Godox V1: A Versatile All-rounder
Most on-camera flashguns feature rectangular flash heads. The Godox V1, however, is an exception to this rule, with its round head. Shridhar Kunte reports.
Over the past few years, camera sensors have been becoming more advance, with the ability to capture better images under low or extremely difficult lighting conditions. Despite this, the importance and use of artificial lighting in creative photographic endeavours, has not ceased. Professional photographers are always on the lookout for options for advance flash systems that gel well with their existing camera systems, and which offer advance options and new technology. The V1 is the mid-range option offered by Godox. The testing unit that we received was fully compatible with Canon’s camera system, although V1 is available for Sony, Nikon, Fuji and Panasonic mounts.
Keeping in mind that the V1 is a shoe mount flash, it offers a very hefty power output of 76Ws. The flash has an optical slave, as well as a built-in 2.4GHz transmitter and receiver, that accepts wireless signals from Godox X System transmitters. In fact, you can control up to four wireless groups in a master/slave configuration, whereby changes made on the V1 are transmitted via the slave flashes. When used in the wireless mode, the effective range is up to 100m indoors (with line of sight or no interference), or about 30m outdoors. It is fully compatible with E-TTL and E-TTL II, TTL auto, on and off camera automatic and fully manual operations.
The V1 can be fired with the first and second curtain, and high speed sync as well. The strobe mode allows a maximum of 100 flashes, depending on the strength and interval, which can be set manually. The flash head zooms from 28mm to 105mm step less, and this can either be left to automatically match the focal length of the lens with which you are shooting (it also detects the sensor size), zooming as you zoom, or it can be manually controlled. Various flash settings like exposure compensation, synching, and modes can be controlled through the camera. The flash head is capable of a 330° rotation, it can tilt from -7° to 120°, and has a magnetic surface for quickly changing Godox’s accessory light modifiers. The V1 is powered by a removable 2600mAh lithium-ion battery.
The flash feels sturdy and is very well built. Three are only two external ports on the left and are well protected with rubber lead. Instead of a normal PC sync terminal, there is a 2.5mm jack to connect the flash to the camera, or if you are triggering the flash wirelessly, then you can connect the terminal to any other flash. V1 has a Type C USB terminal, which can be used to update its the firmware. I was surprised to see that there is no locking mechanism for the flash head, when setting it for bounce or swivel. There is a chance that the angle that set for correct flash exposure, might change accidentally in crowed places, like at a wedding.
A large part of the back of the flash is occupied by an LCD that is back illuminated with yellow light. The screen is clearly visible in bright and low light. Below the LCD, there are five small buttons that can be easily accessed with the right hand thumb. The four way key pad with the control dial is placed at the center, and makes it easy to navigate through different settings.
The very first thing you notice about the V1 is its round head design. But, does this make a difference? The answer is yes. It produces noticeably different light patterns than the rectangular head on camera flashes, which is softer, and the light is very evenly spread. The V1 works flawlessly on Canon full frame cameras, provides in-depth information on the back LCD. Even the recycling time is about 1.7 seconds, which is very fast. The built-in modeling light is very handy, especially when shooting indoor portraits with light modifiers, and offers 10 different intensity levels to choose from. Along with E-TTL, manual exposure control
is excellent. The output is nicely neutral, and the illumination is quite even, with the expected level of falloff.
The V1 is packed with features. It operates well with the current range of Canon DSLRs. Its distinct round head makes it easy to use, even for a less experienced flash user. The V1’s closest competitor is the Profoto A1, which is very highly priced (Rs. 60,000), in comparison to its Rs. 17,990 price tag. At this price point, it offers best value to performance ratio, and if you buy the AKR1 Light Shaping Tool kit, you will have more options for creative lighting.
This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Better Photography.
GN 60, E-TTL II, fully featured master/slave functionality, 28–105mm stepless zoom
Neutral, even illumination, speedy recycling time, excellent master/slave performance
Sturdy plastics, well-made, no weathersealing
Logical key placement and menu
|Warranty & Support
Two year warranty, many service centres
|VALUE FOR MONEY||4.5/5|
|Who should buy it?||Professional wedding, event or outdoor location photographers, who need speed, accuracy, power and wireless control/multi-flash setup.|
|Why?||Great pricing for an innovative and powerful flashgun.|