Godox AD1200 Pro and Broncolor Move 1200L – market review

The Godox AD1200 Pro is soon to be released. When we review the general flash market, I feel the Godox AD1200 Pro isn’t quite what people are asking for but I’m highly curious about it nonetheless.

Godox AD1200 Pro market review
Godox AD1200 Pro market review

The Godox AD1200 Pro looks to be a pack and single head system. Expect amazing colour consistency without the speed of the Broncolor Move 1200L. Also expect HSS or HS (one is a repeated flash, the other is one long flash. They both try to achieve the same effect) and TTL. Its durability to the elements is questionable as the plug is mounted on the top and not the side. Unfortunately, I see no support for two heads either. The Godox AD1200 Pro has enough power to split in half and still have two powerful heads (600w/600w).

To say this competes with the Broncolor Move 1200L seems a bit unfair but at the same time, I cannot help but draw comparisons. A new Broncolor Move 1200L is insultingly expensive, but if you buy secondhand and repair the battery yourself with [amazon_textlink asin=’B07YBTQSQL’ text=’18650 batteries’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’photochirp-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d22e5bd6-c981-45b5-9f40-0e0c758ee673′] when it inevitably fails, it starts to look somewhat compelling. I think the Godox AD1200 Pro should be priced extremely competitively but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more than what people are expecting.

Flash reliability

I’ve seen various reports regarding issues with the Profoto B1’s (flash tube issues), B2’s (colour issues), and the A1’s (battery & zoom issues). At this point, I’m not convinced Profoto is as reliable as originally claimed by the internet, nor do I think they’re as colour stable as Godox Pro models. A recessed flash tube doesn’t fill a parabolic reflector as well as a barebulb either. That said, Profoto polishes their product line very well, the materials are quite a rugged plastic, the flashes  try to be colour matched, the modifiers fit on easily and quickly, the modelling lights are better, they’re natively round head, etc. There’s no denying they do a lot right. With that in mind, I’m not a hardcore Godox fanboy who hates the big three but I think it’s a complete myth you pay extra to get more reliability and I wouldn’t be looking at investing in Profoto purely for the reliability.

Flash accessories

The cost of Profoto’s modifiers is a complete insult but as is Broncolors. And if they’re charging £3 million for £5 in materials for barn doors, how do I know they’re not also overcharging for the flashes? There’s been a couple of times I got close to buying a Broncolor flash and it was mostly the cost of things like grids that put me off. For a lot of people, they know you’re a part of their system and so they can basically rob you blind.

I think the Broncolor Move 1200L and their Broncolor Scoro packs are unique, several years on, but the transmitters for both companies don’t compare to the latest Godox transmitters. I’m not saying they’re good products but priced poorly, I’m saying they’re bad products regardless of price. The “Godox is good if you’re on a budget” argument makes people believe Godox are not quite as good, but some of their latest products actually outperform a lot of the more expensive competition. For example, the latest Godox transmitters outperform Profoto, regardless of price. The same can be said for the Godox V1 vs the Profoto A1x for example. Out of the box, the Profoto B10 is better than the Godox AD200 Pro, in my opinion, with the exception of the lack of a barebulb head.

Flash market review

Broncolor aim to please the studio photographer more than any other brand, in my opinion, but their ecosystem could do with some speedlights as well. I know a lot of studio photographers might laugh at the idea, but adding colour consistent speed lights to a scene is a cheap and often effective way to illuminate an area. Speedlights are a staple piece of gear in a wedding photographers kit, and being able to supplement that with a Broncolor Move 1200 L makes a lot of sense. Interior photographers who want to add small lights here and there can’t really do that with Broncolor at the moment either. They can add a fake sun with the Broncolor Move 1200L, and flash compositing indoors is possible in certain areas but that unit is quite heavy to move around. In some areas you don’t want wires either, and the Broncolor Siros 400L is quite a big and heavy beast. If you can afford one expensive flash, then being able to complete the system with speedlights tempts you more. Otherwise you’re faced with the scenario that you can only have one flash with that system. If the Profoto A1x’s were priced the same as the Godox V1s (why should they be more? they’re not as good), I’d be more tempted into buying a Profoto B10.

