The Godox V1-S TTL Speedlight is the latest round head flash from Godox. This round head flash is a considerable upgrade over previous models and I believe it should be called the Godox V1 Pro. Lighting products tend not to get the same level of interest as the Canon R5, Sony a9 III or GM lenses but I think the controversy surrounding the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash (speedlight) has made people more aware of it.
Godox V1-S TTL Speedlight – Round Head Flash Review
If you’ve found this Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash review on Google, feel free to ask me some questions below. I’m not the greatest at reviewing things (due to laziness) but I am fairly honest/straight forward and I will try my best to give direct answers to specific questions you may have.
I am also not sponsored by Godox and I am the kind of person who will criticize a product if I believe it is deserved. That said, this flash does a lot right and there is little to complain about. I believe it is possibly, subjectively and objectively, the best speedlight on the market regardless of price. There is however no perfect speedlight.
Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash Controversy
Profoto have made claims regarding the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash‘s similarity to the Profoto A1. Without meaning to sound overly defensive of Godox, the technology found in a flash didn’t happen all at once; wireless technology is a progression from earlier technologies and the general speedlight design has been well established before Profoto showed up. Should Canon, Nikon, Sony, Godox, Nissin, etc. be suing Profoto for making a speedlight? Of course not.
Profoto’s pricing is questionable; forget the cost of the flash itself, but the Profoto gel set is about $5 of materials for $100+! I don’t think this can be justified. Broncolor can MAYBE justify their crazy pricing for some products (like the easy to use para) but the Profoto A1 is not as colour stable as the the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight.
There is a striking resemblance between the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash Speedlight and the Profoto A1 in terms of the round heads but you could argue a Nikon flash looks rather like a Canon–they’re both rectangular, right? Every natural light source I can think of (and nearly every large, man-made but natural looking softbox) I can think of is round. I believe a round headed speedlight is simply a natural progression and it would be a great shame if a patent prevents round head design. I doubt the internals of the two flashes are identical; if they were, the Profoto A1 would perform better. Let me know your thoughts on this and if you think patents take things too far :).
Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight Unboxing
When unboxing the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight, immediately noticeable is the improved case. Compared to previous Godox flashes I have reviewed, the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Speedlight feels a lot more padded and it is a lot more colourful too. I believe there is neoprene foam in-between the outer material, and interestingly the flash foot is kept on the outside of the case and not inside. Inside the box is a USB-C charger, cable, the flash itself, a battery and the usual stuff. Sometimes I discard included lens cases but generally I’ve found a use for flash cases, so I like the attention to detail and the improved padding. Little touches like this and the overall design of the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight make me see this flash as a “Pro” model to their non-pro speedlights. That’s not to say you can’t use the AD200 for pro-work, of course you can, but this just feels more in keeping with the AD200 Pro paradigm, if that makes sense.
Battery and Charger
The included charger is brilliant as it accepts USB-C. The light changes colour from green, to red when the battery is inserted, back to green when it is fully charged. It would be nice to see more LEDs to indicate charge; however, I like how lightweight it is and if more LEDs encroached on this, that would be a shame.
From what I can establish using my Samsung charger, the current varies depending on the resistance of the two 18650 Lithium batteries housed inside the battery case. The battery claims 2.0 amps charge; my meter (keep in mind my meter was cheap and probably isn’t that accurate) reached about 1.75amps. Once it starts to charge at about .25 amps, you can safely take it off charge. It’s actually better for a lithium battery to not be charged to 100%; so you might want to consider buying a USB Power Meter.
I took the battery off charge momentarily so please discard most of what is shown on the display. That said and regardless of how accurate of a test this is, the charge current is clearly quite high relative to the voltage. Given the fact the charger doesn’t weigh much at all, this opens up new opportunities for hikers. For example, I will be able to charge this using a solar panel or power bank during the day and illuminate things at night with it. The CTO gels are also very sleek when using the proper AK-R1 gel kit; this lowers pack weight if you’re thinking about taking the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight on a hike with a CTO gel or even simply packing a few things for vacation. The main take away from all of this is that Godox have saved space regardless of where you store your stuff, and they’ve made everything convenient. The gels snap on easily using magnetism; there aren’t a million AA batteries to worry about; any USB charger can charge the battery, etc.
The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash Design
The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash has a very sleek design. The battery can be seen from either side of the unit but it doesn’t feel like the flash is going to break in half because of this design. I measured the length of a 18650 battery and compared it to the length of the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight battery; there’s good clearance for the cells inside–this is reassuring. I understand I am being a bit technical here and this can irritate photographers… but anyone can read a spec sheet; I am trying to provide information that is not readily available :). The point is, I am not expecting these batteries to expand and catch fire (unlike a certain Samsung phone I bought and warned Samsung about).
The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight seems to use the same material as previous models e.g. Godox TT685S, but it’s crafted in a superior way. There’s subtle differences, for example the texture on the front feels and looks a bit more matte. The red panel is well crafted. That’s not to say you should avoid the Godox TT685S (I think it’s an excellent product), this simply feels a bit more well polished. In truth, it doesn’t really matter as long as the output is acceptable.
