The Godox V1 Speedlight: A Budget-Friendly Round Head Flash
Godox has skyrocketed in popularity over the past four years by releasing a wide assortment of lighting products from mini-speedlights—designed to balance with small mirrorless cameras—to powerful 600 watt monolights with attached batteries. Their products are feature-rich, offering TTL and HSS, as well as built-in radio receivers for wireless control.
At the heart of the system is the speedlight, which can act as a master to control and fire additional off-camera flashes. Recently, Godox announced the new V1 speedlight, a flash that features a round head to allow for the attachment of magnetic modifiers and gels. With the V1, Godox has taken their speedlights to a new level.
Check out my brief overview of the Godox V1 in the video below:
Features & Interface Improvements
- Round fresnel head
- AK-R1 magnetic modifier kit
- Reverse tilt of flash head for bouncing without head rotation
- Switch-lock for securing to camera
- Roughly 1-second recycle speed at full power
- 650 full power flash recycles on a single battery
- 1/256 minimum power setting
- 1/10 stop output control
- Removal of optical slave menus
- LED modeling lamp
- Master navigation speed greatly increased
- Scan for best channel function
Pricing & Availability
The Godox V1 will be available in the U.S. from Adorama as the Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 and is currently available for pre-order at a price of $259.00. The magnetic modifiers can be purchased separately for $59.00.
For those unaware, the entire Godox X-series lineup is available at Adorama as the Flashpoint R2 series of lighting. There is nothing proprietary about the Flashpoint products in comparison to Godox products; they function together interchangeably.
Changes To The Godox V1 Speedlight Since The Video (Above)
I had the opportunity to use a beta model of the Godox V1 at WPPI in Las Vegas. Since then, Godox has decided to change two things. First, the LED modeling lamp will use a single LED rather than two smaller LEDs for the modeling lamp. Second, the beta model used a new LED AF-assist beam, rather than the traditional red grid. Due to early feedback, they decided to revert to the AF-assist grid. It is unknown at this time whether it will launch with the previous AF-assist grid from the V860II, or feature a new design. I hope for the latter as the V860II’s AF-assist beam pales in comparison to popular Canon and Nikon speedlights.
Conclusion: Is The Godox V1 Worth The Upgrade?
The Godox V1 is a spectacular value speedlight, being that it is equally capable as 1st-party speedlights at a fraction of the price. The bigger question is how it stacks up against existing speedlights, such as the Godox V860II. Many may focus on the round head aspect of this light as being the key to unlocking better lighting. To me, the shape is of little relevance as it is still a small light source, regardless of shape. The round head does create a very even pattern of light, but left unmodified, it will provide all the same hard-light characteristics of a rectangular speedlight.
The primary benefits of the V1 are speed and function. The significantly improved speed of adjustments when using the V1 as a master will be welcome to any event or wedding photographer using additional lights off-camera. The switch-lock and reverse tilt add stability and flexibility to an essential tool. The magnetic modifiers offer a ton of light control in a very portable package. On the surface, I think the Godox V1 is a much more polished lighting tool than the previous V860II. Once the production release is available, and I can dig into finer points like light output, consistency, and color accuracy, and follow up with a full review.