We’re not saying the Westcott FJ400 and Jinbei HD-400 are the same strobe, but they sure look similar

Sep 30, 2019

John Aldred

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.

We’re not saying the Westcott FJ400 and Jinbei HD-400 are the same strobe, but they sure look similar

Sep 30, 2019

John Aldred

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.

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I’ve seen a few posts recently about Westcott’s new FJ400 strobe, with a couple of sites labeling it the “best value strobe” on the market. We even covered the announcement here on DIYP and it looks fairly impressive, holding up to competitors like the Godox AD400Pro quite well in many respects.

But is it really Westcott’s new strobe? Or is it Jinbei’s HD400, released over a year ago, just with “Westcott” stamped on it? WE are not saying that it is, but we are saying that there are some striking similarities.

The biggest comparison I’m seeing online is Westcott FJ400 vs Godox AD400Pro. So, let’s take a look at those specs and see how the two actually compare on-paper.

Westcott FJ400Godox AD400
Mount typeBowens S TypeBowens S Type
Power400Ws400Ws
Power range1 – 1/2561 – 1/256
Full power flashes on a single charge400390
Max recycle time0.9sec0.9sec
Flash Ready IndicatorNoneBeep
Exposure modesTTL/ManualTTL/Manual
Colour Temp5500K ± 150K / ± 500K in Freeze mode5600K ± 200K / ± 75K in Stable Colour Temp Mode
Min. flash duration1/8500sec (normal mode) 1/19,000sec (freeze mode)1/12,820sec
Flash ModesHSS, Stroboscopic, Rear Curtain SyncHSS, Stroboscopic, Rear Curtain Sync, Stable Colour Temp Mode
Wireless control2.4Ghz2.4Ghz
Wireless channels1632
Wireless groups105
Modelling Light20W LED30W LED
Cost$569$649

They look pretty close to me. The Westcott appears to have the edge in a couple of places, like the faster flash duration in “Freeze” mode, although it comes with a 1,000K variance in colour temperature, whereas the AD400Pro drops down to a mere 150K colour variance in stable colour temp mode vs the FJ400’s best offering of 300K variance.

The AD400Pro offers a stronger LED modeling lamp, and while you’ve got less chance of conflicting with other 2.4Ghz signals on the Godox system due to the availability of 32 channels over only 16 on the Westcott, the Westcott allows control of up to 10 groups, for more configuration options in your setup.

But, here’s the thing. The Westcott FJ400 looks an awful lot like the Jinbei HD-400 that’s been out for over a year now. And, as you can see from the image above, it also looks a whole lot like Adorama’s Orlit RoveLight RT 400 that also came out over a year ago. The Adorama version, by the way, is currently selling for $399. $170 cheaper than Westcott’s “Best Value Strobe”.

 

There’s not really much point doing another comparison chart for the Westcott FJ400 vs the Jinbei HD-400 (or the Orlit RoveLight RT 400), because they’re essentially identical. Down to the very specific 1/19,000 Sec Flash Duration. The only difference between the listed specs that I could see is that the Jinbei and Orlit lights state a 15W modeling lamp while the Westcott boasts 20W.

It could be that the similarities between the Jinbei/Orlit and the Westcott are purely cosmetic and the internals are different. That same claim was made by another lighting company a number of years ago who was also allegedly rebranding Jinbei lights. Jinbei and the other company denied the simple rebranding claims, although the performance of both brand units was identical in the hands of users.

But just because one company might have mismanaged the truth about that in the past does not mean that it’s not possible. And Westcott certainly has the resources to develop their own internals to fit somebody else’s enclosure if they wanted to. Although, if that is the case, it makes me wonder why they didn’t go to the effort of creating an original exterior as well.

The Westcott trigger, too, that has apparently “changed the game completely”, also looks basically identical to the Jinbei TR-Q7. Here, at least, Adorama’s Orlit system makes no attempt to hide the fact that it’s just a rebadged Jinbei, using the exact same model number. And it’s $10 cheaper than the Westcott.

Even if they are the same light, Westcott does have the advantage of being able to offer a much better warranty and repair service than Jinbei, as the Jinbei HD-400 only appears to be available through eBay sellers. There’s no mention of it on Amazon or the usual big online retailers. So, if you get the Jinbei and it dies, you’re either going to have to ship it back to China or you’re just plain out of luck. But, that Orlit comes from Adorama, who also usually have pretty good warranties.