Godox’s flash ecosystem simply seems more reasonable when you review the rest of the market. In this regard, Profoto is very sleek and perhaps has the most comprehensive system (if you ignore price). They have small LEDs you can place anywhere (Profoto C1 Plus), reasonable speedlights (Profoto A1x) but not quite as good as Godox’s cheaper model (Godox V1) and pack and head systems (although these aren’t quite as good as the Broncolor Move 1200L). Their transmitter is terrible, despite being even more expensive than Godox, and their price to performance ratio is also terrible in general.

The Godox AD400 Pro has the flash stability of a Broncolor Siros 400, it’s smaller, lighter and in my opinion better in many regards and in situations where it’s too big and heavy, but you need more power than a speedlight, the Godox AD200 Pro is very good (Broncolor lacks a competing product whereas Profoto has the Profoto B10 which is better in many regards but not as good in others). The Godox V1 also outperforms any flash on the market right now.

If you’ve got the budget for one big flash and you want to supplement with a bunch of smaller lights, and pay a lot less for modifiers, Godox clearly has an advantage. However, if you just want one powerful pack and head flash, I’d argue the Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL might be seriously worth considering.

If you’re a studio only photographer with an unlimited budget, I think Broncolor is the best. I still think they should pad out their system with a better transmitter, colour stable speed lights and a pack and head system half the power of the Broncolor Move 1200 L. Some Godox AD200 Pro / Profoto B10 equivalents would be nice too.

The ideal flash

When I review what’s on the market, I’m not convinced the Godox AD1200 Pro is the ideal flash for people in general or myself right now, but it’s a massive step in the right direction. The Broncolor Move 1200L has been on the market for a long time now, so I wouldn’t recommend buying it in fear a week later there’d be a new model and it would be reduced in price, that said it seems better as the ports are on the side, and it supports two heads. Plus the heads are half the weight…

What I’d actually like to see is something more in line with the Elinchrom 500 TTL (I don’t recommend this because of their general ecosystem and the previous model had cable issues. I don’t know if this one does). If Broncolor, Profoto or Godox could make a 500 watt pack and head flash, it would have me thinking. Ideal specs:

  • Flаѕh Роwеr: 500 watts
  • Роwеr Dіѕtrіbutіоn: Full аѕуmmеtrу
  • Роwеr Rаngе: 10 F-ѕtорѕ
  • Rесусlіng Тіmе: 2 ѕесоndѕ full power
  • Dіmеnѕіоnѕ (LхWхН): 17 х 9.0 х 20 cm
  • Wеіght (including bаttеrу): No heavier than 2.5kg
  • Wеіght оf Ваttеrу: No heavier than 1 kg
  • Ваttеrу Rеmоvаblе: – Lі-Іоn 14,4 V – 98 W/h (to keep within flight restrictions)
  • Ваttеrу Сарасіtу: 500 full power flashes
  • Pack and head system
  • Head no heavier than 1kg
  • Radio controlled
  • Two ports
  • Barebulb tube to fill a para properly, with an optional recessed and frosted glass reflector
  • Bluetooth support
  • Moisture resistant
  • Ports on the side or on the top with rubber seals
  • OLED display
  • Fits in with a flash ecosystem that has round headed speedlights, like the Godox V1 or Profoto A1x
  • TTL
  • Flash transmitter that lets you use TTL, switch to manual and see what the current power setting is
  • Change the group of each head and select the power of each group with one button like you can with the Godox Xpro transmitter
  • HSS & HS
  • Automatic flash dumping
  • Eco mode (slower recycle but more flashes)
  • As colour stable as the Broncolor Move
  • Temperature adjust, like with the Broncolor Scoro
  • A high CRI, daylight balanced or temperature adjustable, dimmable LED that can be used as a video light
  • Screen on the unit and the transmitter itself should be on the top, not the front, so that if the camera or flash pack is against a wall, you can see the screen easily

All of the above is a big ask, but products made by Elinchrom, Profoto, and Broncolor have big prices. All of these features currently exist but they’re just spread across several products. I’d like all of these latest features to be put into one compelling lightweight lithium powered pack and head product. The Godox AD1200 Pro is a step in the right direction because it brings Broncolor Move 1200L like performance (at least in single head mode) at a more affordable price. I also think that if Broncolor and Profoto want to take pride in being the most premium brands on the market, their products have to offer something we cannot get at a lower price.

