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Photography News

The Godox V1 Speedlight: A Budget-Friendly Round Head Flash

By Robert Hall on April 9th 2019

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

Godox V1 (Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X) shown with the dome diffuser (left) and barn doors (right).

  • 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.

Godox V1 Speedlight interface

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.

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About

I’m an editorial and portrait photographer in Southeast Michigan. That still feels weird to type considering I spent the first decade of my career as a wedding photographer. If there’s no camera in my hands, you can find me enjoying a quiet life with my wife and dog, exploring a new country, or making overly-technical videos on YouTube.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nick Williams

    The v1 can only do 15 shots full power in HSS and only 30 at 1/8th power in HSS. If you use HSS a lot this is not the flash for you.  It’s not all bad everything else is great. I love having the TCM on a on camera  flash. 

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  2. Ryan Smith

    I bought a couple of v860II based on your reviews because I wanted to finally get rid of Pocketwizards.  However I found they overheated way to quickly especially with HSS.  I can fire my SB-700 and 910 all day without overheating.  If you could test the overheating and AF beam when you get this flash I would be very interested if it’s improved!

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    • Robert Hall

      Hey Ryan,

      Godox has always put the number of flashes you can do before the light enters thermal protection mode in the manuals.
      It’s kind of hard to compare the V860II to AA speedlights, considering it recycles so much faster.
      Say you had the SB-910 in HSS 1/1 and the V860II in HSS 1/1. The SB-910 can fire once every 4-5 seconds, the V860II every 1.5 seconds. It’s easy to understand why the V860II get’s hotter, when you have access to such a fast recycle speed. If you were to flash them at the same interval however, you’re unlikely to even trigger the count-based thermal protection.
      At full power, the new V1 can do about 30 shots rapidly before it enters thermal protection.

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