Why is it so difficult to compare one light to another? It would be bad enough to say that watts, LUX, watt-seconds, and guide numbers aren’t directly comparable. And unless you’ve been around lights for a long time, these measurements won’t even make intuitive sense.
If you’re just starting out with strobes, there’s more choice than ever to overwhelm you with! In this guide, we will help you systematically narrow down which lights are going to work best for your type of photography.
The world of strobes has changed quite a bit since we published our last article on the subject. While much of the information there remains relevant, we thought it was time for a fresh guide to highlight some of the technological improvements, particularly in power range which we will get to in a moment.
Let’s get right into it and discuss the main considerations when choosing a strobe:
All the photographic groups and forums have been vaguely on fire in the last 24 hours due to an inflammatory video posted on YouTube by a pro photographer giving his opinion about Godox (and other similar level) lights.
As you can imagine, opinion was quickly divided with the Godox supporters getting their knickers in a twist and those that can afford the more expensive brands feeling delightfully smug. I watched the full 23 minutes and 57-second video so you don’t have to. You’re welcome!
First leaked way back in January, Godox has now finally announced the long-awaited Godox V860III speedlight. As expected, the final specs match up almost exactly with those leaked in April, and it’s available for all of the systems Godox supports, including Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus/Panasonic and Pentax.
The new Godox V860III introduces a new feature for Godox speedlights; a modelling light. It also starts to unify the battery system amongst the Godox lithium-ion powered speedlights by using the same battery as the Godox V1, as well as the quick-release foot. There’s now also a TTL/Manual switch on the side to help you more easily make quick adjustments.
There’s still been no official announcement from Godox and there’s no mention of it publicly on the Godox website yet, but the Godox V860III speedlight appears to have started popping up in the listings at online retailers. In this case, that retailer is B&H. While there are no images of the new speedlight yet, we’ve seen those leaked before, although all of the new features are listed.
Also listed is the price and compatibility. Coming in at $199, it’s available to pre-order now for Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony. Notably absent from this list are the Panasonic/Olympus and Pentax versions. Those are on the way according to the last leak, but they’re not yet listed at B&H. Also not listed yet is the expected V850III manual speedlight.
Despite now having about half a dozen triggers available for the Godox flash system, the Godox XPro still seems to be the most popular. I have six of them myself so that I can use all my Godox lights with different brands of camera. The main attractions for the XPro are the easy access to settings due to the array of buttons and that huge LCD.
But in the rough and tumble of location shooting where gear often just gets thrown into a bag, that big LCD can become a liability. Photographer Mark Ratcliffe at Pixapro, though, has found a solution to help protect your trigger in the bag no matter what. And if you’re doing photography as a business, you may already own what you need!
Godox has announced their new P2400 pack and head system. It’s the most powerful strobe system they’ve produced to date, which Godox describes as “a giant leap in the Godox innovation history”. And it sure does look the part, with Godox’s sights obviously set on brands like Profoto and Broncolor.
As with most of the other strobes in the Godox lineup, the H2400P heads to go with the pack are Bowens mount and feature a 60W LED modelling lamp (equivalent to a 300W halogen lamp). The flash power offers up to 10-stops of control (it goes all the way down to 1/512th power) in 1/10th stop increments. It’s also compatible with both of Godox’s 2.4Ghz and 433Mhz trigger systems.
There’s been no official announcement yet and they don’t seem don’t appear to be listed on the Godox website (at least not publicly), it looks like Godox definitely plans to release the V850III and V860III speedlights this year. We’ve been sent a couple of screenshots, purportedly from the Godox 2021 catalogue, showing the new Godox V860III and V850III speedlights.
The source that sent us the screenshots say that they’ve been added to the 2021 catalogue and they both include some nice changes from their V850II and V860II predecessors. The V860III sees the same locking foot lever as found on the V1 and it gets a modelling light. Both models see UI changes and a switch to a new battery – the same one as the Godox V1.
Over the past several decades, the Bowens mount has become the ubiquitous modifier mount for lights. Created, naturally, by Bowens decades ago, before they went bust, it seems to have been adopted as the defacto standard for the photography industry – and even video lights like those from Godox, Aputure and others have taken up the trend.
But Godox actually has their own modifier mount, used on the Godox AD300Pro and AD400Pro strobes as well as the new ML60 continuous LED (review coming soon!). But why make a whole new mount? What’s the point when Bowens is so popular? Well, primarily, the purpose here is the size and weight advantages, as Francisco Joel Hernandez illustrates in this video.