The Godox V1 Pro is 2 flashes in one
Well, we didn’t have to wait long for that one, did we? It’s been two weeks since Godox’s filing with Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications became public. And now it’s here. Godox has officially announced the new Godox V1 Pro speedlight (buy here).
It’s unclear if the “Pro” version of the flash is the successor to the Godox V1 (buy here) or a new higher-level model, and the two will continue side-by-side. However, the V1 Pro offers some interesting differences and advantages compared to the V1.
Godox V1 Pro – 2 flashes in one?
The Godox V1 Pro is an interesting evolution of the Godox V1 product line. What makes it particularly so is that it appears to be two flashes in one. Over the front of the main body of the flash is a removable plate that houses a second, smaller light source.
This is the Godox SU-100 Sub-Flash (buy here). It comes supplied with the V1 Pro, but extras are available for $49 each if you lose or damage one and need a replacement.
This second light acts as a frontal fill-light while you bounce the main light off a wall or ceiling. It means that even though there might be a high contrast between the bounced light source and the shadows on your subject, they shouldn’t fade to black.
It’s not really designed to light your subject. It also doesn’t work outside of its operation with the Godox V1. So, there’s no native wireless control, and no high speed sync. It only works as a subsystem of the Godox V1 Pro.
Godox V1 Pro – More Power!
When Godox first started switching to lithium-ion batteries, one of the big selling points was the fast recycle time. It’s true that Godox’s lithium-ion-based battery speedlights do recycle faster than a traditional speedlight that uses four AA batteries.
However, this gain came with a sacrifice. AA-powered speedlights often feature an external power source socket. Lithium-ion-powered speedlights have thus far removed this socket, but the Godox V1 Pro adds it back.
With my Nikon SB-900s, this socket let me use the Nikon SD-9 to add 8 more AA batteries and get a faster recycle time than any standard lithium-ion speedlight would allow. With the Godox PB960 pack and a DB-02 Y cable on an SB-900 or Godox TT600 (buy here), I can get full-power flash recycle times as low as half a second.
Now, you get the same feature with the Godox V1 Pro. Godox specifically shows the unit connected to the Godox PB960. This is the same pack that sells with the Godox AD360 II (buy here), and it offers a lot of power.
Better burst mode (100 shots)
The Godox V1 Pro boasts up to 100 shots in a row before you get any kind of overheat warning kicking in. With the Godox V1, you get up to about 40 shots before the overheat warnings begin. This is a significant efficiency and cooling improvement.
Of course, it’s an improvement Godox needed to make if they wanted users to utilise external packs. The Godox V1 Pro has the same 1.5-second recycle time as the Godox V1. So, this means just using the internal battery.
Godox doesn’t say how much of a speed benefit the Godox PB960 offers to the Godox V1 Pro, but it should be significant. I’d be very surprised if the performance was worse than the Nikon SB-900 or Godox TT600 with the same pack attached.
While we’re on the subject of the internal battery, it doesn’t need a charger anymore. You can still use the original Godox VC26 charger as supplied with the Godox V1 if you wish. However, you can also charge the battery directly using a USB cable.
I’m glad this seems to have started becoming standard now in many new products.
Price and Availability
The Godox V1 Pro is available to pre-order now for $329. It’s available for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, and Panasonic/Olympus. No version for Pentax (yet?). The Godox SU100 Sub-Flash is included with the V1 Pro, although spares are available for $49 each.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.