Of course, the Westcott strobe and trigger have a combined price of around $670. The Orlit branded versions of seemingly the same products has a combined cost of around $490. So, I’m not sure the Westcott really is the “best value strobe” that some seem to be proclaiming. At least, not on paper. I haven’t really seen anything yet that tells me that the Westcott is any different to the Jinbei/Orlit light.

What makes me curious, though, is why this $670 combo is now being hailed as the “best value strobe”. When Adorama released a very similar strobe a year ago, nobody seemed to care. While Adorama’s price at launch was higher than it is now, kicking off at $499, it’s still lower than the $549 Westcott wants. So, why was nobody shouting and raving about it then?

I’d love to see if somebody can get the two units side-by-side to really test their performance capabilities and see if there is any actual difference between the Westcott and Jinbei/Orlit versions.

If they are the same unit, though, it seems the “best value strobe” might actually be the Orlit RoveLight RT 400 and Orlit TR-Q7 trigger and not the Westcott.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

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.

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16 responses to “We’re not saying the Westcott FJ400 and Jinbei HD-400 are the same strobe, but they sure look similar”

  1. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
    Sergi Yavorski

    Westcott is more efficient. Faster recharge for full power shots. A better battery as well.

    1. Adam Avatar
      Adam

      Hi Westcott,
      Can you please extend this clarification to the Jinbei HD400 Pro.

      1. Westcott Avatar
        Westcott

        I cannot confirm this as we have not had a chance to test their latest version yet, however it appears they market as >450 flashes per charge. Assuming those are full-power flashes, that would be pretty similar to our 480+ full-power flashes per charge.

        Another minor difference would be the magnetic gels that are included. It appears that Jinbei offers a set of colored options with the HD400 Pro, while our FJ400 magnetic pack includes CCT gels (full CTO, 1/2 CTO, window green, and color-accurate diffusion).

  2. Alex Marentes Avatar
    Alex Marentes

    Because of professional Youtube blogger reviewers that are bias trying to fool the consumer, not sure if any of you have figured it out!!!

  3. Westcott Avatar
    Westcott

    Hey, John! Here’s a little more information to clarify the differences between the FJ400 and Jinbei’s HD400. The FJ400 has a similar body, with very updated features. We worked tirelessly for months with an established engineering team to fine-tune the internal elements so we could offer a flash unit that was up to our standards.

    • The FJ400 has more flashes per charge (480+ compared to Jinbei’s 400).
    • The FJ400 can be charged while using (AC/DC capabilities) with no additional adapters needed.
    • The FJ400 has a faster recycling time (0.9 seconds at full power compared to Jinbei’s 1.6 seconds).
    • The FJ400 has a daylight-balanced 20w LED modeling lamp (compared to Jinbei’s15w 3000k lamp).
    • The FJ400 has optimized flash tube positioning (the tube placement is customized to output an even spread of light in modifiers).
    • The FJ400 offers ± 150k in color consistency over the entire power range (levels 1-9). Jinbei market’s over “normal range” which appears to be 1/1-1/32 power (levels 4-9).
    • The FJ400 features an umbrella tensioner/screw mechanism for quick yet solid mounting of umbrellas and umbrella-style modifiers (including the Westcott 7’ umbrellas).
    • The FJ400 receives strict Westcott Quality Control.
    • The FJ400 is backed by Westcott’s USA-based service and support.

    We noticed some incorrect information in your specs sheet here that we’d also like to clarify…
    • The FJ400’s lithium polymer battery provides has 480+ full power flashes on a single charge (not 400).
    • The is an audible and adjustable Flash Ready Beep Indicator as well as a visual indicator on the test button.

    We hope that helps! Please flee free to reach out at communications@fjwestcott.com in you have any other questions or concerns.

  4. Westcott Avatar
    Westcott

    Hey, John! Here’s a little more information to clarify the differences between the FJ400 and Jinbei’s HD400. The FJ400 has a similar body, with very updated features. We worked tirelessly for months with an established engineering team to fine-tune the internal elements so we could offer a flash unit that was up to our standards.

    • The FJ400 has more flashes per charge (480+ compared to Jinbei’s 400).

    • The FJ400 can be charged while using (AC/DC capabilities) with no additional adapters needed.

    • The FJ400 has a faster recycling time (0.9 seconds at full power compared to Jinbei’s 1.6 seconds).

    • The FJ400 has a daylight-balanced 20w LED modeling lamp (compared to Jinbei’s15w 3000k lamp).

    • The FJ400 has optimized flash tube positioning (the tube placement is customized to output an even spread of light in modifiers).