The front shocked me. I touched it and noticed how cold it was compared to my Godox TT685S Flash i.e. the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight has a GLASS front. I suspect this helps light transmission slightly but it’s encouraging to see them use more expensive materials. The hot-shoe is much, much faster to operate. I really wish my trigger had the same flick switch; I use that far more and rarely put my speedlight on the camera, haha. Enough about the physical design…
The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlight Menu system and buttons
I think a good menu system should have clear labels and you should be able to operate the product even if you have limited knowledge of what’s inside said menu.
I truly dislike the Sony a7rII and Sony a9 menu system; not because I’m new to Sony but simply because the items aren’t logically labelled, they’re not in logical places and none of it makes any sense at all. You can make your own menus of course and you can memorise where things are, but that either circumvents or masks an underlying problem.
With the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash, everything is clearly labelled and easy to operate. As long as you know what you’re looking for e.g. you know you want to adjust flash power so you want to find power settings, you will be able to find it.
I typically only turn on/off the modelling light, set the flash group, its zoom level and the flashes power. If you’re the kind of photographer who isn’t at all interested in technical stuff and you just want an easy to use product this will appeal to you.
The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash quality, power and colour
- The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head flash is more colour stable (shift between flashes, and colour across its power range) than the Profoto A1 and to my knowledge it is the most colour stable speedlight on the market made by anyone for any brand.
- The flash duration is FAST. You can freeze water with it.
- The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash is about 50% more powerful than a typical speedlight.
- The modelling light is very warm. There are 10 choices for power settings but you will most likely leave it on its most powerful and enable/disable with your transmitter.
- The round head does make a huge difference when bare bulb. It fills modifiers slightly differently. I believe it’s more a game changer for macro photography and interior photography (real estate), and not portraiture (you’re less likely to shoot bare head).
On the left is the AD200 Pro with a round head, white balance set to “daylight” (5500k +10) in lightroom and the Godox V1 on the right. The falloff as you can see is pretty much identical with the two heads (even though the bulbs are slightly different inside). The AD200 Pro with the Round head starts to get expensive (around £400) but if I’m truly honest, it is more daylight balanced.
The Godox V1 shoots slightly cooler than the Profoto A1 and this is a huge negative. The colour temperature changes throughout the day so for daylight photographers it might be okay. If you’re mixing flashes for studio photography, it’s annoying.
A cloud only has to go overly slightly, you have a morning shoot instead of an evening shoot, the flash hits a coloured door, flooring, etc. and the temperature will change. It is highly unlikely you are going to shoot them side-by-side in the real world (outside) but you will notice it for product photography.
What’s interesting, important and great about this flash is that despite the fact it shoots slightly cooler — it stays this colour throughout its power range. So if you are able to use a CTO gel and daylight balance, you can play with the power and not worry about the colour changing throughout its range. This is where the Godox V1 actually beats the Profoto A1 because although the Profoto A1 has a head start, its colour changes throughout the range. For outdoor work, I found a 1/8th CTO daylight balanced perfectly. For studio work, I could not get it to match with my other heads.
Please note, for testing purposes I swapped the heads around in case there was colour leak from somewhere. The results stayed the same: the AD200 Pro shot warmer.
- The battery charger doesn’t have much indication as to how charged the battery is ~ the chargers size and weight make up for this.
- If you’ve invested in an S-Bracket, this won’t fit. I imagine Godox will create a new bracket soon but I feel I should mention this as it has a direct effect on you, the buyer.
- If you’ve invested in an 8 inch octabox (I use them for interior photography), this won’t fit. Again, I imagine Godox will create something soon.
- The AK-R1 does not have any red or blue coloured gels. In all honesty, I wish godox would make a cheap gel kit. I use those more than the snoot thing. This isn’t a direct complaint of the flash itself.
- Accessories e.g. AK-R1 still slightly expensive in regards to manufacturing costs
- I think the Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash should include one magnetic accessory. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but a lot of users might not buy the AK-R1 and this would introduce them to it.
- Quick to set up.
- Easy to operate and easy menu system.
- Superior to the competition and also much cheaper.
- AK-R1 kit is much cheaper than the competition.
- Colour stable (more stable than previous units).
- Fast recycle time (1.4 seconds).
- Easy to manage battery.
- Glass front.
- Lightweight charger and battery system.
- Quick and easy to gel.
- Improved hot shoe that is quick and easy to operate.
- Modelling light.
- You get a loooooot of flashes out of a charge.
- Great eco-system unlike native flash options e.g. combine it with an AD200 Pro and you’re golden for a lot of pro work.
It’s a well polished, almost faultless product in its own right.
My Workflow & Examples
Prior to this Godox V1-S TTL Round Head review, I had already written a round head comparison with the AD200 and a Godox TT685-S; as you can see, the head does make a difference. What’s important to talk about and think about is your overall workflow. The Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash isn’t cheap; it’s priced near the AD200 and the AD200 Pro isn’t much more initially. Keep in mind though that you’ll need the round head, so realistically you’re talking £400 for the AD200 Pro and the round head, plus a further £40 for the extension.
My goal is to have extension cables and two AD200 Pro’s. I will use one on a boom, lightstand or whatever. I will then have two (or more) Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flashes. These will not be placed on light stands, so the fact I don’t have a bracket for it won’t concern me. They will be used with the included foot or I’ll screw a tabletop tripod into the foot (the foot has a tripod thread). In other words, I want to use my Godox V1-S TTL Round Head Flash speedlights to supplement light and it’s all about speed of set up with them.
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