You might see things like HSS, TTL and bluetooth as gimmicky but a certain amount of people do care about features invented after 1921 and I see no reason not to include them.

What is your dream flash kit? For my Photography, my dream kit would consist of a flash like my ideal specs listed above, two Godox V1 speedlight equivalents and four Profoto C1 Plus equivalents, plus a rubbed, slim, intelligently designed transmitter – all made by Broncolor. If I’m being greedy, an updated Broncolor Move 1200L and a Profoto B10 equivalent would be nice too.

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5 thoughts on “Godox AD1200 Pro and Broncolor Move 1200L – market review

  • 06/09/2020 at 15:53
    Permalink

    There is pro and cons to both sides, however i do not think that Godox is even close to Profoto, Broncholor or Hensel (which has oddly not been mentioned here, even though it is a very reliable brand).

    Let me give you a practical example; the max. number of full-power flashes you can fire with a Godox AD600Pro is 75! In HSS Mode it’s only 50! After that the heat protection will kick in and the recycle time will lengthen to about 10 seconds between shots! This is not a intelligent protection function, meaning the unit doesn’t measure temperature to introduce the proctection measures, but instead just counts the flashes “blind”, then slows down recycle time after 75/50 flashes as mentioned above.
    You can read this in the manual – page 42. I never had a Profoto B1X or D2 behave this way, you can fire infinite shots without the flash lengthening recycle times. No compromise here. I do not want to miss shots. The AD600Pro did not hold up in the comparrison.
    You can not do anything about this, even if you leave 4-5 seconds time in between the shots, as soon as you reach 75 in normal or 50 in HSS Mode, this is going to happen!
    There is a youtube video showing this effect with 4 seconds time in between shots.

    Also the TTL to manual conversion function on the trigger gives you two different exposures once you convert. The TTL exposure looks different from the one which was “freezed” to manual.
    I also never got consistent exposures using TTL (Sony).

    As Arthur von Tyrpa mentioned, i had to throw away batteries SEVERAL times.
    (No support you can RELY on as well.)

    I have also measured flash duration times and color temperatures far from what was claimed. Flash duration varied as much as 1/900 at t=0.1 from what is shown on the display (measured using the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U and 3 different AD600Pro’s). Color Temperatures varied up to 300-400 Kelvin at certain power levels, otherwise pretty stable.

    If you shoot for non-commercial clients once or twice a month these units are just fine, but if you have to deliver thousands of images to a commercial client (speaking about advertising agencies) and the like, or are just used to push your gear to the max while delivering high quality you should forget about Godox. I had to go and invest into Profoto (which has its quirks like a recessed flash tube) just because i wasn’t able to do a five minute long fashion shoot (my AD600Pro shot down after roughly 3-4 minutes of full power shots). Some days the D2’s and B1X are running for as long as 2 hours straight of shooting in the higher power levels. No problems yet.

    A Godox AD600Pro is less then half the price of a B1X or B10 Plus, but can’t deliver more than 75 shots straight. I have been draining batteries with the B1X and never has it delivered exposures that were off.

    All this being said, one should read the manual and especially run the units through a real world scenario to see if it really meets your expectations!

    Reply
    • 05/10/2020 at 22:50
      Permalink

      Bowens, profoto, broncolor and elinchrom mounts are the most popular here; I can’t recommend something that doesn’t have a viable ecosystem for my readers. That works in reviews, but it doesn’t work in practical usage. Hensel aren’t a good buy right now.
      https://youtu.be/KhUmUU1AyRo?t=90 This shows more information about colour consistency.