    • The FJ400 offers ± 150k in color consistency over the entire power range (levels 1-9). Jinbei market’s over “normal range” which appears to be 1/1-1/32 power (levels 4-9).

    • The FJ400 features an umbrella tensioner/screw mechanism for quick yet solid mounting of umbrellas and umbrella-style modifiers (including the Westcott 7’ umbrellas).

    • The FJ400 receives strict Westcott Quality Control.

    • The FJ400 is backed by Westcott’s USA-based service and support.

    We noticed some incorrect information in your specs sheet here that we’d also like to clarify…

    • The FJ400’s lithium polymer battery provides has 480+ full power flashes on a single charge (not 400).

    • The is an audible and adjustable Flash Ready Beep Indicator as well as a visual indicator on the test button.

    We hope that helps! Please feel free to reach out at communications@fjwestcott.com in you have any other questions or concerns.

    1. Adam Avatar
      Adam

      Hi Westcott,
      Looks like it’s almost an identical Jinbei HD400 pro. Can you clarify the difference from the pro model?

      1. Westcott Avatar
        Westcott

        Hi, Adam!

        We haven’t had a chance to do a hands-on test of the latest HD400 Pro yet, however we can confirm differences including the FJ400’s firmware, umbrella receptacle tension mechanism, and the daylight-balanced 5600k modeling lamp. Every FJ400 also includes a Rapid Box Switch Insert for pairing with any of our 13 Switch modifiers.

        Strict quality control standards and testing protocols for the FJ400 were developed by our awesome product development team in the US, along with features like the extended flash tube positioning for optimized use in our wide range of compatible modifiers, CCT consistency across all power ranges, faster recycling time, the AC/DC charge-while-you-shoot operation, etc.

        Hope that helps!

        1. Adam Avatar
          Adam

          So, the FJ400 is not built on the Jinbei HD400 pro hardware?

        2. Paul Kane Avatar
          Paul Kane

          What a load of bullshit…
          The FJ400 is the Jinbei HD400 pro with Westcott badging…
          As is the FJ-X2 trigger….exactly the same as the Jinbei TR-Q7…
          Seriously…stop with the rubbish you are saying about how much development Westcott put into the new lights and trigger….Including the latest FJ80 and FJ200…
          For those following along…these are the rebadged Jinbei HD-2pro and HD-200pro…

      2. Baconator Avatar
        Baconator

        It seems the HD 400 Pro is a relatively new product – you can’t even find them on eBay, only on Alibaba, and it’s more expensive than the rebranded Westcott model. Apparently Westcott got a pretty good deal on them.

  5. Daryl Davis Avatar
    Daryl Davis

    John, you missed the fact that the Westcott trigger works across a range of camera brands.

    1. Jenny Hamilton Avatar
      Jenny Hamilton

      So do the Jinbei & Orlit versions. Out of the box, all three brands work with majority of cameras (Sony users need to use a small adapter to make the connection fit).

  6. iphoto27 Avatar
    iphoto27

    ATG has it with a better model that uses AA battery.
    ATG/Jinbei make it for Adorama, Westcott and *Rollei.
    ATG has it in Profoto & Interfit.

    Greedy CEO or well known companies/brands hiked the prices. But will fall.
    ATG has knocked down Bowens & Dynalite.
    ATG hurts Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Metz, Nissin, Yongnuo, Pocket Wizard & Quantum Instruments

    The King of the flashes/monolights are ATG/Godox.

    How are you ever going to be a successful flash company, if you don’t have ATG AF Assist Beam?
    Trying to sell a transmitter over $450.00 without an ATG AF will do photographers no good if lens can’t AF.

    ATG AF was on Canon 600EX-RT/600EX II-RT & Nikon SB-800/SB-900/SB-910. And they work well.

    The ATG/Godox are the only two in the world that have AF assist beam on transmitters that work on Sony A-mount (ATG’s A-mount has been dead for decades) and E-mount cameras.

    * Surprised about Rollei, a Germany company, right?
    * That Rollei CAN NOT make their own lights & transmitters.
    * If you are in Germany, best to buy Jinbei over Rollei
    * If you are in USA, buy from Adorama. But B&H Photo has ATG’s Bolt
    * If you are a pro, then get ATG

  7. Darnell Reid Avatar
    Darnell Reid

    Does anyone know if the Wescott an the Jinbei/ Orlit will fire off the same triggers?

  8. Darnell Reid Avatar
    Darnell Reid

    Does anyone know if the Wescott and the Jinbei/ Orlit will fire from the same trigger/ radio system?