separate heads I can hook 2 or 4 of these up to for more power on location, though.
There’s no word on price or availability yet, but as soon as we know, we’ll update you!
What do you think? Is this a cool design for a portable speedlight/strobe hybrid? Or is it just plain weird? Can you see these being a useful addition to your arsenal? Are you also hoping for more powerful heads that you could attach multiple AD200 units to? Let us know in the comments.