      Most companies are using lg & panasonic 18650 cells, they are not making them themselves e.g. https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/77/1762477.jpg for reference, look at a $20 battery pack — https://i.ytimg.com/vi/wbXUJ7gjzwI/maxresdefault.jpg

      The Godox AD1200 Pro is probably more suitable for you. A recessed tube for fashion, where a para is likely used at some point, sounds like a poor purchasing decision. In your position I’d probably buy broncolor. You can only discharge lithium batteries at a certain speed before it’s dangerous; you don’t need to measure the temperature — https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/discharge_characteristics_li so the design is fine.

      The outputs and recharge times are vastly different; to compare with profoto, you’d first need to shoot at the same speed. Page 42 of the manual says if you fire more than 75 shots in a fast succession, it MAY activate the inner over-protection. The Godox AD1200 Pro is considerably better. The Godox AD400 Pro, Godox AD600 Pro and Godox AD1200 Pro all recharge considerably faster than the Profoto B1X, so it’s unfair to compare though it would be nice if the Godox had a slower mode without the cut off. If you try use the flash an equal amount to the profoto, have you faced any issues? This might not be possible in real world usage and I acknowledge that Godox aren’t perfect, so again I’d probably buy broncolor in your position. Obviously we should try do apples to apples comparisons — this isn’t always possible.

      Profoto are now on their THIRD edition of the Profoto A1, the Profoto B2 had issues as did the Profoto B1, so I don’t entirely trust their reliability. There’s currently a broken profoto b2 (it’s not that old) for sale on ebay with a quoted price to repair (just the capacitors, they’re a cheap item) beyond the price of a new Godox AD200.

      In short, I’d say the best brands right now (price no object) are godox and broncolor in general, but exceptions can be made. For example, I think profoto is better for wedding photography due to its superior modifier system for small modifiers (bigger modifiers favour the broncolor mount), and the speedlights match their strobes in colour. Actually I’d argue the godox mount is better for small modifiers, but as there aren’t many godox mount modifiers available (you have to adapt with bowens or whatnot), the win goes to profoto for wedding photography.

      Reply
  • 25/04/2020 at 16:06
    Permalink

    Ive shot extensively with all these brands in the field over the past 30 years. I currently own Profoto B2 packs (thats the old versions at 1200 ws not the 250 ws that are strangely named the same???) Several Elinchrom units both studio and location based and Ive just kitted up over the past year with Godox V860ii speedlights and 3 Godox AD600 Pros. I recently did a review comparison for Professional Photo Magazine between all the 500-600 ws location flash offering from El, Pr, Br, and Go. Frankly the Godox AD600 Pro unit blew them out of the water and beat them on virtually every test factor…power, colour, speed, recycling, accuracy and finally price. They are literally half the price of the nearest rival. I shot with them on a trip to Germany in high wind and they fell over on a cobbled street several times but just bounced back up. I still have a fondness for Elinchrom as I love the flexibility offered by the ELB 500TTL and pound for pound they are still a good option but other than that I think the European guys are a mile behind Godox. My experience is that China used to be the place to buy cheap crappy kit that was not that good but you were prepared to put up with it because it was cheap. Now with brands like Godox and DJI they are producing goods that are better than the best on the market but they are still cheap. The days of £1000 soft boxes are well and truly over!

    Reply
    • 27/05/2020 at 12:12
      Permalink

      I agree completely, and I think people can be slightly mislead by reviews when they say things like “these are good value for money” because your natural assumption is that they’re not quite as good as the competition money being no object, yet in reality they outperform them in areas.

      Reply
  • 05/04/2020 at 06:15
    Permalink

    If Godox has batteries as terrible as in the past, you need to buy 4 times as many as with any other system, and they will only last you one year! They’re essentially disposable, just like every Godox product I have used! And they’re definitely not durable, my partner and I have destroyed 1 pack, 2 heads and 3 lights in just one year!!! Broncolor pieces are ALL built like tanks! Profotos are also very durable compared to Godox, heavy and expensive, but durable!

    Reply

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