Godox AD200 Flash & Godox H200R Round Head – Flash Review

 

I bought the Godox AD200 (also known as the Flashpoint eVOLV 200 TTL Pocket Flash) TTL Flash to primarily help with interior and product photography. The Flashpoint eVOLV 200 TTL Pocket Flash is the exact same unit with the same features and works with the same transmitters–the only difference is the branding. The Godox AD200 has been on the market for over a year now but I haven’t seen many reviews of the Godox H200R flash head–it is a more modern accessory. 

I already own the Godox TT600S and Godox TT685S speedlights along with the Godox X1TS transmitter, so I know what to expect from this company. Personally I think they are doing wonders in the flash photography world as they are bringing affordable, usable wireless flashes to the market. Wireless technology has been around for several decades but flash camera manufacturers were quite slow to react, I believe. It is for this reason it is nice when the China make affordable products and push the market into a more modern direction.

Regardless of skill at any particular hobby, I’m someone who generally prefers to save up and get what I truly like rather than buy cheaper items I won’t be unhappy with. It can be a bit of a bad habit. The Godox AD200 doesn’t have much in the way of competition. The Profoto B10 is arguably its direct competitor but the price is extortionate and it’s heavier. In my opinion, you are far better to buy an AD200, some speed lights and the Godox AD400 Pro rather than a single Profoto B10, if you don’t own much flash equipment. If you do own a lot of flash equipment, Godox is reaching a point where you should seriously consider what they have to offer. It’s one thing to make claims about Profoto’s build quality, but I suggest you ask yourself three questions. 1) Are you simply repeating what you’ve read? 2) Have you actually dissasembled the units and found their build quality to be better 3) How much will it cost to get repaired? Replacing the capacitors of a D1 250 might be as expensive as a new Godox AD200 for example.

I bought a Profoto B1 and I thought it was extremely over-rated. It was incredibly heavy and large, wasn’t as well made as the internet lead me to believe and the transmitter was utterly appalling for the money. When a company starts ripping you off on a few things, for example charging 10x what they should be charging for barn doors, it’s hard to trust they won’t rip you off on everything. They’ve had problems with the flash tubes of the D1, the motors of the A1, colour consistency with the B2, etc. At this point, you might be thinking I’m a Profoto hater. I’m really not. Every company runs into problems with its products, if they make a lot of products. However, it seems to me like the amount of failures aren’t vastly different. I’m sure the customer service is better but given how fast Amazon are to deal with returns, it’s hard to make an argument here–at least if you live in the UK. Needless to say I returned the Profoto B1 and bought into Godox instead.

How to use the Godox AD200 flash

The Godox AD200 is a simple to use unit. The menu system for the transmitter is a bit fiddly but a lot of the functions you can set and forget. After that, you’ll be more inclined to adjust the power. In this way, I noticed an advantage with Profoto compared to some manufactures. You can see the power of the flash on the transmitter. The Profoto transmitter adjusts the power but I could not find a way to see what I had set it to. This might not seem important, but if you’re at full power, you may not realise it and then you might run into bother.

The Godox AD200 also has a unique feature, which is its slide on heads. They’re easy to change as you simply slide the switch on the side of the flash. There’s also a bag and a battery, etc. included in the box. The Godox H200R round flash head is an affordable optional extra that doesn’t come with the Godox AD200 by default. Once the Godox H200R flash head is mounted, the full unit no longer fits inside the bag. It is easy to dismount and put back in the box though. The Godox H200 flash head comes with its own pouch. Personally I find these kind of bags and whatnot somewhat useless. I’ll occasionally put accessories I don’t use in them and store them elsewhere, as I typically buy a dedicated bag to put my items in.

On the back of the unit is an easy to read screen. You can enable and disable a modelling light with some of the heads; different flash heads have different modelling lights and modelling light features. The H200R round flash head has a modelling light with different brightness levels, the fresnel head has one level and the barebulb doesn’t have a modelling light at all.

I’ve tried each head and for outdoor use, I wouldn’t worry about colour consistency too much. The clouds simply change the white balance more than the flashes, so it’s not worth debating. For studio use, from what I can tell, the Godox H200R is more colour accurate than the fresnel bulb. The fresnel seems to be comparable to a speed light. If you’re mixing with speed lights, perhaps that isn’t an issue. If you want the best colour consistency–better than the Profoto B1X, go with a Godox AD400 Pro. In my opinion, a lot of colour consistency claims and the importance of colour consistency is marketing hype. Obviously it’s nice to start a meal/recipe/photograph with “nice ingredients” so to speak but if the clouds are changing the colour temperature to the point it’s all for nothing, then it’s a moot point.

Each head does give a different shaped light on the subject. Of course most of the time people will use a lighting modifier, but first take a look at what I’m talking about…

These are all set to the same colour temperature–they were synced in lightroom. The fresnel head clearly has a different temperature to the Godox H200R round head and the Godox AD200 barebulb.

Both the Godox AD200 barebulb and the Godox H200R round head give pleasing results should you wish to fire the flash directly at a wall–perhaps it will be used as a backlight, with a gel or something. Firing the flashes at different power settings and whatnot doesn’t give hugely different results.

Here’s where things get a bit controversial. Are companies using the “round head” stuff as marketing hype? Does a round head really make a difference if you’re going to be using modifiers, etc? My answer to this is, “it depends”.

I’ve been taking more interior photographs than usual where a bare head is used quite often. Speedlights aren’t quite as powerful as I’d like. They’re useful for some things, however, so being able to mix speedlights with a more powerful flash is ideal. There are many times where the head makes a difference here. Mostly in the shadow regions…

This is a bit of an unfair comparison because the light wasn’t held in the same place–this is obvious by the difference in brightness. However, the shadows are not as good with the fresnel head compared to the Godox H200R roundhead. For interior photography and bare head macro photography, this might be hugely important. I’d argue it’s less important with portraiture because you’re more likely to use a modifier.

Combine that with the fact the fresnel head is not as colour accurate, and to me it’s a pretty clear buy. I cannot think of a reason companies should stick with rectangular fresnel heads and I’d like to see more companies go the way of the round headed flash. In most cases it is not a game changer but there’s simply no negative to a round head.

The Godox AD200 integrate well with the Godox system, work as an all around flash and you may not even need to use speedlights most of the time. The included battery gets a lot of shots, so you shouldn’t have to worry about charging it up very frequently i.e. it’ll last a whole days worth of shooting and more. Because it’s one solid rectangular unit, you don’t have to worry about the hot shoe breaking. There’s a screw hole for both a light stand adaptor, and a tripod mount i.e. two holes in separate sizes. I like this because if you have a spare tripod and ballhead, you can fix it to that. I tend to use the Godox S-type bracket most of the time.

You can also buy a magmod system from ebay but I don’t recommend getting the original magmod. It’s overpriced. This will only fit the fresnel head and not the Godox AD200 Godox H200R round head or Godox AD200 barebulb obviously.

My conclusion is that they’re a great little unit. They could have a few extra features like being able to change the colour temperature of the flash or modelling head, WiFi features would be cool and I’d love to see a “Pro” model like the AD400 Pro, with even more stable colour temperature. In terms of build quality, a slightly more durable form of plastic would be nice. Other than that, there’s not much to criticise about them.

The bigger difference I notice with lighting brands is in the lighting modifiers. If you save yourself the money of buying Profoto, you can probably buy a reasonable parabolic reflector. The Godox AD200 will work better than the Profoto B10 in a parabolic reflector, due to the bare bulb flash head. The Profoto B10 is too recessed to fill out a parabolic reflector properly.

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